[Markus Keller, Valerian Ducourtil and Sami Luhtanen arrive in Neverland. Arlberg.]
All photos: Matt Georges
MAKING THE RIGHT CALL...
... not always an easy one when it comes to decisions about weather and snow forecasts, and the bewildering 'social media snow reports' don't exactly help nowadays either.
Last March we were confronted with this need to call the conditions right, as we knew we only had a few fixed days together as a crew and that it was imperative that we should use them in the most productive way. Despite the epic time we had in out little mountain cabin in the middle of the Southern French Alps we faced the reality and decided to call it. The wind just blew away the meter of fresh snow in 24h and so it was now time to leave and reconsider our route. Paying a visit to the legendary Arlberg area seemed one of the most promising options.
I'm fortunate enough to be able to call the area my second home resort, what with all the years spent I've spent there. Our Volcom team house has been in the Arlberg for around a decade, and friendly locals that become close friends over the years... This time it ended up being the right call we made. We used bad- and good weather days equally and spent a second short week of long, fun and fairly productive days.
You can call it luck, experience, local knowledge or whatever you want. Sometimes you win; sometimes not."
- Markus Keller, St Anton, Arlberg, Austria.
Home sweet home... till the wind blew the snow away. Mountain huts on a pass somewhere in Southern Alps.
Our little hut stove for the week.
Thomas Delfino hikes up to the first zone. At this point he still doesn't know that the wind affected the whole mountain.
We've heard the saying 'The sun shines out his arse,' but this is ridiculous. Markus Keller somewhere in Arlberg, Austria.
Sami Luhtanen pillow popping in the Southern Alps.
Luhtanen is a firestarter.
Sami puts the hut's backyard to good use. Blind Backside One.
Luhtanen getting trailbacks.
Though the snow turned crappy on the French leg of the trip, Thomas Delfino managed to huck himself upside down a bunch. Corked front 5.
Another killer Keller Method from Arlberg.
Sami Luhtanen brings the heat to Arlberg with a front Double Rodeo 900.
Thomas Delfino on his way up to the hut, passing a little chapel in Névaches, France.
Sami Luhtanen. Zoned in the zone.
Regular people wouldn't think of taking a 180cm swallow tail upside down. Markus Keller is not like regular people. Back Rodeo 5. Arlberg.
Valerian Ducourtil ponders the meaning of life. Then realises he's found the answer.
Thomas Delfino corks a front 7 in the Southern French Alps.
Nilo flips out on the hut leg.
Sami Luhtanen throwing a silhouette Cab5 in Arlberg.
Enzo Nilo gets the montage treatment.
Thomas Delfino night shredding around French Southern Alps close to our little mountain cabin.
Markus Keller steps down with a front 3 in Arlberg,.
The lesser-spotted Thomas Delfino likes to forage in forests. Front 3 Method in Southern Alps.
Markus Keller getting barreled in to round off the Arlberg leg.