Austria – First Tour


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 4, 2008      

Okay, I’m trying for honorary Tyrolean citizenship, hanging out with these ski-tour-loving Austrians. Some crazy Italians are along and they’re vying for the same thing. Oh well perhaps we can all get the honor together after we prove we’re worthy by picking the correct knudle off the gasthaus menu.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to flying over the pond, and eventually skiing…

Austria and Dynafit 2008
Still locked up in the big bird, I was getting excited when I saw the boredom breaking junk you can access on the LCD in front of you in each seat. This map shows realtime progress of the flight. With the right medication, you could probably just sit and look at this for the whole trip.

Austria and Dynafit 2008
If the map gets too old, you can switch to this and check out your speed etc.

Austria and Dynafit 2008
Somewhat jet lagged and wasted, I arrive in Munich. I’m craving some real German type food, but of course we immediately head for Dynafit HQ, where brand manager Gerstner expands my mind (instead of my stomach) with their dazzling array of new product. Of everything I saw, their new wide ski is the most exciting. The thing is light for its width, and has a rather radical tip geometry that could be quite useful for less than ideal snow. More on that later, when I can get photos. After checking the gear, for the ultimate jetlag cure we jogged (actually, drove Gerstner’s Beamer) out for the culinary delights. Interesting that the gear took priority over the food, who would have thought?

Austria and Dynafit 2008
We drive over to Austria. I get a good nap and actually sleep through the night. So it’s time for some skiing! Photo is me on top of a smaller mountain near Kitzbuhel, known as Berntalkopil, or “Bear Vally Small Peak.” Guy standing in background is Paulo, a friendly Italian professor of some esoteric discipline.

Turned out Paulo and his girlfriend (along with my Austrian friends Dynafit inventor Fritz and his father Manfred, and their friend Ricki) had been skiing excellent pow up to the day I was flying over. Then a foehn wind came, which blew the snow around into dangerous and difficult to ski slabs, and heated it up into that weird pow-chowder that really gets you wondering if you still known how to ride those planks. We had fun anyway. It’s just so excellent being out in the Alps, looking around at all the peaks and seeing the excellent ski routes both alpine and lower down on the steep pasture land.

Austria and Dynafit 2008
A small windslab that had recently dropped. Up high the snow was quite reactive, shooting cracks and all. So we stuck to lower angled terrain that had been well used.

Austria and Dynafit 2008
You had to attack the foehn snow rather aggressively, which Ricki did nicely as shown in above. The snow snakes bit all of us several times each, but it was mostly a laugh, especially the time I fell upside down into the creek.

Austria and Dynafit 2008
The gasthaus culture amazes me. We parked next to this structure for the tour, and I had no idea it was a resturant serving all sorts of Tyrolean goodies. My ignorance was of course taken care of after the tour completed. I’ve seen 10th Mountain huts that looked more like a resturant than this place — of course they lack the food, terrain and goodly numbers of alpine ski tourers that give such a gasthaus reason to exist.

Austria and Dynafit 2008
Me, in the Tyrolean re-education program, under the tutelage of professor Fritz. Gasthaus is known as Brennhutte, meaning something like “Burning Hot” which relates to brewing liquor over an open fire. If you find this particular gasthaus, you might see a WildSnow sticker somewhere inside…

Austria and Dynafit 2008
Funny how those stickers end up everywhere…



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Comments

8 Responses to “Austria – First Tour”

  1. Clark January 4th, 2008 6:22 pm

    Yes – now that’s what I’m talking about. Keep it coming – a friend and I fly into Munich on the 15th and we’re headed for… oh … um Austria/Kitzbuhel/and beyond, etc… How do ordinary clowns like us meet up with the Dynafit crew? 😉

  2. Tom Gosiorowski January 4th, 2008 9:32 pm

    Lou, I said I was jealous when you annouced this trip, and now I’m more jealous. Especially when I saw the photo of that Austrian beer! The ski and mountain culture in the alps, particularly Austria, is amazing and something I wish we had more of in Colorado. Keep up the reports so that those of us who can’t get to the alps this winter can live vicariously.

  3. Barry January 4th, 2008 10:58 pm

    Happy New Year! Sounds like your celebrating will be going on for a while longer. Too bad about the snow, your missing some pretty good stuff back here in the New World.
    Keep an eye out for Gecko climbing skins. I need to know what holds them on skis and if they are the next great thing in climbing.

  4. Lou January 5th, 2008 1:25 am

    Barry, I’m planning on checking those skins out as soon as possible. Indeed, they are said to stick on but be glueless. That would be great, wouldn’t it?

  5. AJ January 5th, 2008 5:32 am

    Hi Lou,

    You’re absolutely right, Austria is excellent! I am also trying for honorary Tyrolean citizenship, almost there! The locals are quite worried, I can understand what they are saying 🙂
    Took me a few years to figure it out. It’s like speaking German with a very heavy accent.

    Speckknödelsuppe is really good after a long day in the mountains. In combination with beer the Austrians think it’s health food 🙂

    Maybe those friendly people at Garmont can invite you for another Euro trip, their ’09 boots (Radium, Argon and Helium) look very interesting.

    In about 3 weeks I’m over to Austria as well, can’t wait!

    Enjoy!

  6. Bryan Wickenhauser January 5th, 2008 3:00 pm

    Lou – Have fun over there! Ask them kindly to get there act together on getting the Low Techs into the US in a timely fashion! We’re still awaiting there arrival. Its dumping in the Elks 3ft+ expected at the end of the storm!

    Cheers,
    Bryan

  7. Lou January 5th, 2008 4:07 pm

    Thanks Bryan, will do! Have fun in the pow and be safe. Sounds like stability has gotten a bit more tricky of late.

  8. George T January 6th, 2008 9:00 pm

    Lou: The pics are great. Love the rustic dwellings, bier (wiezen) and terrain shots. Send more pics… the nostalgia is super. Check out the slide near Erpfendorf and Kirchdorf in Tirol, but wear body armor.

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