For the very last camp on Stubai Glacier, the forecast predicted a large amount of snow. On Thursday, 21st of April, organizer Pia Schroeter was awaiting the participants with some of the latest gear for demo/testing at Freeridecenter Stubai. Everyone had the chance to test the latest Volkl splitboards, ABS backpacks, Ortovox safety gear, Marker helmets and goggles. Fully equipped and endowed with Blue Tomato goodie Bags and Had Originals bandanas, the motivated splitboarders were ready for dinner. When everyone sat together at the Jagdhuette, the mountain guides Patrick Ribis and Dominik Gleirscher introduced themselves and talked about the actual avalanche situation and tour planning for the weekend. Volkl team rider Peter Walchhofer and the editors from Golden Ride Magazine had also checked in at the Hotel Stubaierhof to join the splitboard missions this weekend.
With bluebird and spring temperatures, no one had struggle getting up early on Friday morning. After breakfast, the Gamsgarten mountain station was the next stop for an espresso and the safety briefing with the mountain guides. A couple of warm-up runs later, the group got ready to skin up about 400 height metres from Daunferner to Daunjoch with their splitboards. Blue skies and blazing hot sunshine with almost summerly temperatures made everybody sweat after the first steps already.
Arrived at the top, the group divided and some of the super motivated guys made the run down to Glamergrube, followed by a second hike of 400 height metres back to the summit. Both groups got rewarded with a nice run, perfect spring snow and playful obstacles. After another short ascent, we arrived back in the resort with big smiles on our sun-kissed faces. Back at the hotel, everybody was in a rush, not to miss out on coffee and cake before heading to the spa area and swimming pool, followed by a 5-course dinner at the Hotel Stubaierhof Neustift.
During the night, it started snowing and on Saturday, the Stubai Glacier welcomed us with a great late season dump. Sunburnt from the previous day, everybody was frothing to slash those 30 centimetres of fresh powder. Until noon, everything was tracked, snow and legs were getting heavier and the group deserved a lunch break at the Gamsgarten. Heavy snowfalls and zero visibility made it hard to ride in the afternoon and so the group moved on to the Ortovox Training Park for the avalanche safety training. Beside probing, shoveling and theoretical basic info, everyone had the chance to practise for an emergency. When the day´s work was done, the splitboarders returned to the hotel to rest and relax in the wellness area and get ready for the bbq night.
On Saturday evening, Aline Bock joined the group in Stubai. From Saturday to Sunday, it snowed another 30 centimetres . The Stubai Glacier showed off in a wintery-white dress and with another large load of fresh powder on Sunday morning. Due to the warm temperatures, the avalanche risk has been rising, too. As always: Safety first! So the group started splitboarding from the Gamsgarten mountain station, heading in the direction of Daunjoch again.
After about 500 height metres, mountain guide Patrick Ribis decided to switch back to riding mode and float down the Daunferner in deep and fresh powder. Another amazing and well-deserved run in untracked snow with cheerful faceshots all over the place! A last short ascent and the group reached the Murmelebahn again to finally ride down to the Gamsgarten mountain station for lunch. After the break, we gave our best to destroy the very last untracked powder faces. One last get-together at the Stubaierhof to return all the hardware and say good bye to old and new friends after a great and action packed weekend. Was it really already end of April? We could not believe it! Winter came late this season, but the end of the season is definitely not in sight, yet these days! We wish you some more great days of touring up at Stubai Glacier!
Pia Schroeter (organizer Volkl Split & Freeride Camps)
Aline Bock (Freeride World Tour Champion 2010, Volkl Snowboards Teamrider)
Special thanks to Stubaier Gletscherbahn and Hotel Stubaierhof Neustift for the support! Big up also to the camp partners: Volkl Snowboards, Blue Tomato, Deeluxe Snowboardboots, Ortovox, Marker Apparel, ABS Avalanche Airbags, Had Originals, Volkl Performance Wear