We are normally based in Glasgow, Scotland and are part of a wee community of snowboarders that love to ride in Scotland and travel around the world in search for snow and good times.At the end of last season, we had the opportunity to travel to Sölden, Austria to see our friend Kris Yates – he is one of the park crew and a snowcat operator working in Sölden resort. Kris is one of the many people we know and shred with that has followed a career path in the winter sports industry – you may not think it, but it’s possible to do this for a living thanks to companies like QParks and Young Mountain. Kris’ passion for snowboarding and skill at building and creating park features for other riders to have fun on is a good reason to tell this story and what better way to do it than go visit him with the guys from Glasgow? By Robbie Paton from Robot Love Creative
We had four days to sort this stuff out! After some communications and a film pitch idea with the resort and QParks, we managed to turn the trip in to a proper film project. We had just finished up a mad weekend at “Bangers n Slash” banked slalom at Glencoe Mountain, we gathered all our shred gear – still damp from the weekend – prepared camera kit and began our journey to Austria for some end of season spring park laps.
Our flight departed at some ridiculous time in the early hours of the morning from Edinburgh. Now since Connor, Richie and Robbie are based in Glasgow they had to get the night bus across from Glasgow to Edinburgh Airport to meet Angus. As always, regardless the time, night or day, you are going to come across one or several folk totally hammered from their antics in Glasgow with its fine selection of bars and clubs. It was with no surprise that we came across a young guy on the bus who obviously had some fun in Vegas that night. We settled into our seats and departed Glasgow, there were only six people onboard the night ride across the central belt to Edinburgh.
Within ten minutes of leaving bus station the guy we mentioned from earlier, that had been out in the town suddenly made a really weird noise, lurched over and spewed his load all over himself and the seats he was on, Richie was quick to react, as he was the closest to the chunder fest, grabbing his bag, flip flops and bouncing to a seat away from the epicenter of the mangled mess that was this inebriated student – we didn’t say anything to the driver until we arrived in Edinburgh, because we did not want to be late for our flight. The journey was a slight challenge to the nose, but all survived.
Flying into Innsbruck, over the Alps is always an experience and awesome to look out and see all the snow covered mountains to fuel the stoke for some snowboarding. Arriving in Sölden and our accommodation – a really cool wee lodge situated just as your arrive into Sölden resort in the massive mountainous valley that is part of the Tyrol region. Our accommodation looked up the valley toward massive snow covered mountains looming over the landscape, still with the winter layers on.
Our first morning was stunning as we wandered into town to pick up our lift passes, the sun was beaming down in us, the sky was blue and with no cloud in sight. The crisp, clean mountain atmosphere was exhilarating and it felt so good to be back in the mountains. Lift passes acquired, we jumped in the gondola and floated up the mountain, the landscape changing from beautiful meadows and forests and progressing up into the high alpine terrain where there was still an abundance of snow to play with. The energy and stoke level was beyond the mountain peaks, the banter was hilarious, the guys were amped to get riding and to make the most of our time in the resort.
Kris and his crew of shapers had done some great work of creating a park to cater for all skillsets on the freestyle spectrum of riding. There was a selection flowing kicker lines, interesting, creative and fun features, multiple lines to pick out as you ride the park, the local crew was so cool and we lucked out with the weather. We had bluebird skies and beaming sunshine the entire time in the resort, we had a blast, with countless laps of the park and with the resort winding down for the end of the season, the place was so quiet, we literally had the park to ourselves.. Three days went by fast filming the riders on the mountain, in the park and sections of the resort around the park where we found a bunch of side hits before and after the park zone to get sendy. I think we were the only people on the mountain that did not download, we just ripped down through the cat tracks, alpine meadows, grass patches, and mud to get to the base.
Additional film sessions with Kris and his local crew were shot in one evening for park shaping, grooming, snowcat operations and one early morning crew shoot where we were the first on the slopes, welcomed by a stunning sunrise, bluebird conditions and a fresh groomers and park features. The fact that we are snowboarders from Scotland – who normally ride in a giant freezer or up in the Scottish resorts – this was a rare opportunity to cut loose and thrown down in a rad park and what better location than in the Austrian Alps?
This film was a wicked project to create, to showcase the passion and to tell the story about a squad of snowboarders from Scotland as they travel the world in search of snow and fun times. Many thanks for the support from Sölden resort, the team at QParks and Young Mountain in Austria for hooking is up and we hope to see you again this season.