When a Pro Team, Marketing Department and photographers meet in October on an Austrian glacier, it’s KÄSTLE Family Time.
It's like a holiday. With people from different parts of the world, packing their bags to spend a few days with their families. Some come overseas by plane, the others make their way over the mountains by car. For all of them there is a common goal: an alpine view from the Pitztal glacier. Our meeting place is a cabin in the middle of the forest on a plateau, with a great view looking toward Innsbruck. Inside it’s simple, small and comfortable—with mattresses scattered on the floor and a wood burning stove, sparsely furnished and lacking luxury. Already the approach to the Larcher Alm has been an adventure—off-road rallying up steep and winding mountain roads.
Little by little, the family members arrive. Chris and Griffin are with Mavis from the USA. Lorraine arrives with a stopover at the Arlberg, from Southern California and David is fresh off a trip to Chamonix. From Ländle, Patrick, Martin, Katja, Luca, Philipp, Janine and Linda have taken several cars over the pass, while stylist Christl is already there. Soon 15 people gather around the one table in the hut.
While the meat is on the grill outside, the experiences and stories of the last few months bubble up from the team. There is much to plan for the upcoming days before the last beer, but soon enough all beds are full as the icy wind whistles through the slats.
"TAGWACHE!" Patrick roars at 4:30AM, coming into the room like a army officer. This is not exactly a hearty "good morning,” but everyone is now awake, and gear is quickly packed for a day of skiing before breakfast at 6:30AM at the Pitztaler Glacier.
Chris and Luca—the veteran and the rookie—make fresh turns in powder, shooting the first photos of the day. One shows how it goes, the other watches and learns. With Lorraine, David and Griffin it’s quite the opposite. They leave their usual terrain and rip around the piste with former World Cup racers Katja and Martin.. A completely different "ski" world for the freeriders: instead of powder turns it is about aggressive carving..
After this, baker Josef invites the team to the highest pastry shop in Austria. For what does a family meeting need? Cake of course, which always tastes best when one bakes it themselves. Three teams hesitantly approach the challenge, but are soon immersed in competition. In bright sunshine behind the glass facade, Hollowtech, titanium inlays and wooden cores are formed from cake dough, marzipan and glaze.
In the evening, the next challenge awaits the crew in the hut: one shower for 15 people. It doesn’t take long for a few hungry people in the kitchen to prepare "Kässpätzle,” which Chris and Mavis are new fans of. Also this night is not without surprises. David and Patrick discover that on the wall of the room a board is missing and the wind whistles in. As experienced alpinists it is not the worst night of rest, it just requires a little scooching together.
The next morning, stoves and sleeping bags find their way into packs. With soup, bacon, bread and tea, David provides the right food for the planned winter camping. Before the tent city on the mountain is built up, a few more skis will be tested. David leads Martin, Lorraine and Griffin on a small hike to summit and powder run, while Patrick sprints straight to the top of the glacier three times, because his daily training program has no less than 3,000 meters of climbing. Katja, Janine and Philipp, on the other hand, take it easy on the slopes.
Teamwork is required for the construction of the basecamp. David and Griffin show how it's done as everyone is unpacking. At first a foggy, stormy and cold evening does not show its beautiful side. Only when Lorraine serves the final cup of soup does the sky clear. With a last glimpse into the starry glacier night and shooting stars, all of them crawl into their tents.
After a few hours' sleep the zippers on the tents come to life again, and cold noses and limbs stretch into the darkness. Muesli and tea jump start the day on the glacier, aided by an impressive sunrise and empty slopes. By 7:10AM high above the sea of clouds the day is already coming to an end for some of the team, as schedules are already set for the next adventure: Griffin hurries to the USA, David breaks to Munich to E.O.F.T. And Luca returns to school. But it is only farewell for the time being, because somewhere in the mountains the KÄSTLE Family will meet again soon.
KÄSTLE family member on the Pitztal Glacier: David Lama, Lorraine Huber, Patrick Innerhofer, Martin Marinac, Katja Wirth, Luca Beran, Chris Davenport, Griffin Post and the marketing team with Philipp Giselbrecht, Janine Barbisch, Linda Meixner, Mavis Fitzgerald (Marketing USA) .
Photographers: Manuel Ferrigato, Jonas Nefzger
Stylist: Christl Thorsen