Gettin high in austria

Trip Start Feb 16, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Austria  ,
Tuesday, January 16, 2007

well its been a long time between drinks (well for you, not me!) so lets get into it!
After having a work function the night before my flight to Germany (such a bad idea) and a horror ride in the tube to the airport with all my bags (none having wheels, snowboard bag being at least 20kg) we made it to Germany in one piece. From there ti was an easy few trains till we got to Kappl, our first accommodation in the Austrian Alps!
For those of you that don't know the area, let me explain a little. We were first tossing up to spend a few months at either St Anton or Ischgl. They are both massive resorts in the alps, but we decided on Ischgl because it had less aussies (who wants to meet someone from canberra in Austria!!???) and because it had the best apre ski (nightlife) in all of europe.
Because we were staying for so long we had to get a few different places for a few different weeks. Also 2 mates from aus were coming for a while so we had to accommodate them too. As i said our first town was Kappl. about 2 hours from Innsbruck and 15 minutes by bus to Ischgl.
 
We were riding almost every day and got back to form fairly quick.  Time flew until xmas hit and we decided to g for a ride xmas morning after opening our presses.
We had a top time and stopped for some beer and saw a heard of reindeer bolt across the ski run nearly taking out some kids, which we thought was pretty cool!
We did a few more runs and headed down to the village for ham (the sole food we had planned to eat all day) but stopped at another pub which we stayed at till way to late. o well a liquid xmas was only to be expected with a bunch of boys!
our 2 mates dank and Simon arrived on the 29th dec just in time for new years. we had moved to a bigger place down the road and the boy hard bought a ton of fireworks to bring in the new year. 5 boys + beer + fireworks = trouble as expected and we ended up hitting a few houses with a rocket or two. no harm done though...we think!
After that we headed into Ishgl were we hit a pub and rocked on until the wee hours. we had a top time and met lots of cool people. We did Australia proud as always!
 
A few day after that it dumped 40cm, which was tops, even if it was a bit dangerous....hello avalanche!
the snow was amazing for the next few days and it was very different than the snow i got in whistler or aus. it is so much lighter here and i can now understand how they can still move in knee deep powder in the movies. its such an unreal feeling, and keen boarder must get OS to really get the good stuff!
 
Well since then not much of interest has been happening. the snow hasn't been great so we have been going out alot and sitting around. i even went for a hike yesterday up to a waterfall which was waaaaaay harder than i thought and left me with alot of scrapes and nearly a twisted ankle.
my current plan is to stay here until mid feb then head back to london to sort out my next move. ive been away 11 months now so goin home is going to be very weird, but it has to be done this year sometime i think!
 
Anyway, i hope everyone is well and dont forget to email me to let me know whats news back home.
 
Peace + Love
 
Matt 

===update==== 10/02

more pics, enjoy!


++UPDATE 27/03++

well im back in london...booo!

the snow in the last month has been the best yet. lots of big dumps and lots of bluebird days.
a few days of note are as follows!

The place we were living was run by a guy who was a mountain guide so one day he took us up to this hut (id call it a hotel though!) where we spent the night. the next morning we got up early for the hike. we strapped on the snow shoes and put the boards on the back and headed off. the view was amazing and the snow was deep! we climbed 700 vertical metres in about 2.5 hours. it doesnt seem like much but we started at over 2000m. about half way up we started to really feel it. i pushed on stopping every 50 paces for a rest. poor ol "cannonball" farrel hung back and filmed the accent :)

the run down was amazing. not one track and a good 30cm of fresh on top. for some reason helis and sleds (skadoos) are illegal in austria making hiking the only way to get backcountry. id do it again for sure, but a heli would be alot easier!

one other day after a big dump 6 of the lads decided to go off piste and do some filming. all was well and we decided to do a run with our crazy mate from Amsterdam. he took us to this ledge where we all stuck our head over trying to find a line or if it was safe to go. Joel was sick and boarded down the bottom to film. as the 6 of us were looking over the ledge, i looked to my right and saw a crack in the snow. This is not good. a bit further in front of this crack was a bomb hole. helicopters literally drop bombs on faces that avalanche to make them go in a controlled way. the bomb hole here had not caused an avi, but had created more cracks. not good 2.
So anyway, buy this stage ive decided not to go, but the others are still thinking about it. As we inch closer to the edge, Joel rings us and tells us we are standing on a massive corneas and to move fast. just as he hung up we hear a massive Voom- Voomph as the Cronus we were standing on gave way from underneath. We all jumped for safety, but because the snow was so deep we hardly moved. According to Joel the avi we caused was about 20m wide and massive. it almost hit some dumb skier who Joel was yelling at, but luckily it just missed him.

So after that we were pretty shaken and we all went out for beers. That night i met a top Swedish chick who i agreed to meet up with the next day. After sitting in the sun with her for about 4 hours, we decided to do a few easy runs and head home. Unfortunately i lead us off piste and into a valley that was a big hike out to get back onto the run. We decided to keep going down and ended up in a very tight valley with avi damage on both sides and a river down the middle. we started freaking out a bit as this is a super bad place to be in.  Luckily we made it out the bottom with no harm done!

Other than these 2 crazy days, all the others went off without major incident. all the boys progressed well with 360s over kickers being done decently by the end of the season.
There was of course a ton of crazy parties. One for example ended badly after we bout enough punch to get 10 people drunk...for 20 euro! stay tuned for those pics and many other when the boys get back!

ciao Austria :(

matt
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