The Story Behind the Viral Freeskiing Video ‘Freeride at Home’

If you’re currently hunkered down inside your home, endlessly scanning the news for glimmers of hope amid this COVID-19 pandemic, we’d just like to remind you that you are most certainly not alone. We’re all in this together, and we’re all adapting to this one day at a time.

And while self-isolation is certainly putting most peoples’ patience to the ultimate test, there are some individuals who are flexing their creativity. One such person who marvelously showcased his creative capability is 28-year-old Barcelona-based engineer and economist Philipp Klein Herrero.

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Reaching over 500,000 views in just three days, Klein Herrero’s 1-minute GoPro HERO7 edit of himself freeskiing while stuck indoors is one of the most imaginative takes on this whole isolation period we’ve seen so far.

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The result is something reminiscent of those awesome stop-motion-style videos from when you were a kid, with a wild backcountry twist. He skins the ascent, take selfies at the summit, rappels back down and shreds his way into a yard sale. Although it’s short, it’s most definitely worth a half a million more views.

Here, Klein Herrero tells Men’s Journal about how the whole video came to be:

“Every year, I do a big ski trip with my family.

“Just before the confinement in Spain, I had tickets to travel to France and ski there with my family for a week. The same day Spain was shutting down on 16th of March, I could have jumped on a bus and traveled to France, but it didn’t seem practical nor ethical anymore to go skiing while people were struggling for their lives in my country. So, I decided to stay, even if France was still open, losing the money of my reservations. It just didn’t feel right to leave at that point.

“So, since I was home, kept working and focused on staying active, as if normal life was still going on. Working, training, playing guitar, reading, etc. As the days went by, I started receiving lots of funny videos about people doing outdoor sports at home. I thought it was cool and would love to do one, but thought that I didn’t want to do the same everyone else was doing, it had to be original and positive. It was important for me that the spread out out a positive message, because I really wanted to make my family and friends forget the current health situation and cheer up a little. I was sick of sad news and wanted to change that by giving smiles.

“I didn’t obsess over it, felt no pressure. I just thought that if I came up with an original idea, I’d film it. A few days later, the idea sparked into my mind and suddenly I could only think about this project. It was like if my brain was on fire, trying to plan if and how this could be done. I spent a day getting the story right, to be funny, cheerful, simple and with the positive message: Stay home. Also, planning how it could be done, how to adapt to my limited means.

“The next day that I had good light coming in at home, I went for it. I had to move the furniture, set up the camera (GoPro HERO7 black + tape on the ceiling), put on ski gear and filmed it all alone. I felt like almost dying from heatshock but had a ton of fun! Many things were just as storybooked, but others had to be improvised to adapt to what was working and what wasn’t. After 6 hours, everything was in the box.

“Then, 4 hours of editing, where most of the time was spent on sound editing, I wanted it to feel like an actual mountain adventure if you closed your eyes.

“When I posted the video, it literally exploded. I never expected this kind of traffic. I knew I had done something good and that my result was pretty close to my idea, but never thought it would go this far, this fast. Major news agencies are calling me around the clock to talk to me! This is amazing, but I know that virality goes as fast as it comes, so I expect to go back to my ‘normal’ life soon.

“My final thought for the pandemic would be: Focus on the positive, it’s the only way to use this time to reconnect instead of longing for ‘normal’ routine to come back. After all, we’ve all said ‘If I had more time; I could….’ Well, now we have that time, it’s up to us how we use it!”

It’s refreshing to see peoples’ zest for life all across the world not getting squashed by this outbreak. In fact, the amount of artistic and offbeat pieces of content we’ve seen in the past few weeks has been more than we can remember in any one given time period.

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Press play for some Monday inspiration to do something out-of-the-box and inventive this week.

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