When you go off the road..

We are all quite good in creating routines. They give us some level of security, make us feel comfortable in whatever we do and help us to switch off from thinking too much about things we do as we do not challenge the existing status quo.

If we just quickly think about the place where we live I wonder how many of us can really say that they know it, that they actually have taken time to go and discover the area “behind their fences” ?

We all are quite good in finding the shortest and the most time efficient ways to take us from one place to another and then we stick with them, giving up on the excitement to let ourselves “get lost”, to be able to discover more and see the places from different perspectives. How can we possibly build the “bigger picture” of where we live if we do not invest any time into really discovering it?

I have met many people who do not know what is behind that building they pass by every day when running to and from a bus stop. What a nice area might it be further down in that park they go for picnic during the weekends or what a hidden gem is just a 5 minute walk from their house… If you do not challenge your routines, you will stick with your learnt patterns..

My mission of today was hence to take a short adventure to discover what the woods around the place where we have our cabin can offer. I just walked around without a specific goal  and let the nature lead me.  I walked on the ice across the lake to the opposite shore, where I found a small society, I got lost in the forest but discovered a small river and lake which I was not aware of, I walked up the hill to be rewarded by a beautiful view over the mountain massives at the horizon and then walked back towards our cabin following snowmobile tracks just to see where they would lead me… This adventure took me about 4 hours but it was so exciting and enriching! I got new perspectives of this place and only thanks to this I can put another few puzzles on my map together!

After today I am so fired up to take myself out again in the “hunt” to find as many new puzzle pieces as possible and compile them together in one complex picture! And how about you? Do you feel inspired? Go, take yourself out and create your everyday´s adventure! And don’t forget – don´t be afraid to walk different ways. They will always lead you somewhere, they will enrich you, show you new perspectives and give you new experience… And if you don´t like the way you walk, you can always turn back…

Hochfuegen Freeride Fest

First weekend in April I got a chance to be part of a crew organizing ski event called Freeride Fest (https:// www.freeridefest.com ) dedicated to all ski enthusiasts and specially to freeride skiing. The event was held in ski resort Hochfuegen, Austria.

Hochfuegen – a small but amazing resort offering great freeride opportunities is hidden at the begin of the famous Zillertal Valley at the very end of a 12km narrow swirling road with great mountain views. If you fancy off-pist skiing and do not mind short or longer hikes, you will be rewarded by amazing, sometimes more than 1000 elevation difference rides varying from easy open terrain to small couloirs or forest skiing.  You can literally choose whatever terrain you fancy the most for your freeride experience.

The aim of this event was to celebrate skiing by gathering all ski and mountain enthusiasts together, share knowledge, raise awareness of safety in the mountains and especially in the “free terrain” and to show a wider public that mountains are worth exploring behind the slopes and ski resorts as well –  as long as you have the right knowledge and equipment.

I was excited that I could be leading some of the freeride workshops offered during this weekend and to show my curious “freeride beginners” as well as experienced skiers what is freeriding about. I had groups up to 8 people which I had a pleasure to introduce to freeriding, share my knowledge about how to read the terrain, snow and ski conditions, how to evaluate potential avalange risks and what measures to take before, during and after freeriding. There is lots of rules and important things to bear in mind once you decide to leave the slopes and enter the “free zone”.

My mission was to show that freeriding is sport not only for “the extreme crazy few of us” but it can be actually something for everyone as long as you play according to the rules, follow the big MUSTS and listen to your “intuition” as well as to the mountains. It was so exciting to see their happy faces and smiles during and after our rides as well as to feel that I can influence them to dare to try more, push the limits and challenge their initial hesitations.

After this weekend I hope that I helped them to open the doors to something new, something adventurous which some of them would perhaps not dare to try on their own…  Hearing their feedbacks and curious questions during the days and over a glass of wine in the evenings made me confident that these short but intensive 3 days were a great “freeride teaser” towards their new adventurous era in their freeride skiing experience. I feel that I have planted the seeds to their future passion for freeriding and this is something which makes me super happy! My mission of this weekend was completed – I have spread my big love to freeriding and inspired others to engage in this amazing sport!

You can check a summary and short video from the event at: https://www.freeridefest.com/