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Kastanistan | Snowmads In An Imaginary Land Without Borders (2022)

The new wintersports film follows pro skier Fabian Lentsch and his local friend Nick Phaliani on a mountain mission in Georgia together with the Snowmads crew while the two transition into new roles

“Kastanistan | Snowmads in an imaginary land without borders” is a ski and snowboard film by NINE&ONE about Georgian mountain guide Nick Phaliani and pro skier and Snowmads mastermind Fabian Lentsch, who go on their first freeride skiing mission together setting up camp in a new zone in Georgia, which hasn’t been skied before and is nothing short of freeride paradise. It is a soulful tale of friendship, conquering challenges as well as an imagination of a land full of peace, love and spines.


After having met back in 2016 when Fabi visited Georgia filming for the first Snowmads skiing film both, Nick and Fabi, have gone through big transitions in their lives. Inspired by the Snowmads Nick has learnt to ski and become a certified mountain guide in just 3 years. Fabi has transitioned from being a freeride line hunting pro skier, to more and more also becoming a bridge builder between cultures and a mentor to others like the young Snowmads riders Konsti and Gabriel, whom he takes along on this unique, couragous and inspiring travel.

As the group conquers new ski and snowboard lines in mind blowing terrain on this mission it all feels a bit like a new found paradise. However paradise is threatened when young Snowmads rider Gabriel chooses a consequential no fall line on his snowboard. Nick has to prove himself as the main guide of the trip, while Fabi has to keep up with feeling responsibility as Gabriel’s mentor.
In the middle of threatened peace all over the world, this is also a film about how to find inner peace no matter where you are. The group calls this imaginary place without borders and full of peace and love KASTANISTAN.


A Film by: NINE&ONE
For: Snowmads
Produced and written by: Karin Lechner 
Directed and edited by:
 Raphael Pöham
Initiator and Line Producer: Fabian Lentsch
Assistant Director: Joi Hoffmann
Principal Cinematography: Raphael Pöham, Joi Hoffmann
Additional Drone Footage: Luki Schäfer
Sound Design and Mix: Izzy Cope
Stills Photography: Fabio Keck
Artwork: Anna-Maria Indrist

Featuring: Fabian Lentsch, Nick Phaliani, Gabriel indrist, Konsti Ottner,
Joi Hoffmann, Zura Phaliani, Gogita Chartolani

Executive Producer : Karin Lechner

Year of Production: Austria, 2022
Duration: 22 min
Language:  German / English / Georgian (EN subtitles)
Locations: Georgia


How to watch

VOD:
NOW ON Snowmads YouTube

CINEMA:
20.01.2022 GERMAN PREMIERE: BOFF Bayerisches Outdoor Film Festival AWARD NIGHT
12.11.2022 PREMIERE Freeride Film Base, Metropol, Innsbruck

More to be announced soon.


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Contact

Contact us if you are interested in screening, streaming or otherwise showing the movie, writing about this film or becoming a partner of future SNOWMADS adventures.

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Further Snowmads film projects by NINE&ONE
A Foreign Native | Snowmads (2021)
Innsbruck. Powder. People. (2021)
Snowmads – Sense of Home (2019)
Ya Mas – Snowmads in Greece (2017)
Snowmads – A Journey Towards Eastern Suns (2016)

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Challenging Times

When the world stops and time has no significance anymore you are either in a deep state of meditation, dreaming or in shock. Unfortunately neither of the first two were the reasons that everything from one moment to the other turned and tumbled for us. It was a big shock when the news of Fabi’s accident in the Himalayan mountains reached us. Only slowly step by step it gave room to hope and pure astonishment about the mental toughness, mindset and optimism that Fabi applies going through his healing process.

„Mr. Lentsch why are you still lying in bed?! You should be walking outside, enjoying the sun!!!“ It was meant to be a joke of the Indian doctor with the intention to motivate Fabi. The doctor must have known that his advise to walk outside was impossible for Fabi in this moment. Still, from the very beginning, he should believe in his recovery. It was only two days after a luckily successful surgery on Fabi’s severely damaged vertebra and spinal cord, trying to save Fabi’s spine and in the end his ability to walk.

Fabi’s situation in his Indian hospital bed unfortunately was way worse than the words of a smiling, at the same time very serious doctor would make you guess. Fabi had crashed with his paraglider, on a routine flight while hiking in the Himalayas. Something had gone wrong, he still doesn’t exactly know what and the crash broke two of his vertebrae, his left arm and foot and injured his spinal cord, which left him without movement or feeling in his feet and toes. On the 24th of July 2022 Fabi’s life has changed dramatically. 

45 days in India

The crash had happened on the 45th day of his stay in India. He was on a mission to get to know the mountains there. He attended a yoga school and was planning skiing missions for an Indian film trip. Scouting big mountain lines in far out places, that was exactly what Snowmads mastermind Fabi had done for so many times, leaving others with jaws wide open of disbelief while doing it. Same goes for when he took off with his paraglider on that 24th of July 2022. But this time something went horribly wrong… 

Moments later he had fallen out of the sky, a fall from around 40 meters to rocky ground.

Three surgeries later

It’s now more then two months after his first surgery on his spine in India, where the severely damaged vertebra was removed and stabilized by metal and a so called „cage“ put around his spinal cord to somehow replace the missing vertebra. 

Fabi recently joked that after his third surgery in some weeks, already back in Austria, he had somehow managed to get 3 implant passports within only some weeks… he had none before.

The Damocles sword of being bound to the wheelchair for a long time, maybe for life, is hanging in some thoughts somewhere… sometimes. Doctors say serious medical predictions and an outlook can only be given after around a year has passed. Until then rehab, relearning to walk and making his way out of hospitals will be Fabi’s mission. Fortunately there has already been faster than expected progress and some of his body sensations and physical abilities are coming back. It seems and is possible! The doctors believe in it and so… maybe most importantly… does Fabi himself.

Optimism Continued

Fabi is an unbelievable optimist, always was, probably always will be. People love him for that. For many of the things he did in his life you need to be an optimist, otherwise you would not dare to even try those things and we’re not specifically talking about skiing. So he knows how it feels to go on adventures with uncertain outcomes. This might be the most difficult and maybe his biggest mission so far.

Mara, Fabi’s friend, travel companion and rescue angel, at the same time medical doctor, was with Fabi when the crash happened. She told us a story of Fabi still lying in the Indian hospital bed, already in very good care after the first days and a difficult, difficult rescue from the mountains. It was monks who were the first carrying him down the mountain on a wooden improvised bed in what Fabi described as unbelievable pain to a special helicopter, ironically installed from an Austrian mountain rescue organization, who then flew him over 5.000m peaks to the hospital.

So, Fabi was lying in this Indian hospital bed, his body severely damaged, in a shape that he described by far the worst in his life, just days after the crash and the first surgery, and believe it or not, there were other patients, who were considered to have lost hope in their situation, sent to him with the words „Go to this guy, he can make you have hope again“. Also patients in way better physical conditions than Fabi.

We put some video footage from India, Fabi’s first steps in rehab and him reuniting with us Snowmads in Austria in the Instagram post below.

Challenging Times

Undoubtably it’s difficult times for all of us. The first shock of almost losing a loved one, having him injured severely has passed. The long term consequences though are still unknown.

In any way we want to believe that probably everything happens for a reason and emotional and physical injuries will heal with time. And most importantly, life goes on! Thats probably what we’re most happy about… that Fabi is still here and will hopefully experience many more sunsets and sunrises on this beautiful earth.

Still many people are shocked about the news of Fabi’s crash and situation, offering help.

THANK YOU ALL

Thank you all for the words and thoughts, and while for many friends and family it was like a nightmare coming to life, be assured that Fabi is in very good medical hands and accompanied on his way back by some amazing people.

The best you can do for now is to send all the good thoughts and healing vibes to Fabi.

We are reunited now and are making sure to support Fabi and each other going through this. We’ll take care that he has everything he needs to heal and recover and hopefully we make all our dreams come true together … again …

Our biiiig thank you goes out to everybody supporting our mastermind Fabi through all of this.

🤍

Photos: ©Snowmads
The use of the images outside of this blog post is prohibited.
If you want to support pls contact us here.


Read here what Fabi says in his own words on his Instagram @fabian_lentsch

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An Extraordinary Night for an Extraordinary Movie

A warmhearted Celebration of Togetherness went down at the „Snowmads – A Foreign Native“ Premiere in Innsbruck

Innsbruck, March 04, 2022 For the premiere of “Snowmads – A Foreign Native”, a skiing documentary never seen before, big mountain skier Fabian Lentsch, a bunch of Snowmads and a big part of the film crew, including director Jonas Abenstein and producer Karin Lechner, gathered at a buzzing Metropol-Kino in Innsbruck. Iranian protagonist Sina Shamyani live on screen via a video call completed the emotional showing of the film in the Austrian home town of many of the Snowmads.

from left to right: Neil Williman, Jonas Abenstein, Markus Ascher, Fabian Lentsch, Julian Zenzmaier, Karin Lechner, Florian Moser

We believe that from time to time its good to break out from your ordinary ways and dive into something unknown… that’s what the A Foreign Native Premiere in Innsbruck was all about.
With our new documentary on the big screen, Iranian Food and Iranian Music we wanted to take everyone who secured a ticket for the screening onto a journey into this mysterious country. Accompanying Fabi Lentsch and his Snowmads Truck on another crazy and warmhearted adventure, taking quite some unforeseeable turns.

A huge THANK YOU to everybody who was there for showing that much excitement and love for this undoubtably really special movie.

How to Watch:

Find all info about the movie on our film site snowmads.world/aforeignnative/

One of the feedbacks we received at the premiere was „On the big screen it’s epic“. So all you cinema lovers in Austria, you can catch it at Metropol-Kino in Innsbruck tonight and tomorrow and Megaplex Vienna end of March. And we’ll add more dates as they come up.

Good news for everyone else too:
As of today, March 10, 2022, the film is available on Red Bull TV!

Enjoy watching and let us know what you think via Instagram or YouTube.

Official Trailer

You want to see more videos about the latest Snowmads adventures? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and be informed when a new Snowmads video is out!

Photos by:
Florian Breitenberger
Moritz Liebl
NINE&ONE

Trailer Release: Innsbruck. Powder. People.

Neil Williman has been part of the Snowmads crew since we started to rebuild the Snowmads truck or maybe even before the Snowmads had actually found their name. Back then we were just a bunch of snow-mad freeriders who loved skiing, snowboarding and adventuring in the mountains together. A few crazy trips and filming missions later Neil took on the producer role and made „Working Volks Freeride“. This time he welcomed director Timm Schroeder to the Snowmads family, and together with NINE&ONE produced our new short film „Innsbruck. Powder. People.“

The storyline of „Innsbruck. Powder. People.“ goes like this: After many winter seasons and competitions in North America, France and Sweden, a professional freeride skier from New Zealand named Neil Williman ends up in Innsbruck. There he meets many talented locals like the Snowmads crew, who show him just how great the mountains around Innsbruck are. Deeply impressed by the seemingly endless possibilities in this paradise, they discover together what is skiable during a global pandemic, and what is not, while trying to only use public transport and campers.

There’s no question that it was an unusual season last year, travelling was difficult or impossible … a perfect winter to spend at home. So, when Neil invited the Innsbruck locals to join him in his movie project a great crew of friends and Snowmads quickly gathered. When good friends come together usually good things happen, and it was no different in this movie.

Make sure to check the trailer on our YouTube Channel and keep your eyes out at our instagram channels @snowmads and @ibkpowderpeople to find news on where and when to watch the full movie!

We’re proud of your producer debuts, Neil! And congrats to Timmy Schroeder, who directed, shot and edited this award-decorated short film. Congrats also to second camera man Daniel Bear and the whole crew who was part of this inspiring short film!

_______________

Riders ⛷🏂
Neil Williman
Leo Rauch
Manuela Mandl
Sam Good
Christoph Schoefegger
Núria Castán-Barón
Erika Vikander
Fabian Lentsch
Markus Ascher
Julian Zenzmaier
Konsti Ottner
Dominique Heinrich
Dodo Konrad

Film/Photo 📽📷
Timm Schroeder
Daniel Bear
Alex Fuchs
Markus Tonak

Production 🎬
Neil Williman
Karin Lechner / NINE&ONE

© Chris Bezamat
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Fabian Lentsch Skis Big Mountain Dream Lines

Fabi and TGR (Teton Gravity Research) – a strong team, a bunch of creative minds and the common instinct for aesthetic lines. They teamed up for several weeks over the past three years, hit the roads across Austria with the Snowmads Truck, explored in Albania and captured fine big mountain skiing.

Fabi stands for high class skiing, TGR for the production of high class outdoor sports movies – the perfect combo! 
Austria got hit by massive snow falls and all time skiing conditions were on the menu. The Snowmads Truck was right there when the snow was fluffy and stable. Fabi was able to finally ski some lines he’s had an eye on for several years already, while the TGR crew was on the right place at the right time – like always! 

Austria is widely known for skiing, big winters and big mountain lines. But have you ever heard of skiing and big mountain lines in Albania? A fairly unknown country whose borders opened up for foreigners quite recently in 1990, a country with huge, mostly undiscovered mountains and decent amounts of snow when the Adriatic storms hit the country. 

big mountain dream lines
Fabi working his way down a dream line in Albania © Chris Bezamat

Fabi, describe your feelings when you see yourself skiing big lines in a Teton Gravity Research production! 

As a kid those big TGR productions have been super inspiring for me. Their films have definitely been a huge part of my process of becoming a professional skier.

How did you get in touch with TGR? 

One day I got an invitation for a film trip with them in Albania. To be honest, I was super surprised and super stoked as well. Apparently my reputation wasn’t too bad in the States and so they got in touch with me. It’s not everyday a European rider gets the chance to be part of a TGR movie.

Fabian Lentsch relaxes after skiing big mountain dream lines
© Chris Bezamat

The mountains and especially skiable lines are mostly undiscovered in Albania. How did you check out possible faces and lines to ski? 

Around two months before the shoot I had the chance to hop on a small plane and do some scouting flights. Well this almost makes it sound too easy. We couldn’t find any airplane in Albania and had to fly into the mountains from North Macedonia which required a special hard to get permission to cross into the Albanian airspace. Luckily I got connected with a great crew in the Balkans who helped us with all the logistics and whom I now can call some of my best friends. That was an important step for our adventure down there. 

© Fabi Lentsch – Analog

How did you like the mountains and the skiing in Albania? 

The Albanian mountains are super impressive and wild – such is the weather down there. We didn’t have many good days with the right conditions but those days we’ve had were mind-blowing.

One year later you and TGR teamed up again, this time in Austria. How did that go?

Austria has seen one of the best winters ever, so the time was right to ski some big lines in my backyard. It was a special feeling to welcome the whole crew in Austria, travel around in our Snowmads Truck and discover my home mountains during a very special winter. We’ve had a really good time but on the other hand I also felt the pressure of a big production, the pressure of having to deliver somehow. In the end we’ve had all time conditions and found some really good lines, lines that probably wouldn’t have been possible in any other winter. We were lucky but also hard working, that’s a good combo I guess.

Fabi Lentsch Skiing Big Mountain Dream Lines
© Chris Bezamat

„I’d like to thank the whole TGR crew! Thanks for the fun times in Albania and Austria. Long days, big lines and short, cozy nights with rather limited space in our truck – great memories!“
Fabian Lentsch

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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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Snowmads Screensavers – Our Moments for your Device

Snowmads Screensavers – Our Moments for your Device!
When scrolling through our archives we quickly realized that there are so many unforgettable moments we’d like to share with you.

Here’s our first selection of screensavers (desktop and mobile) for you. Get inspired and motivated by the Snowmads, go out and experience your very own special moments.

desktop

mobile

Here you can download the screensavers:

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Snowmads Good Reads – Our Book Recommendations

Snowmads Good Reads is our series of book recommendations for you! Books we have with us on our travels, books we read on rainy days or lazy afternoons in the hammock. Snowmads Good Reads is no advertising for any book it’s simply what we like, what inspires us and what we think you should have on your reading list.

The Snowmads‘ way of traveling is a slow way of traveling, an intense and mindful way of exploring cultures, unknown mountain ranges and places far off the beaten path. Traveling slow for us also means taking time for reading, for inspiration and giving thoughts an open space. Reading offers fresh input, different opinions and perspectives on things that concern us.
This week Fabi Lentsch is sharing three of his favorite books that inspire him – find out which ones he is recommending and especially why!

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 

by Yuval Noah Harari

“You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.” 

“We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.” 

I love to read books which challenge the ways I perceive the world and Sapiens was definitely one of these books. We Homo Sapiens exist since about 70.000 years and spent most of this time in the nature moving around looking for food. Then the agricultural revolution happened which led towards the present way of life. We settled, build cities and also invented stories which make it easier to live together. Such as money, nations, gods, laws and many more. It surprised me how much of our today’s behaviour is still rooted in the genes of our ancestors and saw the patterns of how we became enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism. An amazing book for everyone who wants to know more about our species or ultimately about her/himself. 

“As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion.” 

Quotes by Yuval Noah Harari

Shantaram 

by Gregory David Roberts

“Happiness is a myth. It was invented to make us buy new things.”

“Love is the opposite of power. That’s why we fear it so much.”

I always thought of myself as being this great traveler and adventurer until I read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. He escaped a maximum security prison in Australia and somehow managed to flee to India where he lives many existences over quite some years. Such as running a self built clinic in a slum, producing fake passports along with many other dubious activities for the mafia, going to war in Afghanistan and another time in prison in Mumbai. As a hunted man without an identity, home or family he’s searching for love and a meaningful life behind the curtains of a hidden Mumbai society. 

Reading about his adventures made me question my way of traveling and the goals and values in life. Shantaram was one of my motivations to live in Iran right now and learn the language to experience life beyond just being a tourist. 

“But the soul has no culture. The soul has no nations. The soul has no colour or accent or way of life. The soul is forever. The soul is one. And when the heart has its moment of truth and sorrow, the soul can’t be stilled.”

Quotes by Gregory David Roberts

How to Change Your Mind? – The New Science of Psychedelics 

by Michael Pollan

“Why assume that “normal” consciousness is the real one, while the boundless and transcendent variety is somehow fake?”

“Compared with other drugs, psychedelics seldom affect people the same way twice, because they tend to magnify whatever’s already going on both inside and outside one’s head.”

Psychedelics are still quite a sensitive topic in our society and often linked to horror stories of people jumping out of windows. The truth is that humans are using psychedelics such as “magic” mushrooms since thousands of years which gives us reason to believe that they played a big part in our evolution. After the movement against psychedelics in the 1960s researchers have picked up the topic again and it even finds its way into therapeutic use. This book is about the history, recent research including brain scans while people are tripping and Michaels personal travelogues under the influence of these non-addictive drugs. I’ve made experiences with psychedelics during an Ayahuasca ceremony in Brasil about four years ago and this book managed to answer many questions I still had. 

“Habits are undeniably useful tools, relieving us of the need to run a complex mental operation every time we’re confronted with a new task or situation. Yet they also relieve us of the need to stay awake to the world: to attend, feel, think, and then act in a deliberate manner. (That is, from freedom rather than compulsion.) If you need to be reminded how completely mental habit blinds us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up! And the algorithms of everyday life all but start over, as if from scratch. This is why the various travel metaphors for the psychedelic experience are so apt. The efficiencies of the adult mind, useful as they are, blind us to the present moment. We’re constantly jumping ahead to the next thing.”

Quotes by Michael Pollan

As someone once said: „Reading is dreaming with open eyes.“ We want to wish you happy dreams, relaxing moments, many inspiring words, quotes and a quality time out from the every day life!

Photo Credits

Tamo Gokadze

Florian Breitenberger
Anjuna Hartmann

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Fabi meets… Guro Vashakmadze

„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!

Guro Vashakmadze is one of Georgia’s freeski pioneers and knows the Caucasus mountains like the back of his hand. Fabi and Guro met during the very first Snowmads trip A Journey Towards Eastern Suns in 2016.

Name: Guram Vashakmadze (Guro)

Age: 26

City: Tbilisi/Gudauri

How is/was it to grow up around here?

I grew up in the area of the Gudauri ski resort in the time of civil war and political instability of Georgia. Gudauri appeared to be an island of peace and joy in the ocean of wrath at that time. The mountains left me with good memories from my childhood so I am thankful for it especially when I imagine what my generation and the older ones had gone through.  

Guro enjoying the Georgian pow

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

For me skiing is a lifetime competition with others and most important with myself. I am constantly trying to prove myself that what I am able to do. I can do it better and better – always! There are no real borders which could limit your abilities. Unless you are not trying to overcome gravitation  

Fabi during a skiing trip to Georgia

Why did you choose this job/career?

I did not choose this job, I just grew up with it. Maybe it was meant to be like this? I don’t know, I just know there was no exact moment when I decided to follow my real passion. This passion existed since I started skiing. I should admit that it is not my real job at the moment, hehe…

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

I am passionate about team spirits, when I feel that I belong to the group of people on whom I can rely in the much needed moments. I used to play rugby and still I admire this sport. The reason is that the mental connection between the players gives the result of the game. The team spirit is about respect, support and honesty. These three things are one of the most important values for me. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’m not going to give any advice to my younger self as long as I am a result of the things I’ve done in the past and the decisions I made. I am proud of myself and my past life with its’ own good and bad parts. I do not regret the bad parts, that’s actually where an experience comes from and without this experience it is hard to grow as a successful person.

What is freedom to you?

Freedom enables us to call ourselves reasonable beings – humans. If there wouldn’t be the ability to free ourselves from our desires, being independent in making decisions considering all the results they could lead us to, we would look like the beings who are slaves of their own desires. To be free from yourself is the most important part.  

Heliskiing in Georgia

Love, What is It?

The ability to express pure kindness given to us by ultimate power.  

What does money mean to you?

I do not belong to the category of people who consider that they have to be deeply negative about money. I think we should be as honest as possible. Money is the thing that gives us the possibility to follow the things we have a passion for, to be independent from the others, to have a chance to do something good for our families, friends or just unknown people. It is not important what money means for me or what it actually is, but the way you get it and the purpose you spend it for. 

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