From 9th to 12th of March, the full range of sun, powder and yogi vibes attracted us to beautiful Navis in Tyrol. 13 splitboard enthusiasts spent four sensational days in a cosy hut, in order to deepen their freeride and yoga skills in a relaxed atmosphere.
This year in March the first Golden Ride Splitboard & Yoga Camp took place in Navis, the paradise of touring in Wipptal, in collaboration with Golden Ride and Board Bagged Travel. 13 powder-loving yogi girls met in Navistal, also known as the ‘valley of love’, and stayed in Hubird, a cozy lodge belonging to Chrissi and Waldemar. On the schedule were three days of powder fun, including training for our riding technique, avalanche awareness and LVS searching exercises with our guide Corinne Mayhew, plus relaxing yoga sessions with Anne Moser to offset the challenging days of touring.
Due to its excellent location, the Hubird offers a big variety of freeride opportunities.
Day 1 // Preparation is everything
Before exploring the Naviser backcountry, Corinne gave us a little introduction to the world of splitboarding. After that, we set up our equipment and she gave us the necessary information about snow profiles, the emergence of avalanches, and how to handle the avalanche detecting device (LVS).
((Picture 2: Handing over the splitboarding and safety equipment.))
Day 2 // First time of touring
After the early morning fog had passed and with the fresh snow still sparkling on the mountains, we couldn’t wait to start the tour. Energized by some tasty cups of coffee and a wholesome breakfast, we grabbed our bags and boards, and hit the road. We hiked up the little track directly behind the Hubird, heading through sparse forests and along the mountain, always with a view of the snowy summits of the Tuxer Alps. Despite the effort, there was something meditative about moving along the trail altogether, surrounded by the beautiful, untouched nature. However, we unfortunately had to abort our tour, due to a warning stage 4 avalanche situation. Nonetheless, before heading back we indulged in a little break, while Corinne showed us a snow profile by digging a deep hole with her shovel through the different layers of snow. Using her fist and fingers, she inspected the thickness and consistency of the different layers and explained to us how these varying degrees of hardness could cause tensions, thereby leading to avalanches.
For our first downhill ride, we had to convert the splitboards. Once the skins were removed, bindings screwed off, skis put together on a board, and the bindings put on, we were ready to go. The first run was just the track back to the Hubird. After arriving we tested the LVS by hiding one device in the snow and locating it one by one. In zig-zag lines, we rode slowly down the hill while the LVS gave us information about the direction and distance of the hidden object – a very instructive exercise.
Afterwards, we welcomed our first afternoon yoga session with Anne, which was a necessary mental balance to the eventful day. The powerful positions required strength, but stretching was a welcoming supplement to our first splitboard adventure.
Stretching as a physical and mental balance to splitboarding.
Day 3 // Touring through the backcountry
The third day welcomed us with generous sunshine and a deep blue sky. On the schedule was a tour across the Naviser Hut and along the Stöcklalm, up to the Wipptaler Höhenweg until we reached the Naviser Kreuzjöchl. We hiked directly up a steep track, through the beautiful snowy backcountry, and felt enriched by the amazing nature, the sun, the panorama, and the clear mountain air. With zig-zag lines, we had mastered the steep slopes while diligently practicing kick turns.
Hiking whilst enjoying the sun and panoramic view.
After three hours of strenuous uphill climbing, we paused to discuss the avalanche situation. As it was already midday and very sunny, the conditions were too dangerous to hike up any further. We cancelled our plan to reach the summit and decided to ride back to the Naviser Hut for a good meal in the sun. We switched our skis to boards and left tracks through the powdery snow. Even though it looks easy-going, freeriding is really exhausting. Getting up after a fall in the fluffy deep snow felt like an abdominal muscle workout. However, the effort was rewarded; the ride through the sparkling powder felt extremely liberating and triggered a desire for more.
During our well-deserved lunch break, we relaxed on the sunny terrace of the Navisier Hut. Approximately one hour later, we could see how an avalanche was triggered directly underneath the summit, not far from our tracks. Luckily no one was hurt, but it did unsettle us slightly. If we had decided to climb up to the summit, we could have been caught off guard by the avalanche. Thankfully Anne brought us back to our inner centre with an intensive and grounding yoga session. The yoga asanas strechted our tired muscles and pranayama, the breathing exercises, brought us the well-earned harmony of body and soul.
Day 4 // Say goodbye
The last day began with an energizing early bird yoga class and several sun salutations. We made one last, short tour before saying goodbye and then, sitting on the small wooden bench in front of the Hubrid, enjoyed the last sun of the day. Four days of splitboarding and yoga were now over. What did we gain? New freeride skills, heavy and aching muscles, ultimate deep relaxation, and fabulous, funny memories in any case. A huge thank you goes to Golden Ride Magazine, Anne Moser (Yogifit), Corinne Mayhew (Mayhew Snowboarding), as well as Burton, Rossignol and Ortovox for sponsoring the test equipment. Last but not least, a massive thank you to the Hubird Team for the great service, cozy lodgings, and unbelievably delicious food.
This was the Golden Ride & Hubird Girls Splitboard & Yoga Camp 2017 – to be continued next year....
Happy and satisfied yogis and splitboarder – made by Nathalie Gandrille
Story & Photos by Marline Mavie // Instagram.com/marlinemavie
Thanks Marline for this nice article, looking forward to read more splitboarding girls adventures from you.