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Fabi meets… Tom Leitner

„Fabi meets…“ is a series of interviews with Fabian Lentsch and other skiers, friends and people he meets on the road. Same questions, different answers!

Fabi meets….Tom Leitner – a passionate freeskier since day one! Tom had his first public appearence in the little world of freeriding later than most but rapidly broke into the small group of the world’s best competitors. After many years of alpine racing, he joined the ‘new-school’ freestyle skiing movement in the mid-90s, at the same time as many of his friends switched to snowboarding. Born and raised in southern Bavaria he grew up in the mountains, grew up with skiing and later got the chance to travel the world by moving fast and stylish on two sticks. Tom has been part of the very first Snowmads trip A Journey Towards Eastern Suns – unfortunately he’s had a super bad crash back then and was forced to leave Iran way too early.

Name: Tom Leitner

Age: 38

City: Traunstein

How is/was it to grow up around here?

It was paradise when I was a kid. I had the privilege to grow up very free and to be outside a lot. I definitely believe that  my childhood gave me the basis for everything I do these days. It`s those childhood memories that I strive for, even if more subconsciously than consciously.

Well, I`ve been skiing for thirty five years now and it has been one of the constants in my life.

What do you think about skiing? Have you ever tried it or seen someone ski? What do you associate with it?

Well, I`ve been skiing for thirty five years now and it has been one of the constants in my life. It`s my passion and it can take on so many forms. I think it can potentially fill up a lifetime. There`s always place for progression, even if our physical abilities decline with age.

To me backcountry skiing has a unifying power, too. Wherever you meet skiers with a similar dedication, you will most probably find yourself in a silent agreement with them, about certain values, attitudes and preferences. It’s like a secret bond of people who have made similar experiences, which, in the end, lead you on a certain path in life. 

Skiing chose me, I would say

Why did you choose this job/career?

Skiing chose me, I would say. It`s not like it has ever been a career path to me. One thing came after the other and for a couple of years I was able to make a living of it. Looking back, it’s been only a short period in my life and only one aspect of my life as a skier. A very special time of my life with certain privileges that most people don`t have the chance to experience.

What are you most passionate about and why and what makes you happy?

It`s definitely my family. Ten years ago I never would have thought that I`d become a family man. But the course of seeing a kid grow up from the start and experience humanity in its purest and most innocent form has definitely left a mark on me. But every dad knows that it is something which can not be explained until you experience it yourself.

I believe that vague fears are something to be tackled and to be actively overcome.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I mean, you only become the person you are through making all the mistakes and follow a couple of misleading trails here and there. Still, looking back, I wish I’d have had more courage in certain situations. I believe that vague fears are something to be tackled and to be actively overcome. It took me some time to figure that out in my life. But I am a very happy man at the moment, so I believe that everything had to go the way it did.

What is freedom to you? 

Personal freedom to me means the ability to realize the countless possibilities around us and to have the discipline to grab them. Freedom has a lot to do with discipline.

Love, What is it?

I am surely not a man to give a definition. But I definitely know that it is the answer and the way.

How do you spend most of your free time?

I love to be active in nature. It gives me peace of mind. Apart from that I am alway busy, somehow. Even if I don`t have a real job, haha!

What does money mean to you?

I don`t care about money, as long as there`s enough, haha!

How to follow Tom and his adventures:
Instagram

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Kung-Fu Fabi! A Journey to China (Video)

It was last year when Fabi and some of his friends realized a dream they’ve had on their minds for a couple years already. They traveled to China, signed up for a Kung-Fu school and spent a Summer in the Chinese backcountry. Find out what they’ve experienced on their trip to this rather military style Kung-Fu school.

A couple words of Fabian Lentsch on how he experienced this trip to the far east:

„It was definitely quite a contrast to everything I’ve seen before.“

„About three years ago while climbing a mountain in Austria with my friend Steve he came up with this idea to spend some time in a Kung Fu school in China. He first wanted to stay for six months which wasn’t really an option for me so we settled for two months instead. Jules joined our trip kind of last minute and the three of us traveled to China beginning of summer 2019.
It was definitely quite a contrast to everything I’ve seen before. On the website it said that a good physical shape prior to arriving at the school is recommended. Being an athlete after all I already felt qualified while studying the website at home and kept going into the mountains and just did what I always do. After the first five days of training I had one of the strongest muscle aches of my whole life. Actually already after three days I would have for sure taken a day off if I wasn’t in this crazy Chinese Kung Fu school. Giving up wasn’t really an option. It didn’t feel right to disappoint our Shifu(master). As long as you are not really sick in the world of Kung Fu you can train every day.

„Everything works in a kind of military style.“

The daily workout lasted from 6am until 6pm with just a few breaks in-between. Taiji, Qigong, Shaolin, Chinese Kickboxing, running, temple stairways running, power workouts, conditioning, playing with sticks, fighting in the ring and and and.
Everything works in a kind of military style. You don’t wanna be late for any of your classes haha. There are weekly cleanups where everybody has to join, lunch and dinner gets served at an exact time for about 30min when you have to return your bowl and chopsticks. The room and bed needs to be tidy with weekly checkups by our masters. Most Shifus are talking Chinese with a translator next to them.

Shot and produced by Simon Lo www.liveflyfree.com

I really enjoyed my time in this school. After about two weeks my mind and my body really settled in and I loved being deprived of all these option I constantly have in life. In the school there was a fixed timetable and I never spent time thinking about what to do tomorrow, where to go and so on.“

Learn more about the Kung-Fu school here

Photo Credits
Simon Lo
Fabian Lentsch

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How to… Van Life with Fabian Lentsch

Find out how to live in an old, refurbished fire truck. Fabi is taking you on a truck tour through the Snowmads Truck.

(C) Florian Breitenberger

Curious what’s inside the Snowmads Truck?
Fabi is showing you around in the truck, gives some interesting insights on how he’s living in this adventure vehicle and even reveals some van life hacks for your next adventure on four wheels.

That video was shot back in 2016 when Fabi and the Snowmads headed off for their first trip A Journey Towards Eastern Suns.

Enjoy!

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Snowmads – Watch List

Welcome to the final round of our Snowmads approved film recommendations

Before you read on: Have you already seen our first two Snowmads watch lists? Find them here Part 1 & Part 2

As the first two versions of our Snowmads recommended films have all been connected to the Snowmads universe in some way, we’re now offering you a fine selection of films we just really like and think they are highly recommendable. An exception here is TWENTY with our friend Léo Slemett.
We really hope you liked our watchlists and enjoyed a couple of hours skiing fine lines and good times… at least mentally and on your screen.


Here’s our final Snowmads approved selection for you:

HAMKUMMEN – HOMECOMING

Should we travel more or think more about homecoming? 
This question photographer and filmmaker Lukas Dürnegger asks himself in this movie.

ZABARDAST

Zabardast means „fantastic“ in the Hindi language – Zabardast is a definitely a fantastic movie, a movie about an expedition to the great Himalayas of Pakistan, a movie that really impressed us.

LA LISTE

Redefining steep skiing with Jeremy Heitz and Sam Anthamatten – meanwhile this movie of Jeremy and Sam skiing ticking off 15 4000m peaks and their steep faces is almost a classic. By the way: Part two of La Liste is about to drop soon, stay tuned.

TWENTY – An accidental history of free riding by Guido Perrini

TWENTY is the culmination of twenty years of big mountain filming, and raises the question of ‘is it worth it?’ Twenty is an emotional story of the development of freeriding, the passion for being out in the mountains and why the characters return to it again and again, even after tragedy strikes.

Here you go – lean back, grab a cold one and enjoy!

HAMKUMMEN – HOMECOMING

ZABARDAST

LA LISTE

TWENTY – An accidental history of free riding

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Snowmads – Watch List

Here’s a new round of Snowmads approved film recommendations

Enjoyed the five films of our first Snowmads Watchlist?

A new week of staying at home, doing home workouts, dreaming of spring skiing and of course hiding from that world wide virus pandemic is coming up.
Watching a good movie is always a good way to recover from post Easter workouts or when isolation boredom kicks in.
Watching a good ski movie is the best way to dream of big missions and make new plans for when that bloody virus is gone!

Here’s our Snowmads approved selection for you:

SKI VACATION

Follow a Brazilian couple on their skiing vacation in Austria. A nice mix of comedy and skiing, starring Snowmads Raphi Webhofer and produced by our friends of Whiteroom Production.

TIEN SHAN – A KYRGYZ SKI ADVENTURE

The movie shows the story of four friends, including Fabian Lentsch, traveling to the former soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan in 2012. Super confident they made their way into the Tien Shan mountain range, where they were confronted with snow conditions they have never seen before.

ALTAI – AN UNEXPECTED FORTUNE

Another Whiteroom production. In Spring 2014 the Austrian and German ski alpinists David Pitschmann, Fabian Lentsch, Joi Hoffmann, Michael Trojer and Jakob Schweighofer headed to the remote Russian Altai Mountains in hope to discover a skier’s paradise.

SOUTH LINES

Follow the journey of our Spanish friend and Snowmads Aymar Navarro, who has also been part of YA MAS, and Txema Trull on their annual trip to South America’s austral winter an the incredible Andes mountain range. An epic adventure full of gnarly lines and sharing experiences with local skiers from Chile and Argentina as well as internationally known riders like Leo Slemett and Marion Haerty.

USHBA

Late season 2017. Samuel Anthamatten, Markus Eder, & Leo Slemett head to Svaneti Georgia to hopefully climb Ushba and make a first descent on skis. This mystical 4710m mountain in the Caucasus Mountains is very remote and must be accessed on foot. Before the ascent the crew gets to warm up the legs and experience some of the best skiing they have ever had in a wild heli-ski session in epic conditions. Leo Slemett has also been part of the very first NINE&ONE / Snowmads production A JOURNEY TOWARDS EASTERN SUNS.

Here you go – lean back, grab a cold one and enjoy!

SKI VACATION

TIEN SHAN – A KYRGYZ SKI ADVENTURE

ALTAI – AN UNEXPECTED FORTUNE

SOUTH LINES

USHBA

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Snowmads – Watch List

Five Snowmads approved film recommendations for long days in isolation – Part 1

Stuck in isolation and seen everything on your favorite streaming services?
Ok, then our very first advice:
Check out our latest short film „Snowmads – Sense of Home“.
Seen this one as well? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a fine selection of snowy adventures for you to enjoy on on your couch, five snowy adventures that will keep you motivated for a new season.
All the five of them are connected to the Snowmads universe of course:

CONTRADDICTION by Elias Elhardt – Elias is a good friend of Fabi Lentsch and he absolutely loves that movie

TGR WINTERLAND – the latest Teton Gravity Research production with a really nice segment of Fabian Lentsch, 100% shot in Austria

ICE & PALMS – six weeks of skiing, biking and crossing the alps. A film of Jochen Mesle and Max Kroneck. Jochen is a true Snowmad and has been part of A Journey Towards Eastern Suns and YaMas

DER TIROLER UND SEIN PIEFKE – Roman Rohrmoser, Snowmad from the very first minute on, and Felix Wiemers in one of the funniest skiing productions ever

A JOURNEY TOWARDS EASTERN SUNS – the first Snowmads / NINE&ONE production and the first trip with the Snowmads Truck . Old but gold and always worth to see.

Here you go – lean back, grab a cold one and enjoy!

CONTRADDICTION

TGR WINTERLAND

ICE&PALMS

DER TIROLER UND SEIN PIEFKE

A JOURNEY TOWARDS EASTERN SUNS

Journey to the Persian Gulf 

Subheadline steht hier

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Big Mountain Dream Lines 

Perfect days in Georgia

After a long and arduous journey searching for snow, the boys finally hit the jackpot in Mestia, Georgia. They were greeted by a heli, and immediately set out for the steepest and deepest lines they could find for an all-time big mountain session.

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Skiing Epic Dirt Lines in the Middle of the Desert 

Of Dirt Spines and Brown Pow

So the skiing wasn’t all chest deep powder, it happens. But that didn’t stop Fabi & Co. from ripping fresh lines throughout the Middle East. When the crew stumbled upon some of the finest dirt spines that Qeshm Island, Iran could offer, there was no hesitation to strap on the boots and hike up for some virgin tracks… in the middle of the desert. That’s adventure.

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Deep Backcountry Skiing & Camping

10 days into the wild, 10 days of insane skiing

After a long and arduous journey searching for snow, the boys head out on their final mission: a 10 day self supported camping adventure with a playground of perfect peaks at their disposal – in the middle of undisclosed nowhere. Talk about adventure!