A photo guide to the Verbier Xtreme, one of Europe’s most storied freeride contests and the final stop of the Freeride World Tour circuit.
Weren’t in Verbier last weekend? Well, here’s a photo gallery that will make you feel like you were. Despite sub-optimal (a nice way of saying “shitty”) conditions that prevented the men’s ski contest from being run, the Xtreme Verbier still showed why it’s among the Continent’s most revered happenings on the freeride circuit. So follow us through the village to Medran, up the gondola to La Chaux, and all the way to Col de Gentianes at the base of Mont-Fort, where the party is popping off.
Don’t underestimate the ability of the Freeride World Tour to brand any given object.
3330-meter Mont-Fort, the ceiling of Verbier.
The view of the contest venue, 3223-meter Bec des Rosses, from Col de Gentianes. Looks like fun, right?
Not your mom’s freeride contest venue.
Bring binoculars if you don’t want to miss any of the action.
A helicopter buzzes past on its way up to the start gate.
The spectators fill up every available space. Yes, bright colors are definitely still “in” with the freeride crowd.
Can’t think of a clever caption.
The women’s ski contest gets underway.
The women’s start off the shoulder of Bec des Rosses is nothing to shake a stick at. Nadine Wallner drops in.
The La Clusaz crowd keeps the stoke level high.
Fan Club La Clusaz.
La Clusaz cheers on Loic Collomb-Patton.
After waiting for hours for good light, the ski men huddle for a pow-wow to decide whether to ride or not.
FWT founder Nicolas Hale-Woods in the middle of the action.
The French don’t fuck around when it comes to lunch on the hill.
Gotta stay hydrated.
Keep the wine flowing.
The free raclette stand is a major hit. This guy was dishing out cheese by the kilo all day long.
More cheese, please.
Remember what I said about FWT branding?
You’re absolutely right. Next question: how long does it take this sign to decompose when it gets blown off the mountain?
Lots of technical gear on display.
Hey, your airbag is showing.
FWT photographers don’t mess around.
We couldn’t agree more.
As the men’s contest is postponed, the Loic Collomb-Patton fan club starts to celebrate his prospective overall tour victory.
Yes, Verbier is in Switzerland. But the La Clusaz fan club sure made it feel like France.
Your 2016 FWT champion, and he didn’t have to ski a turn in Verbier.
Jackie Paaso and Eva Walkner.
Women’s Xtreme Verbier podium: Jackie Paaso, Eva Walkner, Nadine Wallner.
Down in Verbier, the highliners are out walking above the event village.
Men’s overall podium: Loic, Logan Pehota and Fabio Studer.
Pop yer bottlez.
Due to the snow conditions, these were the only face shots to be had in Verbier this time around.
Loic skied to second place in Haines and Kitzbühel and won in Chamonix on his way to his second overall FWT championship. “How does it feel to win a second time?” Loic is asked. “It’s just the one between the first and the third,” he replies.