A Man For All Seasons. Photos: Holden Outerwear & Silvano Zeiter
One day, Fredi Kalbermatten will have climbed all thirteen of the 4000m-plus peaks that surround his home resort of Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He got off to an early start, scaling his first with his mountain-guide father by the age of seven. Thirty years later, he’s still only made it up four others – the paltry business of being one of the continent’s most celebrated professional snowboarders getting in the way for a while.
Ticking off the rest will be no mean feat, but he doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. “My grandmother did them all with my grandfather, who was also a mountain guide”, he tells us. “Grandma Marie did them back in the day, probably in a skirt, wearing shoes with nails stuck onto them for crampons.”
“He draws breathtaking lines all over the famous glacier without losing any of that burly style that made him a video-part great”
It’s always good to have a goal, but Fredi will be taking his time with this one. He’s a relatively recent convert to the world of splitboarding – four years and counting – and knows that there’s still lots to explore on that front too. The Fredi-centred mini documentary The Swiss Knife shows just how in tune with Saas Fee he is, drawing breathtaking lines all over the famous glacier without losing any of that burly style that made him a video-part great.