Lockdown 1.0. Remember it? Zoom quizzes, the Tiger King and hundreds of thousands of sour dough cockups on Instagram. It was a means to an end for most of us, but for the good folk at Faction, it was a chance to get away from it all and go for a good old touring mission across the Western Alps.
“It was a chance to get away from it all and go for a good old touring mission”
Deciding to take on the legendary course of the Patrouille des Glaciers, Sam Anthamatten, Elisabeth Gerritzen, Yann Rausis and Anna Smoothy treat us to the virtual turns we need to get through Lockdown 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0. Taking on some pretty out there faces, in some pretty rough springtime conditions, ‘Zermatt to Verbier’ shows us how the best turns really are out there beyond the resort boundaries.
For those unaware, the Patrouille des Glaciers (PDG) ski mountaineering race stretches from Zermatt to Verbier over 53 kilometres, covering a total ascent of just under 4,000 metres. In it, skiers take on a series of peaks, cols and couloirs as they race their way between the two alpine towns – Sam, Elisabeth, Yann and Anna chose to take on the best descents that stood in their way.
“Sam, Elisabeth, Yann and Anna chose to take on the best descents that stood in their way”
The PDG goes way back to the 1940s, when Swiss Army captains Rodolphe Tissièresand and Roger Jean Bonvin had the idea to test their soldiers’ mettle by hosting a high-alpine ski touring (then cross country skiing) race. They chose a route between Zermatt and Verbier—part of the famed Haute Route high alpine traverse.
In 1942, the first Patrouille des Glaciers took place, with just a dozen troops. In the modern day, the race is open to the public. Competitors clock times as fast as 5.5 hours thanks to state-of-the-art touring equipment and the spirit of the Patrouille driving them to push the limits of speed and endurance.
The whole edit is, of course, wrapped up in that silky smooth Faction editing, with some of the most epic aerial shots we’ve seen this year. Give it a watch, you can’t go wrong with this one.