Freeride – photographs by Peter Mathis
There are some people for whom the present is no different to their own past. Their favourite quote sounds something like ‘that’s nothing new’, or ‘it was always like that’, or ‘I’ve seen it all before’. In most cases, people who say such things don’t realise that they are living as prisoners of their time, of their minds, and of the spirit of their times. And that it is they themselves who, behind the bars of their cell window, always stay the same, whilst changes continually take place all round them.
This is especially the case in the mountains, whose seemingly timeless size and apathy renders it difficult to appreciate change, particularly for those who work in them day in, day out – such as the mountain railway operator, for instance, who told me that free riding had always existed and it’s just that it used to be called cross country skiing, before then being called off-piste skiing and then ski plus. As nice as the old man was, he didn’t notice the development that his statement implied. He was unaware of the prevailing ‘other’ that became apparent behind his concepts, behind the very thing that he wanted to grasp. And in so doing, he was unaware of the bare essentials, that to which free riding amounts.
Text by Tom Dauer
Published by Peter Mathis