The new year kicked of with a trip to Austria with Salomon Freeski TV. I was joined by Chris Rubens, Mike Henituk, Blair Richmond and photographer Christoffer Sjostrom. Our task was the document the deep roots of ski racing in Kitzbuehl during the famous Hannenkam race, and contrast that with the deep roots of freeride in Sankt Anton. What ensued was two weeks of hard work and almost as much partying. Put simply, Austria loves to ski and to drink.
Rubens gets it good on the first day in St Anton.
Kitzbuehl was a good start to the trip, offering an interesting insight into the race culture. It ended up snowing a lot making for some good skiing, but causing the race course to be shortened. Sankt Anton was incredible. The terrain is huge, the lift complex vast and with no glaciers, unlike many places in the Alps, the riding much friendlier. We had everything from deep powder to bluebird Alaskan style spines. And not to mention apres-ski. You haven't apres-ed until you have apres-ed in St Anton. Take my word for it.
The Arlberg is steeped in history with the first ever ski school being started in the valley and the old Gasthaus' and bars are almost time capsules. The Museum is a great place to get a sense of the history and a nicer place to eat.
So check out the episode coming in Season 6 of Salomon Freeski TV starting next Fall.
Oh, one more thing. It ain't apres unless you still have your ski boots on. Just ask Chris Rubens.