If you had any doubts as to whether Markus Eder is one of the world’s most well-rounded skiers, his 2018/19 season edit will put those doubts to rest.
Since a lot of people suddenly have more time on their hands, we’ve seen a small flood of “better late than never” season edits from skiers like Laurent de Martin and Ole Pavel. Also on that list is 2019 Freeride World Tour champion Markus Eder, who is currently holed up under a mandatory lockdown at his home in South Tyrol, Italy. I gave Markus a call to get the current vibes from one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Hey Markus, how are you doing? How is life under quarantine?
Good! I’m taking my dog Luna for a walk right now. Besides that and going for groceries we’re not allowed to leave the house. The lockdown has been pretty crazy. It’s pretty easy where I live, there aren’t too many sick people—maybe 20 or 30 in the close by area. So it’s not too bad. But still, nobody is going out. The rules are the same as in Lombardy, quite strict, and it makes total sense to follow the rules because it’s pretty gnarly down there and we definitely don’t want it to become that crazy here.
You’ve been in lockdown since last week. What’s it been like?
Wait a second, there’s a dog coming. Luna. LUNA! No! She’s a little dog and always trying to fight the big dogs. But to your question, it’s been two weeks now in total lockdown. I think the ski resorts closed 15 or 16 days ago. Every few days there are more restrictions coming out. We are lucky where I live, we don’t have to be that scared about picking it up. But just looking at Lombardy, the hospitals are completely overloaded. The doctors and everyone working in hospitals have to go to work, even if they get the coronavirus, because otherwise there’s nobody left. They’re transporting bodies with the army because there’s no more space. Dying people only have the chance to say goodbye to their family via phone. Crematories are overloaded, they’re running 24/7 and can’t keep up. So it’s pretty insane.
Were you at home when things started? How did it affect your plans for the rest of the winter?
I came home the day before the quarantine, and was ready to go shred and shoot at my home resort Klausberg. With the insane winter start in November down here the conditions were better than I’ve ever seen them before. Knowing that I’ll most likely not be able to go up there the rest of the season and hit the features we built is a very harsh reality.
But besides everything bad that’s happening and all the tragedy, now that the season is over, I haven’t been able to switch off like this since probably ever. At least for the past last ten years, I haven’t really had time to relax and do all the things really well that I’m doing right now. So I’m actually enjoying it.
How have you been keeping busy?
I’ve been hanging out with my girlfriend and my dog. I haven’t seen anyone else, haven’t had personal contact with anyone else in the past two weeks. I’ve just been following up on all the office work that always piles up during the winter. I’ve been getting rid off all the tax stuff, which is always a little nightmare. And clean, read, do puzzles, work out a little, wax skis, get fired up for skiing. The time has been flying the past two weeks actually. I haven’t been bored at all.
Word on the street is that you’re also working on a special collaboration with Smith and The North Face.
Yeah there’s always special things going on with Smith and TNF. Smith has been supporting me since day one, I think its been 15 or 16 years now, and The North Face also for about ten years. So I’m stoked about the friendship and partnership we have going on. With Smith we’re working on my fourth pro model, and TNF just launched Futurelight last season. They’re listening deeply to the product feedback from the athletes, which is dope! I’m stoked all my sponsors are always on board when it comes to support my projects and whatever I want to do.
As someone living under lockdown in a country that has been hit hard, what do you have to say to people in places where the coronavirus isn’t as present yet?
The bad thing with the virus is that it hides in most people. You can have it and pass it along without even having symptoms. The coronavirus is a bitch, it has such sneaky characteristics. When it breaks out, it’s too late. When it makes itself known, so many people have it already and are passing it without knowing. Even if you think it’s not around, it’s already there and it’s doing it’s work, that’s for sure.
The more you can stay distant from everybody, the better it is. Especially your mom, dad, grandparents, and people who are already sick or have health issues. Those are the people that get hit the most. Make sure that they stay home and don’t have contact with anyone. They probably already know, but maybe some people you care about don’t understand or don’t want to understand it yet. But it doesn’t just depend on them. It depends on everyone doing the same thing. So if you have friends acting irresponsibly, call them out and be harsh on them. Otherwise it won’t go away.