words & photos: Ethan Stonevideo courtesy of: happywhenhardIt’s summertime again and you know what that means: it’s either time to hit the beach, the skate park or – if you’ve got one nearby – the glacier. I dropped by the Kaunertal glacier in Austria last weekend for some spring park riding. Gotta love slushy landings for learning new tricks!I caught a ride down from Munich with Klaus Polzer, the editor of (as far as I know) the only German-language freeride rag, Skiing – The Next Level. Klaus is the man. Upon arrival at Kaunertal, everything was fogged in but I thought I’d take the t-bar up and try to find something to ski on. By the time I got to the top the clouds had suddenly opened, revealing a gold mine of playground terrain, lots of mini-golf lines and big faces, short hikes all of them. I had planned on skiing park the whole time but for my first run I found myself lugging myself up a little ridge for a few fresh turns!Back down at the park, the rats had come out of their holes, and the jib activity was increasing dramatically. I ran into a few NS members, Basti, Marian and Sean, and we lapped the park for the rest of the day, some fun rails up top followed by the two-kicker set-up for the Spring Classics jam happening on Saturday. I was so steezy that the Germans were nice enough to offer me the extra bed in their room for the night, so my string of blatant mooching continued (I am a world champion moocher).Saturday was the jam, and as usual, the weather was as bad on the day of the comp as it was good the day before. Klaus, Sean and some kids rolling in a pimp Fischer beast van got up early to hit a gap over the road up to the glacier (check out the video), and then the rest of us normal people woke up, and then the jam went down. The two-jump set-up was perfect for a nice little intro trick into something bigger, and it belonged to Martin Misof for the whole day. Martin’s first hit was a hugely overshot switch 9 to the bottom of the landing and it just got better from there, including a switch 10 nose and Gagnier-style double grabs. I heard things went off on Sunday too, but I had to get home, so I bummed a ride from Nico Zacek who was driving up to Garmisch. He’d been going easy on his knee after the big victory with Volkl at the Masters, and had just been hanging out on the glacier testing out some of the 07/08 skis and checking out the comp. Did you know that at the Masters he did a run comprised solely of switch backflips? I almost cried when he told me that.Hope you enjoy the photos and video and that you’re bearing summer well! Oh, and mad props to Sean ( NS member happywhenhard) for the video!   Watch The Video (22 MB Quicktime)-kamikaze

The view up the valley. Klaus told me he’d skied the big face right in the middle of this photo, and that it’s less than an hour’s hike from the lifts.
The kicker line with jibs in the background.
Armadas and siver outerwear? Gotta be an NS member. Sea Bass holding it down.
Marian jibs the battleship box.
Season tickets to Kaunertal were awarded for best trick, best run, best rookie, and overall impression.
Gagnier may not speak German, but Martin Misof speaks Gagnier. Switch 7 critical/tail while Sean gets the shot.
Martin misof, oozing style.
This five is a little bit corked.