Features 14.7:National Legume’s Euro Vacation

“The plan was to tour Europe’s finer snowboard camps. Our first destination was the Garmisch Camp in Germany, otherwise known as Zugspitze or the Gap 1328 camp. Then we went on to HintertÅx in Austria and finally Folgefonna, Norway. It all began June 10, 2000.”-Torey

Munich, Germany
Torey: Stepping off the airplane in Munich, Xodus filmer Bags and I shook hands with Aaron and Boris, our travel companions for the next four weeks. We loaded our luggage into Boris’ car, not entirely sure what lay in store for us in the upcoming month, but we knew Boris was the man when it came to road tripping-especially in his own backyard, Europe.
Boris: Aaron, Torey, and Mike all took great care of me while I was in the States last winter, so this time it was my turn to be a good host. To get them all used to the climate over here, I took them straight to the beer garden for their first glass of beer. I was amazed at how well Aaron could party right after his transatlantic flight.
Torey: Boris tried to scare us with his Mario Andretti tactics on the Autobahn, going 150 miles per hour and then locking up the brakes to keep from rear-ending a slower-moving vehicle in the fast lane going only 125 miles per hour or so. He liked to pin the horn, lock the brakes, and see how close he could come to the slow car without letting the skin rip off our faces. I think my neck is longer now, thanks to Boris.
Mike: I couldn’t believe the taxis-Audi A6 Wagons are my dream cars!Boris: While in Munich, we went to this small river that runs pretty fast and creates a standing wave that’s about three feet high. I’d told Torey about it before, and he was keen on trying it out. Aaron, Bobi, Mike, and Torey soon found out it wasn’t like surfing the ocean at all; it took some adjustments to their surfing skills to ride the wave.
Mike: Surfing the Eisboch was strange. It’s like the Flowriders in Japan and the States. The wave also had a deadly reef made of metal bars. Torey and I took quite a beating, and Aaron had to get two stitches on his face from the surfboard hitting him.

Garmisch (a.k.a. Zugspitze), Germany
Torey: At the top of a 9,000-foot tram, Zugspitze features two side-by-side pipes and a hot tub you can jump over. I’ve never seen a camp where you could hit a jump, drop into the pipe, and jump into a Jacuzzi all in the same run. We spent about a week sessioning the jumps and working on some crazy jibs. Oli Deby, the camp’s owner, was quick to respond to our every request. Someone even came up with the idea of building a gap jump and sliding a rail on top of the DJ’s booth. Oli had it going in no time. Air … slide … and AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Even the DJ worked around our jibbing antics. We eventually had to leave Camp Jacuzzi for our next destination of HintertÅx, Austria, where we had high hopes of finding new terrain to pillage.Bobi: The most amazing view I’ve ever seen in my life is the 360-degree view from the top of Zugspitze.

HintertÅx, Austria
Torey: Getting to the camp at HintertÅx is somewhat of a mission. We drove twenty minutes up a winding road to the resort, jumped on a gondola to the top of the first hill, got on a chairlift and admired the view to the next stop, and then found ourselves getting on another chairlift that deposited us into the clouds. “How tall is this crazy mountain, anyway?” I wondered. Most of our time at HintertÅx was spent praying for sun. We’d session the jumps and then run for cover as the dark alien mothership would hover over the camp in the afternoon. When the sun was out, however, we found ourselves in awe of the incredible scenery that surrounds the area. The camp is laid out in such a way that you drop into a series of jumps and end up launching toward the mothership on one of the world’s largest man-made hips. The jumps lie in between two halfpipes, and a few rails add a nice touch for the aspiring jibber.
Mike: Austria is the home olederhosen and bad weather. The weather was crappy more than half of our time there, so we had to find ways to keep ourselves busy. One day we went to a waterpark-Torey, Bobi, Boris, and I. Europe rules for the fact that there are no safety regulations for fun things. They believe that if you’re dumb enough to not follow the rules, then go ahead and kill yourself. I guess Euros aren’t as sue-happy as Americans.
Bobi: One day, mopeding up some mountains, we came across a bull in the middle of a small dirt road that wanted to play a game of chicken with us. Torey had a red moped and charged the bull, somehow making it around. He then pulled out his camera and waved for me and Bags to take a run at the gauntlet, hoping he could get the next shot for When Animals Attack. We quickly retreated to safe ground.
Torey: If you ever go to HintertÅx, make sure you check out the go-cart track down the road from Mayerhoffen: you can race and ruin your friends on the indoor/outdoor track, passing anywhere and everywhere. I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to run your friends off the track as you Mach around the course.
Mike: Yeah, and crashing into each other didn’t seem to pose a problem, especially since the owner would get on the track and try to take us out.

Folgefonna, Norway
Torey: As we approached the Bergen airport, I couldn’t help but think that Norway looked like a model playland: small islands parallel the coastline with normally only one or two houses per island. After a two-hour drive and a fifteen-minute ferry ride across the fjord, we were in the small town of Folgefonna, and the camp was five minutes up the road.

The camp layout is similar to those at Mt. Hood: skateboard ramps, basketball hoops, trampolines, video games, and wakeboarding abound. Henning, the owner, has it all going on. But unlike the commotion of Government Camp, you find a mellow vibe amongst the campers and camp personnel here. The terrain includes one nicely shaped halfpipe and several different-sized jumps, and the coaches are both helpful and fun to hang out with.

The crazy thing about Norway is it stays light out until well after midnight. We spent many nights fishing on the lake with plenty of light to bait the hook, and we did some evening riding.Mike: Norway was definitely the most scenic place we went, with really friendly people and the best sunsets that would last for about two hours. Take a girl there and you’ll have plenty of time to make your move before the sun goes down.

We mainly hung out with Ami Voutilainen and Aleksi Vanninen in Norway. They both tried to teach me Finnish: I learned “Caca tula bita mene,” which means, “I must go, the poo is coming.” For some reason that’s the best phrase ever over there. My international language skills never went beyond that. Aleksi also tried to teach me how to breakdance: I learned how to get serious wounds and multiple carpet burns on my body. There are tons of animals in Folgefonna, including lots of cows, which I fed Pop Rocks to. They kept on sneezing, but wanted more.
Aaron: It took three days to properly build the jump you see quite a bit of in Hi-Fi. Their cats are old-fashioned grooming cats, and the snow was unbelievably hard to work with-very buttery. But with the help of Frederik, the Swedish cat driver for the camp, Torey, Bags, and I finally got the thing shaped, and spent the rest of the day dialing it in by hand with shovels. When the monster jump was completed, it was a very foggy and snowy day, so we were forced to wait it out another day and hope for good weather.

Everyone gathered back at the house provided by Henning. There were many pros staying there including Ami, Alexi, Joni M., Tommi T., Martin C., and Boris, eating free pizza, playing PlayStation, and to my delight there were even a few drummers in the house. We beat drums in anticipation for the next day. The next morning was bright and sunny, something that was rare in Norway last summer-just what we needed for a good day of work! The jump was big and perfect. Since I was a builder of the kicker, I naturally went first to get the motivation started, and young Henning-a sixteen-year-old prodigy-was the second man off. Both of us cleared the 50-foot gap and the madness began. Almost every trick in the book was thrown down that day.

Norway’s known for the most magnificent sunsets ever. One night, everyone was riding the pipe, which was pretty beat, so I decided to hit the jump with my young friend Henning right behind me. The light was very awkward, which made jumping a bit eerie! We got used to it, though, and I finally landed a rodeo 540 nosegrab that I’d been trying to do all year. Henning was throwing down the biggest, smoothest frontside 540s.

At one point, everyone took a seat to view the awesome natural spectacle that was right in front of us. When the brilliant red, bloody sky had past its peak, we did a couple of hits in the pipe. By this time it was midnight, and the session started to come to an end.
Mike: We went to Italy for one day because of the bad weather in Norway. At about 1:00 a.m. on the way home, I had to pee. I told Boris to pull over in this field where there was no one around for miles. Unbeknownst to me, right when I unzipped my pants, a hooker jumped out of the bushes and just stared at me. I immediately got stage fright and bolted back to the car like a jackrabbit on speed, and we took off. It was way too weird.
Torey: Also, make sure you try the snow carts they rent at Folgefonna. They’re go-carts with skates, and they’re much too fast for the meager brake lever they sport-way too fun!
Mike: Overall, the entire trip was super good. Tons of really cool people helped us out along the way, and being over there was a first for me, so I want to go back really bad.
Torey: Thanks to Oli Deby at the Garmisch Camp (GAP 1328 Summer Camp, Gesteigstr. #36, 82467 Garmisch, Partenkirchen, Germany). For more information, call 49-171-611-96-33, or check out www.gap1328.de. Also, thanks to Klaus Marko at the SPC Camp (SPC55, Hotel Strass, Hauptstrasse 470, A-6290 Mayrhofen, Austria). To find out more, call 43-(0)5285-620-78, FAX 43-(0)5285-634-77, or go to www.spc55camps.com. And thanks to Henning Erlandsen at Folgefonna (The Folgefonna Snowboard Camp, Tomineborgveien 44, N-3011 Drammen, Norway). For more info, call 47-53-66-88-18, or check out their Web site at www.folgefonna.no.in Norway last summer-just what we needed for a good day of work! The jump was big and perfect. Since I was a builder of the kicker, I naturally went first to get the motivation started, and young Henning-a sixteen-year-old prodigy-was the second man off. Both of us cleared the 50-foot gap and the madness began. Almost every trick in the book was thrown down that day.

Norway’s known for the most magnificent sunsets ever. One night, everyone was riding the pipe, which was pretty beat, so I decided to hit the jump with my young friend Henning right behind me. The light was very awkward, which made jumping a bit eerie! We got used to it, though, and I finally landed a rodeo 540 nosegrab that I’d been trying to do all year. Henning was throwing down the biggest, smoothest frontside 540s.

At one point, everyone took a seat to view the awesome natural spectacle that was right in front of us. When the brilliant red, bloody sky had past its peak, we did a couple of hits in the pipe. By this time it was midnight, and the session started to come to an end.
Mike: We went to Italy for one day because of the bad weather in Norway. At about 1:00 a.m. on the way home, I had to pee. I told Boris to pull over in this field where there was no one around for miles. Unbeknownst to me, right when I unzipped my pants, a hooker jumped out of the bushes and just stared at me. I immediately got stage fright and bolted back to the car like a jackrabbit on speed, and we took off. It was way too weird.
Torey: Also, make sure you try the snow carts they rent at Folgefonna. They’re go-carts with skates, and they’re much too fast for the meager brake lever they sport-way too fun!
Mike: Overall, the entire trip was super good. Tons of really cool people helped us out along the way, and being over there was a first for me, so I want to go back really bad.
Torey: Thanks to Oli Deby at the Garmisch Camp (GAP 1328 Summer Camp, Gesteigstr. #36, 82467 Garmisch, Partenkirchen, Germany). For more information, call 49-171-611-96-33, or check out www.gap1328.de. Also, thanks to Klaus Marko at the SPC Camp (SPC55, Hotel Strass, Hauptstrasse 470, A-6290 Mayrhofen, Austria). To find out more, call 43-(0)5285-620-78, FAX 43-(0)5285-634-77, or go to www.spc55camps.com. And thanks to Henning Erlandsen at Folgefonna (The Folgefonna Snowboard Camp, Tomineborgveien 44, N-3011 Drammen, Norway). For more info, call 47-53-66-88-18, or check out their Web site at www.folgefonna.no.