Famous as the setting of the skiing section in the Beatles’ movie Help, Obertauern is a tidy little high altitude resort within easy reach of Salzburg, Vienna and Munich that offers up a good park, some sick freeriding and a mellow vibe.
The area boasts over 100km of pisted runs serviced by 26 lifts arranged in such a manner that you can mack around the whole resort and end up back where you started. There’s a few little rollers to Müller-jib, enough side-of-piste hits to keep you entertained and plenty of blue and red runs to straightline and Eurocarve your merry way down. Being fairly high, you’re more than likely to find conditions rideable from the end of November to the beginning of May: it is as snowsure as a spot can be without a glacier.
With the town nestled at 1740m and the highest lift dropping you off at 2526m, Obertauern tends to get plenty of snow and when the storms drop their white love the terrain offers some killer freeriding. With good conditions you can choose between mellow tree runs, pillow lines and full-on big mountain gnarl. There’s a heap of lines to check out on the steeper side of the valley, accessed by the Zehnerkarbahn gondola, and the bowl above and behind the park can deliver the rooster-tailed goods too. And that’s without even much of a hike. As always, know the conditions and go with someone who knows the area. Hell, remember the age-old classic of buying the local dawg some beers the night before so he yields the inside info, and maybe even a friendly bit of guiding? We reckon this place could be a secret powder heaven. Just don’t tell anyone, right?
The Longplay Park (LP2), now entering its 5th season, can be found off the Kehrkopf chair that you’ll see as you first arrive at the resort. In contrast to many Euro parks that offer hits in a straight line the 1.5k-long LP2 carves round the hill, which could have caused problems for park planning but it seems the shaping crew embraced the challenge and created a heap of different lines for riders of all levels to enjoy. It has the feel of a run with hits built into it, rather than the commonplace ‘three kickers in a line with a rail line at the side’ deal. The lower section is stuffed with mellower rails and obstacles for learning on whereas up top are the more advanced features.
Over to Joshi the park shaper for more details: “In one run you can do 3 kickers, one corner, a wallride and at least 4 rails or boxes... so that’s kind of special at the LP2! We have 4 kickers (6-16m), a wallride (4x3m), straight rails (8m, 4m), A-frame box 11m, three 4m straight boxes (setup changes because we can put these boxes together however we like), 9m straight box, 6m curved box, and for next year a new 10m double kinked box! Also we are planning new obstacles, small kickers and the big kicker will be bigger because we are doing some new pre-season earth work so we will have better conditions even with little snow!" And if there’s snow available the crew will shape extra hits here and there for even more fun whenever possible.
Each year the LP2 boys put on the Run To The Hill snowboard contest with a €5,000 purse which attracts both Austrian and international riders to Obertauern. All in all, the crew here are super motivated to sort out the most fun park possible, the local scene is healthy with guys coming to shred from all over the Salzburg and Schladming area regularly and the result is well worth checking out.
Should you require anything in the way of snowboard gear, head to the Blue Tomato snowboard shop by the bridge next to the Zehnerkarbahn bubble. Or just stop by for a chat and the lowdown on the spot. Phone/Fax +43 (0)6456 7675 / +43 (0) 3687 22474 Address Schützpassage am Pass A-5562 Obertauern Other than that there’s your usual array of Intersporty ski resort stores.
The local’s favourite is the Monkey’s Heaven in the centre of town, host to the contest after parties and end of season mashup. Aside from this you have the usual plethora of watering holes and eateries you’d expect from a ski resort and, being in Austria, you can expect swarms of red-faced skitards making crazy party to Eurotechno at the afterski.
Located in Salzburger Land, Obertauern is 90k (approx 50mins) south of Salzburg. Road: Take Sazburg-Villach Tauern motorway to Graz junction, then follow B99 to Radstadt. From there, take the signs to Obertauern (20k). Rail: Nearest station is Radstadt. From there you can catch a bus direct to resort. Air: Nearest airport is Salzburg and you can get a transfer for around €40 return. Alternatively Munich is about 2 ½ hours’ drive.
Altitude: 1740m Highest lift: 2526m Season: End of November to beginning of May. Km of runs: 100 Number of lifts: 26