Born in 1969, surrounded by the beautiful Swiss Alps, first of four kids of two ski instructors, I was almost forced to learn skiing at a very young age. Until about 1999, it was all about skiing on steep groomed and ungroomed runs. Deep fresh powder was not something I thought about, as Zermatt and Grächen are not blessed with too many great powder days and free-riding was not that common. Nevertheless, I started to give it a try once in a while and I increasingly enjoyed the deep and steep powder skiing when given the opportunity.
In 2000, I decided to try heli-skiing in Canada. Right after the first run, I knew that this is what I wanna do from now on whenever possible.
In 2001, I started with the first mini Canadian Snow Safari, and added another week of absolutely amazing heli-skiing.
In 2002, once again heli-skiing plus a few more weeks at different Canadian ski resorts. This was the first time I was able to enjoy numerous epic powder days at the price of a day pass instead of the very expensive heli-skiing.
In 2003, I decided to forget about heli-skiing, and to, instead, spend more time at as many Canadian resorts as possible. That was also the first time I was talking about Paedde’s Canadian Snow Safari, and I started to post daily reports and pics on various websites, like the TGR or www.ski.com.au
In 2004, it was time for something new. Paedde’s US Snow Safari in California, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado. and Wyoming.
In 2005, I had to change one important factor about the safari. No more planning. Paedde’s US Snow Safari’s storm-chasing style was born, and this was about the best idea I had for a long time. No more skiing at a resort while it is snowing like crazy at other resorts within a few hours’ drive.
In 2006, once again, it was time for another storm chasing snow safari. The trip of a lifetime. It started to snow the day after I arrived, with the result of 8 weeks of powder day after powder day. Epic followed by epic followed by excellent followed by epic, and so on for the whole safari. It was the dream ski trip of a lifetime and, from now on, I will always complain about not having enough powder days in a row. Simply spoiled forever.
In 2007, once again Paedde’s US Snow Safari. This time, it was much harder to follow the snow. Numerous days of endless driving and not as much snow as forecasted. Then again, we had some great, excellent, and epic powder days followed by days or weeks without significant new snow. It was the year I had time to go for some non-skiing stuff like visiting Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Antelope Island, and more.
2007 was also the year I finally skied my 100th resort.
And, it was the year I just had to try to ski a snowdome for the first time. Not something I intend to do again, although, while traveling in summer, it might be an option – you never know.
2008: Time for Paedde’s Euro/Japan/US/Canada Snow Safari. First, a few weeks in Europe to show some Aussie friends the Alps; then they showed me Japan before I went back to the US and Canada. Another great experience and many new resorts.
2009: Paedde’s Japan/US/Canada Snow Safari. I had to go back to Japan to ski some new, as well as some of the same resorts as last year. After 6 weeks in Japan, it was time to meet some friends in the US and Canada. Quite a few new resorts, but also the first time that I decided to stay at one place for a few weeks, and go for more hiking in the back country.
2010: Paedde’s Japan/US/Canada Snow Safari: Sounds like a copy of last year and it was at last parts of it. Almost 2 months in Hakuba followed by a week in Hokkaido. Several new resorts, my first professional photo shooting job with Tom Costa in Naeba and Kagura. Then 3 weeks in Canada and the US with a few new resorts and return visits to some of my favourite resorts like Red Mountain, Mt. Baker, Crystal Mountain and Whistler Blackcomb. The year with the extremes, January with 31 powder days, February with spring like temperatures and plenty of rain.
2011: Paedde’s Japan//Canada/US Trip: After two great seasons in JaPow there was no reason to find something new. 11 weeks in Japan with most time spent in Hakuba. A great week in Myoko and some new resorts from time to time. Before going home I spent 9 days in Canada and a day in the US. Cat Skiing near Red Mountain then back to Whistler and for the first time to Vancouver Island where we skied on a 7m snow base. The year Japan and North America had plenty of snow while Europe had one of the worst seasons ever.
2012: Was almost fully dedicated to JaPow. 13 weeks in total with most of the time in Hakuba and 2 weeks in Hokkaido where we returned to some great resorts and explored the island a bit more. All that was finished up with 1 week in the US, to ski some resorts close to Salt Lake City. Several new resorts were skiied, some of them were not as good as expected while others delivered the goods even more. 2012 was also the year I first officially supported a ski resort by helping to promote the great tree skiing and overall experience at Hakuba Cortina Resort. I had great cooperation from the resort management and plenty of epic skiing which included one of the best days ever…. January 27th …it will be in my memory forever. Also this year there was plenty of appearances of Powdermania in the media. Including SnowAction, Australias # 1 ski magazine (now officially a Senior photographer), “Hakuba Connect” a local information magazine with plenty of pictures in the story “No friends on a powder day”, etc.
More about the 27th of January right here
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016: JaPow…
I hope you enjoy powdermania.com!
Note: Feedback, proposals, corrections or whatsoever are very welcome! Any feedback is much appreciated no matter what. e.g., wrong information, mismatches between resorts, you don’t agree with whatever. Things change: Slow chairs become high speed, friendly staff becomes rude, cheap motels are not cheap anymore…