One man. Mountains of ideas.
Abseiling from a zeppelin above the Alps and then venturing on a freeride tour in unknown terrain is just one of many adventures that Tyrolean Stefan Ager has already dared. With his company Lensecape Productions he produces spectacular film documentaries that cause a sensation both inside and outside the scene.
Forerunner of the legendary Streif downhill run in Kitzbühel, alpinist, adventurer, traveller, extreme sportsman, paraglider, film producer, husband, father: Stefan Ager has many passions. Apart from family, all of them take place in one and the same setting: On the mountains of this world. At the age of two, his father put him on a pair of skis for the first time. Since then, his passion for this sport in all its facets has remained unbroken. Only the multitude of options, as to which mountain peaks on earth can be climbed, have been added. "The mountains and skiing have been part of my life since early childhood. My father was a successful ski racer, my grandfather ran the first mountain restaurant near the summit of the Hohe Salve in the Kitzbüheler Alpen, I was allowed to grow up in this region and was moulded by the alpine landscape." The path lay mapped out in front of him: ski club, school ski races, first job as a ski instructor, constantly following in his father's footsteps - but somehow everything turned out differently in the end.
So why not zeppelin skiing?
"During my first attempts at freeriding, I always had a camera with me for short films." During my business and sports studies in Innsbruck, the idea to make a larger ski film began to materialise. This was entitled "Heimschnee" (Home Snow) and dealt with the issue of sustainability. Building on this, the next idea soon followed: zeppelin skiing. What sounded like a crazy childhood dream, Stefan skilfully began to implement it. With a thirst for action, full of conviction and a few clever tricks, he got powerful sponsors like Red Bull on board and, after months of preparation, took off with two other alpinists in the 75-metre-long airship in the direction of Brandnertal, Vorarlberg to freeride. There they abseiled down above the summit of the Kleiner Valkastiel (2,233 m) and started their descent into unknown terrain. "The photos of this event went around the world. Over 500 channels broadcast the images, and there were thousands of broadcasts in total." The name Stefan Ager was suddenly known, worldwide. Another reason for him and his long-time buddy Andreas Gumpenberger to go all out and found the joint company Lensecape Productions.
On the move worldwide
What followed were ground-breaking expeditions and documentaries for Servus TV's Bergwelten series, but also commercials, image clips, in-house productions and the like. It is the experience and sporting background of both entrepreneurs that makes for exciting alliances. In addition to their focus on the local Alps, they have already been involved in productions in Nepal, Pakistan, Chile, Lebanon and Japan, and one of their most recent coups led them not only up a mountain, but right through it. "In Slovenia, our path led us through the caves of the "Poloska Jama" 500 metres up through the mountain "Krn" to the summit." A daring adventure including ski touring equipment to descend from the summit to the valley. They are memories that will always remain. Stefan's vision is to show things and places and to try things that no one has ever done before them. He and his cooperation partners succeed in this with flying colours. There’s no fear of him running out of ideas for such productions anytime soon, he grins: "There are easily enough for a lifetime." He gets his inspiration in the Tyrolean mountains and from his loved ones. "My family and my home are my anchor, my place of strength. I think every type of person is in good hands here in Tyrol. We have developed from a transit area into a modern holiday destination. Guests feel at home, can withdraw from everyday life and enjoy themselves."
Once a mountain man, always a mountain man
If Stefan ever needs space for himself, he knows where to go. Up into the mountains, where he can work on his future projects. Afterall, he is a person who doesn’t just gaze with his eyes across the mountain summits, flirting with new challenges on the distant horizon. No, his third lens, his inner camera, is always with him too - following the call of the mountains.
...nurture body and soul. Born 1986 in Carinthia, studied media and communication sciences in Klagenfurt. As a freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger she likes to travel a lot. Mountain freak, horse freak, neo-cellist and gourmet. More details: www.gedankenschmiede.at more details