While winter staged a comeback for the Easter holiday, we already quit and stored our snowboard gear in the cellar. For us, the end of the winter season has come. Somehow it was hard to miss two seemingly good powder days. But then, on the other hand, I was pretty ok with it as the rewards are quite nice. Two days left until we fly into another surf adventure. The Azores, São Miguel in particular, await us.
After 18 years I finally managed to attend the Longboard Classics in Stuben am Arlberg. Every year, the event attracts hundreds of snowboarders from the early days. And it really feels like back in the days, the parties are not a single bit quieter than 15 years ago…
Every year around the end of March I gather a bunch of good friends to celebrate birthdays and spring skiing. Filming is not the main subject which equals a rather short episode. Have a kick-ass start into the week!
Every year when spring comes around the corner it’s that time of the year when you have to work for untracked lines. We joined forces with Basecamp Andermatt to do so. Around Andermatt you’ll find tons of options for split boarding and the Gondola to the Gemsstock makes for easy access. We chose the “Winterhorn” which consist of a rather short ascent towards the “Gloggentürmli” ridge from where you can ride down to the road over the Gotthard pass, where the ascent towards the object of the starts.
Maybe you have heard of Zeus and his buddies living way up in the mountains of the Olympos Oros? In fact, the ancient Greeks believed that this impressive mountain range in the northeast of Greece was home of the 12 ancient Greek gods. It rises up to 2,918 meters and, due to it’s relatively flat surroundings, it is one of the most prominent mountains in Europe.
Skinning on Mt. Olympus though is hard work. The terrain is very remote and involves long ascents and long hikes back once you finished your line. But don’t get me wrong: the awesome views, the flora and the sheer prominence of the mountain reward for every drop of sweat. Mt. Olympus is a must for every Greek freeriding adventure.
I’ve been dreaming of it for quite a while and yet it never happened: surfing and snowboarding the same day.
Last week we came pretty close. A nice swell was lighting up the west coast the day we arrived and the snow from the incredible performance Mr. Winter showed in January. We already managed to do both within 24 hours and keep on hunting the “all in one day” thing.
Surfing around Parga
Parga is a small town near the ferry port of Igoumenitsa, where we arrived from Italy. Hidden behind a big rock with an old castle on top, one of Mediterranean’s gems lies waiting for you: Kastro. A nice lefthand pointbreak on the corner of a beautiful beach. To a traveling surfer, it might be surprisingly good, but the locals know that this is one of the best waves in the Mediterranean. As soon as the conditions line up. Talking about conditions: it’s pretty hard to know which wave will work at what conditions and when these conditions will line up. But the locals are incredibly nice and will help you out if you treat them with respect. They even told me where I can find better waves when Kastro went smaller the second day.
Lygia is a 30 minute drive south of Parga and offers long stretches of open and exposed beach breaks. As expected I met the local crowd again in the lineup and let me tell you: the waves were firing. Personally, I wasn’t making a good impression, so I got lots of whitewater on my head because – and that’s be the biggest difference to beachbreaks around bigger oceans – there’s a wave coming every 6 seconds. Not that much time to breathe between one duckdive and another. But you will definitely improve your paddling and duckdiving skills!
16 hours later: snowboarding .
About 6 hours south of Lygija on the Peleponesos peninsula we found one of Greece’s most famous ski resort in Kalavryta, also known as Helmos. 20cm of fresh fallen the day before we arrived compensated for the bad visibility and the gusty winds. The ski resort is on the highest mountain around so it’s very exposed to whichever weather Aeolus, the Greek god of the winds, throws at it. As most of the Greek resorts it’s rather small in Swiss measures (two chairs and one t-bar) but it’s big enough to have fun for a couple of days. Towards the end of the week, conditions got better and better and allowed for incredible sunset-sessions around the peaks. Check back next week’s “Every Monday Morning” for some eye candy!
I used to go to Greece for summer holidays when I was a little boy. Never could I imagine I will come back to this beautiful country by campervan, with snowboards and surfboards loaded. Greece has it all and as it seems, we’ll be welcomed by a nice swell by the time you watch that video. During the next weeks we will introduce you to a country often overlooked in terms of boardsports. It’s time to change that.
Here’s our first video of the trip, stay tuned for more!
After last year’s bivi-experience I decided to buy a tent I can use during the winter season as well. The nice guy at the shop told me that I would really need a four season tent which means $ 1’000.– or even more. Without that much money in my pocket and not really keen to spend so much anyway it was time to find out why you really need such an expensive tent to go winter camping.
I bought a 25$ tent in the next supermarket and last week, I finally had the chance to put it to the test on a nice evening high above sea level. Well, it was part of the game to go to the camping ground without checking the content of the tent. No wonder it came without ropes which is a big disadtvantage if the wind blows with 50km/h. In fact I didn’t dare to go out of the tent for quite a while because I thought it would be blown away immediately.
What I learnt: if you intend to go camping in winter more often, a four season tent and the corresponding 1’000 bucks are well worth it! I wouldn’t wanna spend more than one night in a tent like the one I got. In fact, I will never again spend a night in the snow with it…
Back in the days, we used to go to Atzmännig for the snownight quite often. But as we grew older and snow levels rose, those snownights got more and more rare. Last week, some of us finally gathered again for some fun and a good fondue. The slope is rather short, in fact it takes around a minute to get from top to bottom. But it still can be fun and if you wanna learn slopestyle-tricks it’s very helpful as you are going to do the same run 20 times if you like.
Snowboarding at night is always fun, especially when you score some freshies.
Sometimes you even hit the real stuff when you go snowboarding at night. Happened to us last winter in Sedrun.