Our project Behind The Lines by Voelkl Snowboards took me, photographer Alex Papis (AUT), cinematographer Chris Garside (NZL), Joe Lax (CAN), Michael Stanschitz (AUT) and Ueli Kestenholz (SUI) on another memorable journey to Canada. Our trip was all about providing a firsthand insight behind the various aspects of the fascination freeride. The increased eco awareness lead to a controversial discussion over the past years about the various ways to find the endless powder. Heliboarding as just being one of those examples earned a lot of discredit. On our trip we picked up the discussion and illuminated the oppositional shadows behind this so-called sport. Splitboard ascents were likewise part of our trip as heli transports. Canadian ripper Joe Lax joined the crew for six days in Revelstoke and therefore the main part of the trip. Having Stani in the crew was great. It was definitely very nice to have a motivated rider like him with us. We got along well and were both very motivated to always make the best out of the given situation.
The two week shred trip started on March 3rd in Zurich. Beeing able to be part of such a trip was a personal highlight itself. For me it is certainly not a matter of course that a national rider like myself can be part of such a team trip and I am very greateful for the chance to do so and experience that particular part of Snowboarding. Via Toronto we flew to Calgary, Alberta where we picked up a seven person RV – our home on wheels for the two weeks in and around British Columbia. Beeing on the road with such a massive RV was a lot of fun. I never hit the road with such a vehicle before and enjoyed every minute I was able to live that particular special lifestyle, including the two RV party’s we had along the way. The trip lead us where ever the pow fell throughout British Columbia. Our main stop was Revelstoke, where we spent the most of our days. The conditions were great and we were able to shred pow every day. Riding wise our first blue bird pow day was definitely my personal highlight. Beeing out there from first chair until dawn at around 7.30 pm is what makes snowboarding so valuable to me. Such days are the reason why I love that so called sport so much. Beeing able to be out there in the nature hiking mind blowing winter wonderland landscapes, ride pillows and steep big mountain lines all day and get back to the valley in silent darkness puts a long lasting smile on my face. Another personal highlight was our day sledding at Boulder Mountain close to Revelstoke. Riding such a sled is a lot fun and gives you a real rush. For snowboarding the possibilities access wise are endless, which makes that tool/vehicle for me one of the best I ever discovered. With the help of those powerful beasts you are able to access such a huge variety of terrain you normally would be able to access with much more costly heli or cat options only. With having eight days Revelstoke in our backpacks, we went back East to check out Kicking Horse close to Golden for two days. After 12 days in and around British Columbia Alex, Chris, Stani and Ueli went home to Switzerland and Austria on March 15th. I stayed another four days up north in and around Jasper visiting some friends. Looking back I am very happy I was able to stay those additional four days. It gave me the opportunity to relax, meet some friends, discover new places and finally just shred. CJ and I split things up at Jasper National Park and destroyed Marmot Basin for a bluebird day after a 20cm dump. With a memorable raging night together with Pamela and the whole CMH Valemount crew my 2013 Canada visit ended with some basic rules and protocols. Thank you Canada, I had a blast.