Skiing and snowboarding make up a huge part of our culture here at LAS, and we encourage all our students to challenge themselves and try new things to get the most out of their alpine experience! We love seeing our students hit the slopes every year, whether they’re skiing for the first time down at Plan Praz, mastering new tricks at Leysin’s incredible snowpark, or competing in freeride competitions!
Congratulations to Sam '25 and Leo '25, who competed last Saturday in the Junior Freeride World Tour (JFWT) competition in nearby Verbier. Both athletes did a fantastic job in a competitive field, choosing technical lines, executing tricks, and skiing big terrain with style and control. Sam placed 11th in U16 boys, and Leo placed 2nd in U16 boys. We wish our athletes good luck next weekend at the competition in Oberstdorf, Germany.
The Freeride World Tour Junior (FWT Junior) and Freeride Junior World Championships (FJWC) are circuits dedicated to young athletes up to 18 years of age. These competitions endeavor to develop the talents of tomorrow and encourage youth participation in the sport. Emphasis is also placed on injury prevention, safety, and understanding the mountain environment.
“What exactly is freeride skiing?” you might be wondering! Freeriding is a form of skiing or snowboarding that takes place on open terrain, away from groomed pistes. Freeriding has become increasingly popular in recent years, and we encourage advanced LAS skiers to challenge themselves and give it a go (under expert supervision, of course)!
Freeriding can be an exhilarating adrenaline rush that allows students to enjoy different terrain in a safe environment. An essential part of freeriding is ensuring you’re using the correct technique for skiing in powder. The movements required are very different from piste skiing, and this unique sport includes steep, backcountry descents and jumps over natural obstacles. If LAS students want to challenge themselves and try this exhilarating sport, they can do so with expert UIAGM guides (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations).
These certified Swiss mountain guides accompany students on a 20-session program designed to teach foundational skills such as observation of conditions, route planning, terrain choice, use of rescue equipment, and rescue techniques. This season there are six students in the group who benefit from guided trips in the area and have the opportunity to compete in competitions twice a month.
Well done to our fantastic student athletes for their accomplishments in the Junior Freeride World Tour competition and to all our advanced skiers who are challenging themselves in a variety of conditions in this increasingly popular sport. We hope to see even more students using their fantastic new skills in the coming months! Questions? Reach out to the Director of the Alpine Institute for more information!