Freeriding - off-piste skiing - snowboarding
Ski touring, off-piste skiing, freeriding...whoever's idea was all this?
Whoever it was, he must have learnt about it here, in Warth-Schröcken am Arlberg. Where else can you find this amount of fresh snow? 11 metres of the stuff every winter!
To help you differentiate between freeriders and "normal" skiers or snowboarders, read on..............
Freeriders always look cool, avoid ski pistes like the plague and always head for the deep snow, off-piste. Climbing the mountain does not enter into the equation, because they're all too lazy, or too encumbered with their snowboards. That's why they always take time out and chill, riding up the mountain on one of the Arlberg's comfortable cable cars. Once they get to the top they look for a virgin slope and then proceed to make their mark in the form of an elegant track through the deep snow (which they like to call a "line'" through the "powder").
Obviously it's not quite as cut and dried as that. Most of them are really very good skiers or snowboarders who, most importantly, (should) always have the following items to hand: good safety equipment including an avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe, mobile phone (emergency number is 144 or Euro emergency number 112), and if possible an avalanche airbag, too. They are (should be) able to access and use this equipment quickly and correctly. In addition they are (mostly) well informed about potential alpine hazards and have familiarised themselves thoroughly with the latest avalanche report.
If all this applies in your case, then you're in the right place. If not, you can learn the proper way to do things from the professionals at the Warth-Schröcken ski schools.
Our hotelier Markus, himself a ski instructor and mountain guide who has grown up in the snow, offers a free taster ski tour every week in winter to hotel guests. The powder and spring snow package offers 3 ski tours in one hit, together with lots of theory and practical training.
They must be a bit mad, actually......
....our freeriders and snowboarders. They see the roof of our cosy parlour as an ideal springboard for their repertoire of aerial performances! After the initial take-off, they remain airborne for the duration of a jump involving a drop of some 20 metres. This is quite a considerable feat, and definitely not one that you should try at home! Such a performance involves years of training.