She may be new to the Peak Performance team, but Elisabeth Gerritzen is no stranger to the world of big mountains—or freeskiing.
The top-performing 22 year-old who calls Verbier home also studies International relations in Lausanne, which bodes well for both her professional life and an upcoming season on the Freeride World Tour. Having had the opportunity to compete in both Japan and New Zealand last year, Gerritzen hopes to expand her travel repertoire this winter and perhaps, should she make it to the final cut, compete in the Freeride World Tour finals on home turf in Verbier. Despite her youth, the confident Swiss skier showcases a strong style that combines high speed, serious control and big airs into a force to be reckoned with.
But that prospect was all in the future this fall, when Gerritzen travelled to Zermatt for her first ski days of the season, high on a glacier. As with the beginning of every new season, she found herself not only excited about the winter to come, but also reflecting on various aspects of what she does. “Every year is a fresh start and you always set new goals and aspirations for what you want to do,” she says. “But this year I found myself thinking more about the safety aspect than ever...”
With this in mind, she spent her first days on snow with a mountain guide and rescue professional, Anjan Truffer, to make sure she was up to speed on her mountain and avalanche-related safety protocols.
“I wanted to start the season confident about my decision-making and ability to assess risk and be comfortable in the mountains with the choices I make,” she notes. “And I’m really glad I did it. It was positive in two ways. First, it reminded me that I already know a few things and have some skills, so that’s good. Second, and more importantly, I realized that there’s much more to learn about all these things, so I can build on the skills I already have.”