This Obscure Swiss Paradise Has an Outsized Influence on European Freeriding

If you've never heard of Les Marécottes, it's time to get your European skiing fantasy out of Chamonix and into a place with deeper snow and a freeride history.

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When it comes to freeride skiing in the European Alps, places like Verbier, Courmayeur, and St. Anton are high on North American skier’s bucket lists. But there are dozens of other places scattered throughout the Alps that are equally fabled for big cliffs, deep powder, and rich history.

One of those places is Les Marécottes, which is just west of Verbier and north of Chamonix. The village and the mountains that surround it are close to a few lakes, which means the area benefits from lake effect when storms move in. This results in deeper powder every time it snows.

It’s no wonder then that Les Marécottes has produced some notable freeride skiers, including big shot Jérémie Heitz. The former Freeride World Tour star has developed a reputation for taking on some of the steepest, biggest lines in Europe and documenting them in movies like Red Bull’s “La Liste” and “Félicité.”

Related: One of the World’s Best Big Mountain Skiers Designed a Pure One-Ski Quiver Weapon

Heitz’s sponsor, Pomoca skins, created a short video that explores the history of freeriding in Les Marécottes and the skier’s beginnings there. Viewer discretion advised: There’s a good chance Les Marécottes will end up on your European bucket list after watching.

Watch: Swiss Freeriding History – Jérémie Heitz in Les Marécottes

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