ReTrace | The Instinct Diaries, Ep. 1

The first episode in a new series from Nidecker perfectly captures lockdown living in the mountains

It was the season many of us would rather forget, but for Nidecker team rider Lewis Sonvico winter 20/21 served up something pretty special. Shot by Sam McMahon, ReTrace is the first episode from Nidecker’s new Instinct Diaries. It documents the season in Morzine, told from the perspective of Sonvico, and shines a light on how the forced closures of the lifts meant embracing a slower, more natural way of moving through the mountain environment.

From Nidecker:

A unique winter in many ways, ReTrace focuses on the 20/21 season from the perspective of Lewis Sonvico. A freeride snowboarder based in the French Alps, he decided to embrace the mandated lift closures and take a slower approach to snowboarding, rooting himself in nature and finding a natural rhythm for his days and footsteps.

Exploring the forest tracks meant intersecting with the real locals: the wildlife. When finding the most efficient routes to the top, Lewis found that more often than not, animal tracks already led the most efficient routes up. Following these organic trails opened up new lines and areas, creating a shared space in the mountains.

Photo: Sam McMahon

Filmmaker Samuel McMahon set out to record the singularity of last winter in a French ski town, but without dwelling on the tragedy of the pandemic or the monotony of lockdown and curfew. Rather, he wanted to focus on the silver-linings he and Lewis experienced, and the new headspace their approach introduced them to.

The Instinct Diaries – ReTrace is a portrait of simply existing in the mountains, connecting with nature and seeing what lessons from the last year we can take forward with us.

A film by Samuel McMahon
Featuring original music by Funk&Disorderly & Lyrebird
And music by William Benckert
Aerial footage by George Treble
Special thanks to Thierry Kunz & Will Scott-Hartley

Find out more at

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