Following Smiles all the Way Down!

For all that the season wasnt it seems to be delivering in late March. Today we headed back to our easy access high alpine resort Stubai. The first couple of runs were spent under the old two chair. This time we didn’t get to ski one of our favourite little couloirs first but it was fun none the less. After a couple really fun runs Paavo (http://finnishedinaustria.blogspot.co.at/) and I decided to work on the Follow Cam perspective again. The real goal here is for us to get comfortable enough filming while skiing so that we can Follow Cam each other down some longer and steeper faces. We think that when we get to that point we will be able to produce some really cool footage.

On Vimeo if that is what you prefer.

To start of the filming we were just taking speed from the piste into some deeper snow.

To start of the filming we were just taking speed from the piste into some deeper snow.

To start off the filming we just took speed from the piste and dropped into some POW. Once we both felt comfortable we headed out into some longer terrain. The snow was absolutely amazing! With nice supportive snow underneath and about 15cm of pure blower on top, the skiing was just about as good as it gets and on top of that the sun was out and shining!

Enjoying the deep and light snow that Stubai delivered today!

Enjoying the deep and light snow that Stubai delivered today!

Light makes or breaks just about every shot!

Light makes or breaks just about every shot!

The look of stoke is priceless!

The look of stoke is priceless!

As we get more experienced with filming, one thing that we are coming to realize is just how important the communication is between the Filmer and the skier. Unlike normal filming where the Filmer is stationary, both skiers are moving and because of the super wide-angle lens on the GoPro we both have to be really close together. For usable footage the camera cannot be more than about 10 feet away from the skier. The set up we are using is the 1m long carbon fibre pole from the 360 mount, with the GoPro attached to the end using a handle bar adapter. Most of the filming we have been doing has been on mellow terrain. We of course want to take this style of filming onto steeper terrain in the future, so the more practice we get in the more likely the chances are of producing new and interesting footage in the future.

STOKED TO THE MOON AND BACK!

STOKED TO THE MOON AND BACK!

There are some important things we have learned while working on this style of shooting. The first being that the side to front perspective of the skier looks much better then filming from behind. This means that the Filmer has to be in front of the subject, and be skiing at a speed which the subject can be following. Because the Filmer is in front of the subject means that they are looking backwards most of the time so be sure you know what’s coming!

Flowing down in the sun.

Flowing down in the sun.

The second tip I can give is to use the fattest skis possible when filming, I have been using my Praxis Powderboards with great success. This is because they are Reverse/Reverse skis and have no radius. Most of the time I am not forced to turn in order to control my speed, I can just adjust my weight backwards (to slow down) or forwards (to speed up). This means that as I am filming I can choose what distance the GoPro is from the subject in this case Paavo. The second reason being on the fattest pair of skis possible is that you want to be on top of the snow as you are filming, this provides a smooth surface which helps keep the camera stable! Hope that was some useful information for anyone interested in producing similar footage.

Some times we got really close to each other!

Some times we got really close to each other!

Like really close!

Like really close!

I don’t really have much else to say about the day. We skied POW, felt like we improved on our filming skills and had a great time. Here are some more screenshots of all the fun we had today!

That sun made our day.

That sun made our day.

You could say it was deep!

You could say it was deep!

Hopefully we will get one or two more storms out of this winter so that we can go out with a bang. Hope I didn’t just jinx it!

As always,

May the POW be with you!

Cheers,

Rupi and Bernie

 

Patience… Rewards Will Follow!

Talk about a rough season! Here in the north it has not been this bad in years. Its been warm, the Föhn (a warm southerly wind) has been raging all season, and precipitation levels have been excruciatingly low.

If Youtube does not work here is a Vimeo link!

Today was the first time I stood in ski boots in almost 10 days! That is a long time for any one of us. Looking at the forecasts on Thursday, the situation looked promising. A strong front was moving in from the North West, the kind of system that rewards the mountains in Tirol with bountiful snowfall.

Getting clean footage is a team effort. Snow begone!

Getting clean footage is a team effort. Snow begone!

Love the 360 mount! Hate wearing it just cause your hands are free does not get rid of the weight on your head!

Love the 360 mount! Hate wearing it just cause your hands are free does not get rid of the weight on your head!

Even though the snowfall looked promising, its slim pickings at the moment. Most of the snow that we had gotten this year, little as there was, had been demolished by warm weather and sunshine. We had to find a place with enough altitude, trees and north facing slopes. The only place that came to mind was Ischgl. Waking up Sunday morning, big fat snowflakes were falling in Innsbruck, and the forecast called for continued snowfall throughout the day. So we piled in the car and were off. On the drive to Ischgl the precipitation swayed between rain, snow and sleet constantly. We hoped that the higher we drove, the better our prospects would become.

Reverse/Reverse skis are fun!

Reverse/Reverse skis are fun!

One of my favourite Praxis graphics!

One of my favourite Praxis graphics!

And that they did! The cars in the parking lot were covered in a nice 15cm coat of snow. Hoping that this number would grow the further we went up the mounting, we got geared up and hoped in the cable car.

Having fun slashing was a game of chicken! Some times you hit the bottom some times you didn't...

Having fun slashing was a game of chicken! Some times you hit the bottom some times you didn’t…

Skiing at speed today often meant bare patches of ground appeared out of no where!

Skiing at speed today often meant bare patches of ground appeared out of no where!

Up we headed. It looked bleak, even the fresh snowfall could not hide the scars that the warm weather had left on the mountain. Grass and rocks poking out just about every where. We all felt it, a sort of knot in our stomachs! Are we going to find anything thats skiable?

Heading to the back side of the resort, towards the north facing woods, we hit the jackpot. It was not bottomless, hitting everything from rocks and logs was the name of the game but in those sweet pockets between the hard stuff we found light, dry and billowing POW!

Powboards either want to be sideways of in the air!

Powboards either want to be sideways or in the air!

All of the creek beds are open so getting over them can be tricky...

All of the creek beds are open so getting over them can be tricky…

We spent most of the day using the 360 cam and the follow cam perspective. If there is one thing I never want to do again is shoot POV. While follow cams can be a pain in the ass, cause you are essentially chasing someone skiing as fast as they can, trying to stay close with literally no visibility because of the snow billowing out of the back of their track. The whole time you are thinking keep up, keep up, keep up; keep the cam steady, keep the cam steady; don’t eat shit! Despite the stressful nature of filming follow cam, I think the quality of the footage speaks for itself.

Its not all roses. The 360 mount makes you look like a kook!

Its not all roses. The 360 mount makes you look like a kook!

This is the reality of follow cam. Chasing someone while pointing a long stick at them! If you looked on from the outside all I can think is how stupid it all looks!

This is the reality of follow cam. Chasing someone while pointing a long stick at them! If you looked on from afar all I can think is how stupid it all looks!

Today was a great day! I am really stoked on how the edit turned out. We are always trying to mix things up, find original filming perspectives and make every edit just a little bit different! Hope you guys enjoy it.

May the POW be with you!

Cheers,

Rupi and Bernie

Broken Boots, Fog, Who Gives a Shit!

No sun who cares!

No sun who cares!

So today we woke up with the impression that it had snowed 25cm in Ischgl overnight, so we headed back there today to see if we could get on the faces we saw last time. All they really needed was a little bit of snow to cover up all the wind and sun affected snow. There was enough snow but sadly even though we got one of the first bins up and raced to the lift we wanted use for the day we got skunked. We did have some good times racing towards that lift! Watching Paavo (http://finnishedinaustria.blogspot.fi/) lay down some hanged out carves on smooth piste covered in probably 10cm of super dry snow. Getting to the top of the cable car, hot fog rolled in and put us in the middle of the soup kitchen.

If Youtube does not work use the Vimeo link below:

Ischgl Revisited!

After this we headed to some lower terrain to see if the fog was more forgiving down low. It was! Sadly following Paavo, I headed off a small boulder and the lip was a little steeper than I was anticipating and my rear locking mechanism blew up, throwing my weight forward to leave me with a boot in tour mode for the landing! As soon as I hit the ground my right foot buckled on me sending me straight to my face! Standing up I knew that something was broken, not wanting to screw up the day I just went for it and spent the rest of the day in a boot that felt like a pair of wellingtons!

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The broken locking mechanism…

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Usually secured by a metal rod the plastic bit exploded on impact!

I guess the light weight stuff has its limits but to be honest I learned two things. One is that when equipment breaks, which it does, even “if” you are really “out there” it is still manageable to get down safely. The second being that even broken equipment cant ruin a day in the mountains!

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The fog we were rolling into. In the back round the lift tower can be seen poking through.

The question I have to Dynafit is, what is the locking mechanism made of? Normal PU or the Grilimid that the base of the boot is made of? It seems to be the part of the boot that is most likely to blow up after the cable buckles, which so far have held their own.

Rolling up into the fog!

Rolling up into the fog!

We worked with the follow cam perspective a lot today to avoid the more boring POV stuff. We all wanted to have a go with the 360 pivot perspective but by the time the fog rolled in it was pointless. Regardless Paavo owned it today!

Watching an Google+ stitch 3 photos together without asking is pretty impressive!

Watching Google+ stitch 3 photos together without asking is pretty impressive!

All in all it was a great day, we feel as if we took real advantage of the hour of sun we got before the fog rolled in, and even when it did we just kept skiing. Broken boots, fog, no sun, WHO CARES!

As always…

May the POW be with you!

Cheers,

Rupi and Bernie

Sunshine, Flowers in the Valley and Sahara Dust in the Mountains!!

Its been a weird winter to say the least. In the north we are in the middle of spring, its warm, the valleys are green, with the first daises sprouting. The mountains are covered in a coat of Sahara dust giving everything a bit of a brown tint. That is not a reason to stop searching for good skiing, and the fact is that skiing with your best buddies is good skiing in itself. Today we headed to Ischgl, probably one of the Apre Ski Mecca’s of the world. Where else can you find a Burger King and a strip club in the same building. From ski bunnies, in to the limit tight ski pants, and ski instructors rocking the well earned raccoon look, Ischgl has more than a few sights.

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Some times you just have to stop to look at the mountains.

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Trying to get the camera equipment ready!

Still fighting with camera equipment!

Still fighting with camera equipment!

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Sometimes it’s a team effort, but nothing brothers of POW can’t handle.

On top of that the resort is HUGE! It is corporate skiing at its finest. Lifts going up in every single direction. Some go towards Switzerland, others to the top of some truly impressive peaks. What can we say about the snow? Its pretty much shit at the moment but who really cares, the sun was shining, we were stoked, and hell we got out in the mountains.

We messed about with the camera equipment, trying to get a handle on creating new angles and interesting perspectives. We tried to come to terms with some pretty brutal snow, with a massive crust and in places pure sheets of ice. Shark attacks were the name of the game and traversing once again became a game of chicken between skier and mountain.

Big and tall!

Big and tall!

Paavo usually not stoked on shit conditions! Rupi and I are slowly getting grins out of him even on the shit days!

Paavo usually not stoked on shit conditions! Rupi and I are slowly getting grins out of him even on the shit days!

We would like to give a shout out to our buddy Maxi who took a heavy hit hast week going off a kicker. He is currently chilling in the hospital in Innsbruck with a broken leg. Even at his lowest point, hurting, he was still cracking jokes and being the idiot he is. We wish you all the best and hope to see you back out there next year stronger then ever!

There is the that grin

There is that stupid ass grin I promised last week!

The last system was too warm to make it worth the drive down to Ost Tirol. So Rupi and I went back home to chill with friends and have an heinous amount of fun. Good news is that another Genoa system is rolling through this weekend so its back to the south. Paavo, Rupi and I are stoked to finally get back out there in POW conditions with one another. Hopefully if the stars align we can convince out good buddy Matt to cruise down with us for a party/shred session!

As always till next time…

May the POW be with you!

Cheers,

Rupi and Bernie

Mondays Left Overs!!

Looks like we missed out on some good snow on Sunday. Today was bumped out, but every now and again there was a spot of soft to be found. Same as last time just a couple of photos.

Rupi is back from Vietnam and is getting back in form. He is on his new GPO’s and the grin on his face today tells the story. No photo of it buts its always the same grin so I’ll get a pic of it at some point!

dumping speed 5

Holding his shifty till the last possible moment.

dumping speed 4

Getting comfortable in the air…

dumping speed 3

Stubai seems to have especially sharp rocks. Traversing can be a game of chicken. I took one to the hip today but no harm no foul.

dumping speed 6

The next three photos will kind of show that I like slamming right turns but its seems to be what Stubai wants…

dumping speed 7

Getting the most out of a Protest drift!

dumping speed 8

Arm is high but it was pretty flat…

dumping speed 2

A Paxis Skis only hobby. Bomber skis make the little things fun!

dumping speed 1

For every 100 bumps there is one pocket of soft!

dumping speed

Trying to dump speed while getting bashed around…

It looks as if spring has come early… Its has been really warm this winter, while good snow can be found sharks are lingering everywhere! It looks like touring is back on trying to find some soft snow. Hopefully March will bring more favourable conditions as February comes to a close.

Till next time…

May the POW be with you!

Cheers

Rupi and Bernie

Line Interrupted!!

Just a quick short post this time. Went to Stubai today, 10cm of wind blown powder, everything from stragusi to some soft in places. Not really anything great to post about was a nice chill day of skiing.

I had one fun moment though…

The fun first turn.

The fun first turn.

I thought it was going to be the best run of the day! I just got one solid turn in but then I was interrupted by the Lifties shouting in my direction from the bridge that stretches across the chute. My first instinct was that something had cracked behind me so I cut hard right! To my relief they just asked me if I could pick up a drill handle and battery that they had dropped while working on the bridge.

The Lifties working on the bridge.

The Lifties working on the bridge.

Trying to figure out where the drill handle and battery are.

Trying to figure out where the drill handle and battery are.

So picked them up, chucked them in my jacket and got one more turn out the bottom.

Drill handle...

Drill handle…

Battery...

Battery…

One good turn out the bottom...

One good turn out the bottom…

Bummed that the run did not get skied top to bottom but hopefully I gained some good Karma points!

So its going to be dumping in the south again! We will be heading down there later this weekend to hopefully score some deep turns again. Till then…

May the POW be with you!

Cheers,

Rupi and Bernie

Back to the DEEP! More Snow, Fun as Hell!

So last exam out of the way, positive or negative results? Only time will tell. With the cumbersome routine of University behind me it meant that it was time to ski again! Once again it dumped in the south, they are getting absolutely buried this year its actually quite amazing to see.

or Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/86567517

Last time we headed south we did not make it to the resort that I had wanted to ski at because the town and been shut off from the outside world. An Avalanche had buried the street into town under a couple meters of snow. Despite that we still had a great day in Ost Tirol. This time however the road was open and I finally got the goods! This time we headed down with Paavo (http://finnishedinaustria.blogspot.co.at) and Matt who has just come back from an epic trip to Hokkaido, Japan where it just dumps snow daily. Matt coming with high expectations was absolutely astounded by the amount of snow that was on the ground in Ost Tirol and the higher we went the deeper it got.

Is that a cabin?

Is that a cabin?

This year has been especially tough in the sense that most of our skiing days start with 2+ hour drives. They can be tiring and can be tough to get a handle on. We have always prided ourselves on getting to the ski lifts early, usually before they open so that we can be ready and in line in order to grab one of the first chairs. This means that we are not leaving at 7:00am or 7:30 but at 6:00am. This means 5:30am wake up calls! However it all adds to the sense of adventure so while tough and taxing the rewards are worth the sacrifice, (talk about first world problems! I know its a meek point of complaint but its still there!) because in the end we are going to ski, and ski really good conditions.

The level of Stoke was high!

The level of Stoke was high!

Paavo has a knack for driving in tough conditions and absolutely refuses to put chains on until absolutely necessary, I don’t know if this is a Finnish national pride thing or just cause its Paavo but on the drive there, I’ll just say that there were a couple of slippery moments. Getting there we looked around mouths open, arguing about the depth of the snow on the roofs of the houses surrounding us. We never really agreed on a definitive number but ill let the photos do the talking and hopefully you will argue amongst yourselves as to how much snow was actually on the roofs.

To see a guy soo stoked on snow levels! Plus he just came back from Hokkaido. That ski is 194cm long BTW!

To see a guy soo stoked on snow levels! Plus he just came back from Hokkaido. That ski is 194cm long BTW!

Coming from green pastures in Innsbruck seeing this can be a real motivator!

Coming from green pastures in Innsbruck seeing this can be a real motivator!

The day was followed by lots of skiing. We had never been to this resort before so we didn’t really have the lay of the land. So it was a game of “lets see where this goes”. It often ended in closed off sections of forest but several times it paid off making for some great runs.

Trying to get out of the back seat!

Trying to get out of the back seat!

Got a little lost down this. Lots of snow moving!

Got a little lost down this. Lots of snow moving!

I have always preached that longer skis are better! I will not say that I am stubborn but I learned that in tight situations sometimes a shorter ski will make life easier. Hopping on my 187cm Protests today really opened my eyes up to what a slightly shorter ski can do for you in tight and often times tricky terrain. I spent that day on my 196cm Protests and often times found myself getting snagged up on tree branches and what not. All I can say is that I spent a lot of my time face first in deep snow. Today skiing similar terrain the 187cm Protest was a blast. In the future when it gets tight I will definitely be spending those days on my 187cm Protest!

A church for every town.

A church for every town.

Under a Blanket of snow.

Under a Blanket of snow.

All in all one of the best days of the season. New resort, fresh  snow, amazing terrain! Its the stuff dreams are made of. If “Frau Winter” keeps the taps turned on in the south that is where we will be.

Continued…

Today we had another Faux Pas! Thinking we were smart we headed to the Dolomites to ski the Val Mezdi. Upon getting there we were greeted by higher than expected winds which lead to higher than expected avalanche danger! Italy works a bit differently, we wanted to park up at the Sass Pordoi cable car, ski the Val mezdi and take a bus back to the car. Sadly that is not how it works in the Dolomites. We just wanted to do the one run. We wanted to buy a single bump to the top of the mountain, ski the run and head home. We did not get to do that today. Frustrated by not getting a working compromise in order and not wanting to drop €46 a piece on day passes we said “Fuck it”. We hopped in the car and headed to Ost Tirol. In many ways it was not that bad of a decision, leaving Sud Tirol we watched as the strong winds ripped snow off the peaks: However beautiful and inviting the peaks look in the Dolomites touring at 2500m getting wind whipped is an acquired taste. Not to say we have not acquired that taste but today was all about chilling and having fun.

These things are every where...

These things are every where…

The Dolomites. Making the drive worth it.

The Dolomites. Making the drive worth it.

Little bit of road side CRACK(ing)

Little bit of road side CRACK(ing)

Looks like that wants to be sent!

Looks like that wants to be sent!

Mighty strong winds up there!

Mighty strong winds up there!

Off we went to Sillian, getting there we were greeted by sunshine and full parking lots, so we parked on the curb and got suited up. At this point I had realised that I forgot my helmet in my sleepy stupor this morning so I was glad to just meadow skip for the rest of the afternoon. As I was saying earlier, today was a great confidence builder: It was the first time that I felt totally at home in my TLT6′s , on Dynafit Bindings and my 187 Protest. We had fun, got some color and banged around for a couple of hours before the snow got cooked out by the sun.

Smiles all around!

Smiles all around!

Ost Tirol, sunshine and good times...

Ost Tirol, sunshine and good times…

OOOOH... AWWWW!! Look at those

OOOOH… AWWWW!! Look at those

Taking the day off tomorrow, but hopefully we will be back out there on friday in Ost Tirol, joined by a long time pow hound and friend Benni from back home in Salzburg. Till then…

May the POW be with you!

Cheers,

Rupi and Bernie