Year 2015 havent started with the best snowconditions in the Alps. With a splitboard its easier to find good snow.
Before newyears eve it had been snowing quite nicely in Northern Karinthia. We was in Mallnitz and lifts was closed cause hard wind. We decided to split up to restaurant Hochalmblick next to middlestation, had lunch and few warm drinks before we went back down. Have to say i never been splitting up or riding down there in such good snow. It was windy and snowing but not cold.
Couple days later we went to Stall, to do a tour to Hochgrubenkopf. Weather was sunny and no wind. First bit is a long forestroad what feels forever, it was wasnt so much snow but possible to skin. Higher up it started to get more snow, we took a shortcut straight up the fallline until we reached the threelevel. Its really nice hike where you pass lot of summerhuts in a valley shaped like a horseshoe, with runs in all directions. We had to stop and ride down a couple hundered meter before summit, cause of clouds came in a made flatlight. Nice run down to the car and Shila was extremely happy when she could run loose.
Few days later we went to Weissee Gletcher in Uttendorf. Heard that they had got snow so we went to check it out. Snow was really good and not windeffected at all. We decided to go for a split-tour to HoheFurleg from RudolfsHutte. Weather was amazing and no wind. It was a really nice tour, with powder and a dog almost faster then us. Quite easy tour to summit with just few shorter steep sections. It was an a amazing view from the summit, you could see so many interesting runs and tours. Back down at Rudolfshutte we enjoy a good dinner and SPA, what was included in the skitour/freeride ticket, if you have probe, shovel and beacon with you.
On morning when i went out for a walk with Shila, I couldnt belive what i saw .Yesterday it was really warm in Zagreb and today morning when i took a look at Sljeme it was all white.
We decided to go up for a hike. Its Nives homemountain and she showed me one of her favorite places. Hiked from the summit to the 500 stairs. What Vladimir Horvat builded between 1946-53 on a steep narrow ridge on the Northern side of the hill.
Climbed down the stairs and took a look at all cool stuf as caves and river what the stairs goes thrue. Then a 300vert hike back to the summit, where a great sundown was waiting for us.
Now forecast is more snow and time to head Austria
After Andorra we headed back to East-Tirol, first day we went to chech out a small resort Kartisch/Obertilliach. The resort has only 3 t-bars and a long, slow chairlift. But that didn’t bother us, cause we was not in hurry and just wanted to find some good snow. And that was exactly was we got, lot of powder on the north side, even if it was a few weeks since last snowfall.
From Obertilliach we headed to Stall a small village in West Carinthia 1500meter above the sea , its a “famous” place for easy access ski-touring terrain. We drove there quite late on the evening , it had started to snow a little and it’s a steep road to the parking. It was first time this winter while I got stucked in a uphill and had to use snow-chains. Wanted to show Nives one of my favorite peaks in Karinthia, Hochgrubenkopf. It’s a long hike to the summit, first few kilometers on a forest road until you reach the three level, where its still a couple of km`s in a nice but not so steep valley before you have the last km a steep climb to the summit.
Weather was great when we started to hike, but when we came to the three level clouds started to come in and we decided to go to a closer peak (Stanitzkopf) what was the only peak without clouds. As soon we got our splitboards made to snowboards on clouds came in and we ride the first hundered verts in great pow but flatlight, When came back into the trees sun was again shining and we rode down in super springsnow. It was a great day, we made dinner up on the mountain before we countinued our trip to Kals-Matrei.
We spend the next 5 days in Matrei, riding great untouched forest runs, shooted powder pics , and did touring on the upper part above the skiresort. Matrei is an amazing place, even if there is so easy access to great offpist runs after a short hike, there is not much people, and we could ride powder for ourselves without any hurry that it gonna be tracked.
Hard to choose, so many possibilities
fter a short week at same spot, we went to Tirol, Hochfuegen for filming a few nice lines. There was now a little bit more snow then in February but still not lot. A friend Marko Ikävalko joined us, he been spending a few seasons in Zillertal and had a good knowledge where to go and find good snow to ride. Next days we hiked, ride and shooted so much as our legs could handle..
After a few days in Hochfugen weather became warmer and snow started to melt so we it was time to go direction West, to Schlick2000 where I for many years wanted to ride the couloirs opposite of the skiresort. Now the snow and weather was good for some steep couloir riding. I went on a solo hike to the summit. While Nives was prepairing to film the run from the skiresort. Started quite late and the snow was really good when I hiked up, few centimeters of sunmelted on top of powder. Just before I was on the top of the run sun went in shadow and the toplayer of snow froze really fast, and made the run down to a good challenge. It was still a good run and a great experience.
From Schlick trip continued to Mallnitz(my homeresort for many years). In Mallnitz the our seasonticket Tirolcard is not valid, niin everything there was all about splitboarding to save some cash. First day we “skinned” to the middlestation of the Ankogel resort, where we met some friends, had a lunch and checked out the possibility to ride the west face run of Maresenspitze on the opposite side of the valley. What I have been checking out for many years. This year Mallnitz had best winter for 30 years and the face looked promising to ride from the top to bottom.
Next day we skinned to a “hidden” valley behind Schönbretterspitze where we planned to shoot a few nice couloirs. Nives and Shila waited with the cameras under the couloir while I was hiking up. Shila didn’t like to wait down when she saw me hiking higher up so she ripped of her leash and run up to me in a 40 degrees couloir. Crazy dog, but there was nothing else to do then to put the snowboard under my feets lift up Shila and ride with her down in my lap back to Nives. It was quite a challenge to ride with 23kg down a couloir but it went find and I started to hike again from the bottom direction up. Half way up I felt that the snow had warmed up so much that it started to be too dangerous , so one more time half way up I had to turn back down from where I started. That’s life not every day is a success. We still got a long run, nice run down to the car in the bottow of the valley.
Next day afternoon our friend Bernd Horvath and me went to check out the possibility to climb up and later ride down to the valley from the west side of Maresenspitze. We started quite late, we still went to try to climb up the west face. We climbed about 1200vert.meter from the valley before we had to turn back down about 300vert from the summit, to have some daylight left to ride down. The most challenging part is now checked, many has said that its not possible to ride down that way from Marezenspitze but the truth is different.. This was the first winter access from the walley of the west face.
The run from the summit have to wait to next winter. Cause next day Mallnitz had a storm and we had to leave for the 3* FWQ comp in Kitzsteinhorn.
Kitzsteinhorn/Kaprun arranged for 3rd time the X-Over Ride 3*FWQ. I like the competition face a lot, cause its challenging face not so easy to find a good smooth line to ride. In the upperpart there is a lot of possibilites to do tricks on rollers and rocks, before it become really convex and it ends up with a few steep couloirs where you can go really big. This year there was much less snow then last seasons and I couldn’t ride the line I had in my head. So I just had to find some other run, so I choosed a fast line with lot of “small” jumps on the top part and a big one in the bottompart where I could do a cab 180.
I found my line quite good, some small inprovisingon the top part but overall it went good, and judges seemed to like it and I got a 2nd place.
My run and interview from X-over Ride, click HERE (my run starts at 9,39min)
After the comp. in Kaprun we headed straight direction Zagreb to Nives hometown, my parents also came for a first time visit to Zagreb, so we showed the around in Kroatia to Plitvitce, Slunj etc. and we had some great dinners with awesome local Croatian food at Nives parents place. In Croatia it was warm and nice weather, it was a perfect “mini”vacation, before we again hit the road.
This time to Obergurgl for the last 4*FWQ of the season, where it was also a chance for me to get a spot in 2015 FWT if I have a good run. Obergurgl was the “final” for the FWQ season. The competition face was new for all riders, it was a challenging face, steep, long , convex and a lot of big cliffs, with “no fall” zones. Exactly that kind of face what I like.
Day before the comp was a facecheck day, where they also had a for runner, and you could get a perspection of the size of the cliffs. And the cliffs was huge, the for runner looked like an ant in that big face. I decided to choose a fast line with 4-5 drops, 2 of them doubble drops where I can go thru with good speed straight in falline. No it was just to memorize the line good cause the face was really convex and easy to get lost..
On the comp. day sun was shining, no wind and I had a really good feeling when I hiked up the 500vert.m. to start. Snow was also quite good, compact powder and sluff shouldn’t be so big problem If I just ride fast enough.
Was little bit nervous before the start, when I saw how convex the face was, you could see around 50 meter in front of you on the top section what made the navigation more challenging. My run went good, had a good fluidity, took all drops I planned and probably the fastest comp. run I have done, it was a good feeling to ride thru the finnish gate.
Got lot of positive feedback after my run, and many said it was a top 3 run, but the Austrian judges was of a different meaning and gave me a 6th place… I ended up on the FWQ ranking again, and third time now, 1 place from a World Tour place. Top 2 riders got into the world tour… That’s life, im still young..
My run from Obergurgl:
No motivation to go to the afterparty, we chilled with the Finnish crew on the parking, until it was time next day to drive direction Norwegian wilderness.. Splitboarding and filming, is on the schedule..
After Nives and Shila picked me up at Munchen airport, we started the roadtrip direction Andorra. In front of us we had around 1400km of driving, 4 countries to pass before we arrived to Andorra.
The drive to Andorra went surprisingly smooth, slept one night in France, then checked out the Mediterranean coast around Setè before we arrived to La Massana,Andorra.
Next day sun was shining and we went up to Arcalis to check the resort and the qualification face. The quali.face is really long, steep and have lot of possibilites,i would call it a real bigmountain face. Quite fast i found two intresting lines to ride in the competition. One main line and one "spare" line. The main line i had already checked out last time i was in Andorra few years ago. Then i didnt had confidence to do it, but this year i decided to go for it if nothing extra comes up.
At qualification day the sun was shining from blue sky, snow seemed to be good in the face and i had startnumber 6. What means that there was good snow left to ride. After a long and exposed hike i decided to go for my "main" line. Line was start in a steep couloir, then a about 8meter drop to the next couloir, from there speed riding to the bottomcliff about 5meter drop and straightline to finish. Succeed to ride the line i planned without misstakes and judges gave me a place in the final next day.
From downDinnertime @ parking
On the finalday we went up quite early to check the face. Spotted a clear fast line with 3 drops and a steep couloir on the top of the run. Then it was time to get a heliride to the top. I would have liked to hiked to the summit cause i dont like the sound of helicopters and all the hype around them.
My final run video:
Only 20 riders got to finals and from them only 6 snowboarders. I started as number 12 so there was still really good snow in the face. Actually the snow changed a lot from deep powder on top, to hard pack in the middle to slushy springsnow in the bottom. Exactly like a i like it, tricky challenging conditions. I had a stabil run and sticked all my drops and ended up on a 2nd place. First podium of the season and i was superstoked.
Next day we drove to the French part of the Pyrenees for splitboarding, find a nice looking mountain(no idea what the name is), where there was no tracks to the summit on the nortside. The snow was hard in the lower sections and powder higher up. We had a nice easy tour with some short steeper challenging climbing sections on the way up. Down we ride on the SouthWest side from the peak. It was a nice mellow steep run with great spring snow from summit to car. And Shila did a great job up and down, it was her 2nd peak.
Nice view from summitLast bit we had to go by foot
On afternoon we headed to the Meditarrenean coast, stopped in a cool "castle" village before we drove close to Perpignan for sleep. Next day we slowly drove direction Italy, made a short visit in Monaco(to test the formula track with camper :). Before we putted the car-nose direction Austria and East-Tirol where the deep pow was waiting..
Andorra is a really nice country, nice positive people, taxfree and good food :) Lot of great "skiing" both pist of offpist. Only sad thing was that they are not too "dogfriendly", even if there is a lot of dog everywhere was signs no dog. But overall it was a great roadtrip, many vertical meters and even more horisontal meter on the road..
Roadtrip 2014 Andorra:
Got a cool job for YLE(Finnish national TV) to work as expert snowboard commentator under Sochi winter Olympic.
First time in 7 years i was home to Finland wintertime. Five days of work in Helsinki and three days at home in Kimitoisland.
First day was men`s Halfpipe and in the qualifications was little bit rusty, probably a bit nervous. But then it went better and better and i started to get the "touch".. The biggest challenge was to remember all new tricks. Until the finals i started to have it under control. It was a great final when "Ipod" took the gold with his crazy Yoloflip in the 2nd run.
Next day was womens halfpipe, the commentating went really good and it was quite much easier with all trick. Womens level was amazing, with back to back 900 etc. It was fun to see Morena Makar riding, who i has been working as trainer for in beginning of her WC "career".
After that i had 3 free days, went home to Rosendal on KimitoIsland to check out my house. Everything was like we left it, big thanx to my parents who are taking care of the house while im on my trips.
Was totally tired after travelling around long time, so i spend my days chilling, going to real sauna and visiting relatives.
Three days went fast and it was time to go back to Helsinki. Womens boardercross was on the schedule, commentating went good cause it was a lot of action all the time (almost too much after some really nasty crashes in the qualifications).
On monday it was time for men´s boardercross, but it was heavy fog in Sochi and we waited 6 hours in the studio that they could start until we got information that the comp. was moved to Tuesday. What was really sad cause there was 2 Finnish athletes riding and it had been fun to see them and comment the event. But i had early flight back to Munich on Tuesday morning, where Nives and Shila came and picked me up and we started the next adventure.. Roadrtip Andorra
and Eldorado Freeride 4*FWQ..
Engadinsnow 3*FWQ in St Moritz was the first competition of the season. We left from a snowy Sillian in Easttirol in hope that also Engadin will have little bit of powder.
While driving there it looked bad, until 30km before when it started to be higher and higher walls next to the road until we arrived to Corvatch/Silvaplana where there was so much snow, that it felt you walked in some kind of labyrints.
Slept at the parking and over the night it snowed 30cm more.. Went to the liftstation, picked up my ticket and took a fast facecheck, sun came up for a short time. Made one and only run of the day down to bottomstation in the most epiq powder. On afternoon they informed that ridersmeeting and competition was postponed one day.
Went to Gravatscha camping over night, for refreshing and battery charging it is a new camping, with all facilities, good price and super service. The crosscountry skiing track went next to the campingarea, so on evening and morning i took my splitboard put harness on Shila and we went for some Husky crosscountry skiing with splitboard, hard, fun challenge with lot of confused crosscountry skiiers.
Next day it was still snowing, hard wind and not the best visibility. We went up took a few runs in the upper forest, saw for a short time a glimse of the competition face(Fuorcla)between the clouds. Lot of snow was blown in and many places had windlips in the landings. Have to say when i see a competition venue, I normally find pretty fast a line i like to ride. But when i see Fuorcla face i just see a round bump, with lot of strange drops with flat landings. Off course as a rider you
also should be able to manage that, even if the venue doesnt give you anything.I decided that on the comp day I will decided where to ride.
On comp. day it was bluebird, went up on the morning to check the face, found 2 lines. One "easy" with many drops and one more steep straight down in falline from the top. Did a few runs before the comp, suceeded to crash really hard on stupid places in the both runs.. Not the best start of the day..
When it was time to hike up to the top, i decided to take the "easier" line for the comp and ride it fast and smooth cause the steep option had had a avalanche with some un-even snow.
My run started good, then i just passed with speed all drops i wanted to do, face was shorter then i thought. In the end i saw a doubble drop, went for it and in the 2nd drop i landed on a rock.. and went down in the snow.. Not my day.. Ended up 14th place.
Even with bad result in my baggage i have to say that the Engadinsnow FWQ contest is one of th best organized competition i been on so far, everything is in time, supergood information for riders and the organisators keep their word. Maybe its just a Swiss thing, cause all the local people we met was so positive and polite even
the boardercontrol guys apolologized after they stopped us and asked why we was in Switzerland.. That have never happened before..
Next day on morning we already had to be in Hochfuegen, for registration of BigMountain Hochfuegen 4*FWQ. At registration we got a goodie bag and lifttickets for two days, quite a lot of stuf for nowdays standards. Even if the comp.fee is around 130€ what is far too much money..
After a looong riders meeting I went to check out the face, quite fast i got my line. My plan was to take a fast line few smaller jumps where i can do som tricks and one bigger drop. I like the face, even if its quite small, convex and short. After facecheck we did a few fun runs to bottomstation, snow was not good, but it was still fun to jib around.
On evening they had organized a riders dinner and BIB draw (i got nr 30, as last snowboarder)on top of gondolstation, for all riders and organisators. It was nice made, totally okay food and fun to talk with other riders. And it was far better food then it was the first year, they organized this comp. :)
Next morning was time for competition, over the night it had been snowing 20cm and now it was bluebird. It was total dust on crust snow. Took a fast check of the face, it looked good with the new snow. I decided to stick with the line i planned to ride. The hike to the start took only about 20mins, came in good time and had some time to chill on top.
When it was my turn to start i wasnt nervous at all, i was surprised by myself how i was so calm. I dropped in took a small drop, couldnt get the grab, 2nd and 3rd drops the same, i landed the drops but couldnt do the tricks i wanted. Everything felt so stiff i felt that it was like somebody else riding with my gear. Same was in the
bottompart, i entered the couloir what was now only ice and rocks after so many riders had took down the snow from it. I didnt get the edge down in the snow, managed still to ride it, but didnt get any fluidity in it. Same was with the last "big"drop, i saw it was full of bombholes already in the landing so i decided to take it smaller, i stand it up. But it wasnt my day, no speed and no tricks.. When they announced the results i guessed that i got 10th place and that was exactly right guess..
After the comp we took some runs, we still found untouched snow, then down to the camper for dinner and meeting friends. On the parking was, liveband, crazy party and good athmosphere. Got partymoode on(what is quite not too often)even withouth drinking, so we drove down to Fuegen where we went to riders party at Nightzone.
It became a crazy night with some crazy Finns...
Following day it was time to leave Hochfuegen for Munich and the "flughafen" for next adventure..
Found a nice valley on the map of Karinthia and the road was open so we drove to the Sadnighaus on 1900m in Astental. From the Sadnighaus parking you could do split tours in all weatherdirection. We stayed 2 days up there for touring and eat amazing food in the restaurant.
Epic dinner at Sadnighaus Where to go next
Heard many good words from friends about the ski resorts in East-Tirol. So we decided to check them out. First out was Kals-Matrei. After been sleeping little bit here and there, it was time to find some camping. Luckly in Kals was brand new camping, good prices,super service and free internet. Not even possible to compare to other we saw and also the skiresort was far better then I could expect.
View from Kals over Grossglockner South
After few days on same place we went to Sankt Jakob in Defereggental. There was amazing amount of snow in the valley and it was snowing when we arrived. We stayed on the parking of the resort, where we met a guy from Chech republic staying in his car (without heating) hole season that is what I would call hardcore..
Riding was alsogood, great deep powder in the forest, long nice runs, but you need a local or some time to find out the bigger runs.
We drove back to Kals, up to the South valley under Grossglockner, stayed on the tourski parking on 2000m. It was amazing to wake up with Grossglockner in front of our car. On morning we did a short tour direction Grossglockner, sun was shinging, Shila was superhappy and I spotted some really interesting couloirs.
Shila thinks she is a mountaingoat
Had heard that Tirol was out of snow, but couldn’t really belive it. We went to check it out.. when we drove in Fellbern tunnel it was snowstorm, when we drove out on the other side it was sun, warm and no snow, couldn’t belive my eyes.
We drove over Gerlospass, went to Zell am ziller to visit some friend before we went to Hochfuegen. No camping in Hochfuegen but a parking full of campers. There was not lot of snow, but we had sun, found some really nice lines and stayed for 2 days.
It was time to fill up the storage of dogfood, went to Innsbruck for shopping and met up with my friend Alex Huber, before we continued to Schlick 2000 and Stubaier glacier.
Schlick had still too less snow, found som fun short runs, but the good ones had too less snow. Next day we went to Stubai, after a night on the camping close to the glacier. It was a unfriendly lady working there, quite expensive and you had to pay for internet..
But the riding in Stubai really made the day, first runs it didn’t look promising, after riding around in the area we found the long “hidden” runs almost totally untracked, with much better snow then close to the lifts.
In Innsbruck we picked up friend Jarno”lepe”Leskinen. With him onboard we went to Obergurgl. They had good snow, but no base and a lot of “sharks”.
Was thinking to stay longer but it came in a hard storm and we went to Munich for ISPO for a day.
Free beers, only reason to make a breake at the skiiers area ;)
After ISPO it was a hard decission where to go when now where in Tirol was lot of snow, we drove dirction Innsbruck and decided on the way there to go and check out Kuhtai. It’s a cool place on 2000m with riding on the both sides of the valley, and also good possibilites for skitouring. First day we ride around in the resort, find some really nice powderlines and got some nice shots. But the same problem “sharks”. Next day we wents splitboarding from the topstation of the gondola to Pirchkogel, 2828m. Had nice brake on the way to the top, we took trangia and food along and had a nice lunch almost on the summit. It was Shilas first peak and I didn’t wanted to press her, when she still is so young, so I carried her in my lap 400 vertm. down to gondola. Its good traning to have +20kg in the lap while snowboarding down a nice powderface..
Shilas first peak Morning in Kuhtai
A quick check at the forecast, and quite easy decission; we are going back to East-Tirol. First out was Kals camping, to get clean again, make laundry and fixing the boards in shape. It was snowing quite a lot while driving there, and on the night it fell 40cm fresh pow. Morning started with showelig the car out from the parking. Then driving down to Kals center in hope that they had the opened the road to Matrei, cause gondola was closed in Kals due too much snow. We was lucky that the road was open for a hour, and we made it down to Matrei. Had a great powderday,got few nice shots and no dangerous sharks only barbwires before takeoff on almost every cliff.. Next day it had fallen more snow, but on the noon the temperatures went up above 0 and the snow became quite wet up to 1900m. We decided to go South, to Sillian where it should be little bit colder. When we arrived to Sillian the lifts was closed of too much snow (almost 2 meter fresh in 2 days) and skiresort was out of workers cause they was snowed in, in their valleys. Next day they could open 2 lift, gondola and t-bar. It was enough that we had great tree riding and no worries for sharks with over 2,5 meter of snow,.
Guess what car in Matrei, Happy faces
Short video from Sillian yesterday: https://vimeo.com/85811897
After X-mas holiday in Croatia we headed direction South eastern Alps. First stop was Tarvisio/Monte Lussari. When we arrived it was raining and skiresort was closed cause of hard rain almost to the top. We slept night at the parking in hope of that the temparatures would fall and they could open next day.. And yeah they open and snow was more better then expected..
Short video of the first epic turns in Italy: https://vimeo.com/82783573
After a great day in Tarvisio, we went to Nassfeld for more great riding and 6 days of snb instuctor work. We was lucky with the weather, night before we arrived, Nassfeld had got a dump of 1 meter fresh pow.. :)
Big thumps up for Sölle who fixed us great place to stay with our car, next to Tresdorf Alm middlestation on 1600m..
When workweek was over we decided to go to our "old" winterhome Mallnitz and check it out. It was a great idea, had a nice splitboard tour, got good snow and met a lot of friends. It was supernice to see all happy faces again :)
After Mallnitz we went to camping Lindlerhof near Heiligenblut, to have some chillax and time to fix car and boards in shape for the upcoming adventures... It was the only winteropen camping in the region, we was the only campercar, but not too surprised cause it was not the cleanest i seen and you had to pay extras for exactly everything..
« Föregående Nästa »