So here is a little photo journal of my travels from Austria to Sweden to New Zealand on the way here to Canada to keep you entertained. Oldest to newest and captions to explain them, enjoy!
The NZ premier of 'For a Few Lines More', surrounded by my friends and the NZ freeski scene, like my good buddy and one of the filmers for this movie by my side Pete Oswald. Big ups to Fischer Skis New Zealand for the 2 pairs of skis that we gave away, Winnie Bagoes Ferrymead for donating a keg, Licence to Chill for the publicity and donating all ticketing proceeds to charity and Snowride Sports for mounting the winners skis, and mine!
Touring in the Whistler backcountry, my hair turned Chameleon, thanks for the pic Matt Francisty and thanks for the sweet new coat Surfanic
This was the last comp of the season, and damn I had fun. The level was super high and I want to give huge props to Felix Wiemers and Mickael Bijasson for sending their sick 3's and backflips in search of the win they needed, they both deserve to be on the World Tour and I've got no doubt they will make it there in the future. Same goes for Greg Tuscher who threw down an amazing run in Snowbird, Utah the next day, crushingly taking 3rd when he needed a top 2. Only 65 points out of 3300 separates the 4th, 5th and 6th Europeans when the top 4 make the tour next year- it's been an incredible comp season to be involved in. Much love to those that have supported me this season, from family to fellow competitors, and the competition organizers who do it out of love for this amazing sport, people like Jaffi Jaffar for making such a sweet comp happen in Romania! Here are a couple of pics of the country and the venue, as well as the helmet cam of my run.
Turns out Romania is part of the European Union- but still use their traditional currency the 'lei' (pronounced 'lay').
I don't know why this guy was coming out of the petrol station
Old school gondola up that apparently is a discard from Austria. Photo by Gergo Szkalak.
The 'resort' from above. The gondola goes from the valley floor to here, there are no lifts just huts to stay in and a full hotel made of ice. Epic hiking though, and the flat structure in the foreground-ish is a tunnel that goes through to the other side of the mountain.
Pete taking pictures of the ice stalgamites in the tunnel through the mountain. Photo by Gergo Szkalak.
Me and my original freeride friend Pete Oswald at the top of the hike, welcome back to Europe buddy! And way to send a massive backflip in your first comp in 2 years
The venue with my line marked, I managed a backflip off the 2nd air and a 360 of the 3rd one which is a big step forward in freestyle for an old schooler like me! You can check out the helmet cam of it below.
Pete throwing a big backie in his first comp in ages! We both hit the same cliff to do this and I originally thought this pic was of me and tagged it so on facebook, sorry dude. We both backslapped our landing and didn't make top 10 but definitely enjoyed it. Photo by Solo Radu.
Head judge Dion Newport couldn't believe how many backflips he was seeing. Photo by Dragos Dumitru.
There don't seem to be many photos of the prizegiving or afterparty on facebook, which may be due to any drink costing about €1, or that the photos that were taken may not be fit for public consumption. Big ups to my Australian buddy Hanna Fisher though who won and qualified for the World Tour next year, as well as Amber Schuecker who won snowboard women (also Australian) to tie up the overall points for first. I was proud of my Swedish buddy Sara Hultman too for taking her first podium at a 3* FWQ comp with 2nd behind Amber, my Fischer teamate Sabine Schipflinger for podiuming the ladies skiing, and pretty much everyone else there for being instant friends and party animals. I love this sport.
Romanian roads weren't as good as this, I'm glad we drove that part during the day
I'm not sure if I was equally as stoked on the 15 hour drive back to Austria the next day though, Romanian roads aren't all they are cracked up to be, or are, or whatever. I had to negotiate in Romanian to get the gondola down by myself too, which was difficult because I only know how to say 'beer', 'thanks' and 'cheers'. It ended up costing me 125 lei, but since that is only $40 NZD I let it go. At least we had this pretty sunset to look at as we crossed Hungary, and I got a history lesson about how Austria once ruled it (and half of Europe apparently) from Sebastian Fischer and Julian Theking- thanks so much for the ride guys, and Verena Fendl for the transfer home, part of the freeride family that I love to hang with. As stoked as I am on that, and the amazing season I've had, I'm excited about summer in Sweden with the beautiful Tove Kockum after 12 consecutive winters. I'm going to be so psyched for winter and my second season on the Freeride World Tour by the time winter rolls around next year! Time to head 'home' to Åre for closing week, then find some sweet Euro job. Anyone want to employ an Natural Resource Engineer for 7 months?
The Fischer team shoot just went down in Austria last week at Weißsee Gletscherwelt, a little family resort where no-one skis off piste. That was lucky for us because it snowed a lot! Here are a few screen shots from the filming we did, looking forward to the edit that downdays.eu is editing up. Click the pics to see a full size version!
Tight trees, worth the wiggling
When it hits your lips
Is it flat? Should I do it anyway? Does Neil stomp it? Gonna have to wait for the edit