Anyone who’s kept even a vague eye on skiing this past summer knows that the Zermatt park has been going off. The catalyst? Zermatt Glacier Days, a webseries featuring Will Wesson, Sami Ortlieb, Rob Heule and friends. This summer was their second escape to the swiss mountain village dominated by the Matterhorn and they’ve been joined by the Bunch for a two pronged onslaught of ski creativity.
I spent a week hanging out with the crew, taking amateur mobile phone photos and to finding out what life is like behind the scenes in what seems like summer shred paradise. The answer... pretty damn good. The guys have a chill apartment complete with matterhorn view and arguably less desirably, a fluctuating number of transient residents. The crew was eleven deep when I arrived at the three bed flat but had mellowed out to a more manageable six by the end of the week.
The core crew have their routine dialled in. Will, as far as I can see, has pretty much boundless energy. He’s always up for a random adventure, even after a hard day of hiking the perfect park for hours after close. One afternoon consisted of a couple of hours worth of hiking (still in ski gear), a visit to a suspension bridge over the gorge and a three mile, almost a thousand feet vertical, hill bomb to round off the day.
Sami is the 'crack sauce' chef extraordinaire, creating massive, delicious meals on a nightly basis consisting almost entirely of budget carbohydrates. Switzerland isn’t cheap, so to live their on skier money, you need to have your cooking game on lock. Dinner is a daily communal affair, enjoyed al fresco with the view of the 'horn as a backdrop. Jeff provides the musical soundtrack, not just to the edits but to everyday life thanks to his ever present keyboard. He also joins Sami in the industrial scale consumption of sweetberry wine’. He's also frequently 'fired' by the crew for anything from shaky filming to spilling said wine.
Skiing all summer in what is probably the best park on the planet at the time sounds like the easy life, and it is a paradise. But coming up with a whole host of never-been-done tricks every summer isn’t easy. The guys put in a serious shift to make the glacier days edits what they are. They were usually long gone to shred when I struggled on to the 9.24 electric bus that became my daily commute and they were the last guys off the hill every day.