Stephanie Jagl-Posch

riding and other stuff.


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going steep

on monday, i took the day off work to have the chance for some spring splitboarding and new experiences.

we went down south across lower austria to reach the border of styria and parked our car near the small town of niederalpl. no one else was around, and we took off to a lonely tour up the rodel, a wellknown skitouring route, often-times flooded with people.

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the normal route leads over a small ladder and then up to the veitsch, but we turned right before that ladder to reach the bottom of the east facing walls of the großer wildkamm, as we had a different mission in mind.

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we changed from splitboard to crampons, mounted the boards on our packs, put our helmets on and then started the hike up the wide couloir.

i have participated in a course on how to use crampons and ice axe correctly (rock and the ice camp by Die Bergstation), but so far had never used my crampons during a real tour.

i had quite some respect mixed with a slight feeling of fear when we approached the start of the hike, but i immediately noticed again how well crampons hold onto a hard, slightly icy surface. roman went first and broke the trail for me. i was very thankful for that, this way, i didn’t have to focus on much else than following his steps and maybe looking up from time to time to avoid being hit by snow or rocks falling down. no need to scout the best line to climb, i knew i could trust him. this was a huge relief for me, because i can blend out my fear of heights better when i have something to stupidely focus on.

the steeper parts were actually easier to climb, because the footsteps are supported by more snow underneath and you can rest your legs a little. it gets tough to climb for about 45 minutes solely standing on your toes.

exhaustion kicked in when we were about half way up, but hearing that we had already made it to the upper half of the climb motivated me enough to keep pushing it.

we had to traverse to the right to get out of the couloir and i was nearly done with my nerves there. i was fueled by the thought that we’d be on top of the mountain in a few minutes and quickly made my way to the right.

when we reached the flatter part near the summit, i was overwhelmingly happy, surrounded by a feeling of safeness, thankfulness and pride. it was only a few steps more to the summit, so we left our equiment there for the last meters.

as we stood on the summit, i was so emotional i couldn’t prevent a few tears from running down.

we made an entry in the summit book (and found an old entry from the G and roman, “wos brauch i tirol” ;)) and then quickly went back to our little ski depot, where we took off the crampons, had a little bite to eat and something to drink and put our boards back into ride mode.

roman drew the first line and then i followed. the snow was perfect – not too hard anymore and not yet too soft and slow.

it was an awesome cruise down. i even tried a bit of McNab’s riding technique advice (great article, read it here), finishing one turn completely before starting the next one and it really made my turns more balanced and soft.

from the bottom of the couloir on, the snow was very warm already, making it a lot more exhausting to ride, but we had fun nonetheless. the last bit through the forest was a tad bit strenuous, but i still enjoyed it with every pore.

maybe this was our last splitboarding trip this year. maybe not. anyhow, it was a perfect day, crossing over the border of my comfort zone a bit and still feeling confident.

i’m very happy that i was able to achieve something i had never done before. it feels good to see signs of development and improvement.

thanks Roman for being my guide!Foto 1-1 Foto 2-1 Foto 3 Foto 4 Foto 5

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3 days at the guttenberghaus winter shelter room.

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on tuesday, the 25th of february, we were already excited in the morning, because we were going to hike up to the guttenberghaus (at 2146 meters) and stay in the winter shelter room for 2 nights. we had planned our trip a few days earlier and with the good weather forecast, we knew it was time to realise our plan. we started packing on monday night, deciding how much food we should bring and what else could be crucial to have with us up on the mountain, besides our usual company, the avalanche beacon, shovel and probe. we made sure to take some sweets with us, to cheer us up and give us energy, our sleeping bags and something to read.

we picked up the key for the hut in ramsau, parked our car at the parking lot near the feistererhof and started our ascent. the sun was blazing down and as it was pretty windless, the easy hike up to the hut made us sweat. we were in a great mood and looked forward to our time at the hut. we walked at a slow pace to take in the beautiful scenery and arrived at the hut after about 3 hours.

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yo-ho, up to the guttenberghaus we go!

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roman navigating.

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pointing out a fountain.

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the skintrack upwards.

when we got there, we were curious to see the interior of the hut. we unlocked the door and were pleasantly surprised – we found a stove (that we already knew about), a comfortable bunk bed for 4 people, a table with a seating bench and even a ceiling light, powered by solar electricity. next to the hut was a small outhouse, so all basic needs were covered 😉

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roman starting the fire.

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the guttenberghaus (only opened in summer).

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our resort.

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daw footprints.

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letting my board thaw up in the sun.

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the view from the shelter.

roman started to make fire, while i went outside again to collect snow to melt. we found a pan to cook in and made ourselves some soup. after dinner, we talked about our opportunities for the next day and went to bed very early.

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hut life.

the night was a bit turbulent, i woke up often and later on the stove went out, so it was rather cold inside the hut. roman got up to start the fire up again and from then on, it was cozy and we managed to get in some more sleep before the alarm went off at 7am. we snoozed for a few more minutes and then left the bed. we had breakfast (bread with hazelnut spread & tea to refill our batteries ;)), gave ourselfs a quick catlick and then got ready for the tour of the day – a hike up to the summit of eselstein, at 2556 meters.

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time for a delicious breakfast.

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looking up to the eselstein.

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on our way to the summit.

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the view onto the dachstein plateau (am stein).

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looking back to our skintrack.

the conditions were a slightly difficult, the snow had a firm crust on it and it was slippery to walk. we were glad that we had brought our crampons and used them to make the ascent a bit easier. our route went from the guttenberghaus to the feisterscharte and then up to the summit of the eselstein. from the feisterscharte on, we had a great view onto the enormous dachstein plateau (am stein), and a few chamois had an awesome view onto us. on top of the eselstein, we enjoyed a great panoramic view of the eastern alps.

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the view from the eselstein.

the ride down went surprisingly well, as we had encountered lots of rocks on our hike up. unexpectedly, our boards didn’t get harmed.

we arrived at the hut at about 2pm and then had a relaxed afternoon, looking down on ramsau and schladming and watching daws cruising around up in the air.
in the evening, we once again checked out the possibilities for the upcoming day and decided to go up to the gruberscharte and maybe continue to the edelgrießhöhe and descent through the edelgrieß.

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roman trying to chop wood – the axe was blunt.

after another bunk bed night, we got up at 7am. it was time for us to clean up the hut and leave it in a tidy condition. we extinguished the fire, made the beds, opened the windows to vent and swept the floor. at 9am, we put our backpacks on, stuck the skins onto our splitboard skis and had a last look at the small hut. we said goodbye to the birds and off we went. we were a bit exhausted, so we decided to just traverse a bit in direction of the gruberscharte and then ride down into the gruberkar directly.

the ascent was a tad straining, since the snow crust had not yet melted and there was a lot of old avalanche debris lying around. it was challenging to navigate through all the rocks and a stream creek, but we made it down safely, without harming ourselves or our boards.

after returning the key, it was time for a nice pizza down in schladming. mission completed!

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good night!


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approaching my first winter season

as 2013 ends, i’m looking forward to big changes in 2014. Roman and i have given up our flat in vienna. we have already moved out – it was a lot of work (and foiled my plans to work out as much as possible), but it was worth it, knowing the reason for this decision – we will do our first winter season.

we have dreamed about spending more time in the mountains for the last years and finally we were brave enough to commit ourselves.
we will be situated at the tauplitz in styria for 3 months. we hope for lots of great experiences and wish to get to know more dedicated people to ride with. may there be lots of room for improvement in our skills and many emotions to share.

i enjoy writing about my adventures a lot and luckily have had the chance to have my articles published in different magazines. one of them is the website powderguide.com – after winning the mountain mastery contest in 2012, i stayed in contact with the magazine staff and this summer, the opportunity to contribute more to powderguide.com popped up. of course i agreed and have recently written a story about being a mountain addict, living in a big city in the flat land in the east of austria (in german, click here to read). i’m looking forward to continue reporting about my winter season and also writing about other things, like contests or events.

i plan to compete in a few freeride contests again and i hope that i will be able to come up with a video recap of my adventures by the end of the season.

(and in april, i will be back at the office to continue working as a web developer, in case anyone is wondering ;)).

wishing you all a wonderful winter! make sure to check back for updates!

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