European Backcountry Skiing, Alpbach Region, Austria

Post by blogger | March 19, 2008      

For a tour closer to our home base in Bad Haering, Austria, we headed up the Marejtkopf south of the historic Alpbach village, skied west into a valley, then climbed to another summit and dropped to the drain leading down to Inneralpbach. About 1,300 meters total vert; the climbing was a breeze but along with some decent powder skiing we also worked on our German translation of such English euphemisms as “death cookies,” when we chose a debris choked couloir as an exit from the Maregtkopf. All in good fun, despite Manfred’s story of his friend who fell on a rock hard cookie and broke four ribs. I mean, I’ve busted a gut from eating too many cookies, but never a rib…

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Louie finds some pow between the tasty cookies.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Lisa during our second climb of the day, Grober Galtenberg in background (we didn’t climb the peak as the skiing ROA wasn’t high.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Seven decades and still turnin’ em. Manfred.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
After the tour we headed for Alpbach and visited the 1600s “Fugger Stube” dining room at the Boglerhof. The whole deal here has a bit of touristy aspect (what do you expect when we tourists like us show up?), but no matter, checking out a 300 year old dining room is just radical. If you don’t believe in ghosts, your mind could be changed. You enter the dim room. The dark, cave like structure is illuminated only by window light creeping in through tunnel like portals in the castle thick walls. Ancient carvings in the burnished wood paneling seem to animate, and dust swirls in the light like it’s trying to whisper. I guess you can dine in here if you really want to (and are willing to pay the price). Doing so would be interesting, but not done alone.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Dawsons after today’s tour. The spring melt has hit the lower reaches in this area and snowcover is sparse, but things are still good up high. In a few days we’re headed to the higher Alps so we’re hoping the spring snow conditions in those zones resolve to plentiful corn snow that’s easy to ski and safe from avalanches. But if not, I’m sure we’ll still get some turns in — as well as a few Swiss pastries.


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7 Responses to “European Backcountry Skiing, Alpbach Region, Austria”

  1. Dongshow March 19th, 2008 2:34 pm

    Wow, snow looks great!

    I would love to see a multi lingual glossary for ski terms. I’m sure some of the expressions are hysterical and i’m suddenly personally ashamed I don’t have a good grasp on this subset of French.

  2. Christian March 19th, 2008 2:41 pm

    Looks like much better snow conditions than your last trip. Don’t forget the food pics.

  3. Tom G March 19th, 2008 3:42 pm


    About 4 years ago I was in Ziller valley just the the west of where you seem to be. I was on a resort skiing trip, but the lines blur in Austria, and it was a great place to ski. If you get to Hintertux it is simply amazing (on a clear day) and the local Ziller bier shouldn’t be missed. Enjoy, and by the way, you’re making us all jealous.

  4. Tom G March 19th, 2008 3:44 pm

    Oh, one more thing, there is a really cool mountaineering museum in Innsbruck and also a good Tyrolian museum there as well. I know you’ve already been to Innsbruck, but if you pass back through there both of these are worth visiting and are featured in the tourist map available at the TI office at the train station.

  5. Kirk R March 19th, 2008 8:14 pm

    Thanks for the stoke, I’ll be there in 2 weeks!

  6. dave downing March 19th, 2008 10:09 pm

    looks like the whole Dawson family is taking fashion tips from me:) Red jackets all around i see!

  7. Lou March 19th, 2008 11:59 pm

    That’s right Dave!

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