Life in modern society can be a little bit too warm, comfortable and connected. We decided to do something about it and went on a camping trip to Nallo, in the very north of Sweden, in February. Computers and cell phones were left behind. Instead we packed up splitboard/rando gear and our warmest clothes and sleeping bags.

We set up our camp far far away from roads, buildings, electricity, cellphone coverage and people. But in the middle of beautiful and silent nature.

After a week in winter wilderness you learn appreciate things you take for granted normally. The first night not sharing a sleeping bag with a pair of wet and smelly liners was pretty great. Getting water out of the tap instead of having to boil water when you are thirsty is convenient. And not having to warm your friends cold and sweaty feet in your arm pit is ok. But it was the same things I loved about the trip. Contrasts enriches life.

– Daniel Furberg

All photos by Fredrik Schenholm.

We are stoked to welcome Manuela Mandl to the Furberg team! Manuela is an exceptionally talented snowboarder who’s competing on the Freeride World Tour.

Although born and raised in the flatlands of eastern Austria, Manuela’s fascination for mountains has always been a big part of her life. She started skiing at the age of three, but after trying snowboarding in 2002, she was hooked and never went back. Her style is defined by high speed and the fact that she likes to ride in variable conditions. Her fast and powerful riding has proved to be advantageous when competing on the Freeride World Qualifier Series, where she has won many events, grabbed the Austrian National title multiple times, and qualified for the 2017 Freeride World Tour.

Besides competing, Manuela constantly works on improving her snowboarding and mountaineering skills, while also pursuing her architecture degree.

We look forward to follow Manuela throughout the winter, as she’s competing among the worlds best freeride snowboarders!

In 2013, which was a memorable year for its incredible snow, Julien “Pica” Herry had begun to talk about a possible descent down the Voie Originale from Grande Rocheuse. This beautiful mountain is next to the famous Aiguille Verte.

To imagine the south side of the G. R. as ridable, requires the kind of imagination and an eye for lines, which only Julien has. His skills, experience and ability to find lines have always surprised me and often made me afraid. Julien is a person who loves to share his ideas with those who want adventure, and is always willing to help others, in the realization of even the most ambitious projects.

This year we started talking more often about G. R. and in the end he convinced me that it could be a great adventure.

In mid-March after a heavy snowfall, followed by several cold days, I quickly realized that we had a good weather window to make our attempt.
The team was made: Julien and his friend Lambert Galli hiked up to refuge Couvercle the day before to take a last look closer to the face. My partner Denis Trento and me left at night from refuge Torino and joined them later at Couvercle.

The idea of starting with the splitboard from refuge Torino, crossing the Vallée Blanche at night, seemed like a big challenge to me. But thanks to Denis skills and his background as a competitive ski mountaineer, it turned out to be one of the easiest and quickest approaches ever.

At 5:30 am we started climbing the first part of the couloir Whymper, and then turned over to the steep south facing slopes further up. The light snow just slightly covering the rocks made it a tricky ascent, and we lost a lot of time. To find perfect conditions for both uphill and downhill, on a face like this is not easy, but nearly 10 hours after our departure from refuge Torino, we reached the summit of G. R. We were happy but still aware that the most difficult part remained.

All my experience from over 15 years of snowboard mountaineering was needed to overcome the difficulties we were facing on the way down. In the end we managed to complete our dream, and did the descent with only 2 rappels (25 m. And 40 m.)

Besides the beauty of the line, the fact that it was a first descent on both skis and snowboard made it a huge satisfaction. To find a never ridden face down a 4000 m. peak in the Mont Blanc massif, where pretty much everything has already been skied, is not an easy task.

On 17 April 2014 Davide Capozzi, Julien Herry and Francesco Civra Dano descended the West Couloir of the Zmutt Ridge on the Matterhorn, Switzerland.

A first ski and snowboard descent? Possibly. But this, believe us, really is nothing but a minor detail. The line is so beautiful that “we simply had to go and ski it” and happened to be located on a mountain that is a true symbol of the Alps, the Matterhorn. Davide Capozzi provides the details of his latest experience on the mountain’s Swiss face.


I’ve always wanted to ski this magnificent mountain. We’re deeply indebted to our friend Manu Gross, a snowboarder from Diablerets, keen extreme skier with numerous descents to his name across the Alps. Manu had observed this fantastic line that runs down the West Face of the Matterhorn: a 800m high gully that starts from the Zmutt teeth, along the famous Zmutt Ridge.

We began to find out more. I spoke to my friend Hervé Barmasse who confirmed that the descent was feasible, but he warned me that it could turn into a long day out in the mountains. Unfortunately we were tied to the weather conditions: high winds initially, and a subsequent period of unstable weather, forced us to choose one day only: Thursday the 17th of April. Manu unfortunately couldn’t come that day, but kindly said we should attempt it without him.

Julien Herry, Francesco Civra Dano and I set off at 4 in the morning from Courmayeur to Zermatt. After getting off the train that had departed from Täsch we reached the lifts and waited for them to open. All we needed to do was to ascend to Schwarzsee as our approach began from there, passing beneath the North Face and below the Zmuttgrat. Things ran smoothly and at 11:30 we breached the first of the two bergschrunds, not beautiful but nevertheless crossable. The gully was long but the hard-packed snow helped us climb it fast.

At 15:00 we strapped on our skis and snowboards. The snow on the upper section had only softened a little, while the lower we got the more skiable it became and it was almost fun. With the support of a rope we crossed the two bergschrund and reached the base of the gully in less than an hour. All we needed to do now was descend to Zermatt by following the numerous tracks, most of which had been left by those doing the classic Chamonix – Zermatt “Haute Route”.

The day seemed to come to an end, but the unexpected closure of the Mont Blanc tunnel forced us to return to Switzerland and travel through the St Bernard Tunnel. At 2 in the morning we were finally back home… it had been a long day.

According to the local guides it seems as if this gully had never been skied before, or snowboarded. For us this is only a detail, we can’t be nothing but happy with our first experience on the Matterhorn.

Zmuttgrat – West Couloir

3860 m
800 mt. 45°/50° 5.3 E3
17/04/2014 Davide Capozzi and Julien Herry (snowboard) and Francesco Civra Dano (ski)

Original post from: Planet Mountain