Carl Renvall’s winter diary: Each month, pro-skier Carl Renvall writes about his winter season, meeting fellow freeriders along the way…
The winter is on its way. In most places, people don’t ever want to see the end of summer. Here in Verbier, you can only feel excitement filling the air when knocking on the doors of the winter. We are about to step into a new, lively and eventful season. If you haven’t already, it’s time to pray to the snow gods, wishing for a deep and stable snowpack. Until then, like the squirrel living in my neighbouring tree, I’m focusing all my energy on getting ready for the long, cold winter. Only, I’m not stuffing my house with nuts. I am training hard, gaining strength, agility, balance, coordination and stamina. These are only a few of the components I will need for a successful season. Last year, I had the opportunity to compete on the Freeride World Tour. The overall experience was great, but unfortunately the strict 50/50 cut bumped me back down to the qualifier for this upcoming winter. Against all odds, we were a group of four friends who managed to qualify for the Freeride World Tour in the same year. Charlotte Percle saw the potential story and decided to set out on a mission to document it. If you haven’t seen it already, get a glimpse from the inside of what it’s like to compete on the professional freeriding circuit. Make sure to check-out the movie `ROOKIES’ by Charlotte Percle, which you will find for free online, vimeo.com/233106608. (The film will be shown at Verbier Cinema December 2)
Carl: Knowing you did it all by yourself and on your own budget, what inspired and motivated you to do this?
Charlotte: My main motivation was to learn. I took photos for many years before this project, but have never really filmed. I was tired of being a waitress and I wanted to change my career path. The only way to really learn is by just doing it.
Carl: Where did your expectations differ from the end result?
Charlotte: I expected more face shots and slightly less mistakes from myself. But, I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out in the end.
Carl: Why do you film skiing?
Charlotte: I want to spend my days on the mountain with skis on, so filming skiing was an obvious choice. It’s also because I get to meet awesome individuals and discover new zones that I would have never known were in my back garden.
Carl: What was your overall impression of the freeride competition scene?
Charlotte: My overall impression goes a bit deep. I used to think it was a closed door club for locals only. I never got into any of the FWQ’s in Europe and had wild cards taken away, I just thought that the whole thing was designed to stop people getting in. The reason I got so angry about the whole thing is because I desperately wanted to take part. This is because the scene surrounding competitive Freeride is in fact amazing, it makes the world feel small. You meet the same people at competitions all over the planet and you could be in Japan or South America – you’d still bump into someone you know if you were at a competition. This season has deepened that view even more. The Freeride World Tour is just a little community of amazing people trying to do what they enjoy most.