Wir erinnern uns zurück an eine Skilegende, die uns am 29. September 2014 verlassen hat. JP Auclair und Andreas Fransson wurden bei einem Filmdreh in Chile von einer Lawine erfasst und 700 Meter mitgerissen. Beide haben dieses Unglück nicht überlebt. Eine Tragödie für die Familie und die Ski Community…

I had the pleasure of meeting Andreas Fransson, a Swedish extreme skier with many impressive descents across the world at the Haglöfs Arctic Challenge in Riksgränsen, Sweden. He is a fascinating athlete with impressive achievements, interesting stories and food for thought. Visit his website www.andreasfransson.com for more background on this athlete extraordinaire. Reason enough to interview him for outdoormind.de

Interview mit Andreas Fransson

Chamonix Andreas Fransson Photo www.danielronnback.com
Chamonix Andreas Fransson Photo (c) www.danielronnback.com

Hi Andreas. How would you describe yourself and what you do, in your own words, to outdoormind.de readers?

When I observe myself with a handful of self-love and leave the obsessive critic behind, then I just see someone who tries to get answers to all the questions popping up inside of myself. And when I get answers, then I usually try to live them. Skiing, for example, is one way for me to live one answer of joy and meaning.

You are on the forefront of steep skiing and tackle many challenges all around the world. You seem to lead a life beyond the norm. Apart from the challenges on the mountain, would you mind sharing the challenges you face beyond the sports?

For me, there are no distinctions between my life inside and outside of sport. But anyways, the biggest challenges in my life are always the mind games in my inner dialogue: The everyday search for happiness, the zigzagging between mental obstacles (often crushing straight into them) and finding of meaning in a subtle but magic life.

Coming back to challenges on the mountain. What’s the limit of steep skiing? How close are you to the limit?

I don’t know. First I think we would have to define what steep skiing is. Most people seem to have different ideas about this. It’s not a sport like ski racing with an easy definable goal. Is the goal to ski steep things with style? To get down them alive? To get down something as steep as possible? To do great things with minimum risk? I don’t know anymore myself. For me now I just want to enjoy the mountains and ski beautiful things in a good way following the rules of the mountains. But my limit of steepness, that I’ve found on Poincenot in Argentina. I’m guessing I will find myself in that kind of situation again, but I’m not striving for it anymore.

Andreas Fransson in Chamonix beim Skiing
Chamonix Andreas Fransson Photo (c) www.danielronnback.com
Andreas Fransson beim Freekiiing in Chamonix
Chamonix Andreas Fransson Photo (c) www.danielronnback.com

You have plenty impressive descents across the globe, from Chamonix to Patagonia, from Norway to South America. What was your biggest challenge to date from a sports/skiing perspective and why?

They all seem equally hard before they are done with. Mentally, the big trip through South America when we went from Ecuador in the north to Chile in the South trying to ski the highest mountain in each country, was the hardest. I had to start and restart the mind games five expeditions in a row during three months. Technically the ramp on Poincenot was the hardest. Physically, maybe the south face of Denali.

You told me you are going to Chile for heli guiding this (european) summer. Would you mind sharing whom you’ll be guiding down there?

Good skiers from all over the world that like to experience one of the last frontiers of skiing, the Andes. This is one of the secrets of skiing that most people doesn’t hear much about, but what we do during those weeks, are some of the best skiing experiences I know of. Also from a guiding perspective it’s extremely demanding to onsight guide skiing from the air, find the best snow and keep it as safe as possible, but that’s why I like it so much. But then again, I love every kind of skiing, and most of my ski days I’m climbing mountains on my skins or with ice axes and crampons. I started my ski life as a guide and coach before I became a professional skier, but now, because I love sharing mountain experiences, I’m getting back to guiding good skiers a couple of months every year. The world is the limit and the finding of the best snow and lines possible is the goal.

Your life has a notion of „never ending winter“. Don’t you ever get tired of the cold, ice and snow?

Well, as long as I have cycles I don’t need seasons. I need to rest in between projects, but with today’s world we don’t need to stay in the pattern of seasons. Travelling is so easy now, and there are so many good places to visit and ski!

You keep returning to Chamonix. Is Chamonix what you call home?

Yes, Chamonix is home. I have been here for most of the last eight years, but every year I’m probably travelling around 5-7 months for skiing. This is one of the best mountain places in the world and if I didn’t live here I would probably have to travel much more! I mean, I can go up every morning, get a full on world-class mountain experience and ski some of the best lines that exsist, and then come home for dinner and be with family and friends. The next day – repeat.

Next to sports, yoga and writing seem to be important activities for you. Could you share why you persue them? When do you dedicate time to them and how does this work out on expeditions?

Writing is my way of trying to understand what’s going on in my own mind. I don’t think thinking is the only way, and far from the most important one, to understand how things work, but it’s one way and I use it and I get enjoyment from it. Yoga and meditation is my platform for everything. I have been so physically broken in the past, and now, with the help of yoga, I’m able to live without pain, do the things I love and feel like I get younger for every year. Meditation is the same platform for the mind. I think it’s comical how we, in our culture, put so much attentions to our bodies, and almost none to the force that create our reality.

In Outside Online you say „See places from the inside and outside. Always remember that we are all playing a game.“ How does this relate to the challenges you face? Do you ever change the rules of the game?

I think we are always creating our own reality, thus also our own game rules. My own game rules changes constantly as I learn more, as I grow, as I get older.

Andreas Fransson in Chamonix beim Freeskiing
Chamonix Andreas Fransson Photo (c) www.danielronnback.com
Andreas Fransson beim Feeskiing in Chamonix
Chamonix Andreas Fransson Photo (c) www.danielronnback.com

Do you have greater goals that do not involve mountains? I’m referring to the kind of goals where average people within the norm would answer: „build a house“, „raising a family“..

I would not call “building a house” or “raising a family” greater goals than following mountain dreams (and not lower either), but they are there in my life too. I have plenty of dreams and visions, but I prefer not talking too much about them openly. You know, it’s said that when you talk about your dreams too much you are wasting the energy you could have used to realize these same dreams on talking about them.

You had mentioned that you are writing for some magazines. What are recent publications of yours?
I doubt I have any recent publications this year. My time is so filled up with skiing, projects and fun work that I try to concentrate on my blog (even here I don’t have the same time as before) and my own future writing projects.

You blog and you share on social media channels like Instagram. What is your take on blogging and social media?

I think it’s a great way of sharing experiences. But I also think it’s a dangerous game. In the future (maybe even already) it might be hard to distinguish if we do things for the sake of doing them or to share about them on social media.

In closing: what is waiting for you at home, when you’re returning from your trip?

A peaceful, calm and quiet world where I can rest and dream, and my girl friend if she’s not out teaching yoga.

Thanks, Andreas. R.I.P

Weitere Interviews mit bekannten und spannenden Persönlichkeiten aus der Skiwelt findet ihr in der Rubrik PEOPLE.