Born and raised in Zermatt, Switzerland, in the shadow of the Matterhorn, it’s hardly surprising that Sam and his two brothers, Simon and Martin, started skiing as soon as they could walk. But rather than trying tricks in the park, Sam ventured off-piste and his spirit of adventure soon led him into the world of mountaineering.
He qualified as a mountain guide, to devote all his time to climbing mountains, and reached summits across the globe – including a first ascent on the 7,350m Jasemba peak in the Himalaya and a first ascent on the north face of his home mountain, the Matterhorn, which is now named after him.
But by 2009 his focus shifted back to skiing. For several years he competed on the Freeride World Tour, finishing second overall in 2011. But it wasn’t until he combined his talents in mountaineering and skiing that he really found his passion.
His speed, precision and expertise in the mountains has resulted in line choices that are as sublime as they are gnarly. In 2015, together with Jeremie Heitz, Sam filmed La Liste, a tour de force of extreme freeride skiing down some of the grandest, steepest descents in the Alps. In 2017 he followed this up with a trip to Ushba, a mystical 4,710m summit in Georgia, where together with Markus Eder and Leo Slemett, he combined true mountain exploration with super-stylish freeriding.
Sam continues to blend mountaineering with freeriding to explore new challenges both close to home and further afield. He is keen to return to Bolivia, Peru, Japan and the Himalaya, where the high mountains and extreme terrain offer some of the purest ski adventures on the planet.