© Tirol Werbung/Josef Mallaun
© Tirol Werbung/Josef Mallaun

Freeriding in Tirol

When groomed runs are not quite challenging enough, you'll be thrilled to discover exciting alternatives to reach virtually untouched terrain with your skis or snowboard and take your winter thrills to new heights: Freeriding in Tirol’s mountains.

There’s more to freeskiing than physical challenge—it is arguably the thrill of a lifetime. It is the experience of intoxicating risk and opportunity. Freeskiers head for natural jumps, kickers and steeper terrain and cut fresh tracks. In effect, they are pushing the limits of what can be done outside the boundaries of ski resorts. The attractions are obvious – fresh, untracked snow and pristine, secluded mountain environments. However, freeskiers need plenty of mountain experience, the proper equipment and good skiing skills, to be able to head off safely into the backcountry.

The Essentials of Safe Backcountry Use

Freeskiing activities involve a variable amount of manageable risk. Avalanche rescue techniques and equipment, such as helmet, avalanche transceiver, collapsed probe, shovel, and preferably an avalanche airbag system, are all standard requirements. Special freeriding clinics and Snow & Avalanche Awareness Camps (SAAC) are programs where advanced skiers and riders are introduced to the basics of backcountry skills and avalanche awareness. Among others, participants will learn how to assess potential avalanche conditions and how to check snowpack.

Tirol’s Top 5 Resorts for Freeskiers and Powder Hounds
Freeskiing in Tirol
Powder Skiing in Hochfügen, Zillertal Valley
SAAC Camps - Avalanche Awareness, © Tirol Werbung/Klaus Kranebitter
How to behave in case of an avalanche

SAAC Camps

Pristine slopes, powder chutes and natural beauty are inevitably linked with inherent risks. Before venturing into the backcountry you should educate yourself. At the free SAAC Basic Camp you will learn what to do in case of an avalanche. Licensed mountain and ski guides will explain the dangers associated with backcountry skiing and how to stay safe off the groomed trails. Experts will show you how to use transceivers and avalanche rescue equipment and teach about self and companion rescue techniques. No previous knowledge required. 

SAAC Basic Camps

The SAAC Basic Camp starts with a three-hour class that focuses on safe travel in the backcountry. At the end of the program, students should be able to recognize weather conditions that contribute to instability and assess avalanche risk factors. Day 2 is in the field. Small groups will head into the backcountry and learn to identify avalanche terrain and apply safe travel techniques. Participants will learn to rescue a buried person using transceivers, probes and shovels. All avalanche safety equipment is provided during class.

Advanced SAACnd Step Camps

This intensive course is geared towards skiers and riders who wish to better prepare themselves and increase their knowledge and understanding of avalanches. The SAACnd Steps Camp is for people who are familiar with avalanche fundamentals. The 3 or 5-day camps will teach you how to analyze weather and snow conditions in the field. The camp includes daily backcountry tours that are accompanied by licensed mountain and ski guides. 

SAAC - Family Camps

In cooperation with the Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau resort there will be a series of special Family Camps run by SAAC in the winter season 2018/2019. The basic idea is the same as at the other SAAC Camps, with participants having the chance to practise important avalanche rescue skils in open terrain. The camps are available for families with children aged 12 years and older. The teaching techniques and exercises have been specially designed with children and teenagers in mind.

Information and dates for the SAAC Camps as well as booking details can be found at: www.saac.at

SNOWHOW - Workshops

SNOWHOW is an idea dreamt up by mountain guides in Innsbruck keen to get children and teenagers interested in avalanche protection and staying safe in the mountains. These free workshops teach participants about both the theory and the practise behind avalanches and avalanche rescues. Topics range from reading the terrain to interpreting the avalanche report and using digital tools in real life rescue situations. SNOWHOW also offers very popular workshops for school classes.

More information and booking details

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