Off the beaten path

Next Stop Sneg: A Powder Skiing Adventure in Siberia

By: Ethan Stone January 05, 2023

Next Stop Sneg is by no means a typical ski movie. If anything, it’s more of a fever dream—an immersion into a strange, unfamiliar world. In any case, that’s the vibe that its creator Marco Tribelhorn was going for.

Ever dreamed of your own secret pow stash in a faraway place, with no one there but you and your buddies? “Next Stop Sneg” takes you to that place.

In December 2021, Tribelhorn, aka Tribi, and Sven Rauber packed their bags for a very off-the-beaten-path ski destination: Siberia’s Altai Mountains. There, they’d forged a connection with a local group of freeriders—including photographer Andrey Britanishskiy, snowboarder Kostya San and former Freeride World Tour skier Grigory Korneev—who were kind enough to share their secret local powder stash with these two adventurous Swiss skiers.

Sven Rauber on a journey into the unknown. Photo: Tribi

Sven flipping out over Grigory’s secret stash. Photo: Tribi

Full disclosure: Tribi and Sven had already been to Siberia once before, in 2019. “The first time we went, I just brought my photo camera,” Tribi says. But after experiencing the quality of the snow and terrain, Tribi and Sven began planning a second trip, this time with the video camera.

Getting to “Sneg” is no easy task. A flight to Moscow, then a flight to Novokuznetsk. Then a taxi for three hours to Sheregesh. Then another taxi, then a train. Hop off the train in the middle of nowhere, then cross the river on a raft to get to camp. “The movie is an attempt to describe how surreal the feeling was of getting there,” Tribi explains. “Not knowing exactly where we were or how we got there. This is something you look for as a skier. You look for special occasions to find a pow stash that no one else is riding.”

Next Stop Sneg

Hop off the train and take a raft across the river. Photo: Tribi

Arrival at base camp. Photo: Tribi

Before you try typing “sneg siberia skiing” into Google, I should warn you that “Sneg” is not a real place—it’s just the Russian word for snow. Tribi and Sven picked this title for their movie to help protect the location of their friends’ secret stash.

It goes without saying that, since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the mythical land of “Sneg” is now even harder to reach for outsiders. “We are sitting on both sides of the front line with the same feelings, and none of us can do anything about it,” Tribi says about his friends in Siberia. “The war got a new reality for me,” he adds, noting that his friends in Siberia live under the constant threat of being drafted into the military.

Strangers become friends. Photo: Tribi

For many, skiing is an escape from the harsh realities of the world we live in—no matter on which side of those arbitrary lines called borders that you’re born. In troubling times like these, “Sneg” seems like the perfect place to escape to.