In 1907, Hannes Schneider was hired as a ski instructor in Austria’s Arlberg region, four ski areas spread over six villages. There, he began developing the Arlberg technique: the modern-day parallel turn. Over the next few years, Schneider smashed the notion of skiing as cautious step turns. It became about speed and flow. And the Arlberg began drawing skiers who wanted to experience it for themselves. Little has changed. Since 1999, Swedish photographer Mattias Fredriksson has shot in the Arlberg at least once a year. He goes for the suffocating powder, narrow tree fields, and cliff-dotted terrain. But he also goes to pay respects to the tracks laid down before him. “Hannes Schneider showed people from all around the world the parallel turn,” says Fredriksson. “I skied with Pep Fujas, Henrik Windstedt, and Sean Pettit in the same area he taught in. that was pretty cool for me.” The photos that follow, all of them Fredriksson’s, are a tribute to the area, its history, and skiing as we know it.
Pictured: Stina Jakobsson above the village of Zug.