Stephanie Jagl-Posch

riding and other stuff.

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FWQ * Open Faces Freeride Contest Hochkoenig

on saturday, the FWQ * contest in the hochkoenig region was able to take place. previous contests had to be postponed due to the lack of snow in this winter season, so this was the first contest of the open faces freeride series  in this winter season.

we went to maria alm in the hochkoenig region on friday. our first mission was to do a face check of the competition face. sadly, the wind was blowing at high speeds, which meant that the abergbahn, with which you can get closest to the competiton face, was not running. also, the warm wind hat affected the snow pack negatively, meaning that the snow had gotten wet and heavy.

the t-bar, which would have been the second best choice for us, was not running either. we were unsure what to do and already talked about hiking up to the place, where the finish of the contest was going to be the next day. then we suddenly saw that the t-bar got switched on – we rode down to the valley station of the t-bar and found it to be closed down again. luckily, we encountered the two lift operator guys who told us that they were awaiting a group of people who needed to use the lift, for whom they were going to switch it on again and that we could sneak into the lift line behind those people.

we waited a little bit and then rode up to the bottom of the competition face. we had a good luck at it with a pair of binoculars and saw that there was just enough snow to ride, despite the high temperatures.

contest face
the contest face, with the start a little right of the middle.

afterwards, we checked in at our room at the berggasthof hinterreit, then went for a vegan pizza at “pick nick ossi” in maria alm.

on saturday, the alarm went off at 6 am. needless to say, i had had a pretty sleepless night (fell asleep in front of the tv at about half past 8 pm, got up to brush my teeth at 11:30 pm and couldn’t fall asleep properly for the rest of the night… i’m such a pro!) and crawled out of bed like a zombie. i managed to pull myself together until breakfast at half past 6.
at 7:30, it was time to meet up at the valley station for accreditation. but instead of a queue full of freeriders, we found a few confused looking freeriders and stressed organization team members. we got the info that the guides and the organization crew were checking out the contest face and waiting for more weather info concerning the wind at the moment. instead of accreditation, we started with the riders meeting to ensure no more delay as soon as the ok to run the contest would come.

we talked about the snow conditions, time table and required safety equipment. accreditation was rescheduled to a later time. we were told to show up at the valley station at 9:30 again, which left us with about one hour of free time. we decided to take the gondola and do one ride to stay warm.
when we arrived at the bottom again, accreditation had already started, so we lined up in the queue and filled out our registration forms. at 9:30, we had a quick second riders meeting and then everyone took the gondola up.

riders meeting
riders meeting.

at first we were told that we would have to hike up to the starting gates after the face check, but during face check we got an update, saying that the abergbahn would open up and we could all take the chairlift. from the top station, we had to follow a ski route and then traverse to the starting place on the other side of the ridge above the contest face. a short climb later, the first 5 competitiors were standing on top of the slope. this also included me, as i had scored bib number 4.

as usual, the women were the first riders to start. we were 9 snowboarders and 10 skiers. after us, the men had their go, 32 skiers and 25 snowboarders.

face checkface check
face check.

the first part after the start was pretty steep, over 40 degrees. we had the choice to start directly at the start flags or more to the right (riders right, meaning seen from the riders perspective), where one would have to drop in from a rock.
i chose to start from the flags, traversed to the right, did a little cliff drop onto the slope and then rode towards the middle of the slope. sadly, i was not able to go as fast as i wanted in that middle section and i also missed out on a few smaller rocks, where i could have jumped.
in the bottom part, shortly before the finish line, i did a small straight air.

i was happy that i had not fallen, but at the same time i had wished for more. in the end, i came in 5th place, which is okay, but i’m motivated to do better in the future.

the snow conditions were difficult to ride, as the snow was decelerating and you could easily get stuck with the nose of your snowboard or the tips of your skis. some riders took a fall because of that, but luckily no one got injured. a few riders even managed to get down the contest face in style.

after my run

the results are:

Ski Women:
1. Birgit Ertl (AUT)
2. Kornelia Kocher (AUT)
3. Stefanie Noppinger (AUT)

Ski Men: 
1. Maximilian Dettenhofer (GER)
2. Colin Biribauer (AUT)
3. Michael Strauß (AUT)

Snowboard Women:
1. Siobhan Challis (AUT)
2. Jenny Farrah (USA)
3. Sophia Neuner (GER)

Snowboard Men:
1. Andreas Bichler (AUT)
2. Matthias Zauner (AUT)
3. Johannes Schwaiger (AUT)

the full results can be downloaded here

my report is online on now!


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Open Faces Hochkönig (1* FWQ Contest) & ISPO

from january 24th until 27th, Roman and i stayed in maria alm for the Open Faces freeride contest at the aberg in the hochkönig region.
we went freeriding on the 24th, did some nice runs down from langeck & had a very nice day there. on the 25th, we visited the kitzsteinhorn, where we met up with mr. totz. too bad that it was pretty foggy, but we still had a great ride down to niedernsill.

in the evening of the 25th, we checked out the start list for the contest and i got supernervous, as i read that i had scored bib number one, meaning that i will be the first person to start. early on the 26th we got up & got ready for the contest. we checked in at the aberg valley station, got our bibs & went up to the middle station. there, we listened to the explanation of the contest rules and then were allowed to examine the contest face. it was really hard for me to think of a line that i could possibly ride, so i decided to just go to the start and take it from there… wherever i may go along.
it was a bit tricky to get to the start and after a short wait, it was my turn to ride already. i immediately messed up & fell 2 times. i managed to ride the bottom part of the face without much problems, which was good, but overall, i was highly disappointed with myself. i came in 2nd.

it was a very good experience for me and i guess i have already learned a lot from it. i have gotten to know new people and next time, i’ll try to do better.
here’s a pic from the price giving ceremony, on the left is Jenny Farrah.

Open Faces Hochkoenig

i have already signed up for the next contest, the X OVER RIDE at the kitzsteinhorn on the 22nd of march.
the contest face for this 1* freeride world tour qualifier event can be seen in this picture, it’s the light violet area on the left hand side. i’ll keep you updated about the contest.

x-over ride kitzsteinhorn



yesterday, i’ve been to the ISPO for the first time, thanks to the invitation of PIEPS. it was overwhelming! of course we were not able to see all booths & products in one day, but we gave our best. we saw lots of interesting new products and talked to many people, including Jeremy Jones, snowboarding icon and founder of Jones Snowboards.

if i get invited to next years ISPO, i will make up a plan prior to going there. i feel that i might have missed out on a few opportunities to meet people (for example at the Women in Boardsports lunch) and that it would be better to focus more on single products instead of trying to see it all. but hey, i was an ISPO newbie and i survived! 😉


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Hochkönig & gnArlberg pre-XMAS-fun

on december 18th, Roman and i went to Maria Alm in the lovely Hochkönig region to visit the Urslauerhof and check out the contest face for the Open Faces contest on the 26th of January (and yes, this means that we have officially registered for our first freeride contest. woop woop!).

we were lucky, as we got fresh snow and we were nearly alone in the resort for 2 days. on the first day, the weather was rather foggy, but we still had fun exploring the ski-routes, finding a bit of nice powder here and there.
on the 20th, we went on a splitboard tour up to the Klingspitz, were i took this lovely picture. it was a wonderful tour, a very good warm up for the season, with great weather and a gorgeous view, as well as an awesome ride down.

Klingspitz, Salzburg

we decided spontaneously not to go home, but to go to the Arlberg instead, which turned out to be a great idea! we found an affordable room in St. Jakob and tried to explore the huuuuuge resort in 3 days.
on the first day, several centimeters of fresh snow greeted us and in the gondola we met freeride professionals Björn Heregger and Stefan Häusl. we did some great runs in St. Anton near the Galzig Bahn, then switched to Rendl for the afternoon. in between, i decided that i NEED other bindings (you may remember that i whined about my old Burton Escapades in the last posting) and luckily found a decent snowboardshop (SUPA – surfers paradise), where i bought a pair of Ride LXH bindings. since i already have Ride VXNs and really like them, it seemed like a good idea to get another pair of bindings by ride.
so far, i am really content with the performance of the LXHs!

on the second day, we went to Zürs and had a lot of fun there, although the conditions already began to get worse. it was rather warm, so the snow turned wet and heavy. on the third day, we went to Sonnenkopf. the sun was shining, but since we’ve been so spoiled by the glorious first day, we couldn’t really enjoy our last day.

to make matters worse, i accidentally slammed the bar of the chair lift against Roman’s teeth once and managed to damage his front teeth…. boooh 😦

still, we had a great, great time and have been able to catch a glimpse of the gloriousness of the Arlberg region. it was actually pretty funny to notice that there were more people wearing airbag backpacks than normal backpacks… it felt strange not to have an airbag as well.
on a side note: i originally intended to take my newly purchased airbag backpack (saved my money for about 6 months for it!) with me on this trip, but due to an error during parcel delivery, it arrived about 2 hours after i had left for Maria Alm. duh!
but still, it’s a very nice pack and i can’t wait to try it (not the airbag part of it, of course). here’s what i ordered:

ABS Vario Base Unit Small
Carbon Cartridge
Dakine Altitude 25L
ABS Vario Base Unit S, Carbon Cartridge, Dakine Altitude 25l Size small