It’s been a while since we’ve had an On The Come Up article here on NS, but we’re welcoming the series back as a regular feature this winter. The return has been planned for a while but was cemented by my time in Zermatt this summer.
Some resorts seem to develop an aura, with one insane skier after another coming out of complete obscurity to blow minds. From Bristol Mountain back in the day to Ruka and Trollhaugen today, the resorts themselves become a part of ski folklore. And in recent years, Zermatt has grown to be the go-to summer destination for creatively minded skiers from all over the world – a development which certainly has an effect on the locals. In the coming years, Zermatt’s summer park is sure to produce talent after talent, like other hotspots have before it. Leading the charge are Jacques Summermatter (aka Crackjack), and Andrin Tgetgel.
Jacques hails from St. Niklaus, just thirty minutes down the valley from Zermatt. He has been a relatively known figure on the Swiss scene for some time, having competed at various junior level comps before essentially deciding he was over all the hucking and getting hurt. The evolution of Zermatt’s summer (and winter) scene over the past few years has been a catalyst for his skiing and he’s been able to combine a pretty technical background with his own creative flow.
Andrin, meanwhile, is a Zermatt transplant from the east of Switzerland, who moved to town to shape the park full time. In fact, he’s from a part of the country most people don’t know where fifty thousand or so people still speak Romansch, a collection of dialects closely related to Latin. I’m not sure if the fairly unusual background has had an effect, but his skiing is definitely out of the ordinary. He’s one of the loosest, most creative skiers I’ve ever seen. Magnus Graner likes to talk about ‘now skiing’, meaning skiing in the moment – and Andrin is that philosophy personified. I’ve been skiing with him on and off since May and I still see him do at least one new trick pretty much every run, plenty of which I’ve never seen anyone do before.
In fact, almost everything in the edit above, from both guys, was spur of the moment and unplanned. For someone who very definitely has to pre-plan tricks and run them through in his head multiple times before trying them out, it feels like a whole new chapter in skiing. It’s actually really hard to capture the essence of the way they ski on tape, though the fact that this edit was put together in a handful of runs in a couple of days should go some way to show what I mean.
Perhaps the most obvious mark of the duo’s talent and potential is that those who see them ski in person are instantly impressed. Their skiing has been the talk of the Glacier Days house, and in the words of Will Wesson, “It’s refreshing to see a level unpredictability when watching them… there’s definitely a high unknown factor watching them ski, which is great because new and creative tricks are what keeps skiing exciting.” Both are now catching the attention of the industry, with some overdue sponsorships coming in of late. Jack is joining new Russian brand Twoowt Skis, while Andrin is now being supported by Line. I’m stoked to see what they come up with in the coming season with some backing in place, starting with both guys having shots in the upcoming Glacier Days Movie. As a matter of fact, Andrin has pretty much a full segment – which I guarantee is going to mess with your head. Watch this space.