Stephanie Jagl-Posch

riding and other stuff.


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Winter 2016/2017 in review

this winter imposed a special challenge onto me. i will try to make a long story short.

in september, my husband and shredbuddy Roman tore the patella ligament in his right knee while stepping out of our camper in France. we were lucky that the campsite was situated closely to a hospital specialized in chirurgical surgery, where Roman could undergo surgery the day after his accident. thanks to the professional care in this hospital, we were able to leave France and head home two days after the accident, which was only possible because our camper has enough space to prop up ones leg while still being correctly belted.
of course, i was the designated driver for all those kilometers home, which was strenuous, but i was just so happy about the possibility of getting closer to home and our families that i pushed on until we reached Austria 2 days later.

although the healing process had been going very well, Roman was not ready to hit the mountains again. thankfully, Roman is not the only person that i knew would like my company during a splitboard tour or freeriding, but it makes things a bit more complicated if your planning efforts aren’t just like “tour?” “yep” (of course we do plan all our off-piste endeavours much more in detail, i’m only cutting a corner for the sake of an entertaining story).

the second special thing about this winter were the temperatures and the ost-stau. most of the time, we have nord-stau in Austria, meaning that regions from Dachstein on west-ward will get a lot of snow on their northern side, and that Lower Austria (where i’m situated) won’t get as much snow.
i’m very grateful that the weather decided to flow over to us from Russia, bringing us snowfall and temperatures of about -15 degrees celsius for quite some weeks in january.
the snow was meant to stay this time! ūüôā

this allowed for lots of splitboard and snowboard trips in the eastern alps. i really enjoyed spending time with friends in the mountains, increasing the number in my shred counter.

i also took part in two contests this winter, the FWQ* Hochkar and the FWQ** Gastein. i was planning on entering the FWQ** Goldeck and the FWQ*** X Over Kitzsteinhorn, but sadly due to lacking snowpack, Goldeck got cancelled and i couldn’t collect enough points to make it into the FWQ***.

i was able to take home the 2nd place at the FWQ* Hochkar and landed on the 5th place at the FWQ** Gastein. my focus this year was on selecting a line during the facecheck, imagining how it will look like from above and then finding the line as well as incorporating a few jumps.
it might sound like an easy task to ride down a hill, but in a contest it’s really something different. you will have to take the conditions as they are, keep your senses together even tough you’re nervous, look out for landmarks where you have to turn right for example, keep up your speed, watch your riding style and on top of that, throw in some jumps, ideally with tricks.

while i was happy with both my contestruns, i know i could have stepped it up speedwise in Gastein. i got a lot better at remembering my line, setting myself up for jumps and landing them safely, next i want to work on improving my speed.

still, miracoulosly, my ranking in the Austrian Freeride Series this season is better than ever (i placed 6th). i have to say that this fact helps me keep my motivation. i wanted to quit contest riding after the last season, but this season it was a perfect way of collecting experiences for me and i have enjoyed it a lot more than last season.

we have had temperatures above 20 degrees on some days now, it felt nearly like summer already, but last week we had an unusual amount of snowfall in the eastern alps…
we’ll see if the season is really over for me now or if we might be able to smuggle in one more day of riding/touring in this prolonged winter.

thanks to all the friends that i was lucky enough to ride with, to the Open Faces crew for organizing these amazing contests and to my sponsors PIEPS and Julbo Eyewear for supporting me!

 
—- UPDATE —-

i was hoping to squeeze in maybe one last winter adventure for the season in may, but had a bit of bad luck and broke my middle finger at the beginning of our holiday in may. this meant that i could focus on bettering my stamina with lots of walking, running and hiking, but no splitboarding adventures, no climbing, no sauna…
my finger has nearly healed completely in the mean time and i can’t wait to put it to good use soon again ūüėČ

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Contests – A walk on a thin line between fun and frustration.

i had big plans for this season. i wanted to work my way up in the Austrian Freeride Ranking. i wished to show my best riding in the contests of the season and hoped for great moments. i aimed to become a better rider and collect lots of experience. i signed up for more contests than in the last two years to be able to accomplish these dreams.

so how is the season coming along so far? well, it’s not looking too¬†promising, honestly.
i have competed in four contests up until now, the FWQ* Hochkönig (replacement for the cancelled contest due to fog on the Hochkar Рread my article on powderguide.com about that: http://www.powderguide.com/magazin/events/fwt/artikel/1-fwq-open-faces-hochkar-musste-leider-abgesagt-werden.html), the FWQ** Kappl (article on PG), the Pitztal Wildface (a race on time, counting as FWQ**) and the FWQ*** Silvretta Montafon.

while i had the chance to get to know other riders and new resorts, i wasn’t really successful in any of the contests. granted, i got better results pointwise than in the contests before this season, but i never made it into the top half of the results.
it’s hard to acknowledge these results as a sign of progression, so i started to get a little¬†frustrated.

adding to the negative feelings were¬†the bad conditions we face this winter in Austria. they aren’t so bad you can’t get in some great days in the mountains, in fact, i’ve had a wonderful vacation in January, a great powder day in Zauchensee with newly found friends Claudia Klobasa and Michael Holzmeier, a wonderful splitboard touring day on the G√∂ller in Lower Austria, as well as our annual descent from the Kitzsteinhorn to Niedernsill, but it’s just not good enough for me to be able to have funny snow days in between contests. as you may know, i work as a Web Developer in Vienna, which means that i can’t simply hike up a mountain before or after work without being completely knackered. most weekends were contest weekends.

göller, eisgrube. sunday funday! #splitboarding #pieps @julboeyewear @powderguide

Ein von steeephiii (@steeephiii) gepostetes Foto am 15. Feb 2015 um 5:54 Uhr

i tried to do my best, working out as much as possible and eating healthily, but due to all the travelling i have to do i hardly find time for recreational activities like for example my usual friday after work run in nature, which often helps me recharge my batteries.
i’m not complaining, because this is what i chose for myself to do, but it was simply a bit of an unlucky situation i¬†was in.

to top it off, i’m having more colds this winter than i had in probably the last five winters together. i wasn’t feeling well in 2 out of 3 contests. how am i gonna show my best when i’m not feeling my best?

 

thankfully, the pages started to turn a little before the last contest, the FWQ*** Silvretta Montafon.
first off, i seeked advice from more experienced riders (thanks for your input, Manu!) and noticed that i had put too much pressure on myself and that i was eliminating the fun i usually have snowboarding this way.
secondly,¬†i was in a good mood during the contest and i was very proud of myself that i managed the hike (really, the last part of it was more of a climb) to the start gate. it was also my first 3-star competition ever and i was happy that i had made it onto the starting list. i had a good time and enjoyed chatting with people, especially¬†Caroline M√łlgaard Onarheim (check out the blog she and her friend Mikaela Hollsten run!), who’s doing a winter season at the Arlberg.

 

i still have 2 contests ahead of me, the FWQ** Big Mountain Goldeck and the FWQ*** X-Over Kitzsteinhorn.
i have no idea how the rest of the contest season will unfold for me, but i’ll keep on trying my best. the contest season will be over at the end of march, and i hope that we can score some nice days touring and freeriding out in the wild until the snow fades away.

 

some pics from the contests so far:

FWQ* Hochkoenig 2015
starting my run at Hochkönig

FWQ* Hochkoenig 2015
chatting with Holzi after our runs

FWQ* Hochkoenig 2015
somehow my head looks funny in this pic!

FWQ* Hochkoenig 2015
highfivin Janine Quaas

FWQ* Hochkoenig 2015
SB Women Podium Hochkönig

FWQ* Hochkoenig 2015
SB Women Podium Hochkönig

FWQ** Kappl Contestface
the Contest Face in Kappl

FWQ** Kappl
waiting in Kappl and dreaming about a hot sauna

FWQ** Kappl - Roman
Roman throwing down in Kappl

Pitztal Wildface Face Check - Hike to Mittagskogel
hiking up to the Mittagskogel for the face check at the Pitztal Wildface

Pitztal Wildface Face Check Crew
Pitztal Wildface face check Mittagskogel – we have survived ūüėČ

FWQ*** Silvretta Montafon
FWQ*** Silvretta Montafon – the climb up to the start
pic by skyhot