What a season final! Just in time for the very last Choice Split & Freeride Camp 2017, the mountain tops of the Zillertal were covered in white! A small group of advanced splitboarders came together to celebrate the season´s end with bluebird and first tracks, great vibes and a banger weekend at the House 4 Elements Zillertal on April 7th to 9th, 2017.
Even, though the Zillertal is obviously one of the most famous and most popular valleys in the European Alps, it still offers so many touring options and first-class runs in untracked powder far away from the crowds – even in April!
Choice Splitboard Camp Snowboard
The House 4 Elements, a rustic mountain cabin on 800 metres above sea level and situated on the sunny side above the small village of Stumm in the Zillertal, was the perfect homestay of a small group of experienced splitboarders for the very last Choice Split & Freeride Camp in 2017. Just before the sun was setting, everyone arrived to ring in the weekend with a sundowner beer on the terasse of Pavlina Mikolaskova´s beautiful mountain hostel. The delicious dinner was followed by the obligatory gear adjustment party and a typical Czech Schnaps – which – literally swept everyone off their feet and into bed immediately.
On Saturday morning, the alarm went off at ungodly time. As we all know, the early bird catches the worm, especially when it comes to spring touring. The first glance out of the window brought back the life to our hearts. Cloudless bluebird skies over the valley while the sun slowly started climbing over the mountain peaks. After breakfast, we made our way to the valley station of Hochfuegen, where we met our mountain guide Manfred Brandacher. Taking the gondola and one more chairlift to the highest possible point at 2.313 metres, we were ready to enter free alpine terrains. Everyone obviously enjoyed the first untracked run down to the Nurpensalm.
With great smiles, we converted our splitboards from riding to hiking mode and started hiking towards the Roßkopf. In front of an incredible mountain range the group skinned up 700 height metres all the way to the summit on 2.576 metres above sea level. Now, the sun was burning from the skies and everybody was thankful for a little cool-down at the peak. A perfect visibility on all those incredible mountains around the Zillertal was the reward for all the sweat. Back in riding mode, Manfred Brandacher aka Brandy showed his followers a nice long run through nice chutes and over sweet fields, all the 900 height metres back towards the valley. Not even the return trip on foot over the toboggan track could dampen the good mood and everyone seemed to enjoy the walk out in nature.
Back home at the House 4 Elements, the barbeque was already on and Pavlina was about to get dinner ready. All tired riders were happy to chill in the hammok or on the sun terrace for a moment until the start of a great barefoot bbq session. Until the sun went down, nobody really left his or her spot. When the moon rose over the valley, everyone was already in bed and dreaming big of another great day out in the mountains.
The „Hohe Riffler“ in the Zillertal Alps was on the adventure plan for Sunday. Together with local mountain guide Christoph Garber, the group took the gondola to highest possible drop in point. Passing the „Gefrorene Wand Spitzen“ we rode down to the start point at the tour. When we changed the boards to hiking mode, we realized that this was just another beautiful sunny and perfect touring day with amazing conditions and no wind at all. Good vibes all along the way, we walked over nice mellow fields to the so called „Schwarze Platte“ and across to the first glacier, the Schwarzbrunner Kees. After another rather steep and tough part, everyone was quite happy to reach the more moderate „Federbettkees“ on the last metres to the summit of 3.231 metre high „Hoher Riffler.“ After 700 height metres of ascent, the splitboarders were delighted with a little lunch break and great views of the Zillertal alpine world at the peak.
After the break, everyone was fresh and ready for a nice long and versatile run all the way down to the „Kleegrube.“ Sunkissed and satisfied we reached the slope somewhere between the Spannagelhaus and Sommerbergalm. Back at the House 4 Elements, old and new friends enjoyed the last moments together with a freshly brewed coffee in the sun, before it was time to say good bye! Good bye to a great touring weekend with friends and good bye to another amazing splitboarding season in the Tyrolean Alps! A special thanks goes out to the mountain guides Manfred Brandacher and Christoph Graber for their first class tour planning and guiding and off course, to the host and good heart Pavlina for having us in her beautiful mountain hostel.
The Choice Split & Freeride Camps: 2017 finally say good bye with a last shout out to the great partners, who made all this possible! We wish you all a great summer and hope to see you back in 2018! Because, there is always more to explore ;-)
Thanks: Blue Tomato, Amplid, Plum, Völkl Snowboards, Deeluxe Snowboardboots, Ortovox, Alpina Sports, ABS Avalanche Airbags, Goal Zero Europe und Protect our Winters Austria.
Pia Schroeter – organizer Choice Split & Freeride Camps