Stephanie Jagl-Posch

riding and other stuff.


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i’d rather surf – in fuerteventura.

on the 4th of september, we had an early start into the day at 3am. while it was dark, we drove to the airport to catch our flights, first to madrid and then to fuerteventura. the target of our trip was corralejo, a small town in the north of the island, well-known as a place for vacations in a never ending summer. the temperatures hardly ever drop below 20 degrees and it only rains on about 20 days a year. this is also the reason why there’s only a minimal amount of plantation, making a big part of the island look like the sahara or how one would imagine the surface of the moon.

i had wanted to go to fuerteventura even before i started surfing, so when i got the invitation to come visit the planet surf camp on the island, i didn’t need to think about it for long. for sure i was going!
and there we were, rolling our hand luggage towards the gate at the airport. we both had managed to fit a long, thick wetsuit as well as booties and the most necessary clothing into small suitcases, so we were able to save a bit of money for the flight.
after two flights, we safely arrived at the airport in fuerteventura and caught the bus number 3 to puerto del rosario. there, we changed buses at the estacion del guaguas (terminal autobus station) and went to corralejo with bus number 6.
we didn’t know the right station to get off the bus, so we had to walk about one kilometer to the surfcamp, but arrived happily in the end.

Foto 1

a part of the outdoor area at the surf house.

at the surfcamp, we were greeted by Nina, one of the teamers at that time. she gave us all the info we needed about the camp and our room.
next, we went to check out the town and get something to eat and then hung out at the house for the rest of the day.

Foto 5

time to load up all the boards onto the vans!

on the next day, we had our first surf session at el cotillo, which is a long beach break. we joined the beginner group, so surf instructor olly could check our surf level. we luckily made it into the intermediate course for the next week, horray!

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surfing at el cotillo.

we spent the weekend surfing in el cotillo on our own. planet surf allows you to borrow surfboards which are not used by courses on the current day for free, which is a good opportunity to get more sessions in, especially on the weekends where the surf instructors have their well-deserved days off.

Foto 4

live the search ;)

during the next week, we had a surf session each day with instructor marco from italy and were able to check out different spots. on our last day, the waves were not good during our session in the morning, so olly thankfully squeezed us into another surf session in the afternoon so we could catch some waves before leaving.
besides surfing, we also went on a lot of walks into the town and we even hiked up the big volcano behind corralejo once.

vulkan

hiking to the top of the volcano.

if you want to go to fuerteventura to surf, i have some recommendations for you:

  • find out at home what bus lines you might need to reach your desired spots. there are no line numbers to be found at the bus stations.
  • you are allowed to put surfboards into the baggage compartment of the buses, just make sure they don’t get damaged. if you give the bus driver a friendly wave after taking the surfboards out, he might even greet you goodbye with a honk. don’t be sad, only the little town train gets two honks! ;)
  • get your hands on a surf spot map. it should be available at the surf shops in town and includes info about the best conditions to ride at each spot as well as a tide timetable.
  • if you want to rent a car for surfing in corralejo, go to autos hernandez. the other companies don’t rent to surfers. the best idea might be to check where you can rent a car for surfing before starting your trip and maybe rent a car at the airport already.
  • to get to el cotillo: if you go by car, you can keep driving until you reach the last part of the beach with a long, steep stairset leading down from the parking lot.
  • if you go by bus (number 8 from the roundabout on the main street of corralejo), you can get off the bus at the first station directly after entering the town. it’s a 25 minute walk from there to the beach.
  • in case you want to spend a day just hanging out at the beach, you can walk to flag beach from corralejo, it will take you about half an hour and the sand beach there is a lot nicer than the rocky town beach. you will be able to see this beach when going to corralejo from the airport, it is next to the two big hotel buildings standing on their own shortly before corralejo.

some tips for vegans:

  • it might be good to know that there are hardly any savoury plant-based spreads available in corralejo. the spar in the big shopping center on the main street carries hummus, in hiperdinos you can get peanut butter chocolate spread and one vegan margarine. there’s a big variety of fruits and veggies available and some exotic fruits are even grown locally on the canaries like bananas and mangos. you should absolutely try those!
  • we found plenty of plant based milks in the supermarkets, even vegan yoghurt.
  • the best places to eat out were single fin (creative burgers, run by two friends from italy, with surfmovies being played on a screen outside the bar) and big wave (an italian restaurant with a huge variety of vegan toppings and nice waiters).
  • aside from single fin and big wave, you might be able to get vegan options at the mexican restaurant as well as the indian restaurants.

 

-> http://www.planetsurfcamps.com/

pic by mia* maria-knoll.com


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freeride contests in the upcoming season 2014/2015

pic by mia* maria-knoll.com

pic by mia* maria-knoll.com

both the Freeride World Tour and Open Faces (the organizers of the austrian series of Freeride World Qualifier events) have announced the contest dates for the upcoming winter season, which gets me rather excited.

this season, i plan to enter as many Freeride World Qualifier contests as possible to work on my riding and to be able to collect more points.
a new 1* tourstop location has been added to the Open Faces series – a contest will take place on the 24th of january at the hochkar in lower austria, which is one of my home mountains. this is a great opportunity for me to ride in a well-known surrounding and – at least once – have family and friends there to support me!

08.01.2015 – Axamer Lizum OPEN by OPEN FACES
10.01.2015 – 3***OPEN FACES AXAMER LIZUM
17.01.2015 – 2**OPEN FACES KAPPL-PAZNAUN
18.01.2015 – 2**OPEN FACES Freeride JUNIORS KAPPL-PAZNAUN
24.01.2015 – 1*OPEN FACES HOCHKAR
07.02.2015 – 2**OPEN FACES Freeride JUNIORS HOCHKÖNIG
01.03.2015 – 1*OPEN FACES UTTENDORF-WEISSEE
07.03.2015 – 3***OPEN FACES SILVRETTA MONTAFON
21.03.2015 – 4****OPEN FACES OBERGURGL-HOCHGURGL


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surfing france 2014.

so, the last week roman and i spent our days at the west coast of france, in longeville-sur-mer in the vendee region. we were lucky to find a place at a camping site, since it’s currently high season there. and we were even more lucky to not get a spot at the first two campsites we tried to get into – they turned out to be all inclusive style entertainment freakshows… lots of swimming pools with slides, activities around the clock for everyone, loud live music and disco dancing… nope. not our thing.
our campsite had oooold sanitary buildings which were not so nice (never was able to have a HOT shower there in one week ;)) but the site itself was pretty. it was located in the woods, a 20 minute walk from the beach, rather quiet and not stuffed with people.

except for one day, we had surfable waves daily. i’m not too content with my surfing during that week, but on the other hand i’m not too concerned about it either. i’m sure i have learned something and was able to better my technique, even if it didn’t show that much. we’re at a level now (i’d maybe call it intermediate beginners) where the learning curve isn’t as steep anymore, so i guess the progress might be visible during our next surfing trip at the beginning of september, where we will have a surf guide again.

other than that, our mood got better the longer we were there.
now i’m already looking forward to the trip to fuerte ventura in september!

 

here are some pics:

we set up our home nicely.
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.

we had brought our surfboard for riversurfing, which is rather short. we ended up buying a longer surfboard (better for beginners and also better for smaller waves), so we could surf together.
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.

friends from austria came for a visit. i want that campervan, it’s so awesome!
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.

i built up a nice surfer-tan (from wearing the long wetsuit).
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.

the nice walk to the beach.
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.

all pics here.


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wakesurfing on the danube – DANUBESURFER

i recently took part in an online competition where the grand prize was a year long full membership at the DANUBESURFER homebase in vienna and one free ride behind the wakesurf boat. somehow i was lucky and won the competition.

on the 13th of july, i visited the DANUBESURFER homebase to claim my prize.

danubesurfer

wakesurfing on the danube - danubesurfer

the weather was great, so were our moods and wakesurfing was awesome once again!
-> here’s a report about that!

the DANUBESURFER crew has set up a really nice place to hang out and relax near the danube for all the wakesurfers, so visit the DANUBESURFER homebase near the marina in vienna (U2 Donaumarina for the public transport crew, and there are also enough parking lots nearby if you need to come by car) and check the waves there!


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enormous edelgriess experience and a word on fear of heights and anxiety issues.

Foto 3-2
where does the trail end?

 

this is the report of our last adventure in this winter season. looking back at the season, i’m really happy that we took the risks involved to spend 3 months in the snow, although austria hasn’t seen a winter with such little snow (well, except for carinthia and east tyrol) in the last decades. we had to accept the circumstances and made the most of it, resulting in a lot of great experiences in return.

would i do it again? yes, i absolutely would!
i have learned so much this season, both riding-wise and for life (although i didn’t reach enlightenment :P). i know that being surrounded by nature is very important to me, and what’s a better way to spend time outdoors than to shred down a mountain that you’ve just hiked up? this season has left me very calm and satisfied. and for that (and so much more), i’m grateful.

i want to thank my sponsor PIEPS and also powderguide.com for supporting me!

now enough with the nostalgic babbling and onto the report of our last adventure!

 

enourmous edelgriess experience.

on the 27th of march, it was time for us to give one of the legendary, classical freeride routes of austria, the edelgriess descent from the dachstein glacier, a shot.

after riding up with the gondola, the first difficulty is the 20 meter long climb up over ladders and stemples. then you reach the rosmarie-stollen, a tunnel which enables you to get to the other side of the mountain without climbing over the top (although there is a via ferrata over the ridge as well). there you can catch your breath (maybe even take a break on the small bench after the tunnel with a breathtaking view) before you begin traversing a steep slope to the edelgriess glacier. most of the traverse is easy to walk, there are some difficult sections nonetheless and you shouldn’t slip and fall in general, because underneath the path is a rock fall.

when you have mastered the traverse, you stand atop the edelgriess glacier and the 1600 meters in vertical height of descent.

we had soft, slushy snow in the top part of the slope, a little bit of powder in the middle section and then hard-crusted, difficult to ride snowpack in the last part. it wasn’t actually THAT breathtaking to ride, but it was a lot of fun! it’s always great to have such a long descent, feeling far away from civilisation (which you actually aren’t, also there are usually plenty of people riding the edelgriess to. when we rode it, there were only 3 other people. when we were at the parking lot again, we saw about 7 people walking across the traverse, so we were kinda lucky).

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climbing the ladder.

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rosmarie-stollen and the view at the end of it.

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the traverse.

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starting the ride down edelgriess (to the left).

Bildschirmfoto 2014-03-27 um 16.15.55 Bildschirmfoto 2014-03-27 um 16.19.20 Bildschirmfoto 2014-03-27 um 16.21.12
we happily succeeded.

 

a word on fear of heights and anxiety issues.

what made this adventure so special, is my fear of heights (or more precise: fear of falling). i want to talk about this issue a bit now, because i feel that it’s still a taboo and that’s a problem, because it makes people with anxiety issues feel like they’re out of the norm, or not as capable (read: good) as others. so, i will try to talk about my issues openly, to show others that you can improve and achieve things you once thought were impossible.

i get scared on a lot of occasions, be it steep traverses when hiking with the splitboard, climbing parts, exposed sections… i guess, many people who are scared of heights would just not bother to try stuff like that, which is understandable to me on one hand. on the other hand, there’s my hunger for challenge, for learning and getting better. i don’t want to be limited by my fear.
and of course there are many great descents that are only reachable with a bit of climbing involved. and i want to ride those!

the funny thing is, that i’m not scared when i’ve got my board strapped onto my feet. i’ve mastered steep slopes or very steep parts of faces without being bothered much. of course, i also feel slightly nervous, but in those situations, my nervousness only helps me to stay focussed, it doesn’t make my palms damp, it doesn’t make me shiver and i don’t panic. without my board, nervousness turns into panic quickly, which makes it hard to plan smart moves.

i enjoy bouldering, rock climbing and via ferratas, which are all activities where i have to go out of my comfort zone at least now and then to get better. during this winter season, i have slowly worked my way up. by the end of the season, my confidence was big enough to give the 20 meter ladder and the traverse a shot. yes, i did use my via ferrata set to belay myself. yes, it took me quite a long time to reach the target. yes, i was scared sometimes and had moments where i felt that i wouldn’t be able to reach the target. but i still made it! do i still seek improvement? yes. maybe sometime in the future i will be able to climb up a 20 meter ladder without getting scared. but at the same time, i’m proud of myself for overcoming my fear. and i wish to encourage others, that overcoming fears and obstacles in ones life is possible. no matter, if it’s a fear of heights or anxiety when you’re on the bus.

sometimes you might need professional help, sometimes a friends help will be enough, sometimes you will be able to help yourself. the most important factor is a positive attitude towards your own capabilities. and if you can’t yet honestly feel that way, fake it till you make it.
others might be doing better, but you can be successful in your own zone and that’s a huge step forward!


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obertauern freeride #2.

on wednesday, we once more enjoyed the great freeriding possibilities in obertauern. after one ride at zehnerkar, we were joined again by our dear friend k. and together we rode zehnerkar two more times. the top entry surprisingly offered a lot of snow, much more than the last time we were there. the middle section before you need to choose your descent route was awesomely powdery as well and the bottom parts were full of tracks, as expected.

shortly before 1 pm, we went up to the seekareck with the chairlift, hiked up to the summit and then started the ride down to the gnadenalm. we had great conditions in the upper part and then fought our way back down to the street ;)

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r. and k. hiking up the ridge to the summit of seekareck.

we took the bus back up to obertauern and roman managed to forget his backpack in the bus. while he chased the bus, k. and myself had a great time at the spotival, where 2 bands played a live gig.
after about an hour, roman was able to get his rucksack back and joined us for another radler and some celebration.

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someone was very thankful to have his pack back.

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live gig by the reggaeband sysiphos.

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