Austrian Winter – Shooting, Filming, Road Trips & Injury

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




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.

Old pow lip slash in the slack country of Morzine, we were guided by many super friendly locals! Photo: Tom Humpage


“I GOT THIS HAT FOR FREEEEE!” Neil and I owning the dance floor in Morzine. Thanks Mountain Mavericks for hooking up the chalet, food, booze & this party! Photo: Tom Humpage


Willikum (lovely couple Neil Williman & Tove Kockum) taking in the French Alps at the end of days shooting with the Planks team




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.

Getting wheeled in to hospital by “carer” Sophie with a badly torn calf muscle. Photo: Ellie Stevens


But I keep myself busy… I was offered the opportunity to work for Gopro on the Freeride World Tour stops in Fieberbrunn and Kappl which was a great experience meeting some fantastic people.

Keeping busy while injured – working for Gopro at the Fieberbrunn stop of the Freeride World Tour. Photo: Unknown


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!


2015/2016 line up of the beautiful K2 Skis range! The new “Pinnacle” freeride ski is the business


Martina Weidel and I at the Icebreaker booth, we know each other from 10 years ago in Wanaka, NZ! Photo: Another IB employee


Fellow athletes Neil Williman & Jochen Mesle from the EL Flamingos production series You & The Fools enjoy a beer and an interview with Epic TV. Photo: Rob Embling




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).

Sophie in the “Bond Bar & Chilling Complex” that we built. This is early morning prepping the bar for the punters to arrive that day


Inside the snow cave I built with a bed and candles at the back. The door to the cave is just to the right of the bar in the photo above


The Bond Bar in full swing with fellow Bond employee Ludwig Dengg serving the holiday makers




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…

Hamish Smith on one of many lonely powder days with freshies to ourselves at Axamer Lizum


After Hiking for the rest of the fresh snow after the weather cleared, Leo Rauch and I ripped up a couloir


This how my leg with the torn calf muscle looked after each day skiing – tad swollen. Photo: Sophie Stevens




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!

As we arrived in Goldeck, Austria I immediately had to jump into the beautiful Millstätter See. Photo: Sophie Stevens


Paul de Groot, winner of the Ski Men’s division and Bart Verbeek, one of the founders of Poerderbaas, in the morning sun before day 1 of competition


Jagerbombs in the tiny bottle while compiling the riders scores with the weeks MC (L) and Stenmar, another founder of Poederbaas (R)


Belgium won the party prize – this is only day one




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!

Getting tits deep in Prato Nevoso on day 1 of the Roady. Photo: Markus Ascher


Hannes in The Powder Bus! Never have I seen such an epic campervan converted with such thought, love and care


Apparently Prato Nevoso deals with this quantity of snow weekly! Photo: Markus Ascher


Inside the Powder Bus Markus (R) cooks up dinner while Hannes (L) dreams of tomorrows powder plans (the bed folds out above)


One of my last runs before leaving for the beach as the snow was getting heavy. Photo: Markus Ascher


Hannes (L) & Markus (R) take in the view from Prato Nevoso after the weather cleared on the 3rd day


A dip in the Mediterranean Sea at Arenzano. Photo: Hannes Schneider


Markus (L) & Hannes (R) chilling in the long Med suntset before driving home to Innsbruck, Austria




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.

Old school shifty in Hochfugen, Austria. Photo: Charlie Lyons


A double page spread I had published in NZ Skier of Charlie with a massive roaster


Straight line fun on the FWQ 4* comp face in Hochfugen, Austria. Photo: Charlie Lyons



Powder Wheelie!!! Photo: Charlie Lyons


My Girlfriend, Sophie, getting it done on the steeps on the same day!


Lukas Zögernitz about to drop in for the shot with Charlie Lyons on the left


Got the Shot. Lukas Zögernitzs slaying it up!


And checkout a cheeky little straight line POV video from the straight line image 5 photos back up above…




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.

Getting deep at Stubai at 3000m. Photo: Jakob Schweighofer


Pow stomp landing from a narrow chute. Photo: Jakob Schweighofer


Coming out of the whiteroom. Photo: Jakob Schweighofer


Pow Pillow, Stubai. Photo: Jakob Schweighofer


More Powder Wheelies. Photo: Jakob Schweighofer


Cold snowy beard – sign of a great day! Photo: Jakob Schweighofer


An epic last run in the late sun on a great day. Photo: Jakob Schweighofer




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!




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.

One of the 2 runs I did that day in sunnies, cap, jeans and Icebreaker shirt, I had an urge to go upside down but over shot the shit out of this backflip! Photo: Lukas Zögernitz


Axams new “6 man chairlift”! (L-R): myself, Robert Stoeckel, Anne Stevens, Betty Larl, Sophie Stevens, Cecci Gobi. Photo: don’t remember


Human Pyramid! Bottom row: (L-R) Lukas Zögernitz, unknown, myself, Robert Stoeckel. Second row: Michi Trojer, Cecci Gobi, Anne Stevens. 3rd row: Fleur Simons, Betty Larl. Top: Sophie Stevens. Photo: no idea




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.

Training on Großglockner over 3400m (highest mountain in the Tirol region of Austria). Photo: Michi Trojer


On top of a sub peak of Großglockner (the peak was full of people) and test some filming gadgets. (L-R): Christoph Waldhör, Alex Mörtl, Michi Trojer


Mountain enthusiast and super nice guy, Alex Mörtl and I stayed in this hut at exactly 3000m for acclimatisation in preparation for Mont Blanc


My last day skiing in Austria this winter. Alex and I on top of Pfeffenkogel (3366m) with the Stubai valley and Innsbruck in the background. Photo: a nice old lady



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!!!