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Marko Grilc Sets up a Park Session at an Abandoned Resort in Slovenia

Words and Photos: Chris Wellhausen

From the highest of mountain peaks, along the countryside, to the capital city of Ljubljana, Slovenia is a beautiful, environmentally well kept, and preserved country full of interesting people. It's mostly a mountainous country, bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and the Adriatic Sea. The snowboarding here is super fun as well. This is the place that Marko "Grilo" Grilc grew up and learned to snowboard.

I made my first visit to Slovenia, meeting up with Grilo for a TWSNOW story six years ago with Ethan Deiss and Zak Hale. We toured the country and searched out the snowboarding culture in a place that hasn't had a lot of exposure. Throughout Slovenia, there are four resorts their snowboard community frequents; Vogel, Rogla, Kranska Gora, and Kanin.

The landscape of Slovenia is breathtaking. A perspective from Vogel’s tram over Lake Bled. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

What we found was a passionate scene and one that welcomed us in with a lot of stoke. Grilo showed us the best of times, to say the least. The terrain parks of Vogel and Rogla emitted scenes of vibrancy, youth, and growth. Riding the other resorts was really enjoyable. Their architecture, freeride and urban potential along with the easy access to all of these resorts within a relatively short drive from the metropolitan city of Ljubljana. This entire experience put a fresh perspective on the excitement of snowboarding and travel. There’s also quite a few amazing contributions Slovenian snowboarders have been responsible for in our global snowboard community if you didn’t already know. Riders like Grilo, Tim-Kevin Ravnjak, and Cilka Sadar have each made their mark in Big Air, Slopestyle, Pipe, and becoming Olympic hopefuls. On the other side of the lens, cinematographer Andro Kajzer has filmed for Burton team movies and other edits.

Slovenian countryman, Marko “Grilo” Grilc. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

Grilo travels the world for shredding far more places than most snowboarders, especially filming for his projects, The Grilosodes. Besides numerous visits to North America, usual locations in Europe, he’s produced Grilosodes in Morocco, South Africa, Australia, and Dubai.

Last season, I was with Grilo on a photoshoot in British Columbia. As we were catching up, we spoke about his new movie project and locations he'd be including in it. He definitely expressed wanting to showcase riding from Slovenia. He proceeded to inform me that since our 2011 visit that the resort Kanin had closed down, left abandoned, and he had arrangements in motion to build a dream park set-up. I knew the moment that Grilo mentioned the idea of setting up a shoot at Kanin, I wanted to make sure TWSNOW was involved again.

A start of a new day. A view of Kanin from our house in the village. Look in closer and see closed gondola line, mid mountain lodge and the massive booter the park crew pushed. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

With an elevation reaching 7500 feet and snow records describing an average of 430 inches seasonally, you can understand why Kanin was more of the freeriders choice in the Slovenian resorts. The terrain features and the aesthetics of the landscape around this place are also unreal. A unique snowboarding experience that this resort offers is that is borders Italy and you can ride over to the joint resort of Salle Nevea.

For two weeks before our arrival, Grilo had a park crew shape features. He invited a tight crew of Slovenian riders, as well as bringing in Red Gerard from the U.S., and Clemens Millauer from Austria. The stage was set for one hell of a good time. Scroll through the gallery above for a glimpse into what we experienced.

Check out more photo features here.