this past weekend, the FWQ*** X-Over Ride 2015 took place at the lovely Kitzsteinhorn in Salzburg.
i’ve always been a fan of the countryside of Salzburg, as i’ve been skiing and snowboarding there since i was a small kid. the country offers a beautiful mix of picturesque lakes, soft, green summits and harsh, rocky peaks. most of the people there are very friendly and usually address you with the informal “Du”, as if you were friends, which is not the case in the east of Austria, where foreigners are approached with the polite, but also distant “Sie”.
it’s the perfect place for holidays, no matter the season.
i had visited the Kitzsteinhorn many times before (read about our first descent on the Niedernsill freeride route with the Freeride Experience here) and also competed there in 2013, when a FWQ* took place at the Geißstein (vis-à-vis of the Lakarschneid). i had a great time at that contest, riding powder on a blue bird day and taking 3rd place.
as soon as i knew i was on the starting list of the FWQ*** X-Over Ride 2015, i looked forward to riding the graceful face of the Lakarschneid for the first time.
we packed our bags on friday morning, then drove to Kaprun and took the gondola up to the public area underneath the competition face.
the weather was not too good, but we had the chance to get a first quick glimpse of the competition face.
it looked rather promising with a layer of fresh snow and hardly any tracks.
after a quick lap on the official ski routes we had to take the gondola down to the valley again, as the time window for accreditation was approaching fast. we quickly checked in at our accommodation (a’nette pension – my recommendation! they truly pampered us there with delicious vegan food!) and then headed back to the Baumbar in Kaprun to sign up for the contest and collect our bibs. Roman got number 24 and i was number 2.
pictures were taken of everyone to show them on the big screen in the public area before everyones run.
afterwards, we went back to the pension, had dinner (yummmm!) and then drove back to the Baumbar again for the riders meeting.
we received an update on the safety instructions, judging criteria, the hike to the start and the conditions in the face. basically, we got told the face was going to be pretty ace.
on saturday, we got up early, had a quick breakfast and then drove to the glacier gondola again. we did another face check and then started the traverse to the beginning of the hike.
sadly, as i had bib number 2, we were the first people to start the traverse and we didn’t really knew where to go exactly, so we traversed too low and had to do a 20 minute hike up to the proper start of the hike before the real hike already. dang! at least we were warmed up properly 🙂
from there on, all went well, we hiked through a wide couloir, then over a small rock, which was a bit tricky, but everyone helped each other getting over the rocky part. it was a nice feeling to experience this community vibe!
after about 30 minutes we reached the starting area.
i had only a few minutes left to breathe, calm down, take a sip of water, hectically ask Roman to hand me my goggle out of my already strapped on backpack and – “bib number 2, ready to drop in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” – off i went!
a great and rather unexpected asset of my personality is that i calm down rapidly as soon as i start doing something physically demanding. i can focus on the moment and concentrate on what i am doing and need to do right now and all other thoughts get muted. that’s also why i love sports so much – they clear my mind off all stuff that’s not so important in that very moment and puts things into perspective.
anyhow, my run was smooth, i should have gone faster, i should have done a jump in the lower part of the face, but still, i didn’t fall (a nice experience after setting my personal contest tumble record of 3 at the montafon contest) and so i felt good. it was a real pleasure to ride, the snow was pretty okay for me (it got slushier every minute), my mood was fine and so i arrived in the finish area happily.
i stayed in the finish area together with some of the other girls and we cheered for the riders who just finished their run. it was a nice, friendly atmosphere and i enjoyed being part of it.
i waited anxiously for Romans run and then witnessed how he also came down pretty smoothly, did some small drops and jumps and then arrived at the finish area satisfied.
we watched the whole contest and, although we used sunblock, got a fresh goggle tan.
the prize giving ceremony was very happy and delightful, congrats to all people who made it onto the podium and to the four new Austrian Freeride Series champs, Manuela Mandl (Snowboard), Jacoba Kriechmayr (Ski), Julian “Theking” Zenzmaier (Ski) and Thomas Feurstein (Snowboard)!
after the prize giving, Roman and i approached the snowboard head judge to find out our results – Roman came in 13th and i scored 5th place! very happy about these results! 🙂
finally a good result and a good ending for the contest season! i’m motivated for the rest of the winter season (hopefully some spring touring!) and already looking forward to the next competitions!
thanks to PIEPS and Julbo Eyewear for supporting me!
here’s a video of my run!
p.s.: you can help me win a surftrip to Portugal by voting for my video on mysession.tv – you can vote once a day! thank you!