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! 🙂

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 😉

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fwq*** x over kitzsteinhorn 2016

on the 18th of march, we packed our gear into our camper and headed west to kaprun. at half past six we dropped into the baumbar to sign up for the fwq*** x over at the kitzsteinhorn.
we ran into many familiar faces and it was really nice to see everybody again. after the cancellation of the fwq** in kappl due to high avalanche risk the fwq*** x over was the first contest of the season for us.

roman still was on the waiting list for the contest at the time and we both hoped that he would be able to make it onto the starting list. it looked bad at first, but then a phonecall brought the change – one of the riders on the starting list wasn’t able to come, so roman was given a starting place and a bib number. he was going to drop in as number 46, whereas i had gotten number 16.
needless to say, we both were very cheerful.

we left the bar shortly after and quickly hit up a supermarket to shop for much needed alimentation.
then we found a good parking spot for our camper and called it a day, after discussing our lines for the contest.

after a night with only a bit of sleep we met up with the others at the gondola at 7am. the sun was already shining when we arrived at the public area to check out the contest face.
the start of the contest was postponed for a few minutes at the riders meeting to allow the crusty surface soften up a bit in the sun.

X OVER 16 - a group of freeriders perfoming a face check from the judges table. Pic by Daniel Roos.

perfoming the face check from the judges table. Pic by Daniel Roos.

shortly after the face check, we took the second gletscherjet gondola up to the alpine center and started our traverse and hike up to the start of the contest.
i really enjoyed the hike a lot – i didn’t have a lot of chances this winter to hike / bootpack or go on a splitboard tour, so it was a very welcome change for me to finally be able to move upwards powered by my two legs.

 

 

X OVER 16 - pic of Stephanie Jagl-Posch during the hike up to the start. Pic by Freezing Motions.

during the hike up to the start. Pic by Freezing Motions.

 

X OVER 16 - on the hike up.

on the hike up.

the tension rose while we waited for our turns at the start. somehow i felt a bit more nervous than usually. i watched rider after rider drop in and swoosh away through the soft-looking powder and my urge to cruise down the face got bigger every minute.

X OVER 16 - the view from above - looking pretty good!

the view from above – conditions looking pretty good!

then it was my turn! i strapped in, nearly got a cramp in my left leg, and then it was time to ride! i rode the upper part pretty quickly, jumping over two bumps. i tried to find my way into the couloir i had chosen, but got a bit lost and then had to traverse a bit to get to the right entrance.
i was rather happy with my riding in the steeper bottom part of the face. i had two hand drags, but nothing serious.
when i crossed the finish line, i was stoked and a bit exhausted, due to the cold i was suffering from at that time.

i exchanged experiences with the other riders who were waiting in the finish area for the other women and then moved to the viewer area.

a short time afterwards the results of the snowboard women category was shown on the big screen. i have to admit i was a bit bummed to find out that i had gotten second to last.
i didn’t understand the result at first, as i hadn’t crashed and felt pretty good about my run.
when we talked to the snowboard head judge after the contest, he filled me in that the cause for my bad placement had been the traversing i did in the middle section.
well, too bad. it still was a very enjoyable ride!

about an hour after my run, it was time for roman to drop in. he rode smoothly and safe, which secured him the 6th place in the end.
we continued to watch the whole contest and were able to witness some spectacular and inspiring runs, as well as getting our goggle tan on 😉

we went to eat lunch after the end of the contest and then came back for the prize giving ceremony.

X OVER 2016 - pic of the girls who made it onto the podium. Pic by Freezing Motions.

congrats to the girls who made it onto the podium: Manuela Mandl won snowboard women, Chevy Challis came in second, Mara Neumayr scored third; Stefanie Noppinger won the ski women category, Verena Fendl came in second and – not on the picture – Tijn Vuijk came in third. Pic by Freezing Motions.

after the prize giving, khantu suggested that we should put the rest of our day pass to use and go ride.
this was nearly the best part of the day – we hiked up to the womens start of the fwq* contest from 2014, everyone picked a point to drop in and then we were able to carve turns into an untouched field.
the view was nice up there, our mood was fine and we indulged in the few slushy powder turns we were able to make.

here are some pics to show you what i mean 😀

can't buy happiness, but can hike up to ride an untracked field.

can’t buy happiness, but can hike up to ride an untracked field.

 

hiking and riding after the contest.

hiking and riding after the contest.

 

roman cheering, khantu strapping in.

roman cheering, khantu strapping in.

 

khantu riding the untracked field.

khantu riding the untracked field.

 

roman turning a lot more than usually.

roman turning a lot more than usually.

 

with this good feeling we left the kitzsteinhorn, checked into a camping site with sauna and then fell into our bed where we slept like babies.

 

gotta keep the burli clean!

at home: gotta keep the burli clean!


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kicking off the winter season

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on saturday, roman and me packed our bags and headed west, as roman had a gig at the winter opening in wagrain. when we arrived there, all the slopes were still green. a few hours later, a soft but constant snowfall set in, which continued over the weekend.

roman mixed the opening act (lemo, go check them out) and we all enjoyed a nice evening together.
romanmischt

as we had already checked the weather forecast and webcams of the region beforehand, we were prepared to travel further west on sunday to find some freshies.

after breakfast, we jumped into the car and off we went to tyrol. at first we were a bit undecisive about where to go, our options were hintertux, stubai or sölden. in the end, we decided to go to the stubai glacier.
we were expecting to do warm up runs on the slopes, with nearly no snow offpiste.
luckily, we were wrong.
when we arrived, we immediately bought tickets and took the gondola upwards.
we were welcomed by enough snow to do our first turns of the season.
it still snowed lightly, with the most perfect snowflakes i have ever seen.
schneeflocke

in the evening, it was time for pizza and sauna.

 

on monday, enough snow had accumulated to ride offpiste without collecting coreshots. i lost track of the number of runs we did, but it was a whole lot.
we rode until our legs were properly done and the lifts closed.

tuesday came around the corner and we dragged our exhausted bodies onto the glacier once more.
at first, the weather seemed to turn out a little better than during the last days, providing us with better vision, but in the afternoon, it was time for the total whiteout.
i may need to get a better goggle glass 😉

we quit at 3pm, gave our tickets back (boohoo :/) and then hit the motorway.

gletscher

 

 

next up – splitboard touring in lower austria on the weekend. hopefully.

in january it’s time for the motherland anniversary camp and after that, the contest season will be in full swing.
i’m looking forward to the competitions, meeting fellow contestants again, improving my riding and collecting points.
also a highlight this winter – the kripp girls camp with melissa presslaber.

i’m ready!

ssscard

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!


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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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planneralm freeride paradise.

we had one of the best – if not THE best – freeride days today at the planneralm. after 2 days with snowfall and fog, it cleared up today so we could finally see in detail where & what we were riding.

IMG_6508
our boards in front of the jochspitze.

we did about 9 runs from the glaeserkoppe (short hike up from the glaeserboden t-bar), first going for the descent straight ahead, then traversing to the left, in direction of the jochspitze. later we switched to the rotbuehel, hiking up for the first run and then traversing into the face from the slope.
we happily left our tracks in perfect, light powder. i had the best run of the whole season in the morning, dropping and jumping and speeding down with delicious turns like it didn’t matter. i was beyond stoked after that run!

IMG_6511
two happy campers with two happy tankers.

i’m very very very happy that we haven’t already packed our bags last week and said goodbye to the season and the mountains. it looked like winter was done, but luckily that one more dump came to help us round off the season for good.

we will leave on saturday, until that, we will ride as much as possible.

i’m tired now. tired & happy. a good combination 🙂


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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.

schneeberg
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.

schneeberg

schneeberg
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.

schneeberg
the “Lahning-Ries”

 

schneeberg
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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W24 Spezial: Freeride

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yesterday was the day of my first tv appearance. it was very interesting to take part in a discussion about freeriding and surprisingly, i wasn’t nervous at all.

the show will be broadcasted for the first time on wednesday, the 23rd of january 2013, at 20:15. you can watch it in the livestream at the website of W24 and you will later on always be able to watch the show online here.

i can’t wait to see the show 🙂