004: Sascha Hamm Part 2/Dealing With Catastrophe

Photo: Swatch Freeride World Tour

“Will I be able to ride the Freeride World Tour again? I’d like to try”.

It’s episode 4 of the Looking Sideways podcast, with the second half of my interview with UK snowboarder and freerider Sascha Hamm.  If you haven’t already listened to the first part of my interview with Sascha (episode 003), it’s definitely worth doing so before you get stuck into this instalment. Click here to do that.

In today’s part of the chat, Sascha Hamm talked me through the ‘wilderness’ years, when the first half of his snowboarding career ended. Why? Because after winning the British Championships in 2000, he decided to take his prize money and gamble it on an attempt to make it as a Formula 1 driver. As you do.

When that didn’t go to plan, Sascha set himself up in business with one of his best friends, before deciding to follow his snowboarding dreams again by moving to Chamonix in France. It was a move that ultimately led him to compete on the Freeride World Tour, and brings his tale full circle to the present day.

Photo: Swatch Freeride World Tour

Topics covered include:

  • Sascha’s Aiguille du Midi misadventure
  • His career as a property entrepreneur
  • The process of qualifying for the Freeride World Tour
  • His future as a snowboarder, given his injuries

As with part 1, it’s another hugely entertaining and at times ridiculously honest chat with Sascha, and I hope you enjoy it.

If you only have five minutes…

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Show Notes

  • Chasing the lifelong dream
  • How to become (or try to become) a racing car driver
  • The financial hustle involved and the lessons learned
  • Knowing when to stop.
  • Starting again from the bottom – as a salesman
  • Early years and current career as a property entrepreneur.
  • ‘I’m not a good manager. I’ve made 38 year old men cry’.
  • The futility of blind optimism, and on needing to see concrete proof.
  • Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
  • The difficulty of changing your mindset once you’re past a certain age.
  • Deciding to do another season as a tax dodge.
  • Heading to Chamonix
  • The pros and cons of living in Chamonix, especially in the spring season
  • Sascha’s Aiguille du Midi misadventure
  • What happens when you abseil 30 metres and your rope is too short
  • First winch rescue
  • Paul survives a ride down the Exit Couloir
  • Second winch rescue
  • The process of qualifying for the FWT.
  • Financing the FWT
  • The camaraderie of the Freeride World Tour
  • Sascha’s commute
  • How the FWT events go down
  • Win or bust
  • Sascha’s future as a snowboarder given his injuries
  • How he’s dropped 12kg as a result of the accident
  • His open spot on the Freeride World Tour in case he does recover.
  • Learning to use his right hand as a leftie.
  • ‘Snowboarding for me was always about enjoying time in the mountains’
  • Where Sascha would ride now if he could go back to how he was before this injuries.


  • Freeride World Tour
  • British Snowboarding Championships
  • Silverstone
  • Whitelines
  • Chamonix
  • Les Arcs
  • Aiguille du Midi
  • Glacier Ronde
  • Alaska
  • Mallory Couloir