I must confess – when we arrived here to temperatures of +9 at 9pm on the first day, I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to get stuff done. 2 days after we got here, it snowed and it hasn’t showed signs of stopping yet – this is the evening of our 5th day here.
This presents a whole other set of problems. Lack of snow is certainly not one of them, but lack of visibility and wind scour are. Once more we were on pretty much the first lift and seeing that most of the resort was open we got up there despite the bad visibility to see if we could find something to shoot. After the incessant snowfall we hoped the trees would offer up some bounty, but the wind had other ideas and had whipped the fresh into what amounts to a shred lottery – there were pockets of pow, certainly, but there were equally swathes of ice gnarl lurking so you never knew when you cranked a turn if you’d get bottomless ‘swoosh’ or back-jarring ‘crrrkhhhhhkhhkkkkhhhk’. Plus finding stuff to do is way harder when you can’t see what stuff there might be to do…
Checking the trees early on was like being in a club pissed and seeing bunch of hotties, but then you get closer, you focus, and they are mingers. Bugger.
Having had a quick scope in the trees, we noticed the sun was poking its head round the clouds so we decided to chance heading back up top and checking the gulleys and rock gardens that our local buddie Milan showed us a couple of days ago. It was nice to be able to see for the first time heading to this spot, but things went from ‘nice’ to ‘holy fucking shit’ when we pulled up before the gulley to have a look and saw some random tourist skier drop in and release a serious-looking avalanche. Fearing the worst, we shat ourselves for a moment and then I dropped in a side gulley – carrying one of Sami’s photo packs – to see whether the guy had gotten out. Those camera packs are heavy fuckers and once I’d realised my chute wasn’t going to go and the punter had gotten out I relaxed, turned, slipped and then found the pack keeping me face first on the snow, sliding down like a retarded turtle. I know now why I am not a photographer, those 30kg packs suck ass…
The ridge looking over to the as-yet unexplored south side of Chopok. Sami and Joonas having a gander.
We tried a few things in the rocks, the fog closed in again, they didn’t really work, we went for lunch, then it was fucking 2pm. What the hell? This place has weird time. Slovakia probably has the same temporal displacement thingy that Lost island does… Right, over to the water tank with the ghetto trannie from yesterday. Matti got way high and bagged a good a shot, though we may try it again, and then it was getting dark. How does one day go by so fast?
Back in the rock garden, after the avvie wake-up call, and the clouds move in again.
Bummed at our lack of output, on the way down to the Propaganda crib we stopped to try the rail over the river. With the snow still falling it looked like it would make a real good picture but the lack of light meant Matti and Joonas couldn’t work the run-in to get the speed they needed. Frustrated, but not defeated, we left it for tomorrow and had some nice food and now, due to an impending sore throat, I am supping on Slovakian schnapps in a medicinal manner. That must be why I wrote so much…
Matti the tree surgeon.
Gonna kick Sami’s ass at Fussball right now, then the boys will kill it all day tomorrow. Woo haa.
The bridge over troubled water. We will stomp you down. Tomorrow, fo sho.