Question and Answer Time with Lorenzo Alesi
- It seems you are always on the hunt for powder. When did you start skiing, and when did you realize that this is going to be your professional path?
I started skiing when I was 3 years old. My father, a ski instructor and alpinist, gave me a pair of skis for Christmas and a few days later I was already on the slopes. I think that even unconsciously, I have always known that my passion would have turned into my future profession.
- How would you describe yourself: professional skier / freerider, adventurer, storyteller?
All of them: I am a professional skier, but I am always looking for new adventures and new places where I can ski and then share all these experiences through images and words.
- What does skiing / freeriding mean to you?
I find skiing and freeriding the best ways to express myself, both as an athlete and as a man. Being the first to make a track, where nobody has dared to ski before, riding the snow and floating on it is an unbelievable feeling which I cannot describe. It is a matter of knowledge, skills and instinct that push me beyond my limits. It is definitely an exciting life style.
- Everyone has different experiences feeling alive or enjoying the moment. What are the moments you feel most alive on Skis?
During the descent, after having seen the face of the mountain or a snow canal and making a decision on where to ski. The descent gives me so much joy, emotion, memories and adrenaline that makes me feel alive. It is an amazing sensation.
…and your most memorable #feelalive moment related to skiing?
I collected a lot of memorable moments in different places around the world, but I think the most remarkable one was when I skied on the ashes of the Stromboli Volcano. Many emotions crossed my mind when I saw the Mediterranean Sea under the steep slope of the volcano. Skiing on the ashes of the active volcano was an incredible experience, surely the most #feelalive moment I have ever had.
…can you share other #feelalive moments, not related to the slopes?
Looking at a sunrise or a sunset, sleeping under the Milky Way in remote places with my dog Argo; these are among the most #feelalive moments I can describe.
- What did you do this summer, did you get some first tracks?
After sand, rock, volcanic ashes and snow of course, I tried to ski and jump on grass. It was a funny experience and my friend and photographer, Andrea, took a beautiful picture of me with the full moon in the background.
- Now that the European Winter is around the corner, what are the most important contests/exciting projects you are planning this season?
I would like to continue my personal discovery of the ski culture in the Eastern European countries. After Bosnia (Sarajevo), Slovakia and Poland (Tatra Mountains), Georgia and Russia (Caucasus) I would like to go to Kyrgyzstan, and later in the season to Iceland, a truly magical place. Obviously during the season I will go skiing in my favorite places in Italy, namely Courmayeur, Apennines, Dolomites, and hopefully Etna Volcano.
- How do you prepare physically for your contests and projects, do you have a special fitness program?
My personal trainer and friend, Alessandro, prepares a program for me, with different activities – hiking, climbing, running, biking, stand-up paddling, as well as training in the gym. When I am not traveling, I follow this program 5 days a week, alternating all the activities. When I go skiing to train my technical movements or test new skis and boots, I only make a workout in the afternoon, based on mobility exercises, stretching, core stability, avoiding any possible physical overload.
- How do you prepare mentally for those projects?
My personal mental coach, Marco, taught me the visualization and stress management techniques in order to keep any emotions under control. Furthermore, even for few minutes, I practice meditation and yoga on a daily basis.
Preparation before going down the line and knowledge of the mountain are two key safety factors in freeriding:
- How do you prepare to have these experiences and enjoy the best powder?
I always check the avalanche report, the avalanche danger scale, and the weather forecast. After these preliminary actions, I always speak with local skiers and Mountain Guides or patrollers to know the snow conditions, the latest snowfall, the wind and temperature conditions. Before going down the line, I look at the mountains with binoculars to decide which line to go down. And last but not least, I check my Artva, ABS backpack, my ski bindings, ski boots, skis and sticks.
- Do you work together with mountain guides or ski patrollers?
Usually I work with Mountain Guides and I spend a lot of time with them on the snow. Ski patrollers are essential for prevention (cleaning up the slopes) and rescue.
- In those extreme situations you need to trust your gear. As a professional athlete, what are the main clothing requirements to perform in the mountains?
The ski apparel must be waterproof, breathable, warm, light and comfortable.
- How do the clothes from Helly Hansen support your “#feelalive” moments?
The Helly Hansen clothes are my second skin, made to give me freedom of movement and protection at the same time. With the Helly Hansen apparel I can experience intensive emotions in any weather conditions, feeling protected and comfortable.
- Can you name your favorite Helly Hansen product line?
All the ULLR collection is amazing. It has all the features that I need to enjoy my day on the slopes. The Lifa base layer also has incredible breathable features.
- The ULLR Collection has been developed and further improved with the input from professional freeriders like you. What do you like the most about the ULLR Collection? What is your favorite Helly Hansen product and why?
I like the design of the ULLR Collection a lot: colors, fit and comfort. My favorite product is the Elevation Shell Jacket because I think it is a new icon style in the freeride world.
- The Elevation Shell Jacket has won the ISPO and Red Dot Design Award. What is your favorite feature of the Jacket and why?
The membrane features are my favorite, as the membrane is waterproof, windproof and, at the same time, breathable; necessary features for my all mountain and freeride activities.
The Elevation Shell Jacket combines Helly Tech® Professional 3L fabric with an air permeable membrane and the H²Flow™ temperature regulation system using PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation Active.
- How does this H²Flow™ technology support your performance in the mountains?
The H²Flow system works perfectly. It allows me to always have the ideal body temperature during the ascent and during the most challenging descents. The system is perfect to regulate my temperature in the contrast between cold (external environment) and warmth (body heat).
- What is your experience with the 3 layer Helly Tech® Professional fabric?
During my powder days, also with tough weather conditions, snowstorms and deep powder, the Helly Hansen membrane makes me feel like I am inside a protective shell. I value it for its technologies that make the fabric perform at the highest level.
Helly Hansen midlayers use patented technologies like Lifa ®Flow (ULLR Midlayer Jacket) and H²Flow™ (Odin Flow Jacket) to regulate your temperature.
- How do the layering options support you pursuing big powder?
The midlayer can take out the body moisture perfectly. The fit is pleasant and the combination of the different layers – jacket, midlayer and baselayer – guarantees maximum comfort and allows me to focus on my lines and enjoy my descents.
Since 1970, Helly Hansen has worked on a variety of base layers for different activities and weather conditions.
- What are your thoughts on the Helly Hansen base layer with the Lifa® Stay Dry Technology?
The fit is perfect, its breathability unique and I am always dry after a tough performance. The base layer really is my second skin, the essential base with which I can match other layers according to the weather conditions and the activities I do in the mountains.
- What products would you recommend to an ambitious freerider who wants to get the best out of his day in the snow?
My absolute favorites would be the Elevation Shell Jacket and Elevate Shell Pant, and of course the Lifa baselayer.
Lorenzo loves to bring Argo along to the mountains and enjoy memorable sunsets with him.
Photo: Andrea Tomassetti
Being on top of a mountain and admiring the snowy peaks is what makes Lorenzo feel the most alive.
Photo: Andrea Tomassetti
Moon light trekking in Argentina.
Photo: Andrea Tomassetti
Lorenzo on top of the Sibillini Mountains, admiring the snowy peaks before his decent down.