Photos of freeskier Fabian Lentsch
Austrian freeskier Fabian Lentsch has been competing in big-mountain Freeride World Qualifier contests since he was 17 years old. Now 20, he's officially earned his spot as a rookie on next winter's Freeride World Tour.
Down to the Wire
On the FWQ tour this year, Lentsch was placing steadily in the top 10 but hadn't claimed a victory or secured his spot on the FWT for winter 2015. So it all came down to the FWQ in Obergurgl, Austria. "My last hope was the competition in Obergurgl," Lentsch says. "According to the ranking at that time I knew that I had to win the event ... After giving it some thoughts I decided to just go for it try to choose a winning run. Stomp or crash, that was my attitude."
The Winning Line
At the contest in Obergurgl, Lentsch threw down a dramatic line that featured a seemingly never-ending series of massive cliff drops, all of which he landed solidly, linking up the whole line in a fluid masterpiece. It was, of course, a winning line, and it secured his spot on the 2015 Freeride World Tour.
"While face checking I just tried to find the most fluid line with as many cliffs and technical parts as possible," Lentsch says. "For me as a pure big-mountain skier it was quite easy to find some good looking lines on that face. At the end I chose the run that I liked most and it just went perfectly despite the backslap on the long cliff."
In addition to competing, Lentsch has been on a mission to ski some of the biggest peaks around the world. Last summer, he and some friends rented a campervan and went on a self-guided ski expedition to some of the highest peaks in Turkey and Iran, then summited a pair of 7,000-meter peaks in Kyrgyzstan.
Lentsch pointing out 23,406-foot Pik Lenin, on the Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan border, which he skied last summer.
Lentsch's parents worked at the Innsbruck railway station and his dad started taking him climbing and skiing when he was a child. He first summited Mont Blanc when he was 13.
Lentsch grew up near Innsbruck in the Tyrolean Alps, and at age 15, he won his first big-mountain competition (as the youngest competitor in the field) and picked up his first sponsors.
Around the Globe
His ski mountaineering expeditions have taken him to places like Canada, Alaska, Norway, New Zealand, South America, Turkey, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and all over the European Alps.
Up next for Lentsch? "We are planning a trip to South Georgia Island between Patagonia and Antarctica," he says. "I wanted to do it this year but it's so much money and logistics. The sailboat you need to hire is really expensive, and we need it for one or two months."