© TVB Pitztal
© TVB Pitztal

Ski Touring

Few places in the world can offer what Tirol can: access to thousands of acres of epic backcountry skiing terrain for all abilities and some of the greatest steep powder skiing, world-class accommodations and on-mountain restaurants and lodges, and a warm hospitability. We could go on, but all you need to know is if you like getting off-piste, Tirol is where you want to go.

Ski touring is for those who appreciate gaining altitude, in search of the perfect downhill run, under their own steam. Ski touring can get you into areas considered inaccessible to ordinary skiers and offers a completely different mountain experience. Call them the sounds of winter; the crisp crunch of that first step out on to snow… or the muffled swoosh of powder under your feet. The efforts of hiking up will be rewarded with stunning views of the snow-capped peaks. There is a variety of ski tours to suit all abilities and ambitions, from one-day to multi-day tours and night ski touring.

In many Tirolean resorts you can experience world class terrain with off-piste access by hiring a backcountry guide to show you the way and teach you how to travel safely in the backcountry. If you head out on your own among a group of like-minded, please be aware that backcountry activities involve a variable amount of manageable risk and that it is you, the individual backcountry skier, who is responsible for the management of that risk! Only through careful planning of every backcountry trip and knowing how to ride safely in the mountains can the danger be minimized. Your safety - and the safety of others - depends on it. Avalanche rescue techniques and equipment (avalanche transceiver, collapsed probe, and shovel) and a mobile phone are all standard requirements. Carrying an avalanche airbag system, which helps you stay on top of the snow in the event of an avalanche, is strongly recommended. The best way to learn the basic safety rules for backcountry activities is to attend one of the complimentary Snow & Avalanche Awareness Camps (SAAC) – these are multi-day, total immersion, performance programs with special clinics offered in backcountry skills and avalanche awareness. Experienced mountain guides will introduce you to the secrets of assessing potential avalanche conditions and checking snowpack; activities even include practically oriented tests with transceivers, shovels and probes.

Three Trips for Aspirant Ski Tourers

Ski Touring in Tirol, © Tirol Werbung/Hans Herbig

  • Trips and tours of Urgtal Mountains in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis Region are especially appropriate for people looking for their first ski touring experiences.
  • Guided introductory tours, such as the Smuggler’s Tour that departs from the Fiss-Ladis Ski Resort towards Swiss Samnaun Valley, are perfect for those who are new to the sport of ski touring.
  • The ski tour atop Gerlosstein Mountain (2,166 meters) and to Arbiskogel Hut in Zillertal Valley winds through varied and easy terrain with a few steeper sections, making it an ideal choice for novices.

Three Trips for Advanced Ski Tourers

Ski Touring in Tirol, © Tirol Werbung/Martina Wiedenhofer

  • Sellrain Valley near Innsbruck is a powder skier’s paradise. A special delight is the interpretive ski touring trail that winds atop Lampsenspitze Peak (2,875 meters). Six discovery panels have been installed along the trail, providing information and practice on ski touring skills.
  • Lizumer Hut in Wattental Valley, a beautiful side valley of Inntal Valley, opens up a variety of adventurous ski touring trips.
  • A unique downhill experience awaits ski tourers from Rofanspitze Peak (2,259 meters) in Achensee Lake Region, winding down for more than 1,600 meters of vertical drop. By riding the gondola up, you can easily cut out 400 meters of vertical gain.

Two Outstanding Multi-Day Trips for Ski Tourers

Ski Touring in Tirol, © Tirol Werbung/Robert Pupeter

  • An awesome experience for advanced ski tourers is the four-day loop tour of the Kitzbühel Alps, traveling from Steinberghaus Mountain Lodge to New Bamberger Hut.
  • A memorable expert level ski tour is the four-day “High Tirol” ski mountaineering journey in the high mountains of East Tirol. Among other highlights, you will gain the summit of Austria’s highest mountain, Großglockner Peak at 3,798 meters.

Ski Touring Camps in the Karwendel Silver Region and the Rofan Mountains

Ski touring camps with Stefan Keck, © TVB Silberregion Karwendel

Skiers who have already gathered plenty of experience on the pistes and want to explore the world of freeriding in the untouched backcountry of Tirol should sign up for one of the many ski touring camps in the region. Run by experts in ski touring, they are suitable for everyone from beginners to advanced skiers and teach both the theory and practice of off-piste skiing, including all the necessary safety precautions such as evaluating the risk of avalanches and dealing with different situations in open terrain.

  • Ski Touring Basic Camps, Schwaz: Together with Stephan Keck, who has led expedition to the Himalayas, participants spend three days on the Kellerjoch mountain above the town of Schwaz, in the heart of the Karwendel Silver Region. Topics covered include the structure and layers of the snowpack, different types of terrain and the warning signs when it comes to avalanches. This theory is then put into practice during a series of ski tours guided by Stefan. The price includes two overnight stays in the Hecherhaus hut and the opportunity to test a range of material. Participants should be able to ski down red pistes without any problems. There are three courses betwen the end of January and early March März 2019. More information 
  • Achensee Ski Touring Camps: In the Rofan Mountains, above Lake Achensee, groups of up to 40 skiers and snowboarders have the opportunity to discover the world of ski touring and off-piste freeriding with two experts. The course starts with an introduction to the most important safety equipment, including a rucksack with an avalanche airbag, probe, shovel and avalanche beacon. The participants then get the chance to head out into the mountains in the company of guides to test their skills and a range of the latest equipment. Accommodation is provided by the Erfurter Hütte hut. These camps are suitable for both advanced and beginner ski touring enthusiasts, though all participants should have solid skiing skills. Three camps are offered between late January and early February 2019. More information

Pitztal Ski Touring Park

The ski touring park on the Pitztal Glacier, © Pitztal Glacier

Those who are hesitant to leave the boundaries of the ski resort and head out into open terrain can find the best of both worlds in the Pitztal Ski Touring Park. Open from the 2018/19 season, it is situated within the ski resort on the Pitztal Glacier but still offers the chance to explore areas of ungroomed terrain.

The high altitude of the glacier means that ski touring enthusiasts will find top conditions here all the way into late spring. There are three routes to choose from: easy, intermediate and advanced. The highest point on the most difficult of the three options is the Hintere Brunnenkogel mountain at 3,440 metres above sea level, which can be reached via a very steep ascent. All the other routes have been designed to ensure that skiers on the resort's pistes and ski tourers looking for a little peace and quiet do not get in the way of each other. The Pitztal ski school and Pitztal mountain guide centre offer courses for those new to ski touring. More information


Ski Touring in the Heart of the Alps
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