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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe
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Working in the Snow: The Dedicated and Hardworking People that Make a Winter Vacation Happen

Updated on 20.03.2017 in People

Rudi Mair

Snowcat groomer Siegfried Trenkwalder, ski instructor Eva Stark and avalanche expert Rudi Mair have chosen a lifestyle that embraces the outdoors and a profession that focuses on how to share their remarkable love of snow and the mountains with others. These are the stories of those whose hard work and dedication make a winter vacation in Tirol possible.

Perfectly manicured runs are something we’ve all come to expect from a ski resort. Siegfried Trenkwalder is one of the dedicated groomers who work tirelessly, using Arlberg Ski Area’s large snowcat grooming fleet, to ensure skiers and riders are presented with perfect corduroy across the vast skiable terrain. He is an expert who knows the ins and outs of the mountain, and the snow on it, better than anyone else does. “Every one of us has his area to groom each day. Snowcat rooming takes a lot of time, some days we are working until Midnight or longer. And when it snows overnight we start grooming at 5:00am to provide skiers with perfect corduroy once the lifts open.”

Working in the snow as well is ski instructor Eva Stark who keeps little ones happy at the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis Ski Resort. “As a children’s ski instructor, the greatest reward I receive from teaching the little people is watching them break through barriers. It is a joy to watch them go from wanting to give up in the first hour, to being proud and excited that they learned how to ski. They not only learned how to ski, but they boosted their confidence and had tons of fun. Still, many parents, above all visitors, say there is a great advantage in learning to ski young. If it’s not fun, it is better to wait another year to get started. When it comes to snow and skiing, we maintain a strong emphasis on fun.”

Those who go beyond the ropes and ski a side of Tirol few get to experience use the Tirol Avalanche Information Service as a primary resource. Rudi Mair and his team from the Tirol Avalanche Information Service publish daily reports of observed and forecast, avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions during the winter season. The report is available online or you can call them for details. Moreover, their new mobile app allows you to view the avalanche forecast on your smartphone or tablet. “I have been working as an avalanche forecaster for 25 years and my professional life is all about snow. It definitely takes a certain degree of madness to do this job. For me, it’s kind of a love-hate relationship. Is snow my friend or foe? A snow crystal is the most beautiful thing in the world, yet an avalanche of snow is the most dangerous and destructive thing in the world.”

There are many more people working in the snow in Tirol. This video takes you behind the scenes of Kals Ski Area operations to see what it really takes to churn out the snow, to welcome hungry skiers to lunch, and everything else that keeps us happy on the hill:

When he is not working, Michael Gams is out exploring this beautiful country, hiking, mountain biking, freeriding and ski touring to the most beautiful spots in Tirol.

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