Hey there again!
I start to finally feel fit after I did get a flu more than a month ago. Im glad that I start to feel stronger again, physically and mentally. I have the feeling that the season just started but when I look in the calender I realise that half of the season is already over!
The first competitions this season did not go as planned, my head was just not there so Im disappointed on myself. The competition last weekend in Hochfugen in Austria went okay, I was happy with my line but I had some problems with sluff. Sluff is really something I would like to learn to handle better. I did end up 3rd anyway. Upcoming week I will go to Slovakia for another competition, my goal there is to find and ride a line that Im happy and satisfied with.
Hochfugen Big Mountain last week. 1st Maria Kuzma 2nd Perrotin Tiphanie 3rd me
This season we have had all kind of weather and snow here in Arlberg. Its changing from day to day. Earlier this week we had really cold weather for a couple of days and today it is raining down in the valley. I wonder how the winterseasons will look like in just 10 or 20 years!
Meanwhile we were waiting for the chairlifts to open yesterday we did build this man :)
Here on Freeride you can read more about me and Austria:
As we have had a few seasons with almost no snow in December I kind of did expect the same this winter but I was so wrong!
I thought I better work still in December and go to the Alps after Christmas. Anyway we had already in end of November 2 meter of snow at the top of the local skicenter in Stryn in Norway. All small skicenters nearby Stryn did open early this season and I got to ride in them all. But Im now more convinced than ever that Norway is the place to be in Spring but the Alps is the place to be in winter!
Stryn in November. I did spend many hours on cross-country skies in the beginning of the season.
After Christmas I got back to Arlberg in Austria and the snow was deep! It was perfect snow for some days until we got rain up to the top of the mountains. The landscape turned into endless amount of small ditches! It did look beautiful but it was not fun to ride on that frozen icy snow! Anyway, it was time for me to fly to Canada. I had only spent half a day in Canada in my life before so it was kind of a new experience for me. We did fly to Calgary and did rent a car from there to drive to Revelstoke. Somehow I had imagined that Revelstoke ski resort would be much bigger and more interesting but I guess I only saw a small part of what it has to offer but anyway there are only 3 lifts. It was nice and Im glad that some locals did show me nice runs but I was really happy to get back to Austria again. Revelstoke is pretty expensive compared to most ski resorts in Europe. I had just been imagining something else than what I actually got to see, if I ever go back there then I think I would bring my splitboard.
Revelstoke ski resort
On the way back to Calgary
I got back to Austria just in time for the powder! We have had some really good powder days now and a few days ago we had an earthquake here! When I felt the house wall moving I was not sure if it was an earthquake or an avalanche but it didnt take many minutes before you could read in the news that it was an earthquake and for this part of Austria it was pretty strong. I was talking in the phone with a friend when it did happen and I told her that I need to go out and see what is happening because the wall is moving. She said in the phone ”maybe it is the washing machine” but it did shake a bit more than that :D
Today more or less the whole skiresort is closed due to high avalanche risk. Some lifts are running but the roads are closed!
To follow my winter on Instagram: hollstenmikaela
I feel disappointed on my competition results this season. My head is not strong enough and my selfconfidence has not been as good as before. I feel like my riding has progressed but the mental part is my problem. I want to become a better snowboarder but my head is blocking me. I feel motivated to continue working on my weaknesses. I have always been a person who is afraid for many things but I have worked hard to get away many of those fears so I belive I will be able to manage this aswell but it will take time.
Photographer: Manuela Mandl
I did not manage to make the FWT cut to Alaska this year so it will be a long way back to the tour. I usually dont give up on my dreams before I see that something is not possible and it will be the same in this case, I know it is possible, I did it once already.
Im looking forward to spend my summer season in beautiful Stryn in Norway again. I will hopefully have time to go riding at least a few days at Stryn Summerski resort. I hade such a good time there last year. A new job with new challenges is waiting for me...
I got a great start on the Freeride World Tour season with a 3rd place in the first competition in Andorra. The level in snowboard women is maybe higher than ever before so I was really satisfied with my first result. I felt confident on my snowboard and I was really motivated before my run. The run went more or less as planned, a few smaller changes but overall as planned.
First FWT competition of the season. Happy to share the podium with the legends Anne-Flore Marxer and Nicola Thost
Six days later was again competition day, the second FWT competition of the season. I did not at all have the same feeling in my body. I did choose a far to easy line and the adrenalin was just not there. I have never in my life regret a run as much as the last one in Andorra. I felt so stupid and ashamed of my performance. I could have done so much better but my way of thinking was the problem. Sometimes I wish I would have someone there who could think for me when my brain is not sharp enough. I guess this is a learning process but it was bad timing to do a mistake like this in one of the most important competitions in my life.
I wish I could have got a second run in this face
Now it is all up to what happens in Fieberbrunn in about two weeks. None of the snowboard womens has been two times on the podium so far so everything can happen but only 4 will get the possibility to compete in Alaska. Wish me good luck!
It has been a winter with not much snow so far but luckily we did get one big snowfall in Austria right after new year.
Dachstein glacier in beginning of January
Salzburgerland had better snowbase after Christmas so I went there to snowboard and visit a friend. We found good snow and we actually got nice photos as well.
Powder in Gastein Photo: Manuela Mandl
Tail grab in Gastein Photo: Manuela Mandl
Signing session in Chamonix for the Freeride World Tour
I did spend the last week in Chamonix; searching and waiting for snow! In the end they had to cancel the Freeeride World Tour event in Chamonix so that event is now moved to Andorra. I do wish we could have got the chance to ride the first FWT competition of the season as planned but yea, what can we do when we dont have enough snow! It just feels like it is more or less all about the two events in Andorra now. The cut for Alaska will be made after the third stop that will happen in Fieberbrunn, Austria, in beginning of March.
It feels like I have not been riding enough this season to be ready for competitions. I have had some good riding days in Austria but there are still so many things I would like to learn!
Sunset riding in Obertauern Photo: Manuela Mandl
Autumn went so fast, work and preparations for a new winter season has been taking most of my time. I have been home for some months and got to ride at my home skicenter. The kids slope was open for some days, that means runs of about 30 meter vertical. I also got to ski crosscountry a few times before the snow disappered, I have not done that in years!
Anyway, Im now looking forward to ride in the Alps. The Freeride World Tour will not start before end of January so I have time to get back the feeling for snowboarding. Sometimes I think it is a bit crazy to live like this, a lot of travelling, a lot of planning, a lot of work in between, never possibility to be off from work for a week in summer and so on. It would be so much easier to stay at one place all the time but I would get bored. There is so much out there to explore.
After all horrible avalanche accidents during the year I thought it is good to refresh my skills. In November I went to listen to a couple of lessons during the Finnish freeride festival. One lesson was about basic knowledge but the second one was about that it is not only important what you and your group is doing. Other people can be the biggest danger for you and you need to respect other people.
This weekend I did take part in the Snow and Safety conference in Zurs to learn more. It was a really good event, we got to practice avalanche senarios with human size dolls and got to listen to many interesting lectures. I wish 2017 will be a good and safe year!
It has not been an easy time here in Stryn. During the first month I had to move 7 times. As I before arrivel got the information and the impression that everything concerning work and living is well organized I tought it will be an easy summer but that was not the fact. Anyway a friend helped me to find a place to live and now all is good but I almost lost my motivation, I had enough of moving around when I arrived here and I was really looking forward to stay at one place and not have to pack and unpack my things all the time.
In the last weeks I have spent every day off from work at Stryn Summerskicenter. It has been such a fun season up there! My winter season was not great but the summerseason on snow turned out to be really nice. And the last 2 days we have been filming for Finnish YLE. Unfortunately the season turned out to be really short. Yesterday was the last day this season for Stryn summerski but Im already looking forward to next season!
Now I will have time to do something else than snowboarding :) Today I started the moning with baking cinnemon rolls and I will have time to enjoy cooking in a good kitchen. A normal kitchen feels luxuary after moving around and not having the possibility to cook healty and tasty food.
I guess you understand why I like Stryn when you watch some of the photos.
End of May, nearby Stryn Summerski
Strynefestivalen, steep riding and rapelling course. Photo: Jakob Lynge
Photo: Jakob Lynge
Folven camping during Strynefestivalen; friends, food, snowboarding, sun, music, dancing...
Touring nearby Stryn winterski
65 km of biking and a cakestop in between
From yesterday; I love the road to Stryn summerski.
Thank you all, new and old friends at Stryn Summerski for a nice season!
After a long drive with start in Italy I went to Switzerland - Austria - Germany - the Neatherlands - Germany - Denmark - Norway - Sweden - Finland - Sweden - Norway. I now enjoy staying at one place for a longer period. I will work in Stryn in Norway this summer. It´s located in a beautiful valley not too far from Aalesund. Norway is one of my favorite countries, the nature is so beautiful, almost the same beautiful as New Zeeland. I feel home in Norway but I still dont know where I want to live in the future. With some things Norway is still behind some other European countries but the nature here is just amazing.
My winter was not the best I have had, I did not get the same good feeling as I had last year and the days I stayed in Italy were not that good. No snow in Monterosa and it is far from other places and bad transport connections made it complicated to travel to the competitions. For people who dont have the need of traveling during their trip and who have organized transfers and who like to stay on the slopes I can recommend that place but it is not a place for me.
Im already now looking forward to next winter and I learned from my mistakes this season. Now I get the chance to spend the summer down in a beautiful valley and here is also a summer ski resort nearby but I will unfortunately not have that much free time beside work.
On the way to Stryn
I felt home when I passed this village on the way to my new working place. This is the village, Lom, nearby the place where I was working last year. In this village they have a good bakery.
From summer to winter and back to summer in the valley
About 30 km before Stryn village
Nice biking trail. I guess I will use mums old grandma bike a lot this summer.
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