by Seth Lightcap. posted on November 2013
Jones Snowboards is honored to support two pioneering Swiss splitboarders who just released the most comprehensive backcountry ski and snowboard guidebook to Switzerland that there has ever been. If you’ve visited Switzerland you understand what an accomplishment this reference book is. The Swiss Alps are monsterous with seemingly a lifetime of lines to be ridden.
Here is an introduction to the book from its authors, Markus and Nicolas, the brains and the brawn behind HELVETIC BACKCOUNTRY:
A ten years journey of Shredding the Swiss Alps culminates in one book. At times the task seemed so colossal, that we almost went mad. If someone had told me earlier, that I would be drawing 1000 routes in the Swiss Alps and describing their 1800 key points – I would probably have said: “Great idea buddy, but without me!”
Luckily at that stage we were in way too deep to pull back, so we pushed on. Touring the mountains together since 2002 and producing the original Helvetic Backcountry guide in 2006, 3 years ago Nicolas and I had decided to take it to the next level.
The best parts were the winters: we spent as much time in the mountains as our wallet and work schedule would allow for. We carefully selected the best routes. The turns on those mountains with our friends, the endorphine-fuelled summit arrivals, the gnarly ridges and traverses, the evenings in the huts, the calmness, but also the shitty crust, the zero-visibility-gps conditions, or the failed attempts – all those moments – I would not want to miss one of them, and they are deeply engraved in our heads. And even though the 3000 hours spent behind the screen to bring it into the form of a book and 30 maps were harsh sometimes, the images and experiences attached to every line drawn on a map, and every description written down, made it so much more than just a chore. Add to that the team spirit and great support from everyone involved, and even filling out excel sheets becomes fun.
So now that we hold the package in our hands since two weeks it seems amazing how this project comes full circle: the essence of all the kind words about our work comes down to people feeling inspired to take their boards, splits or skis and head out and go ride. Inevitably, they will come back with very similar images of friends, stoke and powder in their heads.
So here is to a great season in the Swiss Alps ahead, we will keep you updated!