‘Finally’: What It’s Like to Ski An Empty Mountain Post-Pandemic

Ben Buratti got the chance of a lifetime to ski the French Alps — when they were completely empty.

After 2 months of confinement, Ben Buratti, a French freeskier, hit the slopes to get his skills back up to snuff. In this film, Buratti takes on the La Clusaz mountain in France — one day after the COVID-19 lockdowns lifted.

“What skier doesn’t dream of finding themselves completely alone on their home mountain? A dream that generates a lot of emotion and unearths even more questions,” teases the film trailer.

Watch as Buratti skins and bootpacks to the top of the main peak, clips into his bindings at daybreak, and starts making turns. “La Clusaz was completely dead,” he says. La Clusaz is located in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps, close to the Swiss border. The area is a mecca for winter tourism.

But at this point, there are no tourists. The lifts are silent. Wild deer roam the sparse slopes. But Buratti is there, filling a void, a longing to ski.

The full film (produced with Faction Skis and Picture Clothing) will be available in December 2020.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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