During the Nordstau days, we spent some lovely hours freeriding with friends, playing it safe in flat terrain.
Riding the t-bar at the Veitsch
Even our local resort in Lower Austria opened for two days!
Other than that, some things didn’t go as planned… The FWQ** Grossglockner had to be postponed due to grim weather, I got sick in the meantime… but now I’m healthy again & looking forward to the next shredventures.
First thing on the list is a trip to sweet Fuerteventura for some surfing with Mellowmove. Here’s a throwback to our last time on the island in 2016 ;)
Last weekend, we finally made it to the mountains with Burli! We met up with our friends “Pacher’s on tour” (check them out on Instagram, Facebook and visit their website!) for some winter camping days. First, we visited the Gemeindealpe in Lower Austria (or, as us Lower Austrians call it, the “Gmoa Oim”) where we did some fun laps and enjoyed the view to the Ötscher, one of the most characteristic and highest mountains in Lower Austria.
The Ötscher is incredible!
After that, we continued our trip to the Planneralm, which is always a safe bet for a good amount of natural snow. We have visited this rather small resort a lot of times already, because we dig the fact that they only have natural snow on the slopes. Also, the feeling up there is very raw and rural – after all day skiing guests have left and the lights in the few houses up there are on, it feels like winter wonderland straight from some kitschy fairy tale. Besides of riding on the slopes, the resort also offers a freeride area and out of bounds lots of terrain for freeriding and touring is available.
We indulged in snowboarding in the resort, freeriding, a splitboard tour up the Karlspitze and also went ninepin bowling – my first time, so far, I have only played tenpin bowling. Ninepin bowling was much harder for some reason, haha. Then, the Pacher’s left in direction of Fetzy’s World for some ice bathing and running through fire (yes, the Pacher’s ARE a bit wild ;)), whereas Roman and I went for the softer version and visited the Grimming Therme for a decent after-ride-chill.
Roman hiking towards Karlspitze on his splitboard.
Looking back towards the Planneralm ski resort on our way to the Karlspitze.
an improvised, supporting bandage for an arm with debris stuck in it
you need a good foundation of first aid skills to transfer them into situations where you don’t have the full amenities of civilisation and i feel much more capable of giving first aid outdoors now! it only takes a few hours of practise every now and then, so i urge you to also sign up for a course and get educated!
After a loooooong summer with a great surftrip to the Basque country, I had the chance to attend my first snowboard camp by Sportunion Kaltenleutgeben for this season. We went to the Kitzsteinhorn to get our first runs in. Sadly, the mountain still lacked a lot of snow, so we stuck to riding the slopes and the funpark.
My ultimate goal is to become a “well-rounded” snowboarder, meaning that I want to be able to cruise the backcountry just as gracefully as the funpark or the slopes. I am sure, improving in the park and working on my carving and general riding technique will help me become a better freerider as well.
The registration for some of the contests that I’m planning to compete in has already started, so I’m currently trying to get on aaallllll those starting lists. By the way, check out my new ATHLETE BIO page :)
Other than that, I’m looking forward to – hopefully – lots of fun days with friends – in the mountains, be it in the park, on the slopes or offpiste, where I hope for lots of touring and freeriding adventures.
After getting infected with the camper virus by our dear friends Pachers on tour, we bought our first campervan in 2015, together with Romans parents. The campervan had been named “Burli” by the previous owners and the name stuck with us.
Burli 1 on the Camping Le Pin Sec.
After 2 years together with Burli, we got the chance to upgrade and buy another, also used but newer, campervan.
The new Burli enjoying the view in the Pyrenees in Spain.
this winter imposed a special challenge onto me. i will try to make a long story short. in september, my husband and shredbuddy Roman tore the patella ligament in his right knee while stepping out of our camper in France. we were lucky that the campsite was situated closely to a hospital specialized in chirurgical surgery, where Roman could undergo surgery the day after his accident. thanks to the professional care in this hospital, we were able to leave France and head home two days after the accident, which was only possible because our camper has enough space to prop up ones leg while still being correctly belted. of course, i was the designated driver for all those kilometers home, which was strenuous, but i was just so happy about the possibility of getting closer to home and our families that i pushed on until we reached Austria 2 days later. although the healing process had been going very well, Roman was not ready to hit the mountains again. thankfully, Roman is not the only person that i knew would like my company during a splitboard tour or freeriding, but it makes things a bit more complicated if your planning efforts aren’t just like “tour?” “yep” (of course we do plan all our off-piste endeavours much more in detail, i’m only cutting a corner for the sake of an entertaining story). the second special thing about this winter were the temperatures and the ost-stau. most of the time, we have nord-stau in Austria, meaning that regions from Dachstein on west-ward will get a lot of snow on their northern side, and that Lower Austria (where i’m situated) won’t get as much snow. i’m very grateful that the weather decided to flow over to us from Russia, bringing us snowfall and temperatures of about -15 degrees celsius for quite some weeks in january. the snow was meant to stay this time! :) this allowed for lots of splitboard and snowboard trips in the eastern alps. i really enjoyed spending time with friends in the mountains, increasing the number in my shred counter.
i also took part in two contests this winter, the FWQ* Hochkar and the FWQ** Gastein. i was planning on entering the FWQ** Goldeck and the FWQ*** X Over Kitzsteinhorn, but sadly due to lacking snowpack, Goldeck got cancelled and i couldn’t collect enough points to make it into the FWQ***. i was able to take home the 2nd place at the FWQ* Hochkar and landed on the 5th place at the FWQ** Gastein. my focus this year was on selecting a line during the facecheck, imagining how it will look like from above and then finding the line as well as incorporating a few jumps. it might sound like an easy task to ride down a hill, but in a contest it’s really something different. you will have to take the conditions as they are, keep your senses together even tough you’re nervous, look out for landmarks where you have to turn right for example, keep up your speed, watch your riding style and on top of that, throw in some jumps, ideally with tricks. while i was happy with both my contestruns, i know i could have stepped it up speedwise in Gastein. i got a lot better at remembering my line, setting myself up for jumps and landing them safely, next i want to work on improving my speed. still, miracoulosly, my ranking in the Austrian Freeride Series this season is better than ever (i placed 6th). i have to say that this fact helps me keep my motivation. i wanted to quit contest riding after the last season, but this season it was a perfect way of collecting experiences for me and i have enjoyed it a lot more than last season. we have had temperatures above 20 degrees on some days now, it felt nearly like summer already, but last week we had an unusual amount of snowfall in the eastern alps… we’ll see if the season is really over for me now or if we might be able to smuggle in one more day of riding/touring in this prolonged winter. thanks to all the friends that i was lucky enough to ride with, to the Open Faces crew for organizing these amazing contests and to my sponsors PIEPS and Julbo Eyewear for supporting me!
—- UPDATE —- i was hoping to squeeze in maybe one last winter adventure for the season in may, but had a bit of bad luck and broke my middle finger at the beginning of our holiday in may. this meant that i could focus on bettering my stamina with lots of walking, running and hiking, but no splitboarding adventures, no climbing, no sauna… my finger has nearly healed completely in the mean time and i can’t wait to put it to good use soon again ;)
Recently, I’ve spent as much time outdoors as I could, to soak up the last warm sunrays. It’s already noticeable that autumn and winter are around the corner and as much as I love winter (all seasons, really), the lightness of living in the warmer months of the year has a certain feeling to it that I really enjoy. On a sunny september saturday, Roman and I went to a climbing spot near Scheibbs, where I layed out my bouldering mat and tried to solve some rocky problems. I havn’t been climbing a lot lately, so it took some time to get used to it again, but after about an hour I nearly solved the problem I had chosen. Do you know that point during a climbing session, when you suddenly find the solution to mastering the chosen route, but your body just isn’t capable of climbing it anymore? Yeah. Still I felt a bit of success, even if it only was of the “hurrah, I haven’t unlearned it all”-type.
Sunday was an early shift for me, because I had a hiking rendezvous with 3 friends. We met up at 7am and then headed towards the infamous Oistal near Gaming. Our plan for the day was a roundtrip hike leading to the peaks of Scheibe, Scheiblingstein and the Bärenleitenkogel. Together with a lot of other people we started our ascent, luckily only a few of them also wanted to do the whole tour, most only walked until the Scheibe.
…Hence the name “Scheibe” (which means “Disk”)
This is the view from the Scheibe down to the Lunzer See.
It was a steep, sweaty ascent, followed by multiple descents and ascents in rocky terrain. After summit number three all of us were ready for a refreshing stop at the Herrenalm, which was closed, but where the hosts were kind enough to leave drinks cooled in the fountain for the hikers. Putting some money in the glass jar, we all picked a lemonade to restore our sugar balance.
Looking over to the Ötscher in Lower Austria
Stef walking in green surroundings.
About 8 hours and 1100 meters in altitude difference after the start, we arrived at the parking lot again. We were tired, but all the gorgeous views, delicate smells (I LOVE conifers!) and wonderful memories were totally worth it! I’m in love with the seasons! <3
you may know about me that i was an avid wakeboarder a few years ago. i even took part in some cable wakeboarding contests despite my quite novice status. and it was great fun and a wonderful experience.
goofing around before my run at the Corona Wakeboard Cup in Vienna in 2011
then somehow my interest in wakeboarding decreased. i was still using the same board since beginning to ride and due to the fact that we lived in vienna at that time, the viennese cable was the place i visited most to ride. it’s a nice cable with a relaxing surrounding, but there are only a few obstacles, which meant that i hardly got the chance to practice on obstacles. i could have learned the perfect raley there, but let’s face it – i’m too much of a wuss for that and not interested in taking hard falls :D after moving to the countryside, i was even further away from the next cable and due to my old board, whenever i rode i had difficulties to slide all the way over a box and always thought it was solely my own fault. how wrong was i! late last summer i borrowed the board of a friend and suddenly noticed how easy it was to master the slide over the whole box! at the beginning of this year i decided to finally get myself a new setup. i found a good deal on a used setup and travelled to vienna to meet up with the woman selling it. it turned out that one of her co-workers was a wakeboard buddy of mine from my days in vienna. she had bought the board last year, thinking she’d want to pick up wakeboarding, but then coming to the conclusion that she’d very much rather stick to kiteboarding. that way, i got my hands on a good as new ronix quarter til midnight and ronix limelight bindings. i had to wait a few months to try out my new treasures, but when i eventually hit the water, i was stoked. the setup felt so much like “mine” and i got used to the new board quickly. of course we had to go wakeboarding more frequently from then on and i’m very happy that i was able to make huge progress since then. i especially enjoyed our trip to the newly opened Cable 7 Wakepark in Treviso in Italy. we joined the Pachers there for a few days. we were allowed to camp next to the lake, where we had enough space to set up our hammock and slackline. we were able to just chill in the hammock and watch other people ride the cable.
this is Cable 7 in Treviso – beautiful, right? :)
deluxe camping next to the lake
nowadays i’m doing my first tricks on sliders like boardslides or 180 offs, trying out new obstacles that i had never dared to ride before and i have overall gained a lot of confidence in my own abilities! i’m beyond stoked on how much fun wakeboarding is again for me and can only recommend trying it out to everyone who is interested in it! a good starting place are the Action Cats wakeboard camps or of course Fetzysworld!
are you aware of all the work that has to be done to ensure safe paths in the mountains? do you know how much time has to be dedicated to refreshing markers and mounting signposts? are you informed about the people who take care of handrails alongside steep paths? well, i wasn’t, at least up until the first weekend of july 2016! after years of splitboard touring, hiking, freeriding and some (easy) climbing in the alps, i decided it was time to give something back to the volunteers who generously donate their free time to ensure safe paths in the mountains for everyone to use free of cost. in may, after getting inspired by an article about path maintenance, i contacted the Alpenverein to ask about possibilities to help out. i quickly got a reply, offering the chance of joining a team which takes care of the paths on and around the Schneealm in Styria. this sounded like a great opportunity to me – to be taken under the wings of experienced people, getting initiated into the vast field of knowhow around path maintenance. although the weather was forecasted to be a bit capricious, i set out for Altenberg an der Rax in the morning of the 2nd of july 2016. i arrived at 10pm and met up with Otto from the Gebirgsverein Südwien-Mürzer-Oberland. after a short stop at my accomodation, the Lurgbauer-Villa, we quickly began our drive up the Schneealpe. our first tasks were improving the mounting and cleaning some signs. we then moved on to the Kutatschhütte, which is a small shelter on the Schneealm. to ensure a welcoming hut experience for all visitors, we cleaned up a little, sweeping the floor, emptying the trash can and folding the blankets.
then we continued our trip across the Schneealm plateau, stopping every few meters to either rectify existing posts with marking or to hammer new posts into the earth, to allow for good orientation even on foggy days. every post needs a bit of barbed wire wrapped around it to keep the cows which graze on the mountain pasture from playing with the posts. they love a good scratch just too much! after a short break in one of the huts, we continued our work and repainted the letters on some signs. they get worn out by the weather so much that they need a bit of refreshment now and then.
later on, we drove back down towards the valley and stopped at the Knappensteig. we ascended a short bit, carrying a cordless screwdriver and a cordless brushcutter to the path. we enhanced the mounting of a sign and then proceeded to mow the grass covering the path. since a lot of people like to use this path for trailrunning, we made sure to uncover the path as good as possible. at 5pm, just before the thunderstorm, we ended our work day and i headed back to the Lurgbauer-Villa for a very relaxing night of sleep.
on sunday, the weather was not too friendly – grey clouds and rain greeted me in the morning. still, we had work to do and met up at 10am. this time, we were 4 people in total, since we were joined by Peter and Nikos. we packed all of the needed equipment into the all-terrain car and drove up to the Nasskamm. at the end of the road, we noticed that a handrail had been partially destroyed, probably by an avalanche in late spring. our first task for the day was found!
we searched for the missing parts of the handrail and tried to figure out how they could possibly fit together. after getting a general idea of the situation, we started with pulling up one of the longer logs with assistance of a rope to the path over the steep slope. we hammered a shorter pole into the ground and Peter used the chainsaw to even out the ends of the longer log, so that they formed a flat surface to lie upon the tops of the vertical poles. after using long nails to fix the log, the first part of the handrail had been restored successfully. the rain got more intense and we had to use a hoe a few times to chop steps into the steep, slippery path between working on the handrail. after about 2 hours, we were done with repairing the handrail. luckily, the weather had gotten better again, so we grabbed spar varnish in red and white, a sledge hammer as well as a chainsaw and started a 20 minute hike upwards to a meadow. orientation in the fog would be a problem here, since the marking on the trees had already faded out too much and the posts with marking were too far away from each other. so we started enhancing the situation. Nikos and Peter added posts and cut away some branches to reveal the paint marking, Otto and I refreshed the spar varnish on the trees.
after this, we took a short break and then proceeded to the last place of action of the day, a path further down the mountain. we followed the path by foot, added posts with marking and cut away the grass around all posts. when we reached the car again, we packed all equipment into the trunk and headed back down to the valley, where we ended the day at the Altenbergerhof.
although I was tired after two days of work, I was very happy that I decided to take part in this project! especially the hard work on sunday was great, because you could see the results directly afterwards. I was able to learn a lot and I was not aware of all the work that needs to be put into maintaining a safe network of paths. my goal is to keep participating in these missions to learn enough so that I can contribute on my own in an area near to my home one day.