Spring is in the air in Stubaital, but high above the valley, the glittering snow masses still promise finest splitboard fun.
Meeting place is the Stubaierhof where we enjoy the sunshine while waiting for the last arrivals who come directly from the Pleasure Spring Session 2013 in Laax. A few drinks and many snowboard stories later, we are complete. The riders Cris Kröll, Michael Stani, Martin Seiler, Aline Bock, the photographers Alex Papis and Patrick Steiner, the filmmaker Christopher Mark Garside and his girlfriend, the PR manager Pia Schröter and of course Weini, the head of the Völkl Crew.
At dinner with gröstl, pasta and radler, also our guide Patrick Ribis from Freeride Center Stubai arrives to discuss with us the tour for the next day. Comfortable it should be, but good action. So map out, the possibilities studied and there we have agreed on a fine tour. First tracks are guaranteed and that without too much ascent but with a different alpine delicacy. Patrick knows where to go!
Next morning, 6.45 am. We load our batteries for the Top of Tyrol at the excellent breakfast buffet and here comes Patrick our guide. "Grias Enkch, los geahts!" (tyrolean for "Hi, here we go!").
At the Stubai Glacier cablecar everyone gets his climbing harness and the excitement increases. Up to Eisgrat - uii the cable car is closed, so on with the Gamsgartenbahn, then another lift, splitboards mounted and a traverse, another 10 minute hike and we are already at the abseil place, our guarantee for untracked downhill fun.
Everyone is preparing himself and all are looking forward to the action. While Patrick prepares the backup, the crew uses the chance to take a look into the unknown - and - the joy increases.
pic by Alex Papis
Now everybody is ready and the first one is top-rope abseiled 50 meters into the depth. The Second, the Third, ... all in all the abseiling takes quite a while, safety first. Enough time to enjoy the beautiful panorama of the Stubai.
We have to wait a little until our slope is unfreezing for firn. We use this time for filming and the positioning of the image- and filmmakers.
pic by Alex Papis
The riders prepare to draw their lines into the snow and to enjoy the stoke. A short check for assumed cliffs and there we go.
rider: Cris Kröll, pic by Alex Papis
After some nice turns we meet at a safe place because meanwhile the first avalanches come down the steep, sunlit faces. After a short time skins are mounted and we are heading back to the ski resort.
Here the ascent qualities of the Völkl Cashew split are once again claimed. A long traverse, some shorter steep steps and then we are back to civilization.
On the way to the valley we spot many, with the splitboard easily reachable (with the snowboard unreachable) lines for future trips and let a day full of joy fade away with fat smiles on our faces.
Thanks Völkl Snowboards and all who were there.