MEET THE RIDER #1
We had a chat with Gabriella Edebo, the most stoked freeskier south of the arctic circle (well sometimes even North).
Hi Gabriella, can you tell me where you are right now and what it looks like?
Hey there! After meeting you guys at the trade show ISPO in Munich I headed straight to Seattle to spend most of the winter skiing at Mt Baker, one of my absolute favourite places. I learned to ski at Kläppen in Sweden, and Mt Baker reminds me of that in a way, just a bigger, steeper and with a lot more snow.
What’s your plan for the rest of the winter?
From the end of March and onwards I’ll head back home to Sweden and spend the spring in Åre, Hemavan and, if the conditions are right for it, hopefully some ski touring in Northern Norway and Sweden until sometime in May.
You are probably the one skier I know with the most ski days throughout the season. How many days do you sum up to a normal winter season?
The past four seasons I’ve been keeping track of the numer of days I ski for fun, I’m a nerd that loves structure and planning… The most days I’ve managed to gather up was two years ago when it landed on 146 days in one season, but the normal amount is somewhere around 120, which is where I should land this year as well.
”…two years ago it landed on 146 days in one season…”
How do you accomplish that?
Ever since I graduated from the ski academy I attended all I wanted to do was to ski. I pretty much spent all four years at that school being injured and unable to ski, so I pretty much just saved up motivation and looking forward to once I was all healed up again. That is what still keeps me going I think. After that I started out working my ass off in the summer months to be able to just ski and have fun during the winter. Somehow I ended up writing articles for the different ski media outlets in Sweden and now I work for the Swedish ski magazine Åka Skidor and with organising a ski and snowboard film tour all over the country. So nowadays I work quite a bit during the winter as well, even if the most intense period is summer and fall. But I’m free to ski during the day as long as I’m willing to stay up late in the evening.
Are you doing this alone or who do you ski with?
The freeride scene in Sweden is such an awes- ome community, so after ending up doing myrst season in St Anton, Austria I’ve been luckyto get to know so many good friends to ride with. I do enjoy just lapping the piste in the rain on my own sometimes too though, but a powder day is best shared.
”The freeride scene in Sweden is such an awesome community.”
Gabriella is organising Scandinavia’s biggest lm tour for ski and snowboard movies.
Gabriella enjoying some deep pow turns in Zillertal. Photo: Maria Knoll
What’s the highlight of the winter season?
Unexpected powdays are the best days! I had a few great days in Åre back in January, followed by some surprise blower snow in Austria right before ISPO and now had more great days than I can count here in Mt Baker. But one of the most memorable days so far is for sure when I managed to get a hold of an old monoski from the 80s the other day. My first day ever on that thing was a smoothie of emotions. So exciting and fun, but yet absolutely terrifying. Suddenly the most and easy parts of the mountain were scary.
What does sustainability mean to you as a skier?
Even though skiing on grass is a thing, I’m sure most people that are into this sport agree that nothing beats freshly fallen snow from the sky. So to care about, and attempt to, protect the environment we get to enjoy feels lkte the natural and logical thing to do. Skiing is a resource draining activity though, and I’m very much aware that I’m a terrible role model at the moment in some ways: commuting across the Atlantic to my boyfriend living in Seattle, writing about travel and new gear for the magazine, using lifts to access skiing and so on. So there’s no denying in that, but at least I’m aware of my own hypocrisy and try my best to make sustainable choices as often as possibly can.
Things like limiting my travel, taking the train to domestic destinations, eating vegetarian, limiting plastic waste and so on. And realising that I can push for change through the things I choose to promote in the articles I write and movies I decide to screen during the lm tour. For exampleactively choosing to not show heliskiing and rather promote more close to home adventures or sustainable travel choices.
”I can push for a change through the things I choose to promote in the articles I write.”
Alright, thanks for the chat Gabriella, enjoy what’s left of the winter!
Thank you! See you in Hemavan!
Make sure to grab the latest issue of Åka Skidor or visit their site at www.akaskidor.se to see more of Gabriella’s work. Also, make sure to not miss her stoke packed instagram feed.
Instagram / @gabriellaedebo