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! ­čÖé

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 ­čśë

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sunrise tour awesomeness.

on thursday, we started our day very early. the alarm went off at 4am, it kicked us out of our cozy bed & made us stumble into the kitchen for a bit of breakfast. we felt tired, cold and it was dark outside.

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we packed our backpacks with a small snack and something to drink, got dressed in all our gear and then went outside to find our car covered in a thick layer of ice. grrrr.
after 5 minutes of intense scratching around we managed to get off enough of the ice to ensure a safe drive.

we drove for about 30 minutes until we reached the parking lot of the planneralm. we were a bit late, so we saw a big part of our hiking group already starting the ascent. they all had their headlamps on and marched away into the darkness.

our shredbuddy G waited for us to get ready, while we put our shoes on, stuck the skins onto our splitboards and extended our poles.
then we started the hike up as well, for a short time with the help of our headlamps, immediately switching them off when we safely had reached our track.
it was still dark, but due to the snow all around us and the nearly full moon it was light enough to allow our eyes to recognize our surroundings.

we chatted a bit while walking, but also took in the bleak silence before the breaking dawn.

we topped out at 7am straight, after a short, refreshing hour on the path upwards.
everyone chose a good place in the front row to witness the upcoming spectacle. we drank tea, ate snacks and G even took the time to make some fresh coffee.

at about 7:15, it was time for the big play to start, the reason we all got up so damn early – the rising sun.
i’m not exaggerating if i say that it was extremely beautiful and the colors were amazing. you hardly ever see such great colors during daytime. sunset is also a completely different story.

in addition to this great spectacle of mother nature, i felt overwhelmed with joy to be able to share this moment with a bunch of friendly people and was also pretty proud of myself that i had the power to overcome my weaker self. of course it would have been cozier to just stay in bed, but sometimes you gotta do some work to experience extraordinary things.

i’ll leave you with some pictures of this adventure, enjoy!

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exploring plannish columbia.

yesterday, we arrived in our new temporary home at the tauplitz. we unpacked our cars and then directly went to the tauplitz to snowboard. we enjoyed 2 hours of riding on the slopes (not enough snow off piste there, sadly), with perfect sunshine and only a few other people.

today, it was time for the first freeriding / touring day. we drove up to the planneralm (we jokingly call it “plannish columbia” in our little powder in the east circle of friends), took the rotb├╝helbahn chairlift and then checked the conditions. we decided that it would not be a good idea to hike up to the plannereck and descend towards the east. instead, we rode down to the valley and took the t-bar to the gl├Ąserboden. the conditions from there on seemed a lot better and we also talked to a group of guys who had just finished their hike back up again and confirmed, that taking this route will be pretty nice.

we hiked up a bit towards the gro├čer rotb├╝hel and then strapped in. the snow was okay – about 15cm of soft snow (from 2 days ago) on a layer of harder snow.

we dropped in and descended for about 300 vertical meters. after that, we switched our boards to walk mode and went up to the ridge. i struggled with my switchbacks a bit, so we determined that it would be a good idea to repeat this hike a second time.
we hiked up towards the gro├čer rotb├╝hel again, picked a line and enjoyed a few turns. then it was time to walk up again.
when we arrived at the ridge, we did a little switchback & riding in split-mode training, had a cup of tea and then rode back down to the slopes and to our car again.

-> see the map on bergfex.

planneralm

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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.

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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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hiking and riding in salzburg

from january the 27th until the 29th, we moved into a flat in h├╝ttschlag near grossarl in salzburg together with my sister anita. while she went cross country skiing to build up her stamina for her upcoming mountainbike races, roman and me did a tour each day.

on the 27th, we started off with the karlkogel. the weather was overcast but okay and we started the ascent in hüttschlag. it took us about 3 hours to get to the summit. we started the descent through a rather steep field with delicious powder, then we reached a bowl where we sadly took a wrong turn. we missed the wonderful route down to the valley and had to follow the ascent track back down instead. but nevertheless i was proud that i had mastered  my first tour with more than 1000 meters altitude difference.

 

 

on january 28th, the frauenkogel was our destination. the higher we got, the more we could peek through the clouds. underneath the summit, the snow had been blown away partly, leaving a hard, icy snow pack for us to hike on. i was a bit tired already when we got there, and so the short climb up to the summit meant a challenge for me. thankfully, roman helped me and carried my snowboard for me, i was anxious to say the least. stupid fear of heights ­čśë
when i finally stood atop the frauenkogel, i was glad that i had made it.

 

 

january 29th was our last day, so we had to pack up our stuff in the morning before heading to the penkkopf.
i have to say, this was the best tour during these 3 days. the weather was perfect, sunny and not too cold, the surroundings were astounding and the mountain was not crowded at all.
the route went through sparse forest terrain, with the snow sparkling in the sun. when we stood atop the mountain, we had the chance to have a proper break, re-assemble our equipment, change our clothes and eat a snack. i also left a note in the summit book.
the descent was simply wonderful with lots of untouched powder underneath our boards. we were gliding and floating, as if the snow was cotton candy.