Fuck, this was the best day since I got this fantastique new surfboard for Christmas. But let me explain to you how and why I got so lucky: I have the best boss in this whole wide world! Danny, Onboard´s editor-in-chief, got offered a one day heli trip to Arlberg when he visited the Protest booth during Ispo. The smart guys from Protest thought it would be a nice idea to give three winners and a journalist the chance to excape the stuffy exhibition halls and remember why we are all actually taking part in this fair – because we love snowboarding. So there was Danny, being offered this unique possibility and what did this crazy man say? “I can´accept this without giving somebody else a fair chance, too.” I think after he had lost against me playing ‘Paper, Scissor, Stone’ he wished he wouldn´t have been that altruistic…
So there I was, with shaking knees after a 2-1 victory against my boss. My mind was going crazy: On one hand I was super happy, almost crying, because I couldn´t believe that I would be going heliboarding the next day. On the other hand I felt guilty because actually it would have been Danny´s trip. But I didn´t even have the chance to think about this too much as Martine from Protest dragged me into the back room of the booth. Can this get any better? “Just pick any outfit you like and then we see you tomorrow at 9 a.m. outside the Ispo exhibition hall. The helicopter will pick you up there and take you straight to Arlberg in 40 minutes!” Yes, it can!
So the next morning I went straight to heaven. Literally. Amazing, how big Munich looks from above. And pretty strange to take a “helicopter taxi” to Arlberg. This is what Walter, the pilot, does most of the time in winter: Taking rich people from Munich or Zurich to Arlberg. Return flight: 3000 euros. Yep. I´m sure this flight was a once in a lifetime experience for me.
As you can probably imagine the day was a blast. Bluebird sky, we found some pow pow and came home with burning legs. One of the funniest moments that day was the skidoo that took us back to the resort after our run: There was just a long rope attached to a sled, we hold on and the guy driving probably thought about Michael Schumacher´s last race when he took off! He was going so damn fast that the last person on the rope (I think it was one of our guides, H.P.) got almost thrown out in every turn. We also almost ran over some of these rich Russian tourists walking on the slope. So much fun.
I think pictures say more than words as if I had to sum up this day I would only say: “Der Wahnsinn!” (“The madness!”). Word.
André, Gregor and Benni (from left to right) after they had sucessfully caught three Protest foam logos, the tickets for the trip. Benni got burried by the crowd after catching one – war zone! Photo: Danniel Burrows.
Do you see that I´m actually peeing my pants? Never had a heli ride before…
Munich from the air.
Walter, the best pilot in the world, flew a short detour to give us a bit of sightseeing!
Some more sightseeing.
Thanks Walter for giving us a lift!
On our flight into Lech we couldn´t stop pointing at all the possible funny lines.
After a short stop in a snowboard shop in Lech (some of the winners needed snowboards and boots – who would expect to go shredding if you are working at Ispo?), we took the lift to the top of the resort where we got picked up by the helicopter and got flown to the Mehlser summit (2650 m).
Jocki filming me peeing my pants again.
Two poor lads with really boring jobs.
André is a rookie on his way to become a snowboard pro. Maybe he rather wants to become a freerider now?
Jocki and André after the first run.
After a 45 minutes run hiking through a creek was the show down.
Martin was quite impressed that I ate all of my Kaiserschmarrn, it was a huge plate but I was big time hungry.
The crew after one day in heaven.
Jocki after a hard day of work.
Going back to Ispo – oh, what a joy, can´t wait to be in these stuffy halls again!
Thanks Protest, Danny, Walter (pilot), Martin & H.P. (guides), Johan (photographer) and Benni, André & Gregor (winners) for this very special day!