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Saturday, February 25 2006, 02:14PM

Wintersport 2006!

Well, I'm back from my wintersport vacation!
It was very awesome, I had the best time ever!

I've kept a daily log since I was there.
It's not complete (meaning that I can't write down all the things I've done), but it's large enough as it is. :P

February 18, 2006  (day 1)

Today has been a very long day.
The bus-trip was fun but at the same time also terrible.
I managed to get some sleep out of the trip (about 6 hours worth) but I absolutely hate sleeping in buses; it's just not comfortable at all and you keep getting woken yo by noises made by other passengers, urgh.

Anyway, we left home (at the rendezvous) at 8:15 PM and eventually arrived at 10:20 AM (having made stops every 4 hours).

We had to wait a while before the organiser had settled everything so we could all unload, but we found a way to enjoy ourselves while doing so (Requires DivX to play). :)

After having been appointed a room and everyone got settled in, we went into town to get our gear and to buy day-passes so we could start hitting the slopes right away (we were among few to actually buy a day-pass for €24,-).
I found out I'd been given a very excellent snowboard, even better than the boards been given to either Mick or Ed. :D
Anyway, I made a few whipe-outs but otherwise did alright (not having boarded for so long).

We headed back to our stay at 5:05 PM to get back in time for dinner (which was horrible) and decided to keep a journal — on paper, mind you — to keep track of each day,

February 19, 2006  (day 2)

The day started off nicely, we (me, Mick and Ed) had a very nice and relaxing sleep (after our horrid bus-trip the previous night); we went to bed at 8 PM (and I have to say, the beds are fantastic)!

Anyway, we had a great day on the slopes, oh how I've missed the thrills and sensation of getting on a snowboard and boarding the mountain slopes. :D
I don't want to leave anymore. :( :P

During the day another buss arrived with new guests for the hotel, English (skiing) guests to be exact.
They seemed a cool bunch, but I didn't spend a lot of time with them or anything.

A big group of people decided to go out that night, as did I.
I decided to bust out the cool glow-bracelets I bought and wear them to be all cool'n'shit, y'kno?!
No, but seriously (:P), it looks pretty cool as added accessory. :)
Anyway, we went to a bar then decided it wasn't cool enough so we walked around looking for something else, met two guys also from The Netherlands (from Leiden) that were kind of cool and decided to go to a bar/disco we happened to come across that features topless dancers. :D
But yeah, it was a fun night with a lot of drinking and stuff, we all had a good time. :)

February 20, 2006  (day 3)

I woke up with one hell of a headache (read: hangover) and felt short of sleep but I had to get up sooner or later, so I did had breakfast and headed off to the slopes in Zell am See with Ed and Mick.
It was a perfect day; sunny not too cold nor warm, I boarded amazingly well (meaning that I didn't fall too many times or nothing bad happened, etc.).

We came across Peter Dullaard (my mentor in highschool and the organiser of the trip) and hung out with him and an accompanying teacher.
We ate in a very good restaurant on the top of a mountain and after that decided to go board for ourselves again (just us three).

Then, we found the perfect off-piste part of the mountain yet!

At first Ed didn't feel all to right about it, and neither did Mick, so we didn't do the route the first time we saw it (we also saw a guy in a kind of road-agent vest, so we thought people were being told not to go off-piste there — there was a fence to hold off people but there were tracks of people that went through the fences and onto the off-piste routes anyway).
The second time around I decided to take the initiative and go for it anyway, with or without Mick and Ed, so they had the choice to either follow me or let me off by myself (I have to say, I'm glad they chose to come with me).
It was perfect in every way (I felt so, anyway), it was very adventurous and felt a bit dangerous in some aspects (you had to keep paying attention to what you were doing or risk a high fall or a run-in with trees).

We've done that off-piste route twice and then I did it again by myself (alone) because Ed and Mick were through with it (It was very tiresome but truly awesome!).

I've found an element in snowboarding which I like most of all now; going off-piste.
The thrill and adventure of not really knowing exactly where to go and to keep paying attention to what you're doing and needing to have at least some skill to do some of the routes you find makes it all very attractive for me.
I love it!!

February 21, 2006  (day 4)

Today we went to Kaprun, a neighbouring town to Zell am See which is higher up in the mountains (reaching its peak at 3023 meters up in the clouds).

The stories I've heard were true!
Kaprun is perfect for going off-piste in every way!
We must've spent 90% of the time of the day off the pistes in Kaprun. :P

What was also very funny was that, once having reached the top (not the absolute top, but at around 2900 meters — the absolute top is the fun-park, which houses jumps and stuff like that) we (me, Mick, Ed and abound 8 other guys and one girl from our group — snowboarders and skiers) had a small race; the first one to get to the start of the ski lift wins.
To my biggest amazement, I actually won that race! :D
I went soooooo fast on my board, it was really frightening (I was a bit shaky getting to the finish) but I didn't stop once.
My board did the rest, I guess. :)

I also found an off-piste place which everyone can see from the ski lift but no one has done yet which was perfect!
I found my way to that place (in my second attempt; my first attempt got me to a place which was meters above where I had to be and made me shit my pants in fear of its steepness) and got two good rides over the beautiful unprepared snow (leaving my trails where on one has gone yet).
It made me kind of proud. :D :P

In the afternoon we went to a very fancy restaurant at 2000 meters high to have lunch where I ate very delicious pizza. :D
I'm thankful I ate a lot because the food at the hostel itself was horrible (as usual and as I expected).

February 22, 2006  (day 5)

We went to Kaprun again today and I decided to bring with me my MP3-player to have some music accompanying me while I board (as Ed has done for a few days now).
It's a fun experience having music to listen to while boarding, instead of hearing the wind breeze by (I was listening to the albums entitled Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Nursery Cryme by Genesis and Close To The Edge by Yes). :)

I ate Pizza again in the same restaurant as yesterday, and it was delicious once again. :)

Ed and Mick joined me to the place where I went yesterday because they also wanted to go through the same snow, and by now I knew exactly how to get there (I've been going there for a few times now).
Ed made some spectacular jumps there as well (almost knocked his head up against a ski lift!  Haha! :D).
We've also made some pictures and movies of us boarding and also boarding this off-piste part (in which I nearly made a whipe-out :P). :)

Also, I found the most perfect off-piste route yet!
No trees, but hella-dangerous and exciting!
One wrong turn or miscalculation and I could end up meters down over a small cliff and most certainly break something (which is exactly the kind of thrill that drives me to do these things).
I took the route three times, trying to convince Ed to come along but he didn't want to ("Maybe tomorrow", he said). :(

So anyway, at the end of the day my knees were killing me due to the amount of goddamn bŁgles (hopes of snow being piled up due to skiers).
I even had trouble walking around because of it, but a bit of ointment Peter gave me helped sooth it down a bit.

As usual the food was horrible and I got a good rest back in the hostel.

February 23, 2006  (day 6)

Today we decided to go to Kaprun again, which was totally unplanned.
We decided to go because the weather seemed to be in its favour and everyone had such a good time there.

This was perfect because now Ed could also try the off-piste route I found yesterday!

We decided to go there during mid-day and headed off in that direction.
To get to it we needed to cross a bit of the slope where speed was an essence in which (due to my pain in my knee) I made a wrong decision in that I went too fast where upon I fell really hard in a big heap of ice/snow where I sprained my ankle really painfully.
After a bit of muttering, aching and cussing, I finally got up and continued to do the off-piste part with Ed and Mick (feeling the pain, but not really realising how serious it was).
Me and Ed made our way up there and we both made the drops (Ed made a very dangerous drop through a very small and narrow exit through the mountain which was fucking awesome! :D).
Mick also did the route but didn't make the exact place I kept telling him about, so he didn't find it near as spectacular. :(

Anyway, we then arrived at a small restaurant where I took a bit of a rest.
When I got up however I was unable to stand on my right foot (where I sprained my ankle)!
I hopped around a bit to get around and get some food etc., but I was unable to get back on my board (this was all around 3:15 PM).

I then stuck around at the restaurant meeting up with other people from my group and Peter and went back to the hotel at the end of that day (4:30 PM as every day).
Peter once again gave me the ointment he gave me before and I rubbed it over my ankle.
My ankle never hurt so much before in my life, I was really concerned about it.

I didn't go swimming as was planned for a few days now and I didn't go out with the rest of the group, instead I stayed in and tried to get some sleep but even sleeping hurt like hell, everything I did with my right leg hurt like crazy! :(

February 24, 2006  (day 7)

My ankle now hurts less resting me assured that it's just sprained, not broken, however I'm still not able to walk normally on it.
This was also the last day of the wintersport vacation and I had to sit it out. :(

While everyone went up the slopes of Zell am See, I returned my equipment and spent 5 long hours roaming the town I was in (waiting until the rest would bring in their boards and skis later that day so we could all head off back to the hostel together).
I spent the day listening to my music, taking walks (very slowly and painfully — my though was that I may walk it off slightly), going to an Internet café/arcade hall and I ate in a pizzeria next to the Internet café.
I nearly fell asleep twice while sitting on a bench outside.

The day couldn't be over quicker when people from my group started to come in (after having spent exactly 5 hours by myself).

Anyway, we then headed back to the hostel and packed the rest of our things to get ready to leave.

We left the hostel at 7 PM that night and arrived back home in the Netherlands at 8:15 PM.


Here are some of the pictures Ed made for us:

Wintersport Photographs
Wintersport vacation photo.
Fantastic mountain view at dawn (1).
Wintersport vacation photo.
Fantastic mountain view at dawn (2).
Wintersport vacation photo.
Fantastic mountain view at dawn (3).
Wintersport vacation photo.
Fantastic mountain view at dawn (4).
Wintersport vacation photo.
Fantastic mountain view at dawn (5).
Wintersport vacation photo.
Me (wearing a ski-mask), letting you know everything's rockin'.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Mick, letting you know everything's rockin'.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Mick, withering away in the cool breeze of the mountain.
Wintersport vacation photo.
The fantastic off-pistes of Kaprun.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Again, the fantastic (and at the same time dangerous) off-pistes of Kaprun.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Idem ditto.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Me, resting a while before taking on the treacherous off-piste mountain-side.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Me, taking on the treacherous off-piste mountain-side.
Wintersport vacation photo.
One of the off-piste routes which was very steep (not all-too-clearly visible in this picture).
Wintersport vacation photo.
The off-piste slopes as could be seen from the ski lift.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Idem ditto.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Ed, at one of the off-piste routes.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Ed, carving his ass off.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Mick, doing it Russky-style (got to love that adorable hat <3).
Wintersport vacation photo.
Mick, doing something very awesome (if only I knew what. :()!
Wintersport vacation photo.
The three Stooges!!
Wintersport vacation photo.
Me, being, like, what the fuck, dude..
Wintersport vacation photo.
Mick, being, like, himself.. :o
Wintersport vacation photo.
Ed, being super-sexy.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Aww, the poor thing. :(  That cat got his paw stuck in between a door (from what I heard). :(  Poor little guy.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Ed, in a very awesome and artistic photograph.
Wintersport vacation photo.
Peter Dullaard, ex-mentor (in highschool) and the guy who organised our trip and set everything up.
Agilo

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