Stephanie Jagl-Posch

riding and other stuff.


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an ode to the great outdoors.

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today i went on a little solo hiking mission on my beloved muckenkogel. the muckenkogel is a mellow mountain in lower austria, just a 30 minute drive from my home, which offers 4 different routes to the summit from one starting point and a few more from other points in the valley. the muckenkogel is only a bit over 1200 meters high, still you will have to master 900 meters altitude difference when you start your hike in the valley. all these facts make the muckenkogel a perfect mountain for me to work on my endurance. other than that, it’s also really beautiful there, thus i want to sing an ode to the great outdoors (not odors… post-hike odors are not ode-worthy in my book).

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the summit of the muckenkogel in the upper middle of the picture.
hiking is not a badass activity. it’s not glamorous, neither is it very exciting. still, i get excited on a regular basis when i’m hiking and this emotional high is due to the wonderful feeling that being in nature gives me.
i love to take in the vibrant colors of the sky, the plants, the rocks, the animals. when i’m inside a coniferous forest and i inhale the wonderful smell of a warm forest floor covered by needles from the trees it feels like a short holiday for my brain. watching butterflies twirl around in the air delightens me. and discovering a lizard or a beautiful bird is natures version of a surprise egg to me.

these sensations, combined with the physical demand of walking uphill and downhill, make hiking one of my favourite past-time activities.

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waterfall number 1 of 5.

and just so you know: science has just proven that being inside a forest is beneficial for our health (which we had already assumed before, hadn’t we? ;)). it reduces stress and the terpenes that plants emission to communicate with each other increase the power of our immune system.

we should all go for as much hikes as possible!

 

 

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found a broken glass bottle in the forest and picked up the shattered pieces.
please don’t leave glass in the woods, it can cause a fire!

 

 

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(the great odors)

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going steep

on monday, i took the day off work to have the chance for some spring splitboarding and new experiences.

we went down south across lower austria to reach the border of styria and parked our car near the small town of niederalpl. no one else was around, and we took off to a lonely tour up the rodel, a wellknown skitouring route, often-times flooded with people.

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the normal route leads over a small ladder and then up to the veitsch, but we turned right before that ladder to reach the bottom of the east facing walls of the großer wildkamm, as we had a different mission in mind.

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we changed from splitboard to crampons, mounted the boards on our packs, put our helmets on and then started the hike up the wide couloir.

i have participated in a course on how to use crampons and ice axe correctly (rock and the ice camp by Die Bergstation), but so far had never used my crampons during a real tour.

i had quite some respect mixed with a slight feeling of fear when we approached the start of the hike, but i immediately noticed again how well crampons hold onto a hard, slightly icy surface. roman went first and broke the trail for me. i was very thankful for that, this way, i didn’t have to focus on much else than following his steps and maybe looking up from time to time to avoid being hit by snow or rocks falling down. no need to scout the best line to climb, i knew i could trust him. this was a huge relief for me, because i can blend out my fear of heights better when i have something to stupidely focus on.

the steeper parts were actually easier to climb, because the footsteps are supported by more snow underneath and you can rest your legs a little. it gets tough to climb for about 45 minutes solely standing on your toes.

exhaustion kicked in when we were about half way up, but hearing that we had already made it to the upper half of the climb motivated me enough to keep pushing it.

we had to traverse to the right to get out of the couloir and i was nearly done with my nerves there. i was fueled by the thought that we’d be on top of the mountain in a few minutes and quickly made my way to the right.

when we reached the flatter part near the summit, i was overwhelmingly happy, surrounded by a feeling of safeness, thankfulness and pride. it was only a few steps more to the summit, so we left our equiment there for the last meters.

as we stood on the summit, i was so emotional i couldn’t prevent a few tears from running down.

we made an entry in the summit book (and found an old entry from the G and roman, “wos brauch i tirol” ;)) and then quickly went back to our little ski depot, where we took off the crampons, had a little bite to eat and something to drink and put our boards back into ride mode.

roman drew the first line and then i followed. the snow was perfect – not too hard anymore and not yet too soft and slow.

it was an awesome cruise down. i even tried a bit of McNab’s riding technique advice (great article, read it here), finishing one turn completely before starting the next one and it really made my turns more balanced and soft.

from the bottom of the couloir on, the snow was very warm already, making it a lot more exhausting to ride, but we had fun nonetheless. the last bit through the forest was a tad bit strenuous, but i still enjoyed it with every pore.

maybe this was our last splitboarding trip this year. maybe not. anyhow, it was a perfect day, crossing over the border of my comfort zone a bit and still feeling confident.

i’m very happy that i was able to achieve something i had never done before. it feels good to see signs of development and improvement.

thanks Roman for being my guide!Foto 1-1 Foto 2-1 Foto 3 Foto 4 Foto 5


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approaching my first winter season

as 2013 ends, i’m looking forward to big changes in 2014. Roman and i have given up our flat in vienna. we have already moved out – it was a lot of work (and foiled my plans to work out as much as possible), but it was worth it, knowing the reason for this decision – we will do our first winter season.

we have dreamed about spending more time in the mountains for the last years and finally we were brave enough to commit ourselves.
we will be situated at the tauplitz in styria for 3 months. we hope for lots of great experiences and wish to get to know more dedicated people to ride with. may there be lots of room for improvement in our skills and many emotions to share.

i enjoy writing about my adventures a lot and luckily have had the chance to have my articles published in different magazines. one of them is the website powderguide.com – after winning the mountain mastery contest in 2012, i stayed in contact with the magazine staff and this summer, the opportunity to contribute more to powderguide.com popped up. of course i agreed and have recently written a story about being a mountain addict, living in a big city in the flat land in the east of austria (in german, click here to read). i’m looking forward to continue reporting about my winter season and also writing about other things, like contests or events.

i plan to compete in a few freeride contests again and i hope that i will be able to come up with a video recap of my adventures by the end of the season.

(and in april, i will be back at the office to continue working as a web developer, in case anyone is wondering ;)).

wishing you all a wonderful winter! make sure to check back for updates!

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Eastern Alps Steepness: Schneeberg

on the 3rd of march, a small part of the “p.i.e. – powder in the east” group, guido, roman and myself, went to the schneeberg to ride one of the famous steep couloirs of the eastern alps. originally, we aimed for the “Breite Ries”, which is a wide couloir with a very steep entry (possible entries vary between 35° and 50°), but due to heavy winds the upper area was very hard and icy. we didn’t have ice axes with us, so we decided that it was wiser not to try our luck on this day.

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the “Breite Ries” is the biiiig bowl a bit right of the center of the picture.

 

but first things first. we started our ascent on a glouriously sunny day by using the chairlift (which saves about 1 hour of hiking up the slope) and then continued our way up on the fadenweg. somehow we missed the beginning of the hoyosgraben, but found another nice way up the mountain. the higher we got, the windier it got. when we reached the plateau, the wind was blowing heavily. we walked to the beginning of the “Breite Ries” and inspected the entry. another group of skiers also checked out the descent but decided to choose another way down.

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on our way up

 

we also turned away from the “Breite Ries” and continued our hike to the “Lahningries”. The “Lahning-Ries” is another steep face on the north-eastern side of the Schneeberg, with a slope angle of approximately 40°.
the snow there was not ideal, pretty hard mostly, but there where softer spots as well. the “Lahning-Ries” ends right next to the official slope, so we didn’t have to hike back, whereas the “Breite Ries” ends kinda in the middle of the mountain and if you’re not lucky, you will have to walk all the way back to your starting point.

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the “Lahning-Ries”

 

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a look back

 

although i was pretty tired already (maybe i shouldn’t do extensive workouts the day before hiking and riding :P), i made it down the steep face safely and was very happy afterwards.


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bmx fun in april

julia preuss visited vienna in april. i recorded this combo just for fun – next time i will position myself much closer to her and use a decent camera, i promise!

 

 

i decided to try my luck at wallrides. i found this easy one, as it’s not very steep, and thought that it would be perfect for the first tries.
watch out for the thunderstorm-y sky!

 

 

roman and me went on a little daytrip to linz, where we met up with michel who sold me some used bike parts.
of course we met up at a skatepark, a very nice one, might i add! skatepark linz-urfahr, featuring “the boobie”

 

 

at the moment, i’m re-assembling my bike, adding all the new bike parts i purchased (wheels, fork, bars, sprocket), i also repainted the bars because i didn’t really like the black and purple the odyssey lumberjack came in. blue is my favourite color 🙂

let’s hope that my bike will be ready tonight and that the weather will be cooperative and allow me to try out my new setup!


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hike2ride hochkar, 13.03.2011

on sunday, we decided that we would try to find decent snow somewhere near our home.
since we knew that the conditions were pretty bad in the semmering region, we thought that our only option would be to drive to the west and try our luck at the hochkar.

when we arrived, we were sceptical if that was a good idea – down in the valley everything was green (well, brown) already. i was already pretty bummed, but we still wanted to see for ourselves if there was enough snow for a small tour or not.
so we went up to the top of the leckerplan chairlift and checked out the schmalzmauer from there… it looked pretty okay, so we repacked our stuff and started to hike.

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hiking…

we hiked along the ridge, where we were able to enjoy wonderful views of the mountains surrounding the hochkar. as if this had not been enough, when we arrived at the peak and started our descend, we noticed that there was still enough snow and that it was not hard or icy at all, it was rather soft 🙂

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guido.

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roman.

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guido and roman.

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proof that i was there too 😉

it was a great feeling to hike up a mountain and ride down again – nothing beats this. it always feels like having accomplished something big.
i’m really thankful that we have such great landscapes in austria, within the range of a short drive by car.

this might have been the last freeriding adventure this season 😦
a great goodbye to a great winter!


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freeride experience zell am see, 03.03.2011 – 06.03.2011

on thursday, the 3rd of march 2011, we drove to zell am see in salzburg to attend a freeride experience weekend there.
we arrived in the afternoon, checked into our room in thumersbach (right across the zeller lake) and then visited zell am see. we went to see the la resistance shop and randomly ran into sepp, who we know from wakeboarding, there. he spent his winter season in zell am see and works at the la resistance shop. we chatted for a while and then left to get something to eat.
afterwards, at 8pm, we met up with the other group members in the lohninghof, right next to our hotel room.
we were quite suprised at how big the group was. the guides bengt and gerry went from table to table to talk to everyone and see if anyone was missing. they also told us about the plans for the next days and when we would start on friday.

so, friday, 8:30 am it was. we met up in front of the lohninghof, jumped into the vw busses that were our taxis and went to a sports shop in zell am see. the skiers received their rental equipment there, aswell as avalanche beacons, shovels and probes.
at about 10 am we arrived in saalbach hinterglemm. the sun was shining and everyone was looking forward to the first day of freeriding. we got split into 3 groups with 7 to 8 people. our guide was gerry.
we started with some runs next to the slopes to warm up.
afterwards, we hiked up to the peak next to the chairlift. this took us about 30 minutes, then we had a short break at the peak. we proceeded to ride down from the peak.
next up was another short hike. this time, we didn’t hike up to a peak, we just crossed over for a bit and then did an awesome run down to lengau.
the snow was a bit wet and heavy, but still it was way better than expected!
when we arrived down in the valley, we had to push out to the next village for about 5 kilometers. we were all pretty exhausted after that, so we decided to take it slow and have a drink and something to eat.
after that, we went back to zell am see (thumersbach). in the evening, we met up in the lohninghof for dinner. i had wonderful spinach dumplings… nomnomnom!

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first lines. well, OUR first lines 😉 everything was rather tracked already!


saturday
, 8:30 am. we met up in front of the lohninghof and went to the kitzsteinhorn.
i was expecting to find a bit more fresh powder there, i have to admit. i was a bit sad to see that all the freeride routes (they have 5 which are avalanche safe) already had been ridden a lot.
but no need to worry! gerry knew where we had to go to find fresh pow. we hiked a bit and then – booooom – there it was! a wonderful ride down from the kitzsteinhorn to niedernsill, lots of untracked, cold snow… it couldn’t have been any better!

freeride experience 2011

freeride experience 2011
beautiful!

on sunday, we went to saalbach-hinterglemm again.
we went up with the zwöflerkogel gondola again. then we also took the seekar t-bar to the top, just like on friday.
this time though, we didn’t just hike a short bit, we hiked about an hour to reach another peak. the skiers put on their skins, roman and me simply walked (without snowshoes, there was no real need for them).
we were lucky and found a bit of powder on our run down to lengau again.

freeride experience 2011
hiking.

all in all, it was a great experience. we didn’t expect to find any powder at all, due to the enormous lack of snow this winter, but thanks to our guide the 3 days went totally different than we had feared 😉

more pictures can be found here
a video is still in the works!

-> http://www.la-resistance.at/
-> http://www.freeride-experience.at/