Freeride skiing finds ideal terrain in Austria: the wide open spaces, the gentle shapes of the mountains, the significant drops, and the often cold, dry snow - all of this awaits you on your freeride experience in Austria. The Freeriders ElDorado provides for high snow reliability, stunning powder snow descents and high-altitude ski resorts.
If you’re interested in embarking on off-piste skiing, then you are definitely at the right place!
Let’s find out in this article the top locations, gear and best season.
Freeride Skiing Top Locations in Austria
Austria is the one of the most popular freeride skiing destination in the world. There are many resorts in the Tyrol, Vorarlberg or Carinthia where there is a very friendly approach to freeriding with an organization aimed at managing special areas dedicated to off-piste skiing where marked and controlled routes can be followed, thus greatly lowering the risks related to this sport.
- In many locations, the off-piste areas closest to the lifts are monitored daily and, if necessary, cleared by trained technicians by artificially causing avalanches to fall in the case of suspicious accumulations.
- Many off-piste (skiroutes) are marked on the general map of the slopes and on site with special posts indicating the direction to take and the safest route
- In some resorts, at the start of the lifts, there are freeride check points, i.e., special corners where every enthusiast can check avalanche beacon functioning, view in real time the avalanche danger level, temperature, wind speed, snow height, and the situation of the various off-piste areas (green off-piste open, red off-piste closed)
However, it is of paramount importance to venture on the slopes with a certified freeride skiing guide. Let’s see in short the best locations.
1# Nordkette - Innsbruck (Tyrol Region)
Difficult slopes: 0.4 km (3%)
Skiroutes: 5 km
2# Tauplitz - Bad Mitterndorf (Styria Salzkammergut Ausseerland)
Difficult slopes: 6 km (14%)
Skiroutes: 2 km
3# St. Anton/St. Christoph/Stuben/Lech/Zürs/Warth/Schröcken - Ski Arlberg (Tiroler Oberland Landeck St. Anton am Arlberg)
Difficult slopes: 51 km (17%)
Skiroutes: 200 km
For freeriders, however, St. Anton is a real haven and our favorite spots. Hardly any other ski area offers such many freeride options, fun skiroutes and high mountain variants.
Freeride Skiing Best Season
The best time for freeride skiing is late winter and early spring because the days are longer, the weather is better and a good base of snow may have accumulated during the winter.
Together with a mountain guide, you can enjoy amazing off-piste skiing on mornings: the snow is normally easier off-piste in early spring than in winter conditions. Spring is therefore also the perfect season for more adventurous skiing, away from the lifts and away from the crowds, immersed in this unspoiled nature and picturesque scenery.
Freeride Skiing Equipment
For skiing off the slopes, it is advisable to use equipment designed to deal with different, untracked snow: wider skis in case of fresh snow, or narrower, stiffer skis for steep, icy slopes. Equipment is very important because it makes a difference in many situations, so it is absolutely necessary to get informed about the route. If you choose a Freeride Ski Camp you can get in touch with your guide to make sure you are well prepared.
For freeriding it is also mandatory, as for all off-piste activities, to use personal safety equipment for avalanche rescue, such as: avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. Get information and ask your local experience provider for some advice on what you may need.