The Hermann Maier tour in Snow Space Salzburg
I was there last week when they officially re-opened the new Hermann Maier tour in Snow Space Salzburg. For this occasion we tried out a couple of stations of the tour, to get a little taste of the challenge. The tour takes us over 35km of slopes through the ski are of Snow Space Salzburg which includes the areas of Flachau, Wagrain and St. Johann im Pongau. There are also different highlights such as racetracks for the big ones and ski activities like the Wagraini winter world for the small skiers. Special viewpoints in the ski area also can’t be missed.
When I get to the meeting point, the rest of the participants are already there, only the ski guide is missing. But for him we don’t mind waiting as it is Hermann Maier himself – who else can it be than the man himself for the re-opening of the tour which was named after him. We start off in Flachau and follow him directly to our first highlight: the FIS World Cup course. Here they have built a professional start to the race in which we practice a ‘professional start’, which I did not quite succeed at (photo 1) – I should definitely practice more often. After this we are taken straight to the top to the first viewpoint at the Starjet 3 lift. The weather today is fantastic and the countless mountains that can be seen from this point give a unique view (photo 2). Here are also some chairs to optimally enjoy the view. After this we change over to the other side of the mountain and make a short stop at the photo-point at the Grafenberg. Then we continue to the Sonntagskogel-lift with the first backrest heaters in the world. Once at the top, I admire the breath-taking panoramic view (photo 3). On the way back to Flachau we stop at the SkiMovie-track in Wagrain, where Hermann Maier shows us his skills on the giant slalom. Of course none of us can keep up and the ‘Herminator’ sets the best time for our round.
In between lifts and obligatory Kaiserschmarrn for lunch, Hermann Maier tells us about his favourite habits during the winter. When asked which his favourite slope is in Snow Space Salzburg, he answers with: every black slope here. When we asked whether he has a favourite lift, Hermann says: ‘It is always the lift where no people are waiting’. In addition, Austria’s most well-known athlete tells us that he prefers to be on the slopes before Christmas because not only are the slopes well-groomed around this time, they are also almost empty.
In hindsight, I have seen that some of the stations that we visited today are a part of the Snow Space Salzburg challenge. One thing is certain: I would like to complete the tour and on my next ski day I will visit the missing stations. And who knows – I might even win one of the cool prices! Wish me luck!