sobota, 26. marec 2016

Just try and go, go beyond and further

After more than three weeks of skiing, training and doing whatever possible just to be active, I had to recover for a few days. I have done more than 85 hours of training this month and I was already on my limits with health and immune system. I actually got a fever for a day or something, but it went away quickly.
After skiing Večerna and Ostržkova I was too hyped. That day was extremely hard for me as I wasn't strong anymore, but I managed to push myself for a bit more and made that day really successful. That after-hype took away those last atoms of energy from me and I stayed in a bed next day.

Friday was the day. #UltraGoričkoPiran

Anže Česen had a project of running from Goričko to Piran. Some will say that is not needed, not normal, not even appreciated, but I understand him. Urška was helping him with kinesio taping and massages so I thought I could go and run a few kilometres with them. I picked up Žiga at his college and we went to Logatec.

When we passed Anže and his group, Urška was already running. We waited for them a bit further to change our clothes and when Anže saw us, he immediately ran towards us and hugged as we know each other already for a long time. He was truly happy to see everyone, anywhere. Such a good man. Since I am not running regularly, I didn't know how far will I come, but I wouldn't give up so easily... I ran a half-marathon without training! That gave me a lot of motivation and much needed energy. Which I then fully gave away I think... I was mentally with them all the time. Telepathich communications truly exists.
I knew that Urška is a bit crazy... but... she went far beyond her limits. She ran a double marathon. Yes, she was running and stopped at 85 kilometres. Yes, 85!!! 

Dalibor, who I know from Instagram, was also there... He and Jan were running from Ljubljana to Piran... Oskar started in Celje and ran to Kalce. All kind of runners were coming along the road, people were coming and going. And that is exactly what Anže had in his mind with his project - connecting runners from social networks into the real life. I think he made it true.

Anže started running in Goričko on Thursday, at 7 o'clock in the morning. He finished his run today, early in the morning, in Piran. It took him just 44 hours of running and just 1 hour of sleeping to run to Tartini square in Piran. You don't have an opportunity to meet such people every day. I was the smallest part of the whole story, but I felt extremely good. Everybody who was there, went beyond their limits. They wrote a story which will not be forgotten easily.

Such people give you motivation, another way of thinking, some kind of happiness and good vibes. A day which will be in my heart forever. This is what I wrote on Instagram when they were 30km from the finish line:

''I had never run before. Not with joy and happiness. But this time... I was the happiest man on the earth. It is the people who gives you the power... The happiness for being alive. Not because you have to, but because you can. Just go. And never stop. Discover new places, new styles of living, new people and new joys. Joys of happines. Of life and being alive.''

I am proud of them, proud of myself, proud to be part of it and extremely thankful for an opportunity. I am not a runner. But I went and gave it a try. So should you...

They have truly proved that hard work does pay off. But what is stronger than hard work? Your mind. Your mind can lead you anywhere. You just have to step out of it. Now, go out, stop complaining about everyday problems and do something what will fullfill you heart. Go beyond your limits.
Because you can.

Anže, Gorazd, Dalibor, me, Žiga, Tomaž, Urška, Jan, Oskar and some other runners.

sreda, 23. marec 2016

Elan Ripsticks?

Just a simple answer: YES.

Ripstick skis are totally new skis from Elan and they come in five different geometries. The widest one is 116mm underfoot and they also come in 106, 96, 94W and 86.

1. They are light as... you know what. 116 model comes at 1840g per ski at 185cm.

2. They are wide, but they can feel like slalom skis. You can charge it down at full speed or if you like narrow couloirs, you can easily turn. I do both.

3. You can feel the power under foot. You can feel those skis. And hear. You know that sound when you drop your skis on snow? Don't you? Then you have bad skis...

Ripsticks have Amphibio profile. That means skis have at the same time full camber on the inside edge and rocker on the outside edge. Amphibio makes skis more playful and easy to turn, but doesn’t sacrifice the edge grip when you need it.

Ok, so why are those skis so light and stable? They are made of wood, carbon and special composites in the tip&tail. Carbon tubes were inserted into the woodcore for stability and weight reduction while vaportip inserts are the main reason for smooth ride and vibration reducing.

foto: Sandi Bertoncelj

 I have been riding them in two positions now. -1 from the Ride and +1 now. When I had taken them outside for the first time, I was really struggling for the first two or three turns.. Especially because I am a bit back seated person. Then I somehow manage to study body positions for a while and skiing became normal. Now I ride +1cm from the ride position (Thanks Bine) and the difference is quite a big one. Bine even rides them at +2,5cm. I think most of you will feel good on Ride position, but you can push the position a bit forward.

foto: Jan Pirnat
Skis are incredibly playful. It's like they are 100 and 130mm under foot at the same time. You can ski EVERYTHING. I have ridden them on powder, hard and soft snow, groomed terrain, ski resort, even on ice. And I just couldn't be happier.

Even though powder is what you should be looking with those skis, you can ski entire mountain. From the top to the bottom.

For more skiing videos with new Ripsticks, check here:

ponedeljek, 21. marec 2016

Another world

I used to be a quiet guy who wasn't smiling much. I was unconfident about myself - about my look, about my actions, about everything.

Then I started wandering around peaks, discovering mountains and harder accessible terrains. New people came along, new friendships started. New visions, new opinions, new styles of living and so many different views on lives. One thing is for sure - mountains do connect us. And connection is definetely strong. More than we even know.

Those people changed me, in a positive way. I became happier, I started smilling and I feel accepted.
We respect, help and cheer each other. Those who keep saying ''no friends on powder day'' has never ridden with a bunch of happy and crazy people who smile all the time...

foto: Drejc... drušna :)
I still like to ride alone though... That feeling of independence, freedom and unconcernity gives you wings at some moments... but on the other hand this is exactly what can makes you sad, unsure, unconfident and lonely. At that moment you always start thinking how much easier it could be, if a friend would be with you up there...

Last two seasons were pretty lonely ones for me... I hadn't knew much people whom I could ski with and those who I knew, I thought I can't take them with me anymore. I started skiing alone, enjoying mountains just on my own, I felt some kind of a freedom. Until that freedom led into loneliness.

It started with school. I wasn't enoying it, I started skipping it for trainings, my circle of friends became smaller and I was alone all the time. At least I thought so. Unfortunately, when people are in a bad mood, sad or deppressed, they see just bad things... The only bright thing for me was skiing and some good friends who were standing behind my back at all times. I felt different - in a bad way. Until I posted a blog named ''Zakaj?'' - which means Why? - where 
I tried to explain my feelings on skiing.

I think that was the most important moment of last season... not skiing, not sponsors, not an injury, but a blog. A blog about my feelings. It was important because of its virality and many feedbacks... I realized how many people is reading and following my adventures, people were writing me messages, they talked to me at school... even professors.

And then bang. New season. First tour. Already with new people. And next one, new people. And so one. This year I have met so many new freeskiers and snowboarders... I feel that people accepted me in this small slovenian freeski scene. I feel accepted. And I am super happy about it. New people means new opportunities, new ideas and new challenges. New friends, new relationships.

foto: Smrekar... z Binetom :)
If I end my season at this exact moment, I would say it's the best one I've ever had. I am not talking about winter, because snow just came really, really lately actually, but because of friends. They changed me. I am happy. I am a freeskier.

I would like to say thanks to all who support and help me through my journey. I hope it will be a long one. Family, friends, sponsors. Elan, Actionmama, Dynafit, Kult... Thank you.

Oh and... thank you Anonymus ... for that comment on Why? blog. You really made me even more motivated. High five!

foto: Kegl... friends on powder day? Hell yes!!!

petek, 18. marec 2016

Skiing the gnarliest lines on Begunjščica

I am 19 years old. Ok, 20 in one month. And I have to say that I am proud of what I have done today.

I had been watching one gnarly line on my home playground for almost a month. A month full of preparing, trainings and waiting for right conditions. That line is named ''Večerna'' - Evening one. It has the highest grade of all lines on the mountain and I decided to ski it.

Starting at 5 am after wakeing up Urška, starring to the night sky and waiting for sun to rise. In a hour I was at the entrance of the line and sun came out.

When skinning up I was thinking about how quiet everything is. A light breeze was blowing and some birds were singing their songs. Sounds of my lungs and heart beating, skins were drifting and ski boots were bleeping.

I wasn't hurrying when climbing, but my tempo wasn't so bad either. Some parts were really... steep. Even though that line is marked as exposed, I hadn't feel it so much... I was really enjoying it actually.

When I came to the top, an old friend was waiting for me. He saw me from the bottom and he was sure who is climbing up... I didn't expect anybody there and he made my day even nicer. A quick chat and here I go, let's do this!

What a joy!!!

After Večerna I went to the next line, which is located a bit lower down the mountain. It's called Ostržkova or Smer Pavla Janca (Pavel Janc route). I was a lot slower than in the morning but somehow I made it to the top... sking was awful. Icy, exposed and narrow. Nothing interesting, but I made it. Another hard one.

On the narrowest and the most icey part I was soooo surprised about my Ripstick! I was standing just on my tips an tails and I didn't move for a bit. It really is one of the best possible skis on the market right now. And I am proud to ride it.

I knew that some day, I will ski steep faces. I think I made my first steps to the real ski-mountainnering.

petek, 11. marec 2016

Eating sluff in Lenuhova grapa

What a day it was yesterday on Vogel!

When I woke up in early morning, I thought ''damn today will be a wild one''. And it was. After big snowstorm with very light snow drops should be just perfect to jump... So Gašper Slak and I drove to Vogel to catch the first gondola. Of course there were many friends also and we were happy to see each other.

Soon Gašper and I dropped the first cliff... and then another... and so on. We also cought up with Maj Štirn and Sandi Bertoncelj to took some photos and dropped some more cliffs. But more of that later.

Today Jan Palovšnik and I went to our playground after some time... Begunjščica of course. We finally wanted to climb and ski Lenuhova grapa. In the end we just skied it and climbed some other chute near Zahodna/Sestopna grapa.

When we came to the start of Lenuhova route, snow was more than a waist deep and under us there was a big snow cave, so we decided that it would be better to go around the ridge and just ski down. And it was so much easier!

To the half of a hill we were on skis and then booting up to the top. Snow was soft so we were using just our sticks. At the end of the chute terrain becomes very steep, which wouldn't be climbable without ice axes in hard snow. We rapidly changed our gear for skis and skied down to the neter of Lenuhova route in order to ski it.

I went down first as I know where the route goes and Jan followed me. After having some problems with bindings, he was a bit more careful... I didn't feel good from the beginning of the day so my skiing was bad also... But somehow you have to get to the bottom. I tried to ski a bit faster, but there is not much space so I more or less just drifted down. Somewhere in the middle my own sluff avalanche hit me and throw me down, but it was nothing serius, luckily.

Snow is sketchy right now and wind is blowing really hard and will do harder on following weekend. The upper layer is not stable and you can trigger it easily. Be careful.

sreda, 09. marec 2016

Tons of fresh powder...

... for everyone!

foto: Aleš Kegl
This week is on of the best I have ever had. I'm skiing almost every day - 4 days on skis and one for resting haha. Tommorow it's going to be one hell of a day - sun will come out and we are going to Vogel mountain again. :)

After failing to ski NE ridge of Begunjščica, I just couldn't wait to sit on a chairlift and charge it back down, so we went to Vogel. Blue sky, half meter of fresh snow and good friends. What could be even better?
After a looong time I went and dropped it down from a cliff and I think I should do that more often. Carving down the untouched line, looking down and then, baaam. Speed rises and you start screaming. Not a bad feeling.

After a sunny day on Vogel, snow storm came back so Jan Pirnat, Jan Palovšnik and I decided to take some photos in snowy woods, smashing some pillows and deep turns. I have a huge respect on Jan Pirnat as his life isn't easy, but he is a mad man doing what he loves and gives his best at everything. Please, check his story if you haven't yet.

After shooting I had to be at home for a bit as Sundays are reserved for family lunch. After that I just couldn't wait long so next morning Jan and I went back on skis and did a hard training session: firstly uphill and then donwhill. 1500 vertical meters of fresh powder during heavy snow storm... so romantic. That day we met Dejan Hodžič - George as his friends call him and Anže Štravs. We did one AWESOME run together, but then they had to leave. 

Of course next day was deep again... Actually very deep. We actually had a mini expedition! 11 people who are hungry for powder. At the same time, when any one of us looks at the trees, bending under tons of snow, becomes so kind and soft. Second after we are smashing lines down the hills and screaming like retared. Such a joy.

A strong group of skiers and snowboarders inculded: Drejc, Kegl, Jan, Blaž Kajdiž, Luka Podlogar - Podli, Štravs, Slak, Jure Niedorfer - Chouka, Vohar, Jernej and myself.

Tommorow is going to be another powder day, then I hope to get back to steeper and narrower terrain as I have to step it up for my project. Winter came back to mountains bringing tons of new snow and weather forecast is optimistic for a next week.

sobota, 05. marec 2016

Skiing with a legend

A month ago I received a private message from a guy whom I started following since I made my facebook account and way before I had even started skiing. I actually don't remember how that happened but with time I realized who that man is, how he lives and how important he is.

He is actually totally simple man. But with a big heart and even biger feeling for young people like me. Nice, caring and super funny guy. I really respect him even though I have seen him just once.
Now you are already thinking about who that man is. I'm talking about Marko Šimenc - Mac as most of people call him. HE sent a message to ME - me? ''I'm a little guy who just started doing some skiing turns in slovenian mountains, with not much than a few years experience and a little blog'' I thought myself... He could go skiing with anyone better, older, more experienced... Few years ago I wouldn't even think about such ideas and now he asked ME to ski with HIM?

At that moment I went downstairs to tell my family who wrote me this and I was sooo excited. Actually honored. And then on Monday we went skiing. An evening before I told my family who is going to be at Pokljuka next day again. And them my mom realized: ''Who? Is he from Kranjska Gora? I know him! I knew his mother, she taught me to ski!''

I was like - what the hell? How is that even possible... How can be world so small?
From that moment on, I felt like I know him for a long time haha. And I started respecting him even more.

When Jan and me came to Pokljuka, he was already there. He slowly and quietly drank his coffe. When we came, he was happy to see us... so were we, of course. :)

I won't write about skiing, because it wasn't important that day. We were there with a legend.
A legend with a big smile, bigger heart and nice beard. Oh, and a nice hairtcut too. :)

sreda, 02. marec 2016

... we will come back again

I have so many lines and plans on my mind that sometimes they're confusing me.

I realized that it's time to ski something harder, something I haven't skied before, that I have to go beyond my limits after some time.

It was snowing on sunday and monday, so I thought myself we could finally try something different... A line which is not actually a real skiing line, but it's hard to ride it and not many people try it. It's actually a line which is combined of two different routes together - a ridge and a couloir. I'm talking about NorthWest Ridge and a couloir in it on Begunjščica. Yes, Begunjščica again, I know...

So, we should go there, check the conditons, climb up, cross a ridge and ski back down.

Actually, we came under that couloir and snow was sticked to the old layer. So we didn't check conditons any further. Then we were climbing that couloir, which looks so short and steep from far away. It's actually a bit longer than it looks like and it is not steep at all. That means we were ass deep in snow.

foto: Jan Palovšnik
When we finally came to the ridge, we changed our sticks for crampons and ice axes (for the first time this year) and started climbing... Damn, where is snow? Ridge was hard to hike/climb and we soon realized that maybe we wouldn't be able to ski down. Then we even had to traverse into the right on a reaaally small amount of snow laying on some rocks... place was exactly half a meter wide and under that rock was just some air... A lot of air actually. Something like 50 meters.

Few minutes later we realized that we went too far right and too low. So we had to give up. We went down to Smokuški plaz and went to the top. A bit angry, but hungry for more. It won't be long until we get back.

Sometimes we lose, sometimes we win. Today we had lost.