Konichiwa Japan – Waves & Snow on Hokkaido
When passionate wanderlust becomes reality, when horizons widen, engaging all the senses with excited anticipation, also the hearts of two adventure women beat the hardest. After an exciting trip to Norway last winter, this winter’s adventure for Aline Bock and Lena Stoffel meant turning WAY NORTH into WAY EAST and looking to more distant horizons for another exciting project for the two soul surfers.
The small team – consisting of Aline Bock; 2010 Freeride World Tour Champion, Lena Stoffel; professional freeskier, a local guide, filmmaker and photographer met up in Hokkaido to prepare for a late winter sojourn. Fully equipped with skis and boards for all kind of waves and snow, they set off in search of the famous Japanese powder snow and perfect waves, but also to discover the reality of a post-Fukushima life in Japan.
“We wanted to get our own personal insight on the situation and the reality of nuclear pollution after the accident and find out about the local population´s opion“ Aline explains.
The adventure took them a several thousand kilometres around Hokkaido on a surf, snow, and camping adventure through the mountains to the ocean and covering some of the least-visited and undiscovered corners of the island.
Lena points out, that “beside surfing the ice cold waters, snow camping definitely was one of the biggest challenges.“ With tents and camping equipment on their backs, the crew hit the trail on their skis and split boards to reach the Sea of Japan. Wind gusts up to 100 km/h, 20kg+ of gear, fog, and freezing nights in the snow pushed the team members’ resolve to their limits.
“Despite some really tough times, this journey showed us one more time how powerful mother nature can be and how much we, as human beings, need to adapt.“
With their journey through a remote wilderness of untouched landscapes, riding perfect lines and surfing unnamed waves, the two sportswomen carved their own path through this beautiful land. This is all about two brave women, leaving their comfort zone and finding their happiness WAY EAST.
Way East Trailer from Mathias Kögel on Vimeo.
Their 20 minute film WAY EAST, shot entirely during their 3 week long journey in Japan, will be released in autumn 2016
About Aline Bock:
As a former freestyle snowboarder, Aline quickly discovered her strengths in combining the playful elements of freestyle and freeriding. With her creative choices on the lines she rides along with her strong performance on all mountains, Aline became Vize World Champion the first year of joining in the Freeride World Tour and claimed the title of the Freeride World Tour Champion in 2010. Since then, the German snowboarder has been focusing on big mountain and backcountry film projects, traveling to the most beautiful freeride resorts on the planet. www.alinebock.de
About Lena Stoffel:
With her roots in alpine racing Lena Stoffel went her way further to Freestyle/Freeride skiing. She still competed in several Freeride and Freestyle competitions during her studies in Innsbruck,. Her main achievements were a 5th place at the X-Games in Tignes in Slopestyle in 2010 and winning the Austrian Open in 2011. As an olympic hopeful, she spent her last few years fighting back after two major knee injuries to prepare for the Olympics in 2014. Unfortunately she did not have enough time in the end to get back to her skiing level she had before. Lena is now focusing on film- and photo projects.
Travel time: March 7th – April 2nd , 2016
Locations: Hokkaido, Japan / Rishiri, Japan
photographer´s credit: Aaron Jamieson