A few days ago I met Austrian professional freeskier Matthias “Hauni” Haunholder at the Freeride Filmfestival in Berlin, where he promoted his new ski film “Daddies on skis”. More information and official film trailer HERE.
During a film break I asked Hauni (he won the Freeride World Tour stop in Tignes 2009) for an interview. Finally we did a very spontaneous one after the event at the cinema hall of Kulturbrauerei around midnight. I have to thank Hauni for a really nice conversasion and his offer to record the talk on his cellphone, cause mine wasn’t working. Thanks bro!
So enjoy the result by reading the interview about his film, his next adventures, film projects and thrills on skis. Wohoo!
NICE TO SKI YOU: The title of your movie you presented today in Berlin is “Daddies on skis”. How old are your kids?
Hauni: My daughter is two and a half years and my son is ten months old. As a result, I am now properly restrained for time. (Smiling)
NICE TO SKI YOU: Your life has probably changed a lot since the two were born? Are you even going to ski a lot?
Hauni: Of course, I still try to ski a lot but use the bad weather days that I used to spend on the snow, now for the family.
NICE TO SKI YOU: Is your wife on the slopes with you from time to time when the kids are with grandma?
Hauni: The last few years skiing was obviously difficult for her because the kids are so young. But this winter she’s off again and she will certainly come back to skiing. She is already looking forward to it.
NICE TO SKI YOU: Where do you go when you ski? What are your favorite spots in Austria?
Hauni: Fortunately, I live at the foot of the mountains. The Kaisergebirge is my home mountain for skiing and ski touring. But I also ski frequently in Fieberbrunn, Saalbach and Kitzbühel and do a lot of ski kilometers and tree runs.
NICE TO SKI YOU: Is there a slope in Austria that you have to ski as a freerider?
Hauni: Yeah, the mountain that you must have ridden as a freerider is the Albonaska Face on the Arlberg, the most spectacular face of the Eastern Alps. As an Austrian freerider you should have that in your bio, I think. But there are always beautiful mountains in the “Kaisergebirge” to ski on, if the conditions are right.
NICE TO SKI YOU: When you’re on the slopes, what equipment do you need to make it a great ski day?
Hauni: I always have as little as possible with me. Duty is of course always the safety equipment, which includes ABS avalanche backpack, avalanche transceiver, and the necessary avalanche safety equipment. Then perfect skis to climb and ride, something to drink and some snacks.
NICE TO SKI YOU: What kind of skis do you take for freeriding?
Hauni: I found a great set-up together with my ski company Atomic. We have developed a ski that is 107 below the middle (Atomic Backland 107), I use the so-called shift binding (Shift MNC 13), which can be converted in a few simple steps from a real alpine binding to a touring binding. Then there is the shoe, which is freeride shoe, four-buckler, which is called Hawx 130 by Atomic (Hawx Ultra XTD 130), which can easily be converted into a touring boot, with a super stable grip on the downhill. With this set-up I skied my entire last full winter, and that worked perfectly. And there are no compromises, that fits great!
NICE TO SKI YOU: You have just had another big mad project behind you called “No Man’s Land”. Is there something new, what are you planning for future?
Hauni: “No Man’s Land” has certainly been one of the most exciting and lavish projects ever. But it goes on, adventures are very important to me, in inhospitable places to ski is something special for me. It has a higher value for me personally. And yes, there is a new project: we want to go up north in the coming spring.
NICE TO SKI YOU: What are you going to do?
Hauni: We want to master the northernmost ski run ever made. The preparations are running parallel to the promotion tour of “No Man’s Land”.
NICE TO SKI YOU: Northernmost descent? Where exactly are you going, geographically speaking?
Hauni: We’re on the Arctic side of Canada. There’s an island up there. That is called Ellesmere Iceland, which is just north of Greenland. This is the last real land mass in front of the North Pole. There are beautiful mountains that lead directly down to the coast and there goes the next trip. (Smiling)
We have scheduled a time slot from mid-April 4 to 6 weeks. If we reach our destination sooner, then we will leave sooner. But you need a lot of weather luck and snow luck.
NICE TO SKI YOU: How many freeriders are with you?
Hauni: My colleague Matthias Mayr and I, we have already been a team for a decade. And of course we also have a lot of cameramen and photographers who we take with us on the expedition. We are currently in the selection phase. This must be a mountainous and strong crew that holds together and also puts away long distances with a lot of luggage.
NICE TO SKI YOU: It’s midnight now, so last question, are you enjoying your trip in Berlin?
Hauni: I have already been here many times before, Berlin is an incredibly hot city, so diverse and always nice to come here. I would like to stay here for a few more days but we have to leave tonight straight to Munich to next film event. (Smiling)
NICE TO SKI YOU: Thanks a lot for the interview, Hauni!
Visit Hauni’s website HERE.
NICE TO SKI YOU