A 1,850km 42 day human powered adventure

33,486 vertical metres. 42 days.  Entirely human powered

There’s nothing better than going on an epic trip with friends – one that leaves you with enough memories to last a lifetime.

German film Ice & Palms tells the tale of two friends, Max Kroneck and Jochen Mesle, as they make their way from Southern Germany to Nice, France over five weeks. So, what makes this trip stand out? The pair are 100% self-powered as they cycle, summit, and ski their way across the Alps.

Max and Jochen came up with the idea for this film several years ago. Max, who lives near Munich, and Jochen, who studied physics in Innsbruck, have been on ski trips together all over the world. For Ice & Palms, they wanted to do something different: to demonstrate that you can experience adventure in your own backyard, and be 100% self-powered. ‘The main goal was to experience the mountains in a more natural and respectful way.’ The pair’s friends and filmmakers, Philipp Becker and Johannes Mülller Düsseldorf, share their philosophy: ‘We hope that the film inspires people to go out and experience their own adventures – no matter where and in which situation they are. It does not take too much to realise your own missions, they can start right from your doorstep.’

This trip took a lot of planning. Since they were bikepacking – where backpacking meets mountain biking – they had to be well-organised and extremely selective with their gear. In the end, they each took 50kg of gear. And they certainly got their priorities straight. Becker and Düsseldorf explain that ‘after 25 days on the road, it was Jochen’s birthday. Suddenly, Max pulled a cake out of his bikebag. He had carried it from day one to make sure there was a birthday cake, in case they ended up somewhere in the mountains on Jochen’s birthday.’

Max and Jochen captured the full trip by themselves, carrying the video equipment on their bikes, and were joined by a filmer for 19 days. They didn’t have a lot of time to practise using the drone before they started. The filmmakers explain, ‘When it came to capturing the beautiful Silvaplana Lake in Switzerland, the drone took a dive in the cold water. After they rescued it, they had to dry it while continuing the journey. They put it into a rice bag.

Two days later, they were standing on top of the next peak and had to try the drone again. A failed start in this environment would have meant big consequences but luckily it flew.’ There were plenty of other challenges – close calls with avalanches, closed roads, needing to ski with their bikes on their backs – but the boys took them all in their stride.

33,486 vertical metres. 1,850 kilometres. 42 days. Max and Jochen made it to Nice exhausted but content. Stay tuned for their next adventure!

Catch Ice & Palms at the 2019 Radical Reels Action Sports Film tour! 
For tickets, go to https://www.radicalreels.com.au/tickets/
Words by Amy O’Toole

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