I come from a ski instructor background. Unlike many other Austrian freeskiers with racing experience, skiing for me was all about riding off-piste from the age of 12.
In one of the snowiest winters on record in 98/99, it was my mate McFly (Martin Winkler) who first introduced me to freeskiing and how you can use the terrain and natural features like a huge canvas to play in. It really added a whole new dimension to skiing and I was hooked. In 2004 I entered and won my first freeride contest, the Red Bull Snowthrill in Slovenia, and it all started from there.
The spirit of skiing:
Far away from crowds and groomed slopes, the mountains feel like a very spiritual place to me, especially early or late in the day, when all is quiet. The physical sensations of skiing itself, the momentum and flow through a turn, the surroundings speeding past you, the feeling of weightlessness in powder, are highly enjoyable and simply make you happy.
The ultimate day on the mountain:
Doesn’t have to be a blue bird day, but lots of light powder with no wind does the trick! That and skiing lines full of pillows, cliff drops and fun terrain with good friends run after run is some of the most fun you can have on skis.
The most painful experience:
Losing a friend in an avalanche in 2007.
The most risky experience:
In 2006 when I triggered a size 3 avalanche during a photo shoot in Engadin. I was lucky enough to be able to escape to the side and plant my feet on some rocks as the avalanche slab slid over my skis and past me.
Reminescence about KÄSTLE:
I remember back in 97/98 when the ultimate ski to own at the Arlberg was the Kästle Speedmachine. All the hot skiers had it or wanted it.
Three reasons why KÄSTLE:
1. The implementation of race technology and Hollowtech in their freeride and all-mountain skis.
2. The use of high-quality materials, made in Austria.
3. Kästle is a small company run by passionate managers and employees who really understand what it takes to build a great ski. Innovations are true improvements, no marketing gimmicks.
What do you do in summer?
If I’m not skiing in New Zealand or South America, you can find me preparing for the winter at home at the Arlberg. Next to my training I love to climb, and recently I started mountain biking which is awesome! I always have plenty of work to do on the computer as well, involving the organisation of new film and travel projects, the Women’s Progression Days, or keeping my website up-to-date.
Role models/ Idols that inspire you?
People who - regardless of what they do in life - do it well and with love and dedication, are a source of inspiration to me. In terms of skiing, I mostly look up to the people I ski with here at home, such as Stefan Häusl and Björn Heregger.
Learning new things and gathering new life experiences, playing in the outdoors, teaching, music.