I recently received an award from the International Freeski Film Festival for “Best Freeride Female” for my segment in Alaska in the all-female freeski movie “Shades of Winter”. Since I’m in Australia at the moment visiting family I wasn’t able to accept the award personally, so I’d like to share this acceptance speech with you now for the award night to thank the key people involved in me winning this award. I’m feeling totally overwhelmed and so very happy right now!
Also, Sandra Lahnsteiner and Matilda Rapaport were nominated for the award, which shows how awesome our segment in Alaska is. You get a sneak peek at some of our Alaska footage in the film below. Also, check the film tour infos to catch the movie at a place near you.
Last season, I had the opportunity to film with an amazing group of girls for the all-female freeski film “Shades of Winter“, produced by Sandra Lahnsteiner. This is Sandy’s third film and she is absolutely killing it, providing us female athletes with an ideal platform to showcase our skiing as well as celebrate our shared love of the sport. The film shows the high level of female freeskiing today with a stacked roster of freestyle as well as big mountain athletes. You can see me skiing in a segment we shot in Haines, Alaska, this year, together with Sandra Lahnsteiner and Matilda Rapaport.
Shades of Winter premiered on 15th September at the International Freeski Film Festival (IF3) in Montreal, Canada. The next screening is during the IF3 Innsbruck on Saturday, 5th October. Don’t miss it!
In the meantime, check out the Shades of Winter trailer here:
Now, after having had the incredible luck of four blue-bird days in a row of skiing in Haines, Alaska, I feel like my life as a skier has changed forever. The Alaskan mountains are like nothing I’ve ever seen before; skiing this terrain is completely different to anything else I’ve ever done before. First of all, the sheer size of the mountains, with their steep spines, enormous glaciers and crevasses, and ridge lines crowned by meter-high cornices completely overwhelm you. The helicopter can drop you off on the top of lines that are otherwise simply impossible to access.
Ready to drop in!
On my very first day, my very first line, I was towed in by the helicopter and dropped off on a small pyramid-shaped peak on top of a ridge line, offering just enough space for me to get my skis on. A second later the heli and the noise was gone and I was all alone, standing there quite petrified, without time for my mind to adjust to the steepness and exposure. On top of that, there’s a film crew waiting and ready for me to drop in. In that moment I really felt like everything I’ve ever learnt as a skier, all the skills I’ve acquired and all the experience gained, would be put to the test. But I also kept calm and believed I could do it, and then I nailed that run.
Haines, Alaska, is home to the most beautiful mountains to ski in the world
Alaska makes you a better and stronger skier, especially mentally, because here there is no room whatsoever for self-doubt, hesitation or uncertainties. If you’re skiing big mountain lines here, you better know what you’re doing and you better send it, because there can be serious consequences if you don’t.
You can check out my facebook album of photos from this Alaska trip so far here.
Alaska – the mythical last frontier on every skiers’ bucket list, the most filmed mountains in the world due to their beauty and insane terrain, countless stories of skiers waiting for weeks on end just for that one epic day in the mountains with the heli. When Sandra Lahnsteiner sent me an email on 18 March asking whether I wanted to join her and Matilda Rapaport for 2,5 weeks heliskiing and filming in Haines, Alaska, I couldn’t refuse. I’ve never felt ready to ski the terrain and spines I always see in the ski films from Alaska, but I just figured you have to start somewhere. So here goes!
We’re here to ski the Chilkat mountains accessible by heli just 33 miles north of the town of Haines in South-East Alaska. We’re living in the Funny Farm at Mile 27 so we can be close to the heli port when the weather pops. We’re flying with Alaska Heliskiing, one of two heli-operations in this area. Haines has apparently not the extent of terrain Valdez offers for example, but the mountains here are meant to be the most beautiful in the world if you’re a skier/snowboarder.
Hanging with the girls at the 33 Mile House next to the heli base
Getting a glimpse of the mountains when we first arrived
Today is our 6th day without skiing. We’re waiting for good light conditions to fly in the heli and also to film. The great news is that it snowed 70 to 100 cm two days ago above approx. 800 metres, and we’ve got a good weather window from tomorrow onwards for a couple of days. We can hardly believe our luck, but we’re still trying to keep our expectations low because you never know what’s going to happen.
I started filming for the all-girls ski movie“Shades of Winter” at home in Zürs am Arlberg this week. Janina Kuzma from New Zealand joined me here to film some big mountain lines, cliff drops, powder turns and pillow lines. I’m really excited to be part of this project since filming for the all-girls ski movie “As We Are” in 2010. Although we haven’t had significant snow falls at the Arlberg during the past 10 days, the cold temperatures and windless weather have preserved the snow beautifully. There was a lot of sluff in the bigger lines with very stable conditions. Filming this week also provided me with ideal training for the upcoming comps in March.