Phillip Crivelli, the path of a lucky winner
Thanks to the Julbo White Session, amateur skier Phillip Crivelli got to spend ten whole days with his two idols, Samuel Anthamatten and Vivian Bruchez. Together they skied the slopes of Zermatt before gracing those of Chamonix. We catch up with the lucky winner!
With furrowed brows, 31-year-old Phillip Crivelli calmly observes his idols. His height and athletic physique are every bit as impressive as that of the two skiers, whom he follows year-round on social media. Phillip is the lucky winner of the the Julbo White Session. Guided by freerider and mountain guide Samuel Anthamatten and extreme skier Vivian Bruchez, he enjoyed a truly unique experience: ten days of skiing and travelling between Switzerland and France, from Zermatt to Chamonix.
His adventure began a few months beforehand. While surfing the net, he spotted a competition organised by Julbo, the French eyewear brand. He signed up.
Preselected as one of a group of ten amateur skiers from across Europe, he hopped on a train to Chamonix to take part in the final selection. "After the trials I stayed there an extra two days to ski. I live a long way away so I had to make the most of it. I had no signal on my phone and no internet access. When I got back to Switzerland, everyone already knew that I'd won. It was a really exciting, special moment."
It marked the start of an incredible adventure for Phillip, who had grown up in the resort town of Davos, Switzerland. "My mum loves skiing and when we were little she would take us skiing almost every day. Her parents lived on low incomes and skiing was a luxury. She wanted her kids to be able to ski." During his sporty upbringing Phillip also tried out snowboarding before returning to his first love, skiing, and getting into competitions. "I tried to make a career out of downhill skiing until I was 20." One of his best memories is still when he opened the Downhill World Cup in Wengen, "an amazing experience".
As a keen sportsman, Phillip also boasts a modest past as a competitive windsurfer. He takes care of his diet and is a teetotaller, and when he has time he also does mountain biking and climbing. Yet despite being an all-rounder, he is first and foremost a skiing fanatic. Skiing even guided his choice of studies. He is currently writing a thesis on the effect of wind on the snow pack, working at the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos. It is an activity that gives him a certain amount of flexibility which he uses (and abuses?) when the skiing conditions are good.
In recent years he has switched to extreme skiing. As soon as the slopes widen out and let him give everything he has, he draws on his past experience in speed events. His technique and skiing heritage were certainly noted by his fellow mountaineers during the Julbo White Session. Samuel Anthamatten said, "Phil is a powerful, physical skier. He really impressed me." Besides his technique, the legacy of years spent racing through the gates, Phillip's calm and meticulous attitude also proved popular. Vivian Bruchez describes him as, "prudent and very thoughtful. He delivers technically but he is also able to take a step back if necessary."
But the mountains aren't just about skiing. Having fun as a group is a must. Phillip is one of those chameleon sportspeople who get on with everyone. A DIYer, cook and joker in his spare time, he's the Swiss army knife of the mountains. When he sets off with his Swiss friends, he's the one who runs the show. So it's perfectly natural to see him enjoying being guided by two big names in the world of extreme skiing. It's a privilege Phillip is fully aware of. And he's also aware of how lucky he is to be able to regularly indulge in some skiing,
"We head into the mountains for no particular reason. We're not going to earn any money. We're just looking for a good time. That's what freedom's all about."
His ten dream days over and done with, Phillip returns to his native Switzerland, his everyday work and the list of couloirs he'd like to ski. Thanks to Samuel and Vivian, he's now ticked a couple more off the list.