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Eis & Palmen

09/2018 // Jochen Mesle

Eis & Palmen

1830 kilometres, 35000 metres altitude, once over the Alps. The two freeski athletes Max Kroneck and Jochen Mesle have fulfilled a great dream on their four-week trip: from home to the Mediterranean Sea on their own, through ice and snow in the mountains to the palm trees on the coast. Up with the bike, down with the skis. A travel report.

Skiing, taking pictures and cycling. Nothing else.

Four years ago, they both started planning their project. "At that time, independently of each other, we each had the idea of this special journey. So there was no way around it: we had to tackle the action together,” says Jochen with a smile. Step by step, the route over the main Alpine ridge and the equipment was put together. The latter turned out to be the bigger challenge. "To take as little luggage as possible is quite a lot in the end," says Max. Each wheel finally weighed 50 kilograms.

Four countries, 97 kilograms of luggage, 456 cereal bars - a journey.

"The weight pulls you back down again almost at every pass backwards. That was definitely the biggest challenge on the tour.” And the reason for an enormous energy demand: "The heavy bikes are not the high passes by themselves. It was unbelievable how much we ate every day to have enough power for the many vertical metres on bike - 500 grams of cereal for breakfast, 500 grams of pasta for lunch, 16 cereal bars in between, a Grisons nut cake with cream for tea and then also dinner once again,” recalls Max.

Their route took them through Austria, Switzerland and Italy to France. It was a successful escape from everyday life, with restful solitude on abandoned glacier ski tours, a nature experience around the clock and unpredictable difficulties. "On the way to Valais we were in Andermatt in front of the still closed Furka Pass. Instead of taking a long detour, we decided to shoulder the bikes and cross the pass by ski. The whole thing at the same time in wintry conditions through snow flurry,” says Jochen. The reward for the torture awaited shortly thereafter - "Café Safari in Bella Italia".

With cappuccino, gelato and dolce vita, both were able to breathe the Mediterranean air for the first time, before crossing the French border a few days later. "Shortly before the finish we had our absolute highlight of the trip: the last and highest pass, the 2715 metre high Col de la Bonette. The hairpin bends down to the sea just impressed us,” says Max. Even the pouring rain and the first and only flat tire on the trip could not cloud the good mood - 1830 kilometres after their start in Germany, Jochen and Max reached their destination. Nice, the sea. And the palm trees.

Watch the trailer!

Film tour dates

23 August 2018: film festival, St. Anton, AUT https://www.filmfest-stanton.at/tickets/

08 November 2018: freeride film festival, Innsbruck, AUT https://www.freeride-filmfestival.com/termine

11 November 2018: freeride film festival, Stuttgart, GER https://www.freeride-filmfestival.com/termine

12 November 2018: freeride film festival, Cologne, GER https://www.freeride-filmfestival.com/termine

14 November 2018: freeride film festival, Munich, GER https://www.freeride-filmfestival.com/termine

15 November 2018: freeride film festival, Vienna, AUT https://www.freeride-filmfestival.com/termine

Further dates will follow.

[Photo credit El Flamingo]

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