I know the story is getting old… next contest postponed, more bad snow conditions and scratches in the ol’ deck. So what’s been going on?
On Wednesday the 15th, I woke up to a whole 15cm of fresh snow and I was able to take a spontaneous day off. It felt good to get some first track runs in. The only problem was that after weeks of high hurricane winds and warm temperatures, 15cm doesn’t do a whole lot for you. Never the less, it was finally a chance for some fresh lines. The wind did relocate some of the snow into the gullies which made them even that much more enjoyable. It was possible to practice taking a few smaller jumps while riding, slowly getting familiar with the feeling of not seeing the landing until you get over the little roller… very slowly that is! We need more snow if I’m ever going to progress this year…
The day after riding Kitz, I found out that the Misurina contest was again postponed, this time until the same weekend as Kappl and the start of ISPO. Winter is plugging along chronologically speaking but refuses to really blossom. After missing nearly a month of contests because of lack of snow, we are going to start having problems with event coordination and timing.
Now it’s time to meet up with some US riders I met 4 or so years ago. Two have started their own snowboard brand in California and are headed to the ISPO sports exhibition, following 3 days boarding in Alta Badia Italy. Italy has been getting absolutely hammered with snow for over a month now and is heaven on earth, at the moment. We had fantastic bluebird weather on Wednesday day 1. Much of the terrain was still untracked during our few easy runs to warm up. We met up with Arianna and Andrea. Those two, sick freeriders took us to some fantastic super steep tree gully runs off of the Boé Gondola. At the end of the day we finished off with a 1m cornice drop into a short field above trees and several “last” runs under the chairlift which was like a little natural park.
I got news that Kappl was postponed making my arrangements and travel a whole lot easier. Day 2 was really flat light and very sticky snow. We rode with another friend and FWQ skier Stefan Glira, who is also a local there. The runs were easy-going and we were able to discover the impressive Arabba area. The Americans opted to head back to the apartment while Stefan and I joined up with Arianna, Andrea and some of the other local boarders on the mountain. We headed over towards Pordoi and hiked a short peak off the top of a lift where we found some sweet turns in untracked, north-facing snow. The fog and clouds were lifting every now and then allowing for some better visibility. We went back to Arabba for a few more runs before hitting treelines. The snow was still pretty fluffy. A great finish to a exhausting boarding day. Friday, the last day riding Alta Badia, started with pretty much thick pea soup style fog. There was no chance to ride til around noon when Stef and I met up for a 2 hour first tracks power-powder session. What pure joy that was! We rode as many fluffy lines through the trees as we could in the short time we had. The snow was so sweet that it invited to attempting a few small jumps and drops. The last run of the day was a mini-baby 3 jump pillow line. Needless to say I did my victory dance after landing actually landing it! 😀
On Saturday, the Americans left to set up the ISPO booth and I left for Misurina for the Tre Cime Freeride Contest put on by some fellow riders I met in 2011.
Alta Badia is definitely a spot I will want to try to get back to explore a little more. I’m hoping that my upcoming new-found freedom will enable that soon again.