The forecast predicted a partly cloudy day with temperatures ranging from -3 to +2 degrees Celsius so it was supposed to be an easy hike with ideal temperatures for some spring shred. Arriving to the resort in the morning we took the gondola to the highest summit where we started the ascent on splits. The weather was sunny for the first hour of the hike but then it took a sudden turn with heavy winds followed by clouds forming from the South. I found myself filming from the Touborachi – Liakoura ridge away from the rest of the crew trying to bring the drone back through the fog and the heavy wind gusts. The first descent was from the Tsarkos range followed by a second ride in the valley of Velitsa.
After finishing the first two descents of the day the crew started ascending again towards Liakoura summit for a couple more runs. The weather was changing by the minute from heavy winds and thick clouds, to snow, sun and rain and was making the hike even harder. The more experienced of the crew decided to attempt a narrow line close to the summit and we continued together riding down Liakoura towards our final descent at the Tripios Vrahos summit. After a light meal we made a last 30 minute hike up the resort until we arrived in back to where we started.
Venturing in the backcountry and traveling in avalanche terrain includes risks. Avalanche knowledge, rescue training and proper equipment is essential. Please get properly prepared for your backcountry adventures through education and seminars. In Greece you can attend avalanche education seminars of the french organisation ANENA (info through the Hellenic rescue team) or seek training and guiding from mountain guides, alpine clubs or ski/split guides. Backing off from a potential avalanche slope is as cool and respectable as riding it in style and it will always be there to revisit.
Video: Dimitris Maniatis, Christos Tsoutsias
Words: Dimitris Maniatis, Alex Panagakos