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 – read 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 Göller 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.
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 Mølgaard 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*** Silvretta Montafon – the climb up to the start
pic by skyhot