Payer's long walk
Austria's raceboarder Alexander Payer has hiked five days from Carinthia to Lachtal where the parallel events of the 2015 FIS Snowboard World Championships will be held.
The tour kicked of at Simonhöhe in St. Urban where the 24-years-old got hooked with snowboarding some 18 years ago. Together with his father Helmut he first hiked via Steuerberg and Sirnitz to Hochrindl.
Then the route led father and son, who spent the nights in a tent, via Weiße Kreuz to Flattnitz and further on via Keischberg to Lachtal.
In total, Payer traveled 140 km by foot and thus completed a tough but very special stamina preperation for the up-coming season which was peppered with some 6,000 metres of altitude.
While Payer mastered the whole distance, his father had to abandon the tour due to a foot injury and got replaced by the snowboarder's girl friend for the last stage.
The reigning Austrian PGS champion who secured his first World Cup podium finishing second in Carezza last winter then camped an additional night at Lachtal in order to scent the air of the WCS slopes.
“The last five days have been my personal time travel. 18 years ago, I started with snowboarding on Simonhöhe. It's been a long and hard journey which hopefully concludes with a start at the World Champs on home soil. It's my goal to make the team for the worlds,” Payer said.
In addition, he still remembers the 2003 WCS at Kreischberg. “I was live at site when Sigi Grabner won Gold and ever since I knew that I want to do the same. This is what I have worked hard for over the last couple of years. And now it's the time to seize the chance.”