Photos by Hansi Kudlinski/O’Neill
When things are just getting too much, overwhelming or just annoying, the best recipe is to go out an shred.
Preferably backcountry, far away from the crowds where neither annoying kids nor ruthless kamikazes get in the way. You’ll have to hike until your thighs can’t burn any more to get there, but sometimes that’s the barrier you have to break to free your soul.
Dragging one feet after the other on top of a mountain rim, with steep faces and cliffs dropping down on either side of you, no matter what worries or sorrow or problems you might have had on your mind – they will drown to stillness when your brain needs every working brain cell to motivate the muscles to keep on working way past their capacity and convince your insides that all the fears of falling over the edge are totally exaggerated. The only thought that will keep you going is the anticipation of an epic run through untouched powder that will spike an adrenaline and endorphine rush stronger than any drug on earth ever could.
Of course the day after you doubt your own sanity, when even wiggling your pinky toe hurts like hell – let alone walking or bending your knees…
But then your mind travels back to that feeling of pure joy when you saw the glistening spray beside you as your board cut through the snow, the heartfelt cheers that escaped your lungs in the soft landings and the almost overpowering sense of achievement you get at the end of an epic line and the pain is not only instantly forgotten, but you’re committed to go even higher and deeper next time.