Markus Eder at the 2023 Nendaz Backcountry Invitational
Markus Eder on his way to victory at Nendaz in 2023. Lévy Loye

Event News

Booters Ball

Nendaz Backcountry Invitational confirmed for Saturday, 20 January

By: Ethan Stone January 17, 2024

Thanks to recent snowfalls and a favorable forecast for the weekend, the fourth edition of the Nendaz Backcountry Invitational has been confirmed for Saturday, 20 January. For the first time, this year’s event includes a livestream.

In an age now dominated by officially sanctioned contest tours like the FIS World Cup and the Freeride World Tour, the Nendaz Backcountry Invitational is a throwback to the good old days. The game is quite simple: Take a playful off-piste zone at the freeride hotspot of Nendaz, build a bunch of booters all over the slope, invite a crack team of riders, and let the best man (and woman) win!

Nendaz Backcountry Invitational 2023
Sven Rauber truck driving on the way to a powder landing. Lévy Loye

The group of shapers from the Nendaz Freeride club has been hard at work since Monday to build the course. You can follow their progress via @nendazfreeride on Instagram.

This year’s crop of contestants includes last year’s champ Markus Eder, Freeride World Tour all-star Maxime Chabloz, and French freeride heavyweight Léo Slemett. 2022 Junior Freeride World Champion Martin Bender, American-turned-Swede Alex Hackel and New Zealand wildcard Craig Murray will also throw their hats into the ring.

On the women’s side, three-time FWT champion Arianna Tricomi will make an appearance, vying for victory alongside other top talent like Polish Freeride World Tour competitor Zuzanna Witych and France’s Lou Barin.

The zone in the Plan du Fou / Siviez area combines natural drops with kickers shaped by the Nendaz Freeride team to create a freerider's wet dream of trickable features. Lévy Loye

The Downdays team was onsite at the second Invitational back in 2022, and it’s safe to say that we were blown away by the level of competition. With great conditions on the ground and good weather in the forecast, it’s a safe bet that 2024 is going to go off, too.

The event livestream will be available starting at 8:45am on Saturday at

Onsite, the public will be able to watch the competition from 9am, in the Plan du Fou area above Siviez (Nendaz). A finish area will be set up with bar, raclette, live music and commentary. To get there, start at the top of the Plan du Fou gondola, ski down towards Siviez keeping to the left, then take a path heading east to the finish area.