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Chasing the snow: Freeride areas in Austria

Sharing the passion with the adventerous ones

The winter is on its way to the Austrian Alps. We bet you are as stoked as we are for the upcoming season to begin. In our brand-new blog, we’ll keep you posted about topics like freeriding, material tips, hints about partying in the alps and much more. Through a simple reason: Because the love for freeride and fresh powder runs flows through every vein of our body. This first edition is all about tips and insights that’ll help you to find a perfect backcountry spot. We will introduce 2 "secret" locations, one in Saalbach and one in Gastein, both located in the state if Salzburg. Let's begin:

1) Saalbach: “Home of lässig” – Where the journey begins

Starting off with one of the biggest and modern areas in Austria – Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. With 270 kilometres of slopes and 70 (!) lifts there are is a lot to do in the area, right at the border of Salzburg and Tyrol. But what really matters for us are the off-piste-playgrounds. In Saalbach, the possibilities are seemingly endless. No wonder, that the largest freeriding series worldwide – the Freeride World Tour – recently had a stop right there. Just like last year, Fieberbrunn will also host the contest this year from February 22nd to 28th 2019. For skiers who are not as advanced as the guys from the tour, the area also provides plenty of alternativ and easier backcountry runs. Check out all information at www.saalbach.com/de/winter/freeride!

Where to go exactly to chase some powder?
The so called “Dillinger Eck” right around the “Jausern” slope for example can be reached by going up the “Schattberg Express” in Saalbach. By going left at the exit of the top station and crossing the ridge you can enjoy a decent tree run that has its exit at a forest road that leads skiers right back to the original slope (yellow line), as you can see at orange mark at the topographic map. Avalanche safety transceiver checkpoints and info points can be found all around the area. At the peak of the Schattberg and the Zillstatt lift you also have the unique possibility to practice your avalanche safety skills in an avalanche transceiver search field. Once you’re ready to go – there’s nothing that’ll prevent you from enjoying the backcountry action in one of the most tremendous ski areas in Austria – the “home of lässig”.

Prices: In the peak season the lift pass prices are 55 €/day for adults and 41,50 €/day for adolescents (2000-2002).

You can check detailed route information at the page our friends from OutdoorActive:



2) Gastein: Taking you to the highest places

Not so far away from Saalbach, one of the most developing but also hidden freeride areas in Austria can be found – Gastein. It offers a variety of options for backcountry skiers and alpine touring and is the highest non-glacier ski area in Salzburg. Recently the freeride sector in Gastein has been developed massively and offers things like the Freeride Info Bases. They work as “base camps” for freeriders and give you all information relating to avalanches, a checkpoint for avalanche transceivers, topographic maps and much more. These two Freeride Info Bases are situation once in Sportgastein at the Kreuzkogel and once at the brand new, highly-modern Schlossalmbahn. As you can go up to nearly 2700 meters by lift, this freeride hotspot guarantees reliable snow coverage throughout the season and backcountry runs with up to 700 meters difference in altitude. 

A special route for special riders
We would like to introduce you to a very special route, that requires stamina, and decent snow conditions but guarantees a big smile on your face when reaching the valley. Right on top of Kreuzkogel you have to traverse eastwards trough rocky terrain before going left inside the main section of the run which is pretty widely. (mind avalanche warning level!)  This will lead you to a forest road at about 1900 meters of altitude. Following that roads leads you to the valley again, where the ski bus takes you back to the ski area.

Daydreaming on …
… going up the mountain with your buddies cold and sunny winter morning. You find yourselves right in front of an untracked backcountry skiing route. You start your first turn, powder snow is spraying all around you and you just can’t stop smiling. Sounds like heaven? That’s what it’s all about, when it comes to freeriding in Gastein. Book your trip now at www.skigastein.com/de/winter.

In the peak season the lift pass prices are 54 €/day for adults and 41,50 €/day for adolescents (2000-2002).

Detailed route information:

Die mit einem * markierten Felder sind Pflichtfelder.