Welcome to a super special day at Kalavrita ski resort… After a 2-day dump, the snow conditions were epic, although it was still a little crusty up high, and soupy down too low. We still got our money’s worth playing in the trees… Special thanks to Andoni for the fun hike out. Nice one buddy!
Special appearances by Mel Wax, All School and Tale…
Music by ΟΔΟΣ 55 – ΑΤΤΙΚΗ ΒΙΚΤΩΡΙΑ
All photos by Meletis Vaxevanidis – Check him out on instagram
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Continuing our search for some of the best spots to snowboard around Athens, we packed our shovels and headed to Parnitha with Vasili Kagiouzi, and then to Kithaironas with Prifti, Dimitri and Stefano. Parnitha is less than an hour’s drive from pretty much anywhere in the greater Athens area, and at an altitude of 1300 meters holds a surprising amount of snow during winter. Historically it was the King’s playground, where he spent time amongst the wolves and deer you can still find up there today. After a fire ravaged most of the lower forestry it’s been left with a fraction of the trees it once had, sad I know. Still, you can find a bunch of cool spots to play in, including some pretty fun tree runs… but be careful, it can get pretty dense in there!
Next stop, Kithaironas, standing tall behind the Western Athens skyline, is a surprisingly rich sanctuary with an alpine feel. There’s a road that leads to the peak, that also passes the mountain refuge, which unfortunately doesn’t stay open in the winter. Never mind, it’s still a good spot to build a little kicker and enjoy the view of Athens in the distance.
Mad Speks to all you guys! Now get out there and go riding!
Huge thanks to The Velvoids for providing us with the raddest soundtracks. Make sure to check them out at www.thinkbabymusic.com
#thethingaboutgreece #manicside #microxtreme #weridelocal #mohxaclothing
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One fine January morning we decided to head up to one of Athens’ most iconic peaks – Mt Pendeli. The plan was to drive up as far as we could go, but things got a bit hairy with the jeep so we ended up walking up most of it. The peak was covered in fresh snow and the sky was clear blue, so clear you could see all the way to Karistos on one side, and Elefsina on the other. Pendeli isn’t the highest mountain around Athens, but definitely a sight for sore eyes! Enjoy this video best on your phone, while looking around!
Special Speks to Billy (who broke his kneecap on a rock), Alexis for keeping it old school and Badass Badios for… being badass.
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Το Banked Slalom είναι ίσως ο πιο θρυλικός αγώνας στην ιστορία του snowboarding χωρίς όμως να έχει καθιερωθεί στην Ελλάδα μέχρι στιγμής. Δημιουργήθηκε πριν από 32 χρόνια στο Mt Baker των ΗΠΑ, παρόλο που εκείνη την περίοδο το snowboarding δεν ήταν αποδεκτό από τους υπόλοιπους χιονοδρόμους ως άθλημα, το συγκεκριμένο χιονοδρομικό κέντρο ήταν από τα λίγα το οποίο τούς δεχόταν. Είναι, λοιπόν, ένας αγώνας εναλλακτικός, ένας αγώνας αλληλεγγύης, ένας αγώνας για όλους.
Μπορεί να άργησε 25 χρόνια αλλά το πρώτο Banked Slalom στην Ελλάδα πραγματοποιήθηκε με μεγάλη επιτυχία στο χιονοδρομικό κέντρο της Ζήρειας. Με τη βοήθεια του χιονοδρομικού, και των αδιάκοπων εθελοντών, φτιάξαμε τη πίστα ‘φίδι’ με 18 στροφές, 2 άλματα και ανόμαλα καρουμπαλάκια σε μήκος 400 μέτρων. Ο κάθε διαγωνιζόμενος είχε 2 χρονομετρημένες καταβάσεις και την ευκαιρία να κερδίσει καλύτερο χρόνο, καλύτερη στολή ή καλύτερη τούμπα.
Ευχαριστούμε ολόψυχα τους εθελοντές μας για τη βοήθεια και την παρέα, τον Γεράσιμο, τον Κωστή και την διαχείριση του Χιονοδρομικού κέντρου Ζήρειας, τούς υποστηρικτές και όλους εσάς που δώσατε τον καλύτερο σας εαυτό για να γίνει αυτό το εβέντ πραγματικότητα.
Οι υποστηρικτές μας: Χιονοδρομικό Κέντρο Ζήρειας, CAPSOUL CAPS, MicroXtreme, We Ride Local, Mohxa Clothing, Massive Boards, Basement 22, Fivetwenty Taste Experience, Jackals Tattoo, RISE TV, Plastikourgeio,
Γιώργος Πρίφτης και Γιάννης Γιαννόπουλος
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Athens got hit with two (or three?) heavy weather systems beginning in late December, that left the city in a beautiful white mess. The streets were icy and slippery, people didn’t know wether to call the police or make dirty snowmen, and from above the city looked cleaner than it ever has as the snow covered the rooftops and roads with a white blanket. Meanwhile on the mountains around Athens, an “Arctic” scene kept the news reporters away from more important issues like climate change or political unrest, which was actually a nice change.
So we took to the hills. Different days, different friends, different mountains.
First we hit Parnitha where we had to overcome our first, and most unpredictable obstacle. A police blockade had shut the road up to the mountain, due to icy roads and increased risk of cars getting stuck on the narrow streets. We happily obliged, parking the car just out of site of the police, a little ways up the road, right next to a delicious little bit of swept snow. Spiro and I dug a little line on the side of the road and played around until sundown. Back to the city
A couple days later Spiro and I did a little reconnaissance mission up to Mt Pendeli to see if there was enough snow to ride. It was dismal. There was barely enough to make a tiny snowman. Still, we got the shovels out and made ourselves a fun little hip to play on, overlooking Athens below. Once again, we managed to finally start shooting just before sunset.
A few days later we woke up before dawn, gathered the troops and headed on a little photo mission to capture the city covered in white, a truly rare occasion. We packed the car full of warm clothes, fresh coffee and baked goods, and headed to two of my favourite lookout points – Neos Kosmos and Tourkovounia. I got the drone out and flew around the city, getting some awesome shots of the sunrise poking over Ymmitos and this epic moment where the light shone directly onto the parthenon while the city was still in the shade. Probably the first shot I’ve ever taken of the parthenon that I truly loved.
We headed up to Mt Pendeli after that to meet Spiro and Katerina Soldatou, who were planning a mixed theme photo shoot – Spiro Snowboarding and Katerina doing her Aerial Dancing hanging from a giant tripod. On the way up we found Billy who had arrived earlier and had started skinning up the mountain on his splitboard. The roads were snowy but not very icy down low, so Billy and I got a little tow up the road behind the jeep. We finally encountered some pretty deep snow and couldn’t get the jeep through, when along comes a beast of a car, carrying Katerina, Spiro, shovels and her giant tripod. It was probably the biggest car I’d seen in Greece for a while, a Ford Raptor. Ridiculous machine. Anyway, we dropped the jeep off and jumped in the back of the Raptor for a few hundred more meters. As beastly as it was, we still got stuck and ended up spending the majority of the day digging cars out (there were more)… until we finally got it unstuck and into a “parking spot”. Katerina and her buddies Giorgo and Kosta set up the tripod while Alexi, Billy, Spiro and I headed to the top to get some riding done. The snow was really deep now, like waist high, and as fluffy as despicable me. A good sign if you know there’s another meter of snow underneath. We were just floating on sharp rocks.
We finally made it to the top, where Badio strapped in and headed off down to help the others with the tripod. We scoped out a couple of spots and found out what it was like for the ancient Greeks to snowboard up here… fantastic.
We topped off the day with a little ride on the road back down to the cars, and then home for hot chocolates and more weird dreams about Australian motocross riders and polar bears in ice caves. don’t ask.
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Late in the winter of 2018, a handful of wandering snowboarders decided to establish the first ever igloo village in Greece, on Mt Vasilitsa in the Pindos Mountain range. After 2 weeks of abstract weather shifts, bear and fox visits and lots of burnt snowboard boots, this nomadic group of filthy animals was left with nothing but soaking socks and swollen faces. Oh… and good times.
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One of the cleanest and least industrialised areas left in Europe is currently being surveyed for oil and natural gas extraction. If the project moves forward it will cause the death of thousands of native plant and animal species and destroy one of Greece’s last remaining nature sanctuaries. Find out more at www.sosepirus.org and www.facebook.com/groups/savepirus/
The Story: Greek ice hockey players are a rare breed. In late 2017 these four players from one of the country’s few hockey clubs – Iptameni, got the chance to play the first ever game of pond hockey in the Greece’s history. A monumental occasion for anyone who has played hockey their whole life, and a great adventure into the beautiful wilderness that is Epirus.
Around the same time some big oil companies started to send research teams to the region to inspect possible oil extraction sites. When we found out Epirus under attack we decided to use the experience to raise awareness around the issue. The myth of the Dragons of Epirus is online and is very interesting for anyone who cares to read more. (http://www.gortynalive.com/2017/05/02…)
Directed by Themistocles Lambridis
Cinematography Constantine Papanicolaou
Special Thanks to Munti Smolikas Guesthouse for their generous accommodation.
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In early 2018 Katerina Soldatou finally realised her dream of performing on the largest and most celebrated modern bridge in Greece – Rio Antirrion Bridge. The bridge itself is a marvel of modern engineering, spanning the Corinthian gulf for almost 3km, and built to withstand the strong winds and currents found at the isthmus to the gulf. It has created a passage for locals and non locals, and bridged the peloponnese with Central Greece providing a more efficient route to the Northern territories.
Katerina’s goal was to hang under the highest part of the bridge and do her thing. The problems faced were not unexpected but also not easy to overcome. Bureaucracy is Greece’s favourite method of communication and we were in no shortage of it. Phone calls and emails to the management of the bridge, and the coast guard, and the crew made this mission much more “official” than some of the others we’ve undertaken. Nonetheless the result was clear, and the doors had been opened to slay the beast.
We began by setting up the outdoor shoot, rigging Katerina’s ropes from the outer railing of the paved topside. Vassilis Theodorou was once again in the hot seat. After a couple hours the rigging was set and we were on schedule to start rolling. Katerina did her warmup exercises, while pacing nervously up and down the pavement. Once it was time, Vassili strapped her in, and once again she gave him her full trust and attention before being lowered down below the deck, carrying the 40kg of white fabric down with her.
Spiro was on the ground, over by the Northern side of the bridge, ready to take off, while I was dangling over Katerina close to the rigging point for a birds eye view shot.
The scene was set. She was ready to go. She dropped the fabric, and locked into the zone, moving effortlessly it seemed through manoeuvres and positions, dancing with the fabric as if it was an extension of her body. Tourists gathered to watch, and boats came close to see the action. Meanwhile the drone was circling around her capturing every moment of this beautiful performance until….
The drone went out of sight, under the bridge, and Badios was now flying completely blind. After a few attempts to get it into sight, he decided to press the Return to Home Button, sending the drone on an epic adventure to try and find its way back to him. Whilst Spiro couldn’t see anything, the drone was actually still filming. First it tried to go up over the giant bridge pillar, as it’s designed to do. It tried a few times but kept skimming the undercarriage of the bridge, until finally disaster struck. The propellers hit a steel beam which sent them flying off into the wind, and the drone began a spiral descent to its watery grave. With no chance of flying properly, it was doomed to a life of salty short circuits, and little chance of retrieval. But wait! Out of nowhere – the steel safety platform, only 2x3m wide, was fixed to the side of the pillar. And the drone falls perfectly onto the platform, almost perfectly upright! Katerina was the first to notice it, still hanging below the deck, fabric flying in the wind, and as soon as we all saw it, we literally couldn’t believe our eyes. Had the drone been lost we would have had to redo the entire performance, and the light was dying and the wind was picking up… it would have been a disaster.
We packed up all the gear and headed back to the base building for a regroup. With the knowledge that the drone was now safe, we began our next mission, a second performance inside the belly of one of the giant hollow pillars. We would be about 40m below sea level, inside the giant steel tubes that form the base of the bridge. Vassili began rigging again, while the rest of us planned out our positions and took some all important instagram pics for our stories.
Once we were ready, Katerina lowered herself into the void, and began moving into position. The space was a complete contrast to the previous performance, and felt more like a giant fishbowl than a contemporary feet of engineering. The echoes were endless, and any sound was amplified to the point of being almost too much to handle.
Then, when everyone was dead quiet, Katerina starts singing. She busts out this version of “I put a spell on you”, right there, 40m above the bottom of the tower, in the fishbowl, with echoes going nuts, and everyone completely captivated by the sound. Kudos for that!
She wrapped up the performance with some beautiful moves, giving us, the camera guys, a chance to capture some last different shots from different locations within the tower.
Once we packed up and surfaced back up onto the bridge, and Spiro had retrieved his slightly destroyed drone from the platform, we gathered by the base building for a final debrief and a quick look at some of the shots. We knew instantly we had got something unique, spectacular and beautiful. The mission was complete, and no one had a bigger smile on their face than Katerina.
Huge thanks to everyone involved – Katerina Soldatou, Spiros Badios, Vassilis Theodorou, Giorgos Gerolimos, Haris Sfakianakis & Orestis Zoompos
You guys rock!
In mid 2017 Makis Kalaras, a three time Paraolympic competitor and Silver Medalist, endured a severe injury to his bicep tendon, rendering his arm almost completely useless, leaving him with only one fully functional limb. No better time to set his sights on going to the Winter Paraolympics in South Korea in March of 2018. This is the story of his journey through rehabilitation, physiotherapy and qualifying for the games.