SKI Greece – Filming YAMAS

By December 16, 2017 No Comments

Early in January 2017 I got a call from Constantine Papanicolaou (Frozen Ambrosia), asking me if I wanted to go hook up with some Austrian skiers who had come to check out Greece. The Snowmads. Obviously it didn’t take much convincing, so a few days later we headed up to Parnassos where the guys had parked their truck.

Oh yeah, they had this epic truck. A converted fire engine from Germany that had already done its share of travelling to places like Iran and all through Europe, and could house 8 to 10 people in a squeeze. Unfortunately somewhere along the way someone had decided to graffiti this beautiful mural all over the side, covering the original German Fire Truck design altogether. Oh well…

When we met them there were 7 guys – Fabian Lentsch (The Boss), Markus Ascher (The Bro), Marco Freudenreich (Heir Direktor), Jochen Mesle (The quiet guy), Elias Holzknecht (Die Objektif), Tim Thomas (The Yankee) and Aymar Navarro (The Spaniard)…

They had already been in Greece for almost a week and had a serious hard on for what was turning out to be a pretty epic season already. The mountains were covered with snow down to almost 1000m and the roads were mostly knee-high above 1500. No challenge for the Snowmads truck of course…

We spent a few days tracking out some of the Parnasso backcountry, even though the snow at the top was windblown and icy by the first night. It was obvious that the guys were impressed by what they saw as they took every opportunity to go for hikes and get out in the terrain.

After Parnasso the Constantine and I left and made our way back to Athens to work on other projects. The Snowmads needed a place to park the truck while they stopped through Athens to get supplies on their way to their next destination – Kalavrita. So I suggested a spot by the sea close to my family home in Southern Athens. Flisvos was where the King of Greece used to keep his private yacht, now its a yacht harbor with a park and boardwalk along the sea.

After a night of raki and souvlaki on the town, this ratatouille of foreign skiers loaded up the truck and set off towards Kalavrita. A couple days later I travelled up to find them completely emmersed in exploring the mountains. At this stage the crew had changed slightly, with the addition of Julian Zenzmaier (RastaMan) and Neil Williman (The Kiwi). Jochen had scoped out a big road gap somewhere in the trees and the rest of the boys were just cruising around different zones, playing around in the soft stuff. The nights were cold up there, I stayed in the trusty borrowed Ford Maverick, while the ‘mads made fire and food and played cards in the truck. So yeah, I spent more time in theirs.

After a couple solid days, we all left the area. The ‘mads were going North to Omympus, while I spent a few days filming the 1000 MODS music video for “Electric Carve“.

So about 6 days later, way after they originally said they were going to leave, I met them for another epic mission. We headed back to Parnassos, parked the truck by Fterolaka and hiked over to the SouthEast bowls, locally known as the Louki of Velitsa (Το Λούκι της Βελλίτσας). It’s still unclear wether we ever actually reached the furthest bowls, but after almost 4 hours of hiking we found a pretty decent zone with some steep rocky gullies.At this point Raphael Webhofer (The Surfer), Roman Rohrmoser (The Veteran) and Rueddi Van DeClub (The Philosopher) had also joined the team. Fabi, Raphy and Roman all went ahead to start climbing the opposite walls, while Marco, Ruedi and I got in position to start filming. In order to get closer to the wall I descended down into the bowl, knowing full well that meant a pretty heavy climb back up. I got my drone in the air and headed over to the ridge where the three boys were getting ready to drop in to their lines. Then something kind of funny happened. I flew my drone over the ridge and over to the other side. As soon as it went out of line of sight I completely lost all communication with it too. Everything was gone. I had no idea where it was or what it was doing. My instinct told me to hit the RETURN TO HOME button, and I did, but before I had the realisation that the line it would draw between its current position and its home location could send it right into some rocks or some snow. Then I saw it coming straight at me and the controller popped back into sync. I brought it home to change batteries and sent it straight back out before the skiers knew anything had happened at all.

Later on that night we checked the footage and were all amazed at how close it did come to hitting the ridge. It had gone further down the ridge than I had thought, and lucky for us that night, I had forgotten to stop recording. So there’s the most epic shot of the drone coming over the valley ridge, skimming about 1m clear of the ridge line.  Drone porn for sure!!!

The next day I was out of there again, not before a little hotspring session at Thermopylae – the place where the 300 Spartans stopped the Persian invasion back in… a while ago. Always good to have a soak after the mountain…

The final time we would see each other was on the top of Mt Dirfis, on the island of Evia. The boys had made it over in the morning from somewhere else, and Hill Bill and I were on our way up but, as usual, got a late start out of Athens. Around 4pm we finally got to the peak and met the guys up there, already done with a few hours of hiking and filming on the North side of the mountain. We had just made it up so took a moment to drink some water and eat some nuts and stuff. Marco asked me to get some drone footage of the sunset descent, so I headed down to a better position and started getting ready to fly. In true fashion, everything went wrong at the crucial moment – my phone wasn’t syncing, Marco’s phone had 6% battery and the sun was literally almost over the horizon. I kept the drone in the sky even after the phone died, and just flew it manually, with no way of knowing what it was looking at. The guys skied down, I landed the drone and we headed off before it got too dark. Another Drone-Venture was over with the Snowmads in Greece.

For anyone who hasn’t already seen it, go ahead and check out the film…


Thanks to Fabi and all the boys for the hospitality and the good times.

Fabian Lentsch, Parnassos, 2017

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