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Vol. 1 No. 5
 
Features:

A Basin Comp

Brighton
Couloir Extreme
Photo Gallery
Rip Tip

 

Interviews:
Staffan A.
Lori S.
Stuart K.
 
Depts:
Reader Subs
Comp Results
Photo Tips
Chair 13
About No. 5
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You may recognize Staffan as one of Tomas Annerby's Freeheelin ski models. He's graced our pages before. We finally caught up with him to see just what it is that Tomas fancies so much...

Descender: Work can get in the way of skiing, but we all have regular jobs. Do you?

Staffan: Don't remind me! I almost forgot about it. No seriously, it's good. I work as a business/computer consultant at a Swedish software company called Intentia.

D: How do you find a balance between working and skiing?

Staffan: I don't! I would need more vacation! Everybody should have more vacation, right? But it works pretty well for me. My work gives me big personal freedoms. I can work from remote destinations as long as I have a mobile telephone. Actually, I've done a lot of work on bad days in ski resorts. I've even assisted customers over the telephone while on a ski lift and things turned out just fine. That's a nice office!


Click photo to enlarge. Credit: Tomas Annerby Location: Verbier

D: There's a bit of debate about the new equipment out there. What do you think of fat skis and stiff boots?

Staffan: Personally I think it's great. Speed is my friend! I love cruising in big mountains. Fat skis and stiff boots allow higher speeds in all conditions. As I see it, it expands the telemark technique. The equipment should not be the problem. For the sport it's also great because it might attract more beginners. The learning curve improves, it's faster to learn to telemark, and that's great! We want more to learn about the how nice this really is, don't we!

D: What gear are you skiing on this year?

Staffan: I'm in possession of a pair of Rossignol Bandit XXX and Scarpa T Race. Those are my current favorites. Salomon Xscream and my black T1's I just use for cruising with friends. I still miss my old Tua Cirque's, since the competition in the stairs at college... (Note: Mario ski's XXX's too!)

D: Where do you usually ski?

Staffan: In Sweden, Riksgränsen and Kittelfjäll up in Lappland. In the Alps, Verbier and Chamonix. In the States Butt Hole, no sorry, Jackson Hole!

D: Where's your favorite place to ski?

Staffan: I've spent a lot of time in Riksgränsen, hanging out with friends creating great memories. But for easily accessible big mountain experiences, I must say Verbier. Not as crowded with beginners as Chamonix, but with world class off piste. Late April and May I'll head to north Lappland where my heart belongs...

D: Do you like skiing in the States?

Staffan: I love the amount of snow that falls and the scenery. I've spent some time around Jackson Hole. Impressive terrain. But what I really remember is the tree skiing in Teton Pass. The place seemed to have fresh snow every day and always dramatic skies. The best tree skiing I've had since Manali in India.


Click photo to enlarge. Credit: Tomas Annerby Location: Verbier

D: What do you enjoy outside of skiing?

Staffan: Computers? No just kidding. Pretty much anything you can do in the outdoors (I need more vacation!). And especially spending time with my girlfriend and friends.

D: Word has it you're a fan of beer?

Staffan: Key Beer in Sweden, Heiniken in Europe, Singa in Asia, Victoria Bitter in Australia, Samuel Adams in the States, but I really prefer Burbon and Coke.

D: What's the funniest thing that's happened in your travels?

Staffan: I have a fun Memory from Indian Himalayas. I wanted to do some ski touring so I hired a local ski guide to accompany me. He assured me of his long experience from guiding in Switzerland, Gstaad, and his personal clients Roger Moore and Jacque Villenueve. Well right, but I went along confident that no smoke without fire. The journey started off fine with a Land Rover towards the Rothang Pass. When the road was covered with snow the guide hired a couple of mules or horse ( I'm sure it wasn't a Yak) for us to continue up the mountain. Not really what I expected, but well we're in India, right. It worked out, surprisingly, just fine the first half an hour. Sitting on the mule with my backpack and skis, the mule more and more often started to lean over the edge of the steep slippery track to catch some grass, probably getting hungry. This made me a bit nervous as I found it troublesome to keep the balance with my big pack on the back and skis and reins in my hand, first time on a skinny Indian horse, but the scenery was great though... I didn't come on terms with the skinny Indian mountain goat and the communication didn't really work either. After an hour the horse or whatever started to want to go back. My excellent Indian mountain guide proposed that we continue on skins. We started to leave the tree line and 7000 m peaks started to emerge at the new horizon. It was amazing and I felt that the trip might be a good idea after all. After an extra hour the athletic Indian mountain guide wanted to stop for a smoke. After finishing the cigarette, he proposed that I should continue on my own to the ridge so he could catch some breath. I kept on skinning and reached the ridge on an altitude of 3500 m. As a reward I had 1000 m vertical mostly in woods with the size of red wood trees 10 m apart and really step, better than a day at office. When I found the guide, still smoking, he finally admitted that he couldn't ski powder. But he showed me the pictures with him and Roger Moore, kissing...

Staffan: A more resent one is when I met the Swedish King at The Kings Bar in Verbier, he was a couple of beers ahead of us. He was in good form. Long live the King!

D: What music do you like to listen to on the slopes? Off the slopes?

Staffan:On the slopes I prefer Ozzy and Dee Schneider. Off the slopes, good music of any type, especially Vikingarna.

D: Do you like math? If so, what's your favorite theorem?

Staffan: I had a kind of a love hate relationship with math at college. One heavy impressive theorem I remember is the Schrödinger equation. Not sure what to use it for but I could probably write it down... or maybe not.

D: That should do it!

Staffan: I hope so!

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