The Two Men Re-Defining Steep Skiing

Jeremie Heitz and Sam Anthamatten skip across languages to communicate. Half the time they don’t even use words, just wry expressions and gestures. The two pro skiers met at a Freeride World Qualifier in Europe ten years ago, and they’ve been breaking down the doors of steep skiing together ever since.

But right now, at Mica Heliskiing filming their latest project with Sherpas Cinema, waiting for the weather to have mercy on their plans, they don Mica’s Sumo suits for a hilarious slow-motion boxing match on the heli pad. Giggling hysterically, they fire off their characteristic deadpan one-liners that leave us wondering about 80% of the time whether that last comment was serious or not.

It’s easy to forget they’re two of the best skiers and alpinists in the world.

Heitz became legendary for re-defining steep skiing with his 2016 film La Liste, a beyond-ambitious project to ski the 15 most beautiful faces of the Alps’ highest peaks, and to ski them in a way no one ever had before: fast and fluid, like a 50-degree giant slalom course punctuated by cliffs, ice walls, and glaciers. It required a massive breadth of skill in understanding weather, snow conditions, and how those interact with each individual mountain; and a mind-boggling depth of skill and strength in alpinism and skiing. The result was nothing short of stunning.

Now Heitz is transcending to the next level with Anthamatten, a key partner in his La Liste project. The two have a new list of some of the most iconic peaks in the world that tower above 6,000 meters, in Peru, Pakistan and Tibet. They’re not first descents. Even in Tibet, where the zone they’re aiming for is home to peaks that haven’t even been climbed, let alone skied, claiming the first descent isn’t the goal. When asked what is, Heitz replies simply:

“To show something beautiful.”

For these two, the way they move in mountains is a form of expression. It’s an art. In the words of Sherpas photographer Mason Mashon, “It’s the beauty and the form, and the way you draw the line.”

We’re honored to have Heitz and Anthamatten drawing lines in our Mica terrain. Whether they aimed to or not, the two ticked off a few first descents in these peaks for this segment of the film that will emphasize the fact that skiing isn’t always about the goal—it’s also about just having fun sometimes. Which is an ethos we can get always get behind.

Keep an eye out for this film from Sherpas Cinema on Heitz & Anthamatten’s second list, dropping fall of 2020, made in partnership with Mica Heliskiing, Red Bull Media House, Mammut, and Scott.