Nimble as a Goat
here to stay
The mountains were waiting for her, for this fleet-footed and joyful Canadian – Jennifer Maier, maiden name Wong.
She came to our chat in the neighbouring village over fields and hills. On the way back via the Kienberg, she popped on her headtorch and enjoyed the walk through the darkness and silence all around. The natural world is her inspiration, especially since the Salzburger Saalachtal has become her home. Love brought her here: the son of the Knappen farmer in Lofer, Thomas Maier, studied at the higher education institute for “Global Sales and Marketing“ in Steyr. And here in the Upper Austrian city, she completed a semester abroad as a Canadian “Tourism-Marketing” student. The pair married last year as new graduates: she wore a “Pinzgauer Dirndl” which she sewed herself. It must have been a huge adjustment for her, swapping the city of Vancouver with a population of 2 million for a village with 2000 souls in the heart of Europe? ”No way“, says the 27-year old of Chinese heritage and explains in her lively way, “Here, you have adventure on the doorstep. And then the air is fantastic and the water so fresh!” It sounds like a kitschy homeland novel, but it comes from her heart. For her “hen weekend”, her farewell to the single life, she undertook a three day mountain tour with her friends who travelled from Übersee. She is already a regular guest in the climbing paradise in Weißbach. She also took part in the “Stoabergmarsch“: ”40 kilometres and around 4500 metres of altitude” are the hard facts of this 24-hour route between Salzburg and Tirol. “It was sooo cool!” With lots of gestures the Canadian illustrates her description and says, “It was so intense! Hiking in the Loferer Steinberge, the coming darkness, yoga at midnight between the craggy peaks”. She has already climbed several mountains. “Hochkranz, Großes Hundhorn, the Stadl and Wagendrischlhorn”, she lists, and German already comes easily to her. Her mother tongue is English but she also speaks the fluent Cantonese of her parents who originate from Hong Kong.
Of course she misses her family in Vancouver. Her mother and father, an engineer, moved there for better career opportunities. She and her brother grew up there. An enormous granite massif in Squamish, one hour away, attracted the passionate hiker Jennifer straightaway. And here? “Here, I want to start out in “Adventure” tourism and experience all seasons of the year intensively”, she reveals.