Stephanie Jagl-Posch

riding and other stuff.


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Winter Inauguration 2015.

to celebrate the newborn winter season 2014/2015, Roman and I went on a 9 day pow searching mission in Austria from friday, the 2nd january 2015 on.
our powder in the east (PIE) buddy G. came over and we hit the road to Salzburg together.
we met up with a group of PIE members in Großarl in the evening and made plans for the next day.

saturday morning, we started our first tour and hiked up to the Penkkopf, one of the most visited mountaintops in the Großarl region. Roman and I had already been up there before, so we knew that this tour was perfect as a starter. first you start out pretty mellow with a long hike along a shallow path through a dreamy winter wonderland, then the track steepens for the last hour or so until you reach the flat peak. from there, you have a great view all around, from Großarl to Kleinarl, which lies on the other side of the mountain.
after a short break on the mountaintop, we had a fun ride down. the snow conditions were pretty good, we had enough snow to ride without the risk of hitting rocks or trees situated underneath the snow and even found some entertaining pillows and small jumps.

View from the Penkkopf
view from the summit of Penkkopf.

on sunday, the weather had gone bad, with limited view, snowfall and lots of wind. we decided to play it safe and ride the slopes of Großarl.
as we all hadn’t had the chance to ride a lot prior to this trip, it was a great opportunity to get used to riding again. luckily, after several years of snowboarding, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it again. i have to say, i really noticed how much my riding has improved during the last winter season. i’m very thankful for that. seems like the bad conditions were useful after all!

we played around, explored the fresh snow next to the slopes and had a surprisingly awesome day.

on monday, it was time to say goodbye to the PIE group and Großarl. Roman and I hopped into the car and headed over to Obertauern, where we were able to stay at Hotel Leitner (nice place directly at the slopes, with breakfast buffet and sauna – check it out if you seek accommodation in Obertauern!).
we met up with F., a friend of G., and plowed through the fresh snow next to the slopes. the view was still limited, so we stuck to humble tree runs but still had a great time.

Sunrise in Obertauern
good morning, Obertauern!

tuesday was the first day with sunny weather and fresh pow, as well as a national holiday, which meant that lots of people came to the resort and ventured into the backcountry. we decided to stay on the safe side (after all, we still had an avalanche risk of 3 out of 5) and first warmed up next to the slopes. we hit some drops, did some turns and after about an hour, decided to explore some of the safer routes out of bounds.
i have to say, i’m not one who chases first lines, i’m more of a safety lover. i’d rather be safe and maybe ride a slope where there’s already some tracks inside, than go out of my way to be the first to ride somewhere.
there will be times when the conditions will be just right anyways and then i will be able to truly enjoy drawing first lines.
still, we had no problem finding paths to ride that were enjoyable, occasionally scoring face shots as well as dropping and jumping around.

on wednesday we pulled out our touring gear and went on a hike to the Große Kesselspitze, which lies next to the resort of Obertauern, but can’t be accessed by the lifts.
the weather felt like spring (oh no, not again, just like last winter! ;)) as we walked through a lovely forest and then spitzkehred our way up to the top. the last few meters to the summit have to be climbed, so we left our equipment at the ski depot to check out the view on this sunny day.
we met a few other ski touring folks and talked to them about the possible descent on the south facing slope. originally, we had planned to ride down the ascent route as a safety measure, but since the snow seemed to be good, we decided to follow the tracks of the other guys.
it was a great idea and a memorable descent!

On top of the Große Kesselspitze
Roman checking the view on the summit of the Große Kesselspitze.

The rocky path up to the Summit of Große Kesselspitze
a look back to the rocky path up to the Summit.

A look back on the descent of Große Kesselspitze
this was our lovely way down!

 

thursday was our planned travel and chill day. Roman wanted to try out a new binding, so we went to the Blue Tomato test center in Obertauern, where he received a now! binding to test.
as we stood around in the shop, M., one of the shop dudes, asked if we were interested in giving him company for a short freeride intermezzo. we shortly discussed if this sounded like a good idea or not (after all, knees were sore and a freeride camp was coming up) but then made up our minds and told M. that we were going to join him.
in the mean time, his shred buddy B. had arrived and we headed up to the chair lift together.
after two warm up runs, we started to hike towards the Seekarspitze. after about 30 minutes, we reached our destination and each of us found an individual spot to drop in. my route was steep at the top and i couldn’t clearly see if there were rocks beneath me, so i decided to head to the left after dropping in, to ride around that overhanging part. snow was good and we all had a good time cruising down.
afterwards, we said goodbye and headed back to the shop, where Roman finally bought the bindings.

shortly after his purchase, we drove to Bad Mitterndorf and checked into our apartment. the rest of the day was spent relaxing, in the evening we visited Steph from Die Bergstation for a chat and a Zirbenschnaps.

I ho Hoamweh noch BA
Mitterndorf, here we come!

friday morning meant the start of yet another freeride day, only this time not on our own but with a group of lovely, funny people, most of them already familiar faces, as we were part of the motherland anniversary camp.
happy campers cruised and hiked, and faster than we could point out shit, the day was over.
everybody seemed sore but satisfied.

Mitterndorf Sunset.
the sun setting like crazy over Bad Mitterndorf.

during the night, it started to pour down like crazy. on saturday, a lot of the snow in town had melted or been washed away. also, it was very stormy, so much that all the lifts were closed.
Steph and Markus, our guides, let us decide if we wanted to go ride the slopes of Riesneralm or do an avy training.
we all preferred to work on our avalanche rescue skills, and so we went up to the Schönialm by car, where we first got served hot drinks by the friendly Schönialm staff, although it was their day off – thanks again!
the guide team explained the proper process when solving an avalanche accident and then we went outside to work on our practical skills. we split up in two groups, got tips on our shoveling technique and then hid a few avalanche transceivers and backpacks for the other group to search.
our guides played eye witnesses who had just seen a group of people go down with an avalanche. and they did it very well – Steph pretended to be totally devastated and in panic, we hardly were able to get out any info from him and even needed to do a body check to find out if he was carrying an avalanche transceiver, which might interfere with our search.
as our group consisted of 4 people with 3 of us knowing each other pretty well, our rescue went fine and we finished solving the problem of multiple buried transceivers and probing for a backpack rather quickly. statistically, everyone could have survived, as we were finished in about 12 minutes, if i remember that correctly.
the result felt really good and i am sure that we were able to better our skills.
hopefully, we will never need to use our knowledge, but it’s good to feel prepared and able to help.

on sunday, we faced yet another slush day and roman and i decided to skip riding and go home instead.
we had had a great week of riding and felt no need in fighting with wet, heavy snow. our thighs agreed 😉

 

Going Home sad.
going home – happy because of the great days we had, sad that the weather wasn’t on our side for the last day.

 

tomorrow it’s time for the first FWQ contest of the season at the Hochkar in Lower Austria, wish me luck!

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Rock & the Ice Camp, November 2013

after the PIEPS freeride team meeting, Roman and I followed Stephan Skrobar, head of the PIEPS freeride team and one of the masterminds behind Die Bergstation, to his house.

he offered to let us stay with him this winter and we took the chance to check out our winter base camp beforehand. it’s situated at the bottom of the Tauplitz, where we already enjoyed bottomless powder 2 years ago. the view from the living room is pretty awesome – the big, rocky Grimming stares back at you.

we went to bed early and had a nice day off on friday, including delicious food prepared by chef de la cuisine Roman. we got to know a part of Stephan’s family who came for a visit.

in the evening, we went to Ramsau am Dachstein and checked in at Haus Montanara, which belongs to Peter Perhab, the other Die Bergstation boss and mountain guide par excellence.

we immediately liked Peter, the house and our room.

IMG_5760

Roman studying hard before the first camp day.

saturday morning began with breakfast, followed by an equipment check. what we hadn’t brought with us, was borrowed to us by Peter and Stephan. i got to use a brand new pair of crampons belonging to Stephan.

then we went up to the Dachstein glacier where we were greeted by sunshine and snow.

first up was putting on our harnesses and checking all avalanche beacons. then we rode across the slope towards the off piste area. there, we formed two rope teams and experienced how hard it is to ride as a group united by a rope.

we stopped a few turns later. it was time to get the crampons out. we put them on and did various exercises to get comfortable with those spiky, dangerous things strapped to our boots. we jumped and twirled around until we felt relatively confident.

after that, Peter showed us different walking techniques for different types of terrain.

next up was learning how to use an ice axe. we found a ditch where we could train how to pull ourselves up with the ice axe.

we then proceeded to climb up a rock with the crampons on.

afterwards it was time to repack our bags, put our boards into touring mode and hike back up to the gondola.

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what a joyous first tour!

the day ended with a pasta feast in Peters appartment kitchen (thanks again for letting us use it!), a few zirbenschnaps were drunken as well and off to bed we went.

sunday started as the weather forecast had promised – pretty shitty. we went up to the glacier nonetheless. the conditions were perfect for practising, in my opinion. it’s easy to learn new things in sunny, warm weather, but when you’re out touring or hiking, you need to be able to do everything that’s needed – especially in a case of emergency – in the worst conditions as well. it’s worth so much to be prepared for that.

we learned how to pull off a crevasse rescue, stopping a fall with the ice axe and belaying another person with the help of an ice axe functioning as an anchor.

the weather had turned into a slight snowstorm, which made the situation even more realistic.

the rock & the ice camp was worth every penny.

it was hard to memorize every single step we were shown, especially during crevasse rescue. so now we know that we know nothing and need to learn and practise a lot before venturing out into more difficult terrain on our own.

aside from that, we also had a great time and enjoyed our first winter weekend a lot.

i can only recommend signing up for this camp if you wish to explore more.

 

click here for

pictures from the camp

guido’s post about the camp

roman’s post about everything since last winter


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PIEPS Freeride Team Meeting, Stubaier Gletscher, 01.11.2012

you may remember that we attended the motherland camp by Die Bergstation (read my posting about that here) at the Tauplitz in Upper Austria in january. besides enjoying 3 days of riding insane amounts of fresh powder, we got to know a couple of very nice people there too, for example Stephan Skrobar – professional skier (Fischer Freeride Team, skiguide), Die Bergstation guide and overall funny dude.

in summer, i got an unexpected call from Stephan. he told me about some interesting new developments that have taken place – PIEPS, the market leader in avalanche rescue equipment, was thinking about starting up a freeride team. Stephan was now looking for riders for that team, which was the reason why he called me – he asked me if i’d be interested in being a part of the PIEPS freeride team. since i am convinced that the PIEPS DSP is the best avalanche beacon around, i said yes immediately.


preparing my snowboarding stuff for the first time this year felt goooooooood.

fast forward to november 1st: at 9 am we met up at the valley station of the Gondelbahn Eisgrat, at the Stubaier Gletscher. i got introduced to everyone and was a bit blown away by all the names that i heard there – many of them i had heard before, as they belonged to pro skiers & snowboarders who were competing in the freeride world tour and/or filming every season, for example Liz Kristoferitsch, Lorraine Huber, Martin McFly Winkler or Björn Heregger.
but there was no time for being starstruck 😉 off to the gondola & up the mountain we went.

we met next to the funpark and Gregor Krenn from PIEPS started the instruction. we learned about how avalanche beacons work, why sometimes the results are better than in other situations and what products PIEPS has to offer. we tested the distance until we received the first signal from a beacon in different positions and talked about strategies in avalanche rescue. we got the chance to try for example the brand new PIEPS iProbe – a great tool to find avalanche victims much faster, which i will happily include in my equipment.


PIEPS Freeride Team Meeting

time flew by and suddenly it was time to leave the glacier again. after a fun ride down, we met at the Alpenhotel Fernau in Neustift.
we continued the training there and also talked about the future of the PIEPS freeride team. then it was time to say goodbye again…


Roman helped me apply the PIEPS freeride team sticker to my splitboard.

i am really stoked to be part of the PIEPS freeride team, together with all these awesome people. i’m looking forward to the upcoming season.

my plan is to compete in the Open Faces Freeride Series, at least at the X-Over Ride tourstopp at the Kitzsteinhorn, but hopefully also at one other event.
other than that, i wish to ride as much as possible, to go splitboarding a lot & have a funny season with my riding buddies, without any injuries.
i want to improve a lot and experience new things.

have a good season!

-> http://www.pieps.com/