A Walk Around Bad Haering (Häring), Austria

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 7, 2011      

(Several days ago.) After a foggy ski mission to scour the jet lag cobwebs, I figured a day at the European WildSnow HQ (thanks Barthel family) and a short walk would be better for my health than jamming too hard. So I made a short stroll around Bad Häring and snapped a few photos.

Kaiser mountains backcountry skiing.

Kaiser mountains rise outside of town. These peaks are where some of the world's most technical climbing was first developed during the golden age of mountaineering. Names such as Dulfer, Preuss and Buhl are tacked to many of the routes, and you'll see photos and hear stories of those famous pioneers almost anywhere you go around here that has a touch of mountaineering spirit.

More info about Kaiser Mountains.

Bad Haering is located just off the Inn Valley, in the midst of the Austrian Alps. It is a full-on mountain town with its own x-c ski tracks, community ski tow, and world-class skiing and climbing just a short drive away in the Kaiser range and other mountain groups of the Alps (one of the Kaiser range peaks is pictured above.) Still, this is also a valley village, so while Bad Haering lacks the feel of a high mountain hamlet, it has the milder climate and other advantages of living lower down. Kind of the best of both worlds — sort of like WildSnow HQ back in Carbondale, Colorado.

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My friend Fritz Barthel calls the town “smelly fish” when he wants to make sure he gets the name across to first-time visitors. But this place is far from bad. Indeed, Bad Haering is a classic village that’s surrounded by modern development but managed to maintain charm and livability despite the European crowds and truck pollution of the Inn valley (one of the main (if not the main) shipping routes in this part of Europe).

Wood pile

Beyond the mountaineering heritage around here, you get the usual European charm of what began as a farming and mining village and is still much that way. Many people heat with wood, and the town actually has a central heating system that provides hot water for whomever wants it (and will pay for it) from a biomass energy plant located nearby. I don't know how they get their woodpiles so neat looking. Old World secret, perhaps?

XC ski tracks

When snow conditions allow, a beautiful system of X-C ski trails networks the region, with this hub in the middle of town where you can park and start skiing.

Walking track.

A groomed walking track parallels the prepared X-C tracks.

Ski hill

A small community ski tow is located in the northerly forest above the X-C arena. Every day you see dozens of kids up there scooting around on the icy slopes. Growing up like that, you get good fast -- and yeah, it's an understatement to say there are some (thousands, actually) excellent skiers around here. Kitzbuhel is just over the hill, Innsbruck just down the road, and the Alps everywhere. Terrific location for those who like the mountain life -- and no wonder the tech ski binding system was invented here.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


4 Responses to “A Walk Around Bad Haering (Häring), Austria”

  1. Pete Anzalone January 7th, 2011 9:51 am

    Careful: Bad herring doesn’t go well mit schlag zanner.
    Great post, keep ’em coming.

  2. ScottN January 8th, 2011 2:35 pm

    Nice to see you mention XC skiing over there Lou. Did you take a few laps?

  3. gtrantow January 8th, 2011 8:12 pm

    The woodpile looks like an improvement over local cabins and huts despite the fact that Austrian humidity is higher than Colorado. I would guess the higher airflow on the Austrian model trumps the 80-100% enclosed Colorado model. I will go with the 500 year old Austrian model.

  4. Lou January 9th, 2011 12:41 pm

    Scott, re the x-c laps, I thought about it. Does that count? (grin)

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