The 10th-anniversary edition of Downdays Magazine is out now and available for free at locations across Europe. Get your hands on this special piece of freeski culture at your local ski shop, or by using the Mag Finder at the bottom of this page.
Ten years already? As they say, time flies when you’re having fun—and if spending a decade on the front lines of European freeskiing isn’t fun, we don’t know what is. Downdays was started in 2008 as a platform to unite the diverse freeski scenes springing up across Europe under one roof. Since then, we’ve chased untracked lines, pristine snowparks, street spots and fat powder booters across the Alps and beyond, on a mission to connect you with the people, places, products and events that define what we call freeski culture.
The Winter 2019 issue features a special lacquer-treatment cover and Leo Taillefer letting loose on a spectacular Pakistani peak, an image from the "Karakoram Diaries" feature story.
From the front cover—where Leo Taillefer opens up a high-speed turn during the second-ever descent of Pakistan’s Biacherahi North Tower—to the back page, where Markus Eder, Felix Wiemers and Rob Heule drop in together on matching pillow lines in British Columbia, the Winter 2019 issue plunges the reader into the wide world of freeski culture. The 14-page feature “A Decade of Downdays” provides an in-depth review of the most influential players in European freeskiing over the past ten years, from the rise of modern legends like Candide Thovex, Henrik Harlaut and Jérémie Heitz, to the legacy of hardworking crews like Legs of Steel, Gpsy Feelin and Real SkiFi. Along the way, we visit the places, like Absolut Park, Seiser Alm, Laax and Mottolino, that have established themselves as the hotspots and breeding grounds of freeskiing in Europe today.
Page 72: "Ten years ago, Henrik spoke only in hip-hop slang, wore grills and talked non-stop about Mickael Deschenaux. All he wanted was skiing and to ski for life."
Of course, we can’t spend all of our time dwelling on the past. Our highlight travel feature chronicles a madcap expedition to Pakistan with photographer Jérôme Tanon (The Eternal Beauty of Snowboarding), Thomas Delfino, Leo Taillefer and crew in “Karakoram Diaries” — the source of our stunning cover photo. Meanwhile, our photo feature swerves in a different direction, showcasing the street photography of Stephan Sutton from the urban capital of Europe, Finland. The feature profile of the Winter 2019 issue casts the spotlight on Markus Eder — who we’re calling “the most underrated skier of the decade.”
Page 62: "I don't know how to describe my feelings: a mix of fear and excitement. The wait is unbearable. I reflect on what Zak told me: 'Biacherahi is for gangsters only.' I don't know if I am a a gangster. Butterflies in my stomach, I hug my water bottle close so it doesn't freeze, and repeat to myself: It's gonna be alright. It's gonna be alright."
Page 90: "My motto is: you will always find something fun to shred. You don't always have to ride the sickest or steepest line. You can find super fun things right next to the piste – a fun hit here, a little jib there – or shred what's already tracked. Or just find a snowpark. I don't want to put pressure on myself to go into the backcountry. It has to be right."
Page 98: "For Finnish riders, hitting urban is something you just kind of grow up doing. I remember as a kid, if we couldn't get a ride to our local mountain, we'd just go hit an urban spot somewhere close by, or build something in someone's backyard. ... That's probably why Finland doesn't have many skiers who kill it in the backcountry or riding powder, but a lot of guys who are great at rails and in the park."
There’s plenty more in the Winter 2019 issue to keep you entertained on your down days: interviews with Freeride World Champion Arianna Tricomi and Olympic medalists Sarah Hoefflin and Øystein Bråten; musings on avalanche safety with Nadine Wallner, on career longevity with freeride legend Stian Hagen, and on the state of the sport with James Woods. We celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic ski film Blizzard of Aahhh’s with iconic photos of Glen Plake and Scot Schmidt in Chamonix, follow a winning women’s freeride team to a photo contest in Courmayeur, and take a peek into the workshop of skier-slash-artist Freddie Grann. And if you just want to look at some glorious ski photos, the 12-page photo gallery displays the most stunning ski photography from Europe and around the world.
The Gallery: Russia, Switzerland, Canada, Austria, California, Japan.
Page 51: "I did not like Warren [Miller]'s movies. They felt old-fashioned, his skiers were not as good as all my friends, and his music sucked."
Page 45: "The fact is that if you are out often in the backcountry and doing serious freeriding, you are going to kick off a slab now and again. But that doesn't mean it's always an uncontrolled situation."
the Downdays magazine is 100% free, and available right now at over 200 ski shops across Europe. Make sure you get your copy of this special issue before they’re all gone!