After a somewhat exhausting drive we finally arrived back home on the 27th of march 2010. Although we didn’t have much traffic on the way to Mayrhofen, our return journey seemed to feature nothin but traffic jams in the first 300 km. It’s about a 900km drive from Eindhoven to Mayrhofen and we split up the driving into pieces of 300km, so I was stuck with the first 300km of traffic jams. Anyway we made it and my body thinks it a good thing we left Mayrhofen, my mind still isn’t letting go. We just had an awesome time over there, everyday we learned something new and tried to make the day worthwhile.

Check out the pictures here

On the day we arrived, we actually arrived in such a timely manner, that we decided to get an extra mountain pass for the day. And after we checked in at the hotel, we changed into our gear behind the car and got on the Penkenbahn-elevator up the mountain. It’s just amazing to go from an area without snow in and rise up to the point where there’s snow all around you, I love the sight of that!

We toured round the area for quite a bit and I think on the first day we almost hit all the pistes we’d like to visit over the holiday. Where last year we should not have tried this kind of exploration, this year was no problem for all of us to do so. The weather was great the snow kinda hard-ish, but the slopes weren’t exceedingly crowded, so a good day to start with. We managed to find some kind of POW although it wasn’t of the best quality like we had in Sölden last year. All this made for an exhausting first day!

During the days that followed we mostly headed out to the small kiddy park besides the big Vans Penken Park. As we wanted to dial some straight air’s, 50-50’s, 180’s and 360’s into our arsenal of tricks, the small park featured a nice set of features to do so. It features about 4 boxes and 3 small-medium jumps, enough to go around and practice on. Check out the video for the stuff we did at the park, which I’ll post some time later after editing.

We picked one day to totally focus on buttering on a somewhat mellow slope and see how we would succeed in the buttering-technique. Starting off a little weary and uncomfortable with this way of boarding, soon we found a way to almost spin a 360 on the tail and continue spinning. It’s a really cool thing to be doing, but it was a very exhausting day to spend as well. A lot learned and we have to try that some time again to take it to the next level.

Later in the holiday I craved for the bigger jumps and other features in the big Vans park besides the small park. We decided all to ride the first few features to the right side of the park, which was the easy-line. Unfortunately the first downslope box was a painful experience for Marieke as she slightly fell across the box, leaving a bruised upper leg as a memory. After that she didn’t feel all that confident anymore and rode with me for camera purposes. It took a few days for her to be herself again, as she had been progressing sooo much during the holiday. I have a lot of respect for her, thinking that she only started snowboarding a year back orso. Jorg also had a few good runs in the Vans park and made himself comfortable with the easy-line. I had somewhat more succes in the Vans park and did a few good runs on the easy-line and soon found myself craving the medium-line to do some of those features.

The medium-line featured more challenging kickers, boxes, tables and tubes. Really exciting to see and even cooler to actually ride the features. I had been checking out other riders in the park and spotted their drop in points for the medium-line features. Now that I knew what a good drop in point was, I just went for the medium line and nailed the first medium kicker. This left me with such a stoked feeling that I wanted more and went for it again, even hitting the second medium kicker behind the first one. Stoked as hell about that to be honest. Riding the other features also gave me the same feeling and left me with a satisfied overall experience from the park. I left the pro-line to pro’s as I didn’t see myself progressing through the park that fast. Maybe I’m physically fit, but mentally is a different thing where I might need a pro to show me how to and make me a little bit more confident, or just go for it another time.

Unfortunately we got into the Vans park a little late in the holiday, as the weather had been turning in the last few days both parks weren’t optimal to ride anymore. The snow got slushy and the speed and judgment were totally different than before. Never the less I tried to hit the medium kicker again, but as I approached the kicker I was anticipating the slower slushy snow, only to find that the kicker itself was still kind of icey as normal. It caught me off guard and almost threw me off balance in the air, but it being a medium kicker and thus longer air-time I corrected the imbalance in the air and nailed the landing. But enough for me to decide that the big park wasn’t working in these conditions.

We had a super stoked holiday and really made progress. We visited lot’s of slopes and even had a small trip to the glacier which was great to see, but didn’t feature the park yet, as this is only prepared for the Snowbombing a few weeks later than we were there.