Every once in a while a new name pops up on our radar and we’re left wondering how we didn’t know about him sooner. Frédéric Laurent is a perfect example, so when we saw shots of him ripping lines at one of our favorite resorts, we had to hit him up to find out more…
Hey Frédéric, we saw some pretty heavy images of you charging in Champéry! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey, So my name is Frédéric LAURENT and I’m 23 Years old. I’m finishing my Bachelor at the “Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne” in June. Between exams, group projects and courses I’m just trying to ride as much as I can, regardless of the snow conditions. I took part in my first freeride competition at the age of 17. It was for the Junior tour in Verbier and I grabbed the 3rd place and met many riders that I still ski with. I’ve been skiing since I was 2, but I think that was the moment I really started “freeriding”.
Nice! Where do you usually ride?
I learned to ski in Champéry, Portes Du Soleil and that’s where I still ride most of the time. The images that you’ve seen were filmed there. There is plenty of playful terrain directly accessible from the lifts. There are basically two bowls with lots of couloirs and chutes and also some nice forests for foggy days. I love this resort because after a snowfall we can often get the first tracks in many couloirs just using the lifts. That’s a good way to get as many runs in as possible. Another good point is that it’s mostly grass under the snow, so we can enjoy these spots from the beginning of the season, without braking a pair of skis every other day. As soon as you put the skins on, there are loads of possibilities.
I also spend a lot of time around Verbier. I have many friends riding there, and I always find someone ready to charge. For me, that’s the main advantage of Verbier. Whatever the day of the week, there is always someone I can call and ride with. I wouldn’t say Verbier has the best spots since there is so many great resorts in Switzerland and Europe, but possibilities seem to be endless. We keep discovering new spots every time we go.
Who are your favorite people to ride with?
I met most of guys that I’m riding with through competitions, and also in Verbier where I worked a season 4 years ago before starting university. My main riding buddies are Chris Suard, Forrest Schorderet and his little brother Lake. I’ve been skiing with them in Champéry since forever, and I’m usually traveling with them for competitions. I also appreciate riding with FWQ and FWT riders like Loïc Burri, Théo Cheli, Carl Renvall, Yann Rausis and many others. We always push each other and that’s what helps me improve every day. They all have their own style and ways to approach and choose lines on different terrains. It’s always inspiring to ride with such strong riders.
Any good stories to share from this season so far?
I don’t have one specific story, but I have many great memories from the beginning of this season. We’ve had loads of snow since the beginning of November. I’ve probably ridden the deepest snow I’ve ever ridden in my life so far. Many of our classic runs with great cliffs etc. are just plain snow fields, but I’ve been able to ride some new features that weren’t rideable without such an amount of snow.
What are your plans for the rest of the winter?
I want to keep riding as much as possible and hopefully discover some new spots and resorts. It’s always great to ski on new terrain and features. I also would like to ski and film some bigger lines around Champéry, in the Dents du Midi region. I will also take part in some FWQ competitions Like Chandolin and Nendaz.
Any final words before we wrap this up?
I’d like to say that I’m glad you appreciated my images and thank you for your time.
Thank you! We’re looking forward to seeing some more heavy lines from you soon.