Hofer does Portugal

Nordportugal_Nov_2011_042_Custom_Custom November 2011
'Portugal'
It took a while for the sun to pierce the dense fog, floating over the surface of the river. The brightness of daylight filtered only sluggishly through the damp eucalyptus thickets on the hills overlooking the banks of the Douro to the east. Cormorants and herons had already taken position on buoys and the tall mooring poles protruding at haphazard angles from the water. To the west, the bridges of Don Luis and Ponte do Infante were soon clogged with heavy morning travel. The twin-cities of Porto and Gaia, on the other side of the town, were rolling up their shutters....Read more

 
Hofer in Japan

hofer-in-japanSki+board September 2011
'Japan'
This is how we wanted it to be: Japan celebrating under a sea of billowing cherry blossoms and the Hida, Kiso and
Akaishi Alps still carrying thick duvets of winter snow; towns and villages a merry-go-round of thatched cottages, rustling kimonos scurrying along wooden porches, lizard-green thickets of bamboo, gabled pagodas, paper umbrellas
and throngs of school students in their spring uniforms rejoicing in the advent of summer. And the two of us going on a ski-pilgrimage, hikingfrom temple to temple to pray with the monks - and ski the best runs of Japan. ...Read more

 
The curious world of Andreas Hofer

The-curious-world-of-Andreas-HoferPublished - Ski+Board February 2011
'France'

You are Austrian? The woman shouted in disbelief, “and you come skiing here? Don’t you have enough mountains at home?” Ten men and women from Aberystwyth, Wales - small-talking, drinks-in-hand, around the open fireplace of the cosy Les Marmottes hotel in Saint-Chaffrey stopped their conversation suddenly, and turned to me like the unanimous jury excepting nothing but a plea of guilty. What should I say? That La Grave (and neighbouring Serre Chevalier with its 250km of pistes, 74 lifts, 300 days of sunshine, dry climate and a full load of powder each winter) is the obvious choice for the discerning skier, particularly when it can be reached from Turin Airport in less than 90 minutes? They would have caught me out on that one easily. ...Read more

 
On the roof of the World

chinasmPublished - Ski+Board January 2011
'China'
With a billowing trail of dust behind us, we drove at high speed towards the Torugart pass. Delicately coloured by the first rays of a chilly morning sun, the vast plain of At Bashi rolled out before us. Herds of emaciated horses and a lone yak roamed an arid land, crisp with hoar frost, chewing from a few withered tussocks spared from the previous summer. Young shepherds - children, half awake - tended a large flock of sheep floating listlessly over yellowed hills and melting patches of snow. ...Read more

 
The Wrath of the Olympic Gods

icelandPublished - Ski+Board November 2010
'Greece'
It sounded like a muffled shot, or as if someone had kicked an elephant-sized plastic bottle somewhere in the dense fog above us. Desperately we turned our touring skis to the nearest ridge. “Run, run, run!” shouted Lazaros, my Greek guide desperately, but it was too late. The avalanche hit us like a collapsing wall and carried us at horrible speed downhill, over rocks and boulders. I tried to do what I have learned many times, to swim on top, to hold a hand in front of my face. No time for fear, just the desperate longing to survive. When the wrathful helterskelter came to a halt, time stopped and there was terrible silence. ...Read more

 
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