I Have Seen the Light

  • Boardmag
  • 16.01.2005

I Have Seen the Light
Text: Stephan from Canada - Pics: Flo Duhse

The second I found out my scholarship to come ride, I mean study in Freiburg came through I was stoked to leave Montreal Canada. I thought “finally the opportunity to ride in some world class mountains where the average temperature is not minus 30”. Upon arriving in Germany I could not wait for the season to start. Knowing the Alps were only a few hours away I did what any committed snowboarder, I mean student would do…That is buy a season-pass for “die Zentralschweiz” and commit to riding as much as humanly possible.

With the exception of one beautiful weekend at the Zugspitze, with some ridiculously sick riders; who did everything including: tarring up the mountain, consuming vast amounts of Jägermeister, and dazzling the women, the lack of the snow at the beginning of this season has been plaguing my attempts to ride.

This weekend was also starting to look disappointing, this time not due to the lack of snow in die Central Schweiz but because of stormy conditions and high avalanche warnings which prevented many resorts from offering worthwhile riding. To my chagrin my highly anticipated backcountry trip to Andermatt was also cancelled because of these poor conditions.

Needless to say, I saw little hope for any solid riding this weekend… Although I had heard rumours that the Feldberg, despite all the rain in Freiburg, could actually boast some sick riding; even if it was pouring rain a mere 1400 meters below. Despite my better judgment, I put blind faith into the words of some of the locals and got my ass out of bed early this morning. Convinced the day would suck I reluctantly dragged my ass in front of my computer to check the weather report and snow cam. I suppose I should not have been surprised, when instead of my computer turning on it refused to boot up…I thought “great I bet the snow at the Feldberg will be about as functional as my laptop”.

Regardless of my instinct I forced myself into yet another crazy German’s car…when all I saw was rain 5 km away from the mountain I thought that Stephan (my ride) had lost his mind. I kept thinking “dude you are flipping bonkers…turn the car around and don’t waste my time”. I think my buddy saw the look in my eye because he assured me that “the Feldberg is at least 400 meters higher in elevation and that it should be full of snow”. I just thought he was high.

Well, God bless the crazy-Germans-with-faith, the Black Forest and the Feldberg… To my surprise I was stoked to see something like 40 cm of fresh powder. Granted at the beginning of the day the snow was a little wet but as the temperatures dropped, the snow fell and the wind blew some serious stashes of virgin powder revealed themselves to me and became mine to ravage.

As the day drew to end I was able to hit a Kicker with a man who posses exceptional flow ;o) Him and I rode until the only light left on the slope was Flow’s burner and the headlights on the snow groomer!!! Off the slopes I was also treated to some lovely German hospitality: good people, good food and good beer! Despite all of the darkness that hovered around me this weekend, the fresh snow and great locals at the Feldberg helped this Canadian see the light!!!

Stephan From Canada

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