11/11/2009 | by Anna Langer
It’s snowing heavily at the Kitzsteinhorn! The first extensive snowfall of this season will allow skiers and snowboarders to ride down to the Alpincenter (2,430 m) from this Saturday on. Thanks to the new snow, they look forward all the more to “Freeride XXL” at the Kitzsteinhorn: three new marked ski routes have been established inviting to have fun in the powder not far from the lifts. Additionally, a freeride guidance system has been developed to provide more safety on the five freeride ski routes at the Kitzsteinhorn. And at several Freeride Workshops, riders will get all the background knowledge on alpine dangers.
“Freeride XXL“ is the slogan of the 2009/10 winter season at the Kitzsteinhorn. Due to its snow reliability and the varied off-piste terrain close to the lifts, the glacier at the region Zell am See-Kaprun at Salzburg County, Austria, has been praised as one of the Alps’ best freeriding areas for a long time. Now, three new marked ski routes have been established inviting to have fun in the powder not far from the lifts. Additionally, a freeride guidance system has been developed together with Volker Hoelzl (Freeride Experience) and a team of local experts. The aim of this new guidance system is to provide more safety on the five freeride ski routes at the Kitzsteinhorn.
In early winter already, the first freeride freaks plough through the fresh snow of the Kitzsteinhorn slopes with their super-wide skis and snowboards: as the lifts reach up to 3,000 m above sea-level, it’s possible to ride powder way earlier than elsewhere. Thanks to the concentrated knowledge of the locals, deep snow surfers can now look forward to three new ski routes: the “Westside Story“ is the highlight and the longest of the Kitzsteinhorn ski routes and starts directly at the exit of the Kristallbahn mountain station. The medium-difficulty “Left Wing“ crosses the wonderfully wavy terrain at the Langwied lift and begins on the left of the Gletscherjet II and Langwiedbahn mountain stations. With its natural pipes and kickers, this difficult run offers a lot of fun. Along with the already established ski routes “Pipe Line“ and “Ice Age”, freeriders now can enjoy the Kitzsteinhorn powder on five ski routes.
The Kitzsteinhorn also offers freeriders the hardware and the software to get information on the alpine dangers off-piste. “If you dare to ride powder you can’t go without safety precautions”, Volker Hoelzl, one of the initiators of Freeride XXL, emphasized. “Apart from the appropriate riding technique you also have to bring the adequate equipment as well as knowledge on the location, the alpine terrain, the weather and the snow conditions.” At the Freeride Info Base at the Alpincenter, riders will get the up-to-date lowdown on the freeride routes, the weather, snow and avalanche situation as well as a checkpoint for their avalanche transceivers, equipment tips and much more. At the Freeride Info Points located at the entry to the freeride routes, the riders will find more information like a topographic map showing the steepness of the slope, dangerous spots and the most beautiful line. In addition, there’s advice on security and emergency measures.
But a rider can only use this information accurately if he brings the adequate software: the background knowledge on avalanches and alpine dangers. With the Freeride Mondays, X-OVER and Kitzsteinhorn offer one-day freeride workshops on every Monday beginning with the 18th of January, 2010. A certified ski and snowboard guide will introduce the world of freeriding to the participants, instruct them how to use the safety equipment and impart avalanche knowledge to them. Additionally he will advice them on the right technique how to ride powder. Riders can deepen their freeride skills at the two-day Weekend Freeride Workshops or the Ladies Freeride Camp, a special camp only for female freeriders.
And if anyone wants to demonstrate his freeride talent, he should start at the legendary X OVER ride at the 3rd – 4th of April 2010 when the daredevil off-piste riders compete at the Freeridecross Langwied!
For more information please see kitzsteinhorn.at
The Ästhetiker Crew has already tested the freeriding terrain at the “Kitz” – check it out!