My name is Stuart Innes and this is the story of my friends and mine 2016/17 season. It will take the form of a diary including photos and mini snowboard video edits and I’ll update it whenever time and wifi allows. The plan is to travel round Europe in my car based out of Mayrhofen, Austria and try and snowboard as much as I can.
It’s 9am and I’ve just woken up in the back of my Ford Focus in the woods outside Bispingen in Germany. Rob Wilkinson (a skier I know from the dryslope in Aberdeen) is in his tent a couple meters away. We started our trip in Aberdeen at 8am on Tuesday the 20th of September, driving to Newcastle and getting an overnight ferry to Amsterdam. After some navigational issues we were finally saved by my phone’s sat nav and soon we were on route for Bispingen for a week in a huge indoor snowdome with a chairlift and a better rail line than most mountain resorts.
Hurtling down the motorway, we could only imagine the strange looks people must be giving us with two pairs of skis strapped to the roof in the summer. Other than a half hour section caught in a tail back travelling at about 3mph watching Shred Bots on the laptop out of one eye, the rest of the journey passed pretty quick and we got to the dome just in time for a quick shred. Much to our amazement the pristine park was empty and some of the features still had grooming lines. After the dome we headed to our hotel to get a well needed rest.
The next morning we woke up and set out to find somewhere to set up camp for rest of the week. Eventually we stumbled across a disused path about five minutes drive from the dome that led through a forest and decided to set up camp - Rob in his tent, me on my mattress in the folded down back seats of my parents' old car.
By the time we had set up camp and stopped at the supermarket for food it was time to get to the dome, Rob who is still recovering from a minor shoulder injury decided to stay outside explore the area a bit more whilst I headed in to the once again deserted dome. We left the dome when it closed and headed back to our now pitch dark campsite. Friday proceeded in a much similar manner with the majority of the day spent lapping the world class rail line in the dome except this time with Rob donning his skis to film some clips for me. Friday evening finished with a trip to MacDonald’s to “pikey some free wifi" as Sam might say. Along with the usual spree of snowboard edits on my newsfeed I had a message from Whitelines asking about our trip and seeing if I’d like to do this little diary thing, of course I was stoked and said yes.
Its 20:58 and I’m sat in McDonalds with Rob, we’ve just finished editing the first webisode and boy, it’s been an eventful couple of days. About five minutes after I last updated the blog a guy and his dog came and kicked us out of our camping spot, so we spent Saturday morning trying to find a new place to stay. After ruling out the 60 quid a night official campsite the guy had suggested, we found a sketchy abandoned carpark already inhabited by a few old looking caravans and what we were fairly sure were German gypsies. Yes, that’s us, the people living out of a car, discriminating against others who do the same.
Having decided leaving the tent set up there, even with a padlock, was a bit sketchy we drove back to the dome planning to set up camp in the dark that night. Luckily some fellow German shredders told us they were camping too and just as we pulled out of the car park we saw their tent half hidden behind a dirt mound, we pitched up beside them, this time with both of us in the tent and the car parked next to it to try further obscure us from view.
We woke up in the morning and were stoked to have a proper chat with our new neighbours and in a true snowboarder fashion they were even kind enough to give us some boiling water for our pot noodles (the closest thing we’d had to a proper meal in a couple of days). Sunday carried on in a similar fashion with us spending most the day in the dome, doing a bit of filming and Rob gradually getting back to his skiing. Unfortunately on Monday the park was closed as the dome rebuilt its park for the winter so we decided to have a bit of a rest day and make the first webisode, stock up on food at the supermarket and even have a mini swap over session, me on Rob’s skis and Rob on my board.
Sadly Tuesday was another rest/swap over day as the park was still closed. However, we were assured by both their reception team and their Facebook page that it would be definitely be open on Wednesday. Much to our dismay we arrived refreshed and super stoked to try the new setup, but the park was still not ready. Luckily the head shaper was nice enough to let us hike one of the features for the day until they opened on Thursday.
This actually turned out to be one of the most productive days of the trip so far with a six hour hike sesh on the worlds nicest down rail. Rob managed to get a mad set of every way of doing 270 switchups and a continuing 270 off and I was stoked to finally learn front 2-7 on continue swap bring backs. We also “gained 10 Raggo points" by cooking burgers and sausages safely on a “stove" which consisted of firelighters in a box of tin foil. These were surprisingly nice and were actually cooked all the way through, much to our amazement.
Rob’s fascination with the Rubik’s cube and trying to solve it blindfolded continues and the wretched thing appears so often, that even I had to learn how to solve it. Thursday was sick as we lapped the dome all day and filmed some follow cams however breaking my snowboard put a bit of a dampener on an otherwise banging session.