As a professional snowboarder from Germany you might think I know the German mountains like the back of my hand.
Well,when I started snowboarding, I used to. But through the years I´ve spent less and less time snowboarding in Europe, since the snowboarding specific infrastructure is just so much better in Breckenridge than anywhere in Europe.
Last week was my first day snowboarding in Germany in over 4 years. It was crazy to realize that.
Things actually haven´t changed much since I started snowboarding in Germany 15 years ago. There´s still a majority of skiers on non-twin-tip skiers on the slopes and it´s not rare that people go have drinks in apres ski bars at 11am. The scenery is still amazing aswell as the amounts of accessable terrain from the lifts, but parks and pipes still look like ten years ago – if you find any at all.
The quick German snowboard adventure has once again shown me how priviliged I can feel to ride conditions as in Keystone and Breckenridge on a daily basis. Most times when I´m not in Breck, I´m taveling for big events – which means park crews work extra hard to build something amazing for these events. Those set ups are fun to ride aswell, but don´t necessairy show what a resort has to offer on a normal day throughout the season.
Before the German snowboarding I got to spend a week in Laax and Leysin in Switzerland, for the European Open and the Nescafe Champs. Extremely warm conditions gave a great taste of spring and beautiful contest set ups could make you think European parks are everywhere as great as the American ones.
Right now I am in Tignes in France – one of the ski towns that wouldn´t exist without the resort. Big chunky hotels in the middle of the mountains, not much of a real village, but beautiful peaks all around.
The European X Games that just took place here are the little brother of the US X Games. They are not as big since there are no snowboard/ski cross and no snowmobil competitions , and due to the later,warmer time in the season they feel more laid-back and less hectic than the American ones.
Right now I´m sitting in a chalet overlooking the beautiful valley with the huge chunky hotel buildings, enjoying my last day in the French mountains before leaving to Geneva tomorrow and flying back to Colorado on monday.
I didn´t go on the slopes today. Instead I´m saving my energies for the best place in the world. Only 3 days left....
- Silvia Mittermuller