Spring temperatures and spring snow at Kuehtai

Fri 07 April 17

The best touring season? Spring, off course! Fortunately the 4th Choice Split & Freeride Camp on March 24th to 26th, 2017 went down at Kuehtai.

Spring temperatures and spring snow at Kuehtai

Spring temperatures and spring snow at Kuehtai © Chris Riefenberg

While spring flowers had already taken over the slopes in lower resorts, the  splitboarders of the fourth camp were delighted about a great weekend with bluebird, sunshine and spring snow in high altitude at Kuehtai!

Situated on a high above 2.000  metres above sea level and only 35 kilometres away from the Tyrolean Capital Innsbruck, the Kuehtai is probably one of the most popular touring resorts of the locals. Even freeriders, touring fans and splitboarders from all over Europe have discovered the versatile backcountry, hidden valleys and beautiful deep blue mountain lakes of Kuehtai. 

All motivated splitboarders and splitboard newbies arrived on Friday afternoon at the Zirmbachalm to take over the holiday lodge and some spare rooms at the traditional Tyrolean style Zirmbachalm. With her unbeatable warm-heartedness the host Waltraud won everbody´s hearts within the first minutes and at latest after dinner, everyone got really comfy. The great gear-adjustment party had already taken place in the afternoon, but some of the beginners have  never had a splitboard under their feed. With a little creativity and for the amusement of the audience, organizer Pia Schroeter showcased the basic techniques of splitboarding and principals of kick turning... in the living room!  By that time nobody was aware, that this information might be very essential to survive the first part of the next day. 

On Saturday morning, the freeriders were up early with the rising sun. At 7.30 a.m., the mountain guides Manfred Brandacher and Reinhard Wetscher were arleady expecting the group booted and spurred outside the lodge. Professional snowboarder Mario Kaeppeli also joined the the adventure on that beautiful day. The group drove to the parking site of the Issalm. From there, the splitboards were converted to walking mode and after the first transceiver check, everyone started splitting it up. But noone had suspected this challenging and very steep beginning in the forest. Even the absolute beginners had to face it with frozen riverbeds and kick-turns in steep terrains between branches and  moss. But adventure is our choice and so everybody finally made it to the top of Issalm. From now on, a nice and mellow track lead into the Woregetal. Passing the Knappenhaus the splitboarders, made it all the way up to the summit of the beautiful Wetterkreuz on 2.250 m above sea. Even the splitboarding rookies, who had been fighting it up all the 860 height metres  up in the burning sun and with burning legs, finally  forgot everything when they saw the breathtaking view and 360 degrees of mountain panorama, that surrounded them. 

After a well-deserved summit lunch, the group was keen to surf down the entire face in that perfect spring snow again. Wide spring snow fields, were followed by  a challenging but funny obstacle slalom run through the forest. Satisfied and sunkissed (or burnt ;-) everybody drove back to the resort for a well deserved after work beer just beside the slopes. 

On Sunday, the Kuehtai welcomed its guests with a mixture of sun and clouds. With the Hohe Mut Bahn, the group took first lifts to reach the highest possible point on 2.300 metres. A few turns back down and towards the Finstertal reservoir dam  and everyone changed from riding to hiking mode. All the way up the dam and further, the group skinned up to over 2.500 height metres between the Pockkogel and Steiltalspitzen. After a fast switch back to riding mode, the riders were delighted about a nice spring snow run in playful terrain and all the way back down to the deep blue reservoir lake. 

In a secure spot, there came the mountain guide´s command: Stop and strap out!  Time to practise the emergency in a real avalanche safety training. Starting off with the right handling of the beacon, searching, probing and shoveling and rescuing, Manfred Brandacher and Reinhard Wetscher changed the entire face into training area. Everyone finally got the opportunity to exercise the worst case scenario under professional guidance. In the afternoon, all splitboarders finally arrived safe and sound back at the valley station. 

What a weekend! Even in late spring, the Kuehtai has so many incredible touring options on hand and two days are way too short to explore all those great mountains! We say Thanks! Thanks Kuehtai for having us and big up to all our partners for the support: Blue Tomato, Amplid, Plum, Voelkl Snowboards, Deeluxe Snowboardboots, Ortovox, Alpina Sports, ABS Avalanche Airbags, Goal Zero Europe and Protect our Winters Austria. 

Pia Schroeter – Organisatorin Choice Split & Freeride Camps 


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