Born and raised in Engelberg, Albin Amstutz is the man you want by your side when your equipment fails. Before guiding, he was a big-rig truck mechanic for seven years, working on brakes, transmissions, and fuel injectors. He still helps the local cycling shop with repairs, and he's part of the team installing via ferratta (iron climbing ladders) above the village every spring. "I work on my own car, too," he says. A skier since the age of four, Amstutz, 34, has been a telemarker for 16 years, a ski instructor for eight, and a certified guide for five. His current profession leads him far from the confines of a garage: to Andermatt, Alagna, St. Anton, Val d'Isere, Zermatt, and, of course, the endless steeps above his hometown. Amstutz works for Bergschule Uri (bergschule-uri.ch).
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Find everything from the December issue here: the year’s best gear, snowfall predictions for the season, the best ski photography of 2008, and more.
Rope drops bring out the competitive bastards in all of us.