Home » Behind the camera: Txema Trull

Txema’s middle name could be Freeride. He is passionate about powder, the mountain and enjoying skiing with his friends. He is a professional photographer known for the national freeride scene, and collects more than 10 years doing double seasons living between the Aran Valley and the mountains of South America. His photographs have ended up as covers of major ski magazines, have starred in hundreds of reports and, today, are part of the image of Baqueira Beret.

“We take this opportunity to thank Txema for the photographic material that appears at the beginning of our website, thanks to his help and several years of collaboration, we have this gift from the best (undoubtedly) professional of the sector”.

Actividad esqui en Baqueira

Relationship with the mountain

What does skiing mean to you and why did you choose to live in the Aran Valley?

Skiing is my life. I live for skiing, my friends and work are skiing. My rhythm of life consists of following the snow and the seasons. I love skiing, it’s the best thing on the planet. I started when I was 5 years old and have skied every weekend since then. When I finished college, I looked for the best snow in the Pyrenees, and discovered the Aran Valley. Clearly I was right, this is HOLLYWOOD!

When you chose photography, at what point did it become clear to you that you were going to focus on the world of skiing and freeriding?

I started as an amateur at 16, until I decided to study photography. When I arrived in Baqueira, I just wanted to ski, and I started with FotoTur taking pictures of skiers on the slopes. Little by little I started getting jobs for Baqueira and other brands like Helly Hansen. But it has never been a premeditated decision, I was getting opportunities until finally I can live my passion through my profession.

Freeriding is your passion, but photographing those moments is not an easy task. What difficulties do you encounter? Can you give us some advice for those who want to take their camera off-piste?

There are many difficulties. It is necessary to spend many hours observing the environment where to shoot. It is very important to choose the day well, it requires a lot of planning depending on the weather. You also need a lot of communication with each skier and you need to base yourself, above all, on the safety of the off-piste terrain. In the end, the most important thing is that no one gets hurt because of a photo. Rocks, avalanches, cliffs… you have to take into account all possible variables.

I recommend going with good skiers, it always ensures the best pictures. And once the session is over, not only evaluate the good images but also ask yourself why the bad ones, be critical of yourself.

You are one of the only ones who opens and closes the resort almost every day, do you consider yourself the sickest of the snow?

That’s how it used to be! Now, more and more, I try to respect the rest days, so I can recover well. Even so, there are many mornings when I look out of the window and say to myself “just the same” and there is no rest as long as there is powder in the mountains. I know I’m not the sickest, but maybe one of the sickest.

What goes through your head when faced with a difficult line?

“When I get to the end I will have had the best gift,” always this.

But before I go down, I try to concentrate, visualize a bit the movements I will make and have clear what to do in case I am in danger during the descent. What escape routes I have, where I will be able to stop, if I will have to ski ahead or behind the purge… I try to analyze the dangers I will encounter, the consequences of being caught by an avalanche during the descent, and I decide. I could tell you that I visualize all the turns like Aymar Navarro, but the reality is that I don’t, only the first “suuupri” hahaha.

Few people know how difficult it is to do an exposed line with all the recording equipment on your back. We dare say that you have a higher level than many professional skiers… why don’t you compete?

“Pppffff yo que see…!” I don’t consider it a question of level. In the end you get used to skiing with the weight of the material on your back. Except for one day on South Lines when I did get out of hand, I skied the lines we did with a lot of weight on my back. But it’s a matter of habit, and I’ve been doing it for years.

I don’t compete because I don’t like the feeling of having your descent analyzed, nor the fights that can occur between teammates. I prefer to do a popular race in the Pyrenees, where the whole community can enjoy without pressure.

In the mountains you can have good moments, but also very bad ones. What has been your best and worst skiing experience?

¡Buuah! Booah! The feeling of skiing with all my teammates, days of adrenaline, epic polsarraka, desfassse and POWDER STORM… these are my best experiences.

The worst experience of my life, obviously the Mestre*. But time, attitude and desire cure everything. We must live for those who are no longer here and take advantage of each day as if it were the last (skiing of course). Smile at life, and think that every day will be the best day of your life.

*(Jordi Tenas “el Mestre” falleció en una avalancha en Argentina mientras dormía en la tienda junto a Txema). WeRideForJJ

Actividad esqui en Baqueira

Your experience

It is very important to rely on your knowledge and experience when you are in the mountains. How and where did you acquire it?

Relying on your knowledge is everything, and the more you go to the mountain the more you will know and the better decisions you will make. Whether it’s knowing where to go skiing and where to find the good snow, or how to spot basic mountain hazards.

What I know I’ve learned from the people I’ve skied with, first with the club, and then with my daily skiing buddies. In mountaineering I still have a lot to learn, my methodology has always been to go out on the mountain and surround myself with partners who know more than I do.

Has your intuition ever helped you escape from an accident in the mountains?

In the end, off-piste intuition comes from experience. Yes, having experienced more than one avalanche warns you later on when and where to ski. But in the end, the mountain is a lottery and you may not get it right. Even so, there are many days when a NO can end up determining a safe and accident-free day of skiing.

Your partners

How do you build the trust needed to ski with someone on a daily basis, and what are the requirements for a good mountain partner?

Trust is built by skiing. Someone who gives you confidence skiing is the best indicator for me. The more complicated the activity, the more you trust the one who accompanies you and the less candidates you find to do that activity.

The best partner is the one who doesn’t require you to keep an eye on him, afraid that he will mess up. Someone you don’t have to keep an eye on because you suffer for him and, in any dangerous situation, knows how to react and act accordingly.

Any anecdote in which having the right person by your side has made a difference?

Mostly in positive aspects, when traveling someone shows me new places where they know I will find good conditions. You arrive at the place and you say to yourself “wow, maximum triumph” with a smile from ear to ear, and this is where the difference lies.

Actividad esqui en Baqueira

Future projects

What projects do you have in mind for the next winter and summer season?

I hope we can repeat South Lines (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt-FLHQLfXg), it is the most important project we have planned but with the current situation it is complicated to be able to return. I would love to return to Wyoming… And fulfill the eternal desire to go to Alaska, but I’ll settle for catching the whole Pyrenees.

Do you think there are limits to freeride? How do you imagine the future of skiing and how old do you see yourself skiing?

Freestyle is getting more and more into the freeride world, the more tricks on each line the better. Maybe in the future it will happen with alpinism and new disciplines will emerge.

I imagine the future of skiing to be full of polsarraka, without climate change. It will snow a lot for sure, and I plan to be skiing until I die.

Finally, my special question… What do you think about the chairlift?

Pppfff…! So many hours, so many days, so many years, so many countries, so many lifts… “yo que see”… but on EPIC DAYS I always think about where I will go (and if people have already gone or not), where there will be better snow, who I will go with, how to manage the group, who to leave behind and who not…. Or I think about the rock I’ve just almost ironed, how I’ll do it to iron it perfect and give myself the maximum in the “rondón” I’ll do on the next descent.