SAACnd Step in Mayrhofen, Tirol

from february 26th until march 2nd, we stayed in ginzling near mayrhofen and took part in the SAACnd step camp there. the SAAC camps are avalanche awareness camps where you learn about avoiding avalanche dangers when freeriding. our guide for the week was Stephan Keck.
check out his book: Solo mit Familie – Abseits vom Normalweg

on sunday evening, we met up in a hotel in hippach for the first theory session. we decided, that on monday we would go freeriding in the mayrhofen resort for a start. we did lots of runs, until our quads burned.

in the evening, we had another theory session and planned the next day. for tuesday, we planned a tour to the flachspitze (am flach) from juns. since the weather and avalanche conditions were fine on tuesday, we were able to do our tour. the descend was really fun!

hiking up to the flachkogel

on wednesday, we wanted to make it up to the rastkogel, descend from there and then hike up to the rosskopf, but sadly, the weather was bad. the sight was very limited, so we decided on the rastkogel summit, that we would not continue our tour. we rode back down to the resort and spent the rest of the day with practising how to search for multiple avalanche victims.

trying to find an avalanche victim without an avalanche beacon, with the use of avalanche probes only, is hard and takes a lot of time! never go out without beacon, shovel and probe! that’s the only option if you want to be able to find your friends – and if you would like your friends to be able to find you!

thursday was a big day for us – we were going to do the hoher riffler in the hintertuxer glacier area. our first glacier tour and our first hike up onto a mountain over 3000 metres. i had set my alarm to 5.45 to make sure i would be on time. we met up at 8am and took the gondola to the tuxer fernerhaus. from there, we hiked for approximately 3 hours to get to the summit. the weather was wonderful, a bit too warm even, and we were able to enjoy the wonderful panoramic view from the summit.
the descend was really great, we went through the kleegrube and our ride ended at the top station of the gletscherbus 1.
we spent a bit of time at the sunny terrace there and then called it a day… at least we thought so. since roman and me had rented an apartment in ginzling, a small village in a narrow valley, we had to wait until 6.30pm until we were able to return to our place, due to the street being endangered by avalanches.

[vimeo 37909394 w=500 h=375]

a few impressions from our tour…

friday was our last day. we decided to try the tour from wednesday once again. this time, we made it to the rastkogel with no problems (except for me being scared of heights / falling). we met a group of guys from GO RIDE at the summit. GO RIDE is an organization that collects money for kids that got diagnosed with cancer and their families. they asked us to take a picture with them to help raise awareness and get more supporters for their project. of course we posed with them! afterwards, we started our descend into the valley. it was an amazing ride, although the snow was rather hard. when we got to the bottom, we put on the skins again and started the trip to the rosskopf. sadly, i was a bit too slow and didn’t make it to the second summit, nevertheless i enjoyed the ride down a lot.
we ended our tour by taking the gondola and chairlift from hochfuegen to kaltenbach, there we took a taxi back to mayrhofen. man, i was SO tired!

on top of the rastkogel with the GO RIDE crew!

it was time to say goodbye again! we had a great time in mayrhofen and have learned a lot during our stay.
i was really happy with myself that i was able to do 1 day of freeriding and 4 days of touring in a row without being completely messed up after two or three days already. still, i fell asleep in the car and didn’t wake up until 3 hours later ;)

now it seems that spring is on its way, we will see if we will be able to do some more trips in this season or if it’s already over for us… so far, it was a blast!

tauplitz – spür die freude!

from january the 5th until the 8th we participated in the “MOTHERLAND CAMP” by Die Bergstation.

here’s a short write-up of the events during these days…

5th jan

drove to tauplitz and checked into our room. had a nervous breakdown because it was really old and not clean at all.

6th jan

after eating breakfast from dirty dishes, decided to check out again and find another place to stay.
met up at 9am at the parking lot in bad mitterndorf with the guides from die bergstation and the rest of the people. everyone introduced themselves, then we got split up in groups.

since the tauplitz was closed due to the bad weather, we proceeded to the riesneralm, where we encountered lots of snow, even more snowfall during the day but also lots of wind. lu shows us a couple of nice runs nevertheless.

afterwards, we practise searching for an avalanche victim with our beacons.

in the evening, everyone met up at the “spring in” in bad mitterndorf to have a drink. i finally managed to find another room, at the hotel sonnenuhr.

our search for food was not that successful, in one place the kitchen was closed already, in another place it was impossible to get a vegetarian pizza except for a quattro stagioni. the unfriendly waiter made the decision easy for us, we ditched dinner and went to bed hungry.

7th jan

waking up to water damage in our room. the hose going into the toilet tank decided that it was time to break, so we had the great opportunity to take a shower & a dump at the same time. wohoo!

when we got to our car, we had to notice that the snowplough had efficiently shoveled all the excess snow from the street around our car, so we had to shovel it out… while we were doing so, one of the tauplitz staff members comes over and goes apeshit on us, asking why we parked there etc etc… well, our host at the hotel had advised us to do so, because it was not possible to drive up the hill to the other parking lot anymore.
a little bit later, the angry guy comes over to us again and helps us get out the car of the hard-packed snow. so thanks for that! ;)
we ride tauplitz all day long, during the morning we even get to enjoy pretty nice weather – the only precipitation break during the 3 camp days.

we started off with a lovely run over a ridge from the lawinenstein chairlift, passing rather steep terrain and then entering a sparse forest with wonderful powder.
afterwards we did some runs next to the mitterstein gondola.

in the evening, our bathroom in the hotel was functional again. fully functional? well, not really. the hose was sealed again, but it was bent too much, so no water was coming through. argh!

we decide that it’s time for some relaxation, so we pack our bags and head for the thermal spring. afterwards we pick up pizza.

8th jan

we rode the runs next to the gondola all day long. i tried steph‘s jones hovercraft – what an amazing board! i wish i could afford one!

in the evening, it was time to say goodbye to everyone and drive home with a big grin on our faces.

a big THANK YOU to Die Bergstation and all the riders!


link love!




powder days in vorarlberg

originally, we wanted to go to carinthia to shred the grossglockner. we had already planned a few splitboard tours and had a map ready at hand… but when we arrived in carinthia on the 28th of december, we had to notice that there was nearly no snow. there was snow on the slopes (a good part of it was probably artificial), but only very little on the rest of the terrain. since we had intended to not ride slopes at all, we decided to skip the grossglockner, hop back into the car and go to vorarlberg instead. and off we went!

5 hours, a trip through italy, endless phoning around trying to get a hotel and an almost nervous breakdown later, we arrived in vandans in the vorarlberger montafon.

we spent 5 days there. it dumped on 3 days. we were not able to splitboard on our own, because of the bad weather and avalanche situation and due to our unpreparedness, so we resorted to freeriding… which was not bad AT ALL ;)

freeriding in sack deep pow.

on the 31st of december, we booked a guide – edwin from montafon guides – who took us on a small tour. it was wonderful! knee deep powder all the way. it doesn’t really show in the pic, but it was epic.

hiking up

on the last day, we went to the bieler höhe, a wonderful spot and starting point of a lot of tours. we went for a hike around the lake, but decided to turn around after about an hour, due to the weather getting worse.

bieler höhe, nearing the white out.

it was definitely well worth the effort to go to vorarlberg and we’re already planning to go back soon!

getting ready for winter

hiking up the veitsch

in november, i visited some movie premieres and reviewed two of them for the gap – one was “The Art of Flight” by curt morgan, the other one was the freeski film festival in vienna.
i really enjoyed both nights. here is my review of “The Art of Flight” and here is the review of the freeski film festival.

also in november, i bought a splitboard including skins and crampons, aswell as a bivvy sac and new poles. i spent a lot of money on this setup, but after trying it out 3 times, i can already say that it was well worth it for sure. okay, i haven’t had to try out the bivvy sac so far, luckily ;)
i got the k2 panoramic in 158 cm. normally i ride a 148 jib board, so i was a bit anxious that it might be strange to ride a longer board, but – hell no – it felt pretty much just like the 148 k2 vavavoom that i own. also, i didn’t know if it would be stiffer or noodlier than my jib board, being split in the middle and all, but actually it’s a bit more stable… with less pop of course, but more float aswell :)

i’m very happy with my choice and i’m looking forward to touring a lot with it. so far, we hiked a bit in october, where we spent 2 days on the kitzsteinhorn, to get a feeling for our equipment and check out how it all works and how it works best. we also hiked up the veitsch (styria, nearly 2000 metres) and enjoyed knee deep powder there aswell.

hiking up the veitsch
on the veitsch i also got my first core-shot… haha, didn’t take as long to happen as i thought it would. i went over a rock, thought “oh, a shark”, but i didn’t think it was that serious because i didn’t fall or hit the rock really hard. when i checked out the base of my board at the parking lot at the end of the day, i had to notice that the rock had scratched through the base and that the core was visible.

but since i visited a wax workshop recently, i know a lot more about repairing and servicing boards. we repaired & serviced our boards today, which means, we’re all set for hiking tomorrow and on tuesday.
we have not decided which mountain we are going to pay a visit to, we will have to check out some conditions reports first, but i’m sure we’ll find something in the lower austrian / styrian alps.

i’ll keep you updated! so long, farewell!

bmx masters 2011

so, in a weak moment, i let my boyfriend convince me to sign up for the bmx masters. i’ve been thinking about going to the masters for years now and never had the guts to do it.
this year, i was sure that i wanted to go, but at first, i thought that i’d only go there to watch the contest and get to know the other girls.
well, somehow after some time i started to like the idea to compete there better and better. i signed up end of may. since that day, i’ve been thinking about the masters and riding my bike nearly constantly. first, it was more of a “shit, what have i gotten myself into? why am i doing this to me?”-feeling and i was more than nervous, but over time it turned out to be pretty motivating.
last year, i wasn’t as motivated to ride as i had been during the years before, so this was a welcome change.

i’ve been riding a lot again lately, i noticed that i’m not really as bad as i was thinking.
at the moment, i guess that i’m gonna do somewhat well in the contest… maybe i’m going to mess up all my tricks, maybe i’m going to be overly nervous and not able to think straight, maybe i’m gonna get hurt (just like on thursday when i slammed my bars into my ribcage)… but i don’t think i’ll make a fool out of myself. and that’s basically all i’m hoping for… this and having a really good time with new friends i will make at the masters.

so… here i come :)
looking forward to seeing everyone that i’ve so far only talked to on the interwebz!

bmx fun in april

julia preuss visited vienna in april. i recorded this combo just for fun – next time i will position myself much closer to her and use a decent camera, i promise!

i decided to try my luck at wallrides. i found this easy one, as it’s not very steep, and thought that it would be perfect for the first tries.
watch out for the thunderstorm-y sky!

roman and me went on a little daytrip to linz, where we met up with michel who sold me some used bike parts.
of course we met up at a skatepark, a very nice one, might i add! skatepark linz-urfahr, featuring “the boobie”

at the moment, i’m re-assembling my bike, adding all the new bike parts i purchased (wheels, fork, bars, sprocket), i also repainted the bars because i didn’t really like the black and purple the odyssey lumberjack came in. blue is my favourite color :)

let’s hope that my bike will be ready tonight and that the weather will be cooperative and allow me to try out my new setup!

hike2ride hochkar, 13.03.2011

on sunday, we decided that we would try to find decent snow somewhere near our home.
since we knew that the conditions were pretty bad in the semmering region, we thought that our only option would be to drive to the west and try our luck at the hochkar.

when we arrived, we were sceptical if that was a good idea – down in the valley everything was green (well, brown) already. i was already pretty bummed, but we still wanted to see for ourselves if there was enough snow for a small tour or not.
so we went up to the top of the leckerplan chairlift and checked out the schmalzmauer from there… it looked pretty okay, so we repacked our stuff and started to hike.


we hiked along the ridge, where we were able to enjoy wonderful views of the mountains surrounding the hochkar. as if this had not been enough, when we arrived at the peak and started our descend, we noticed that there was still enough snow and that it was not hard or icy at all, it was rather soft :)



guido and roman.

proof that i was there too ;)

it was a great feeling to hike up a mountain and ride down again – nothing beats this. it always feels like having accomplished something big.
i’m really thankful that we have such great landscapes in austria, within the range of a short drive by car.

this might have been the last freeriding adventure this season :(
a great goodbye to a great winter!

freeride experience zell am see, 03.03.2011 – 06.03.2011

on thursday, the 3rd of march 2011, we drove to zell am see in salzburg to attend a freeride experience weekend there.
we arrived in the afternoon, checked into our room in thumersbach (right across the zeller lake) and then visited zell am see. we went to see the la resistance shop and randomly ran into sepp, who we know from wakeboarding, there. he spent his winter season in zell am see and works at the la resistance shop. we chatted for a while and then left to get something to eat.
afterwards, at 8pm, we met up with the other group members in the lohninghof, right next to our hotel room.
we were quite suprised at how big the group was. the guides bengt and gerry went from table to table to talk to everyone and see if anyone was missing. they also told us about the plans for the next days and when we would start on friday.

so, friday, 8:30 am it was. we met up in front of the lohninghof, jumped into the vw busses that were our taxis and went to a sports shop in zell am see. the skiers received their rental equipment there, aswell as avalanche beacons, shovels and probes.
at about 10 am we arrived in saalbach hinterglemm. the sun was shining and everyone was looking forward to the first day of freeriding. we got split into 3 groups with 7 to 8 people. our guide was gerry.
we started with some runs next to the slopes to warm up.
afterwards, we hiked up to the peak next to the chairlift. this took us about 30 minutes, then we had a short break at the peak. we proceeded to ride down from the peak.
next up was another short hike. this time, we didn’t hike up to a peak, we just crossed over for a bit and then did an awesome run down to lengau.
the snow was a bit wet and heavy, but still it was way better than expected!
when we arrived down in the valley, we had to push out to the next village for about 5 kilometers. we were all pretty exhausted after that, so we decided to take it slow and have a drink and something to eat.
after that, we went back to zell am see (thumersbach). in the evening, we met up in the lohninghof for dinner. i had wonderful spinach dumplings… nomnomnom!

freeride experience 2011
first lines. well, OUR first lines ;) everything was rather tracked already!

, 8:30 am. we met up in front of the lohninghof and went to the kitzsteinhorn.
i was expecting to find a bit more fresh powder there, i have to admit. i was a bit sad to see that all the freeride routes (they have 5 which are avalanche safe) already had been ridden a lot.
but no need to worry! gerry knew where we had to go to find fresh pow. we hiked a bit and then – booooom – there it was! a wonderful ride down from the kitzsteinhorn to niedernsill, lots of untracked, cold snow… it couldn’t have been any better!

freeride experience 2011

freeride experience 2011

on sunday, we went to saalbach-hinterglemm again.
we went up with the zwöflerkogel gondola again. then we also took the seekar t-bar to the top, just like on friday.
this time though, we didn’t just hike a short bit, we hiked about an hour to reach another peak. the skiers put on their skins, roman and me simply walked (without snowshoes, there was no real need for them).
we were lucky and found a bit of powder on our run down to lengau again.

freeride experience 2011

all in all, it was a great experience. we didn’t expect to find any powder at all, due to the enormous lack of snow this winter, but thanks to our guide the 3 days went totally different than we had feared ;)

more pictures can be found here
a video is still in the works!