Jounes Weidacher

Powder to the People! But please enjoy with care!

The slopes are always in perfect condition at the start of the season, however we often have to wait patiently so that we get fresh snow in such considerable amounts in order to cover the powder runs. Finally, this time came and whilst I was still sitting on the lift and let my eyes wander, I realized that I was not alone with my intentions.

Some tracks in the deep snow showed straight away...

...that one or another Freerider had successfully made the most of the opportunity and had made their tracks in the fresh powder first thing in the morning. I guess that they had gone up there on foot in order to reap the awards. But it is not too late, even for passionate lift takers, such as myself :D

Maybe one or two of you have already read my article about Powder Mixtape – A soundtrack for your inner cinema – in which I already wrote a little bit about the ski resort of Bad Hofgastein / Angertal. It is possible to “Freeride despite lift experience” so to speak, nearly everywhere in Ski amadé.

In Snow Space Salzburg, Alpendorf St.Johann, to be more exact, there is even a signposted slope called Stegbach, which is great for ski trips when there is fresh snow. If you are an early bird, then it is possible that you could make the first tracks in the snow! There are some disadvantages for the not so good skier, in that the drag lift is quite steep and quite challenging, which brings you back in the direction of the Hirschkogel. But for those who do not shy away from this and can put up with this T-bar (with this I am really referring to the snowboarders), can really have a great time.

For absolute Freeride fans the ski resort of Sportgastein offers stunning possibilities

Here, there is even a Freeride route, which is nicely signposted and marked out. Above all, as a guest, it is of course not always that easy to find the right powder runs on the right slopes in a ski resort which one does not know so well. Especially those runs that will bring you back to a lift or a safe slope.

You could of course follow other tracks, but this is not really the greatest idea…..one does not know if the tracks belong to someone that actually knows the area 😉. The view from the lift often gives a good overview and shows, which variants near the slopes are possible and which ones one should not be touched with a barge pole.

Always up to date

The websites of the individual Ski amadé ski areas always inform about the freeride slopes and sections. Please always check on that before you go there and do not drive blindly into the backcountry on your own!

Here you will also find ski schools that offer professionally guided backcountry tours

This then brings us to our next point and a very important point – the avalanche warning level

Those people who go into unprepared and unknown terrain when there is a high avalanche warning, is putting themselves and others in danger and are risking their lives! Therefore, I can only keep stressing the fact – get informed first. Both Ski amadé and many powder professionals give you advice on official websites on lawine.salzburg.at

In the ski resort, there is often the possibility to check the state of the location at the lift stations, where there is often a warning sign hanging up or you can get information from one of the information stations. At these information stations, you can also often check your LVS device to check its functions. And I never get tired of reiterating the fact, that you have to have one of these devices with you every time you go off-piste. Not only so that you can find someone, but also so that you can be found quicker, should you ever find yourself in an avalanche or in deep snow, despite having followed all of the safety regulations. 
 

Mandatory equipment for all powder fans is as follows: 

Whoever has plans to go more often into the backcountry, would be wise to invest in an avalanche rucksack, in the case that an avalanche should start (ABS rucksack), this then inflates like an airbag, when activated by your hand. For an intensive freeride experience, many rental shops provide the latest equipment.

With this in mind: eyes open, ears open, brain switched on and have fun! 
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Jounes Weidacher

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