Travelling the world is not a lot of fun during a pandemic. But Fresh athlete Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson is making it look pretty darn good while keeping it safe.
The ski legend used the mandatory downtime last spring to further advance his ski boot designs. By August he needed to get closer to Dynafit headquarters to show them his work and finish a prototype. So Hoji flew to Austria to isolate in the workshop belonging to Fritz Barthel, the famous designer and engineer of the original tech bindings.
For the next two months he worked nonstop bringing his vision to life. By the end of September, Hoji had a prototype to give to the Italian boot makers and he was ready to come back to Canada.
A rapid Covid test at the airport in Germany, followed by a long flight to Vancouver, and the Hojboss was ready for what looks like the best 2-week quarantine ever!
Hoji kept Fresh up to date with texts (in italics) and pics from his travels:
Aug. 8: Arrived in Austria.“We will make a gooda boota.”
Sept 13:“Yup. Worked every day making this boot. Haven’t had a day off since Aug. 6”
workshop image redacted for security!
“We're working on the Hoji light/TLT 10. Fritz has redesigned the Hoji lock into a super slick lightweight version.”
Oct. 7: Hoji flew into Vancouver. His wife, ripping skier and mountain partner, Jen Ashton, picked him up at the airport with two weeks worth of supplies and they drove to Golden to quarantine alone at Sentry Mountain Lodge.
pic: Evan Peters
“Up here until the 21st”
The ground was dry and they only took skis with them on a whim, but on October 10th it started snowing. It didn’t’ stop until they were skiing serious powder laps from their very-own private lodge.
Oct. 17:“Very good for October, hope it keeps snowing, the camps will be all time.” Eric always spends December at Sentry running the Hoji Freeride Camps. (contactGolden Alpine Holidays for more info)
Sking down to Sentry Ldoge. October 2020. pic: Jen Ashton
Oct. 17:“Around 70cms and settled nicely over the last days. It got good today, the temp swings have set it up perfectly, super supportive now.”
Eric Hjorleifson, powder slash, mid-October, Sentry Lodge. pic: Jen Ashton
By the end of their two-week quarantine, they had skied seven days and at least four of them had been legit mid-season powder days. The couple got back to civilization on October 22 and felt pretty good (borderline smug really) about their choices.“#wewonquarantine”
Jen Ashton at Sentry Lodge. Pic: Eric Hjorleifson
By October 24 you would have thought Hoji was ready for his own bed (it had been almost three months). But we received one final text:
Oct. 24: “You going to Norquay today? We could hike up the Big Chair?”