Back in Austria

Post by blogger | April 4, 2008      

We got back here to Austria a few days ago. Have been socializing with our kind hosts the Barthels and skiing so much that the blogging pace got stifled a bit. I’ll pick it up in a day or so, as we’re flying back to USA tomorrow and I’ll thus get more EU trip reports up starting this coming Sunday.

Meanwhile, they really got dumped on around here. The avy danger continues in the red zone, so we’ve been playing it safe but have indeed continued to ski euro-pow and everything else as well. Doing that terrain selection thing.

European backcountry skiing.
Today we headed up to the Wattener Lizum in Austria, where we got a taxi ride through a military reservation up to the Lizumer Hutte. Very nice, old antique hut with a modern addition. Even has a climbing wall. That’s me above checking snowfall from the last 12 hours or so. It’s been doing that for four days.

From the hut we skied up the Torspitze then back down a nice 1,000 meter plus run to the road and our parked car. As per the usual for this trip, most of the run was in a whiteout but some of the skiing was still quite good.

European backcountry skiing.
Lisa has the obligatory cappuccino before the tour. The Lizumer Hutte walls visible in this photo are from the old historic part of the building. A huge variety of ski tours are available in the mountains around here.

European backcountry skiing.
Louie does a snowpack eval at Lizumer Hutte, before our tour. This is known as the table shear test and is incredibly accurate, but can only be done at Austrian huts due to strange trace elements in the snowpack.

European backcountry skiing.
I picked this spot to probe the snowpack and see what the layers felt like. After taking the photo, Lisa had the kindness to inform me that the signs warns about unexploded military ordinance.

European backcountry skiing.
The whiteout breaks for a moment on the way up, and Lisa catches this shot of me.

European backcountry skiing.
Louie charges the vertical.

European backcountry skiing.
Fritz Barthel, guide for the day, and Dynafit mechanic if necessary. Above in the clouds, the map came out more than once. Down here the route was more obvious, but we had to make sure we didn’t get tricked and drop too soon into the valley.

European backcountry skiing.
More turns are had by Louie.

European backcountry skiing.
The kid again. I’ve been trying for more shots like this using my point-and-shoot camera. It’s sometimes hard to get the skier in the exact right spot, but I liked the way this one turned out.

European backcountry skiing.
Traversing to egress near the valley floor, we pass through a series of classic small Tyrolean farms. Our last day of European backcountry skiing for this trip, and it had turned out nice. No avalanche problems, some good snow. Now back to Colorado where it’s epic as well. Ho hum, I’m kinda concerned that I’ve forgotten how to ski hardpack, but I suppose that’ll come back to me when I need it someday in the far distant future.



2 Responses to “Back in Austria”

  1. ATFRED April 7th, 2008 10:38 am

    Hi Lou.

    I just got back to Denver, and wanted to say how much I enjoyed meeting you, Lisa, and Louie at the Munich baggage claim – small world!

    Looks like you folks got hammered with the same storms as our group did.

    Europe, being all above tree line, and tending to get massive multi day storms, is really a skiing gamble. You either get a white out, or you get deep snow in huge terrain with fantastic scenery. Our group skied St Anton, then toured the Silvretta alps, and the Stubai alps; and, we were very fortunate to get a lot of the latter.

    As always, our guides – Cosley & Houston – did a great job of making each day as good as possible.

    By the way, the Austrian huts we stayed in were quite nice – most had hot showers. One even had its’ own climbing wall! As you know, it makes a huge difference when running water is available.

    Lastly, after 13 days, I’m now sold on Dynafits. They tour and ski with great efficiency and solid feel, and they just get easier the more you use them.

    Glad to see (from your photos) that your trip went well.

    Have a good flight back.


  2. Matthew April 7th, 2008 9:07 pm

    Keep up the good work. These trip reports are fabulous. More than one of you photos have become my wallpaper. 🙂

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version