It was the time we had all been waiting for, Wintermate 2023. We were ready to go off the (Dutch) map towards Austria. After months of dreaming and waiting for this trip, we finally got together in the Internaat to make our way to the bus. Of course, one, two or three little beers were consumed before definitively leaving. Approaching the bus we stumbled across some loud, drunk Amsterdammers, who would seem to be our busmates for the night. After taking place in the bus, the party could begin. Music was provided by our friends from Amsterdam, who had an… euh… extraordinary music taste. Fortunately, we had Shrek! Morris brought all the Shrek movies to watch in the bus, which we did. Shrek was a th(m)eme for a few years now and was maintained by introducing a new concept: ‘De sukkel van de dag’ (‘The loser of the day’). After each day the committee announced the sukkel of the day who had the lovely right to wear a Shrek helmet the day after. The first sukkel of the day was not hard to choose as Jorn drank a whole bottle of Apfelkorn in the bus, arriving drunk at the location, and creating his new nickname: ApfelJorn.
After sleeping for 0-6 hours we arrived at our accommodation. A lovely guesthouse with a lot of rooms, showers and nice personnel. We immediately got our gear and could take the first slope of the week. For some a start signal to go as hard as possible, for others a start signal to fall 10 times on the first slope. Which was the perfect timing for the first SkiReal of the week. Wait, SkiReal? Yes, every day one or two SkiReal challenges got sent in the chat. The persons who sent a correct photo/video of the assignment got points. The faster, the more points, with bonus points for originality. The first SkiReal demanded to make a sticker/meme of a falling Wintermate participant. To complete this challenge, it was easy to follow and photograph the ‘noob group’ which consisted of 4 snowboarders and 4 skiers who were (relatively) new to wintersport. However, at the end of the week the noob group could easily keep up with some veterans and some noobies even conquered the black slope. (un)Fortunately, I was the only one who fell… (3 times).
The nights of Wintermate were filled with booze and games. After having dinner with the whole group, games like The Mind, Codenames and Ligretto (Amaretto) were brought to the tables. Each game with its own level of screams and curse words. Each night a different game winner, and of course a new sukkel of the day. With at day 2, Naud’s unfortunate accident. After a night at the hospital he was thankfully fine, but had to head home. On day 3 the lucky sukkel was Nika, who saw at the end of the day that the protective cover of her ski glasses was still in place, which made her see less than supposed to (“Zien jullie ook zo slecht met jullie bril op?”). And the sukkel of day 4 became our committee member Meijs, who forgot her ski sticks at the apres-ski after drinking (only) two beers (“Ja, na 2 bier ben ik al helemaal tappie hoor”).
The night of day 4 was all in theme of the pub crawl. Time to go off the map on a different level. After wandering in the streets of Hinterglemm, we noticed that not a lot of bars were open. We split up into two groups and eventually met each other at the final destination of the evening: The Goaβstall. A lot of chugging, Jägermeister, (pole)dancing, and singing made our night complete. Even the taxi ride was an experience as we got accused of stealing a seat belt. However, after this fun and ‘’turbulent’’ night, the alarm clock went early as everyone decided to take a bus earlier than usual. Rumours and stories of the night before were shared in the ski lift and everybody was ready for the first snow!
Quincy was our new sukkel of the day as she dropped her snowboard, ran after it and almost hit some busses/cars. The night was filled again with games, screaming, and shots. The morning after started as usual: a shot of Jägermeister at 07:30, songs like Gutenmorgen Sonnenschein and Aufstehen ist schön and a nice breakfast afterwards. On Thursday all hell broke loose as The Greatest Show was planned for the night. The apres-ski was held in the beautiful sun and multiple Wintermaatjes were headed to either our local favorite of the week, the Walleggalm, or the Goaβstall. What happens at the Goaβstall, stays at the Goaβstall, but I can spoil you that one of the Wintermaatjes exchanged phone numbers with the barwoman.
Before entering The Greatest Show, it was time to announce Amber as our sukkel of the day, as she slipped in the snow while taking a piss. You can imagine what that must have looked like and how that must have felt… Speaking about imagination, imagine a one-person wooden bed with 6 people in it. Yeah, that did not work. After all these (and more) shenanigans, it was the time we had all been waiting for. Multiple brave Wintermaatjes took to the stage to show their talents. And what a night it was. We are still talking and laughing about all the crazy acts that took place, it was a wild party. Everyone really went off the map!
On Friday it was time to head home, the last day of Wintermate 2023. The last day to break an arm, Wouter thought. Not in a ski accident, but out of enthusiasm during a run to the bus. A loser on this perspective, but a winner on another perspective as he was the champion of SkiReal! The informal sukkel of the day went to Jonna as she brought the wrong skis to the slopes on this last day.
A lot of craziness, drinking, playing games and fun. It was a pleasure to go on Wintermate 2023 with all of these lovely people. We have made stories, memories, and friends, thank you all for making this journey incredible.