This trip report is written by Christian Bernhardt from SRS Unbound and the SFC European Leadership Council.
November, 4th – Afternoon
The European season opener 2021 is organized, everything is set and I am ready to go:
What’s planned for the weekend? Close to 50 people from 11 different countries have signed up to participate in the official SFC & Unbound European season opener at Kaunertal glacier. Some guys are even traveling from the US to take part and spend well anticipated days in Austria with fellow shred-apostles to kick off the winter season 2021/2022 together.
It’s been a slightly chaotic journey in terms of planning according to constantly changing corona-regulations but we’re finally ready to rumble – hotel is booked, green pass status of participants checked, etc.
It took a while to gather all the gear this morning and get the board bag ready for travel after almost two years of corona-induced time off the board. I am more than curious how this gathering of shred-apostles from all over Europe, as well as the US, will go. We haven’t seen each other for a while now and most of us have spent the past winter season with fewer activities, some even completely off the hill as resorts were closed in parts of Europe. It’s time to re-light the fire again – reclaim our vision and mission: to be a light on the hill!
So I am going into the weekend with mixed feelings: How’s everyone? What’s planned for the season? Will I still be able to ride my board properly? Will everything work out in terms of organization?
It’s 4pm in the afternoon when Torben collects me to drive to Kaunertal and once I am in the car, there’s that somehow known feeling of sharing the drive to the hill. We’re having good conversations, sharing expectations – pleasant anticipation is growing!
November, 7th – Noon
I am sitting in the passenger seat of Torben’s car again. We’re on the way back home and like mountains are passing by so do thoughts.
Oh, what a time it’s been! The last 3 days at Kaunertal exceeded expectations. Forgotten all the hustle of planning, forgotten all worries of which things may go wrong or be critical… it’s been such a blessed time. Meeting so many known and new faces, sharing stories of how things went over the past two years since we met the last time – it’s been inspiring! And it wasn’t only about the great, positive things in life – we’ve also shared our challenges, fears, and weaknesses with each other – making time to pray for each other, encouraging each other for the coming season.
And yes, we had some good sessions on our shred sticks too!
We’ve shared tears and laughter, taught each other new tricks, and showed off what we had in stock already. We’ve made new friends and deepened existing relations… we just had a truly blessed time.
It’s been an awesome weekend that truly re-lit my fire again! I feel so encouraged for the upcoming season and the mission is truly re-affirmed: Let’s be a light on the hills all over the globe – the natural resorts in the alps or fridges in the UK, big parks in Colorado or hand-shoveled backyards in the Allgäu region… where there’s a hill there’s gotta be a light – we’ll be that light!
Deeply satisfied I go to bed. There’s a new week ahead which comes with new challenges… but I am ready for it – re-affirmed, encouraged – ready to rock!