In life there are moments that stick with you, not because of time, place or scenario, but because they are completely unique. The two days we spent in Ost Tirol was one of those moments.
Julain Theking (http://www.julianzenzmaier.com/) picked me up and we were off. The stoke level was absolutely through the roof on the drive down to East Tirol because of the reports we had been receiving from two of our buddies that had driven down the night before. Snow and lots of it! Skiers like to think that they know what a lot of snowfall looks like, but in all honesty people have rarely seen this type of snowfall. It was relentless, mind-boggling and downright astronomic. Driving through Italy we saw stranded truck drivers, 1m high car mushrooms, and buried parking lots. We saw everything and nothing at the same time because of the snow. It just kept getting deeper and more intense. With mouths open and minds polluted with deep powder turns we pressed on. Following the slow pace of Germans and the Dutch we went for it. Overtaking here and there, we blazed through the streets of Italy. We had a date and not any normal date but one with “Frau” winter herself! POWDER!
Nearing our destination disbelief started to set in. As we looked at each other we were of the same opinion it was the most snow we had ever seen fall in 24hrs and not by a little but by a lot. The road was slippery, we fought against the flow of traffic, stalled trucks and foreign cars. The single thought we had in our minds was we could not miss this day. When one wakes up as early as we did, 5am, we needed our fix. We got jacked on caffeine and the idea of bottomless powder. We were possessed by another power. Not one of rationality but one of need. We needed this day, for reasons unbeknown, we wanted it and we believed that we deserved it.
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After slipping and sliding we finally made it. We where here in the true epicentre of the storm. We were officially in the eye of JAPOWSTRIA. We saw snow, and not just what people consider a lot, but mind blowing amounts. Houses buried, streets with a built in braking function. That’s how much it snowed. We ploughed our way further into East Tirol.
Happy!! (We survived the drive), on the other hand sad because the ski resort we planned on skiing was closed. So we met up and ate brekki talking of snow and stoke. After half an hour; good coffee, sugars and oats and we decided to regroup. We had to find a resort where it hadn’t snow as much as in Sillian! There we were with Bastl (http://sebastianfischer.at/), Julian (http://www.julianzenzmaier.com/) and Chris (https://www.facebook.com/Christoph.Oberschneider.Photography), no idea where to go but with the absolute desire to ski. Calling around through the interconnected network of free skiers in Austria we found a resort that was open and deep.
Pilling into one car we were off. It was getting late I was getting antsy… All I wanted to do was ski POW. Finally we made it to a resort that was open. The quality of the skiing was disproportionate the the amount of snow that had fallen. It was just too deep!
Despite the late start we still had a great day. With our Austro born Canadian “WEBI” joining us from Salzburg we enjoyed deep snow in a deserted resort. Days like these are rare and they should be cherished for what they are. The epitomy of a pure experience. The eyes of children are always alighted with wonderment but to see that same expression in the eyes of adults and freinds is a truely unique experience. We know what snow is but what happened in Ost Tirol was truely astounding.
From Rupi who is in Vietnam to myself sitting in my kitchen in Innsbruck we wish all those who fought to keep us safe in these exceptional times all the best and all those who seek the gratitude of powder and freedom good times.
May the POW be with you, stay safe, till next time…
Rupi and Bernie