A few weeks ago adidas Outdoor invited us deep into the Austrian Alps to tell us about its exciting new #ClaimFreedom campaign to turn a few people’s sporting dreams into reality. So I sent award-winning photographer, Lisa-Jane Meates to find out more…
After our first collaboration with adidas Outdoor at their Terrex Boost launch in London, Margaux and I were super excited at another opportunity to work with the team — but this time in beautiful Austria! It wasn’t quite the same going on the trip without Margaux, but it was an awesome adventure nonetheless. Let me tell you why…
After a five hour coach to London Stansted, a night at the airport, a two hour flight and a 20 minute bus ride, I was finally in Salzburg. And boy was I grateful for the 24 hours I had to explore the beautiful city of Salzburg and recover from my sleepless night, before packing my bags again and setting off for the Austrian Alps with the adidas Outdoor crew the following day.
Unfortunately my German is pretty non-existent (being Northern Irish it could be argued that my English isn’t the best either), but I still like to try and communicate with people I meet on my travels, so I did my best to have a chat with the lovely taxi man who picked me up from Salzburg.
It turned into a bit of a game of charades as we attempted to have a conversation through the language barrier. He asked me where I was from. I tried to explain that I’m from Northern Ireland, but now live in the UK. “UK?” So I opted for Britain, thinking he would definitely get that. Nope. Almost giving up, I mentioned that I live in South Wales. “Wales! Ah I know Wales!” Hilarious.
We drove higher and higher into the misted mountains. After a short 35 minute hike from the drop-off point at Aualm (1,400m) with my new friend Lenka (from Like the Wind magazine, London) we arrived at Hofpürglhütte — a huge wooden hut 1,703m up in the Dachstein Mountains — where we would be spending the night.
As we were among the first to arrive, I had time to explore the beautiful scenery surrounding the hut with my camera. But as the light started fading, the hut began to fill up with outdoor bloggers, journalists, athletes, photographers and people from all sorts of different outdoor businesses from all across Europe. We had a lovely time chatting and getting to know one another over coffee and Stiegl (local Austrian beer).
After a hearty meal and a try on of some new pieces from the Terrex range, we settled down to hear what adidas Outdoor’s new and exciting #ClaimFreedom campaign was all about. It had all been very hush hush, but finally they were ready to tell us. And it’s pretty awesome. Basically you get to share your dream adventure project and you could become the next adidas Outdoor athlete, or win the adventure or win some really cool kit. (Scroll to the end for more info…)
We ended the night by listening to adidas Outdoor athlete, Michi Wohlleben, share stories of his mountain adventures, accompanied by some stunning photographs and fun videos. As he spoke about how quickly he had scaled some crazy mountains across the globe, I began to worry whether I’d be able to keep up on the hike the next day with Michi as our guide!
But the excitement of the day meant I slept like a baby that night and woke up feeling refreshed and ready for our walk in the fresh mountain air. I was also looking forward to trying out my new Terrex gear in the Alps — and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The terrain we covered was quite varied, with snow, muddy paths and unstable rocky ground, but the Gortex Terrex Boost trainers were super light and comfortable to wear on every type of ground. The thermal top was super warm, but felt really breathable. And the synthetic down coat was beautifully light, toasty to wear and even packs down well into the pocket. If anything I was too hot with both layers on!
My fears of not being able to keep up with Michi were soon dispelled, as it turned out to be a leisurely stroll over the mountains, giving me plenty of time to take photos along the way. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking, although the visibility was quite poor due to heavy fog. But the mist actually made everything feel peaceful and added a real mystical feel to the photographs.
We had fun chatting and laughing at each other slipping in the particularly muddy downhill parts (there might be a video out there somewhere of my near slip). The walk went quickly and before we knew it we were back at the hut and it was time to say goodbye. There were lots of hugs and exchanging of details and promises to keep in touch. It’s amazing how quickly friendships develop through a mutual love of the outdoors. Thanks adidas Outdoor!
Words and images by: Lisa-Jane Meates
What’s #ClaimFreedom all about?
adidas Outdoor’s global campaign, #ClaimFreedom, is an awesome project giving one lucky person the chance to turn their biggest dream into reality. If you’re passionate about the outdoors and want to do something utterly amazing, this is your chance — go for it!
If you’re sick of sitting in an office, working simply to earn money, but every spare minute is spent planning and executing adventures, then this is your moment! It doesn’t matter what your sporting dream is, whether kayaking, skiing, climbing, trail running or mountaineering, go ahead and submit your project.
Maybe you want to base jump off a mountain with your dog strapped to your back or… Wait… That’s already been done. But you get the idea. It’s completely up to you. Think big, dare to be different and turn your dream into reality!
1 person will become the next adidas Outdoor athlete
7 people will be chosen to turn their projects into reality
100 people will win gear from adidas Outdoor and its partners
Applications close on 15 December 2015
Outdoor Chics has also been in collaboration with LJM Photography, Tara Hammett Fitness and Nutrition, DanDan Films, Belinda Love Lee, Scholar Make-Up Art by Eve-Marie Parry and Jo at Coleg Gwent – Crosskeys to work on an exclusive editorial photoshoot for adidas Outdoor’s new Autumn/Winter range. The post will be up shortly, but to give you a little glimpse of what to expect, here are some lush behind the scenes shots for you!