November was full of great preseason skiing and a tough month to follow but December kicked off like this:
Then after a fantastic Xmas and New Year with family and friends it was time for some productivity to generate some media…
YOU & THE FOOLS – EP1 (early Jan)
Just after the new year I began skiing for the El Flamingo’s winter production You & The Fools. The “Fools” being Flo Preuss, Sven Rauber, Jochen Mesle, Neil Williman & myself, first episode below.
Here is a POV shot of my Lincoln Loop off the cliff in that episode:
JAMES BOND (early Jan)
Straight after which I started some top secret work on the new James Bond Movie “Spectre” due to be released in October, you may just see a clip where I am skiing in the movie! Here is a sneak preview of where I was working, just metres from Bond shooting badies!: First behind the scenes Footage
PLANKS TEAM WEEK (mid Jan)
Then it was off to the Planks Team Week in Morzine, France for skiing shooting and good times with old friends and fellow Planks team riders Tove Kockum and Neil Williman among others and hosted splendidly by Rob Embling, the Planks team manager, in the Mountain Mavericks chalet.
BACK TO INNSBRUCK (late Jan)
We struggled with snow conditions on the Planks Team Week and just as we left it cruelly began to dump. But much to my glee we also got the same storm back in Innsbruck and got to ski some epic fresh powder days! Below are a few turns from one such epic day spent at Stubaier Gletscher with Anne Stevens, Laura Perfler, Johannes Von Kirshbaum and Dani Hochmuth.
INJURED (early Feb)
Soon after these great pow days I tore my calf muscle on a the landing of small cliff I had done many times before. The prognosis was at lease 6 weeks off skiing – gutting.
I also attended the ISPO Munich (International Sports Business Connected) which is the major trade show for snow sports in Europe. I hobbled many kms around the huge complex on my crutches to put a face to people who previously were just an email address to me and of course finished the day with an interview & beer!
BOND, JAMES BOND… AGAIN (mid Feb)
I got the opportunity to work on the James Bond production again but this time in a more sedimentary role (keeping the punters out of the filming area) with my girlfriend, Sophie. The job was easy to say the least and we had so much down time that over 5 days that we built an Ice Bar complex complete with a 6 man Ice Cave including a bed for snoozes. We were so bored by the end of the week that we started to serve drinks to the public and invite people to join us “at work” (chilling in the sun and watching the action).
MR SMITH BRINGS THE POW (early March)
By about the 2nd of March I was able to ski gently again and just in time to shred with old Kiwi mate Hamish Smith who brought a bunch of fresh snow with him which I could not resist! But my still healing torn calf muscle did not enjoy the long pow days as much as I did…
JUDGING THE POEDERBAAS FREERIDE FESTIVAL (mid March)
I was honoured to be invited to judge the Dutch and Belgium freeride Championship (Poederbaas Freeride Festival) in Goldeck, Austria (4 hours away in the Salzburg region). I took my girlfriend Sophie and fellow freeskier Neil Williman, who was also injured, as another judge. It was a fantastic event with such a great bunch people who really understand what freeskiing is about – Fun! Thanks so much to Bart, Stenmar, Paul, Maartin, Irian, Boaz & Sanne, “Blonde Pong” and everyone else for such a great time!
LAST MIN ROAD TRIP TO SKI THE MED (mid March)
As soon as I returned from the Poederbaas Freeride Festival, which was more of a 4 day party, I was looking forward to some days off but just hours after returning I was ask to join a guy called Markus Ascher and his friend Hannes Scheinder on a road trip in Markus’ super sick, self-converted campervan south to Italy near the Mediterranean Sea where they were getting metres of snow. With my torn calf muscle feeling better I could not refuse so I packed and left with them immediately. We drove right through the night and arrived at 9am the next morning in Prato Nevoso. Wasting no time the 3 of us booted up and hit the fresh Italian pow. We skied storm pow in the trees for 2 days and on the third day, after skiing powder under a clear blue sky, left for Mediterranean at lunch. By 4pm on the very same powder day we were on the beach swimming in the sea. An epic, spontaneous road trip! Read about it in the current issue of NZ Skier Magazine. Thanks to Gherry for hooking us up in Prato Nevoso!
SHOOT WITH CHARLIE (early April)
April came around and with it came one final weather system of cold fresh snow. Weather enthusiast and FWT rider, Charlie Lyons, saw it coming from a few days out and suggested we throw my camera between us to try bag some shots in Hochfugen, Austria for a day. It worked! We both got publishings in NZ Magazines – NZ Skier and NZ Ski & Snow – both mags on shelfs now.
And checkout a cheeky little straight line POV video from the straight line image 5 photos back up above…
ICEBREAKER SHOOT WITH JAKOB (early April)
Just 3 days later we got another powder day but this time I was on my own with professional photographer Jakob Schweighofer shooting for Icebreaker back at Stubaier Gletscher.
YOU & THE FOOLS LAST EPISODE (mid April)
Then it was time for the 5th and final episode of You & The Fools by El Flamingo Films which was filmed in Montofon. This time we were joined by Max Kroneck, an extra “Fool”. I had missed episodes 2, 3 & 4 due to my niggling torn calf muscle but the last one was a good relaxed spring sign off!
AXAMER LIZUM CLOSING DAY
After returning from Montafon it was time for closing day on our local ski hill near Innsbruck, Axamer Lizum. Dress ups, drinks and debauchery with a bit of skiing.
TRAINING FOR MONT BLANC (mid – late April)
But my season was not quite done. I had made a commitment to attempt to climb and ski descend Mont Blanc for an Epic TV production from 25th April to the 3rd May so I still had to train. Out came the light touring gear and I did several, long high altitude tours with a night spent sleeping above 3000m.
Thats my Austrian 2014/2015 season in nutshell. To see how we went in Chamonix climbing Mt Blanc please wait patiently for the edits to be released on Epic TV!
Happy Summer Europeans… Bring on Winter again Kiwis!!!