Our Iceland trip was good and quite intense. We were to drive around the Island in two weeks and started of exploring the ski possibilities on the south coast and close to Reykjavik. The actual coast didn’t have much snow so we needed to go a bit inland to find the good stuff. I think the coolest thing was that we were pretty much the only skiers around. Driving around just looking at stuff to ski: “That’s a good looking shoot”, “uh, too rocky, let’s keep on driving”, “what about there, that looks like an easy to hike up to that couloir”-sort of stuff. To search for you own lines and ski them is what it’s all about.
Here’s episode I of Felix Heintz exploring Iceland. Starting of with the southern part of the island.
Here’s the teaser Felix made from our Iceland trip. Full episode out soon…
Here’s something for the road. Actually I filmed this as a little experiment last year in November 2010. And pretty much exactly one year later we’re still waiting for some snow, so it’s a good time to “fiilistellä” some early season sunday tryout sessions.
Autumn and not that much snow down in the valley. Pete Velisek is visiting me from Canada for a few days, on his Europe trip. And we figure it’s a good time to go for a hike and at the same time check out some lines for the upcoming winter.
Skiing down a steep face is actually quite amazing. No cliffs, no features just steep and wide, kind of feels effortless, like flying.
Here I got a bit carried away in the moment. This is a good example what not to do, getting caught in my own sluff. I had my exit point, which I scoped from below, to the skiers right of the bergschrund and was focusing on drifting my turns in that direction. So even if it wasn’t all that deep, the sluff caught up to me. I managed the sluff but buckled out on the surprisingly-wet-snow landing of the bergschrund, tired legs, loads of heavy shit in my backpack, yeah it was a bit too much fun.
This is from last spring from my edit I made from our tour up to Col Du Diable.
Last year I made a journey to British Colombia in Canada. I wanted to go there for years and now the possibility came along, and it was pretty awesome.
This episode is about my first experience of the skiing around Nelson, a town which lies in the Kootenays, the Eastern part of B.C. This was the first stop of my trip. The next day we had a chance to go up to Meadow Creek and the Selkirk Wilderness Skiing lodge, which is the oldest cat ski operator in the world. We headed out with my friend Ian Watson, filmer Anthony Bonello and Peter Velisek (who unfortunately couldn’t ski because of an injury which happened a week earlier). I was amazed with the size of the skiable area that is accessible with a snowcat. Throughout winter they’ve plowed roads through the forests and made paths up to the mountain peaks, so you could actually access and ski anything you liked, from tight rocky faces to deep trees. Tons of snow and no crowds, I wish I stayed for longer…
The next day we went up to the Whitewater ski resort, where some of the helmet cam footage is taken.
I left on this journey alone but I had some good friends helping me out. Thanks Ian, Peter and Anthony.
So I didn’t go skiing this summer, which I guess isn’t a great surprise since it is – well summer. Anyway some friends went off to spend time in South America and New Zealand following the year round snow. I stayed home working and doing other stuff and was kind of envious. But, it turned out to be good, I enjoyed the summer heat and got interested in other stuff and in the end maybe I learnt something I wouldn’t have in case I’d gone.
One of the things I’ve been doing more is skateboarding, (I skated at times as a teenager) wanting to learn to ride the mini (Although very hard and painful, yet ah so addictive). And seeing some really talented people, I have started to think of skateboarding in its most raw form as a reflection of a persons style, like a mirror to how one acts, the own values and how one sees the environment around. Style doesn’t only represent what your talent is in skateboarding, but it shows personality too. Seeing this I immediately wanted to think of how I see this style relation in freeride skiing (not talking about parkriding, where difference in style is evident). And the way I see it, skiing doesn’t seem to have so much “variation” in style. It’s so much about the “correct” technique, how to perfect a turn and all that, and the extra – call it – fun factor, which stands out in each individual is hidden away.
There are of course exceptions and what I enjoy watching in skiing is friends with peculiar styles, styles that stand out, who see things a bit differently from the others. You can do things “technically right”, ski the line in a rational way, jump the cliff at the obvious point and so on, but it’s not just that interesting. While the chase for the “hardest line”, biggest air and most complex trick is what is strived for, style is secondary and it shows. Who is the best skier.. who cares, well who then has the best style.. who cares about that either. What matters is the variety of styles and that, makes everything so much more interesting.
And why do I feel so strongly about this subject of personal style? I guess there is one explanation, my own personal lack of it… Last week I finally got back on my skis but in a wetsuit, to session the new waterramp they built in Jyväskylä. I want to try to open up more dimensions into my skiing, (since doing tricks of kickers has always been to me a sort of “stick to what you know” kind of thing) thus developing my own personal style. Thanks guys for the tricktips and a great session.
Well summer’s over and I’m heading back to the land of the baguette and home of the… erhm.. french, see you when you get there.
Here’s some edits made by Kim Öhman, which we filmed last season. From Italy to Iceland.
In mid May, I went up to northern Sweden to participate in the Scandinavian big mountain championships again. It’s one of the oldest freeride competitions and the level of skiing is really high. Three days of intense competing, after which they throw a big party which marks the end of the season for many.
The first day was a qualifying day, something like 140 riders (of which nearly 90 in of male skiers) of which about 40 % go on to the finals. I took a solid line which I felt comfortable with and went on to the next day.
On the second day I was quite nervous, the conditions where hard and icy and I hesitated how to make my turns to smoothly jump a small cliff in the middle of the venue.
On the third and final day, I felt like all tension was gone. I wasn’t really nervous and could focus on my line without any hesitation. That felt really good, and I hope to get into that state more often.
Here’s a video made by Mikko Jaakkola from the event. It shows all the finnish participants who entered the comp. Thanks guys it was hellofalotoffun.