New year approached when I got a call form Jernej. The weather report seemed somewhat questionable. Regardless we would head to Bovec and tour Sella Nevea to reach Kanin. It would also be a good opportunity to check out the Bovec outdoor film festival. The premise in short… spend the day on the mountain and the evening watching new films to get us hyped for the next day.
So we set off in the morning and meet up at the bottom station of Sella Nevea. As some of you know, the relationship to freeriders at this resort is, if I shall use the right words, very much akin to double standards. On one hand they like our cash and the label of a freeride resort on the other they seem, thanks in part to the legislative situation for ski-resorts in Italy,to not want us around at all. That of course is an except if you are a film crew from the USofA… then u get the usual great italian hospitality… good for you TGR, still claiming lines we do every week as un-ridden is a bit of a strech 😛
So we headed up an made it to Prevala on the Italian-Slovenian border. The weather was not good. Really bad visibility and lots of strong wind. We tired to go a bit further next to the ruins of the only new lift on the Slovenian side. After 45 minutes of complete whiteout we came to the top of the lift. Wind was 90 km/h ice planet style. Harsch and unwelcoming. The mountains words were simple.. it told us to turn around… no special lines for us on this day. So we descended and moved by car over the Predel Pass to Bovec. The pass had not been cleared while it was snowing quite a lot. It was fun. Rally Sweden style. With a Monaco like descent drift challenge 😛
Back in Bovec we moved into a little house from one of Jernej`s friends. Hungry and exhausted we fired up the heating and made some pasta. We relaxed and headed out to see what was on at the outdoor film festival. We weren’t disappointed.
The setting was nice. Smaller then the year before but fun. I like these kind of small specific festivals. Unlike IF3 or other events that bring in the wannabees and the groupies, these kind of events are usually held at locations that are not on the radar of your standard fare of people. In short it attracts only the hardcore crowd. The program included quite a few interesting films. If you happen to have some time to kill instead of watching Youtube clips of cats check out
the segment for Phillips Ambilight produced by Sweetgrass Producitons
and I specially liked the documentary
You can also check out the full listing of all the movies shown at the BOFF webpage.
Well then in the morning Day two came and we were joined by Andraž Šparavc, one of the Slovenian Jib-brothers that some of you readers might remember from the Jib-Brothers invitational a few years back. Since Andraž was more for street riding and not that much into hiking wich also motivated Jernej, we set out about Bovec, tryin to find stuff to hit. Everything had a bit of a nice fresh cover since 20 cm had fallen.
Then we had an idea. The Slovenian side of the resort had gone bust a year earlier due to a accident and bad management. The main gondola had 4 stations. 2 of those could be reached by a dirty gravel road by car. Assuming you had a Ford F150 of a Ranger with 4-Wheel drive you might just make it up top. Jernej had borrowed one of these monsters from his brother. So we were heading up the hill on a road with 20-40 cm fo fresh snow. It was awesome. We upped it by using a rope to tow us on skis.
We soon made it to the B-Station where the amount of damage caused by the neglect on the ski-resort had become apparent. Since one of my focuses at my real world job is Toursim-Infrastructure I was baffled. How could the local community allow this to happen. These was part of there bread and butter. Yet in typical Slovenian fashion it had slowly been miss managed to death. A few of us then decided to tour up to the C-Station (around two hours) and see how it was up there. When we finally made it there it was even worse then I had thought…
Instead of giving you guys the whole backstory of how Kanin, compared to Chamonix and other freeride marvels, failed I will let the pictures speak for themselves… remember.. this is not from a post apocalyptic movie:
After this sobering dose of reality on the state of skiing in our country and all the fun we had touring and enjoying the BOFF festival I sat into my car and drove off to spend New-years at the Simonyhütte on the Dachstein Plateau in Austria. More on that Alaska adventure in the next post.