A little while ago, I caught wind of something that was called Testimonial Day 2017. What this meant, was beyond my wildest imagination really. Long story short, it involved 4 professional athletes from Innsbruck, getting together on one day and do each other’s sports. I had heard the names before, but since I am not so much into sports myself (other than the occasional hike or sledding), I didn’t really have a clear picture. You can imagine my surprise, when the awesome people of Innsbruck Tourism asked me if I could do a little “vlog” about that… I couldn’t even fathom the idea of doing snow free riding, downhill mountain biking and climbing in one day. Especially when that involves professional athletes of the highest caliber. This was their day through my lens (or lenses).
The day starts at 7:00am. At 6:45am I meet Jakob Schubert, a very talented Competition & Rock Climber who is in Austria’s National Climbing Team, who’s turning heads with his performances. We are getting picked up by Flo Orley‘s “Blues Mobil” (I am sure he calls it something else though). He’s only a snowboard free riding legend, that’s all. Riding shotgun is Anna Stöhr, one of the top women climbers in the world (competition & rock). We drive to the Boerse, where we pick up Tom Oehler, a trial and trail mountain biker who also happens to be a Guinness World records holder. Riding along as the photographer of the day, is Lena Koller, a fellow blogger and sport devil. How did I fit in this mix? I had already started to doubt myself due to a serious lack of sport skills.
It’s 7:30am. After packing all our snowboard and ski gear in the ‘Blues Mobil’, we head off to Stubai Glacier where the day will start with some freeriding. It was snowing the days before, therefore Flo Orley was very confident about the powder conditions. This was my first time in the glacier. So even the ride to the top with the gondola, was epic enough. I was a bit anxious though, because the last time I was on a snowboard was 15 years ago. Needless to say that although my mind was willing, my flesh wasn’t. Safety first. Therefore I resulted in relocating for all my shots. The rest of the crew, led by Flo Orley, had to hike a little peak between the slope and the lift area, and then went down for about 70-80 meters. After a careful inspection of all the gear, they reached the peak and gently slided down. Fun fact: While relocating for the shots, I realized that the Austrian National Ski Team was actually practicing that day there. That was a nice bonus!
The snow shenanigans lasted for a few hours, and I was the first to go down to the parking lot. By 12:05pm I was hammered, I had to carry my snowboard and video gear all the way and I thought it would be perfect to wait by the bus. Next stop was Nordkette and the world-famous downhill trail. Before that though, we had to pick up our mountain bikes and safety gear (shin protection, helmet and gloves) from die Boerse. Our “guide” for this trial was Tom Oehler, who knows this trail like the back of his hand. Starting off with some easy dirt road to get used to the bike, and continue on the actual downhill trail. Sharp corners, trees along the trail, jumps and kickers, make this downhill route one of the most technical in Europe. It’s one thing to see this stuff on a video on YouTube and an entirely different experience watching it from up close. Jaw dropping to say the least. Overall, going down an entire mountain with a bike is quite the experience and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Time flies by when you have good company, and if you combine this with outdoor activities then you can completely lose track of it. The time is already 16:30 and we’re heading to our last station for the day. And what a day has this been. Our location is the Kletterzentrum Innsbruck – indoor & outdoor climbing & bouldering center. One of our newest sport gems in Innsbruck. On a first glance, the climbing world seems more laid back and calm. Being “introduced” to it by a couple of professionals, Anna Stöhr and Jakob Schubert, who are on the top of their game, makes it as fulled with adrenaline as free-riding and trail biking. Climbing these 8+ lines requires precision, concentration, methodical moves and even split-second decisions. If that’s not the recipe of adrenaline, I don’t know what is. Oh, did I mention that you can do climbing and bouldering all over Innsbruck?
Some might argue that Innsbruck is a small city. I might even agree to that. When it comes to opportunity and options though, it’s big. Pretty big. While this full-action-pack might not be for all, it definitely explores the possibilities and proves that there’s actually plenty of things to do here, in the heart of the Alps.