It's definitely worth a holiday for people who like to smell powder every day and don't wanna hike too much. Freestylers will have fun in the park, especialy intermidate ones who complane about too small kickers and obsticles but wouldn't go over the big mamas (6m high kicker) either.
Obertauern / (c) Reen West
The terrain here is very much freeride-orientated with lots of areas to check out suited to all levels. You can either go off the piste wherever you see some powder then head back onto the piste further down or if you know the area or are around with someone who does you can go around some corners, through some trees, behind a station and discover a silent untracked sweet area with loads of powder just waiting to be surfed.
There are also some freeride possibilities that you have to hike to, but make sure you’re with a guide or someone who knows the area and never forget your avalanche equipment. Obertauern is quite stable regarding avalanches, but the devil doesn't sleep as we say.
Zehnerkarrinne is the most famous off-piste area and is an excellent gully. There are two ways to get there,: either right around the mountainstation of the cablecar then after about 200m over a 2m cornice drop into joy. The other way is taking the piste down for about 50m, then turn left over high snowwall, built up by the bully or the wind or both. After that you will find a couple of gullies that are just waiting to be shredded. A point of orientation is the only liftpole of the Zehnerkarseilbahn. From there you take one of the two gullies, after that take a sharp right under the rockface and through the trees and head to the bottomstation. Ask at the bottom station of the Zehnerkarbahn about avalanche danger before heading there, but because its quite difficult to get to this route, you won't find other people there which guaranties firsttracks and fresh powder
Right where the Mankei T-barlift does make a turn, leave the piste and cross the liftterase and you'll stand in front of a face that gets steeper the further you go, which leads through deeply snowed forest. At the end of the run you get to a steep gully which can be seen from the Parkspace Zehnerkar. It's important not to go too far right, as you don't want to drop the rockface. Due to the amount of trees, its usually very safe from avalanches.
To get there take the GamsleitenII Chairlift. After you exit, take the piste for about 50metre and then slowly glide over the snowcornice – its important not follow the piste for too long, otherwise you end up on rocks.
After the cornice is an infinite long powder area, ready to be shredded, this area is mostly untracked which is surprising as you’re so close to the piste. You won't find another area without hiking that gets you from 2300m down to 1700, without reaching hitting a piste, its absolutely awesome and ends at the bottom station of the Zahnerkargondola.
Take the GamsleitenII lift again and from there stay right (viewing down the valley) untill you get to a ascending ridge. The beginning of the Tour is also marked in the Lif tinformation map of the Tauernrunde. From here you hike up the ridge, but depending on your fitness choose between the whole 1hr hike or a 30 minute but its worth the extra sweat for the awesome descent from the top.
Choosing the shorter one, after about 30minutes take a left turn where you will see a possibility to get down the mountain through nice powder. For the hardcore, hike another 30minutes until you reach the Kesselspitz at 2.358m and you’ll instantly know why it was worth the hike. This is a proper alpine route, which shouldn't be attempted alone and without all the safety equipment and avalanche information, however its one of the finest powder areas in Obertauern you can access without the need of a guide. In the lower part you will head through the forest where you should stay on you far left side to avoid some hiking back, but you will need to hike a bit to get back to village, but after such a run you'll know why it's worth the effort.
Up you go as the name says on the Hundskogelbahn. On the exit you go straight right around the lift heading to the Hundskogelgully Skiroute. While you follow the hikingtrack you can decide if you want to go the marked black skiroute 'Hundskogelrinne', which is only nice after snowfall because otherwise it's tracked (only the 'Monterjump' is always worth a try, it's located after the first third of the gully to your left side under the rockface. with a slow inrun you can still jump over the cornice over the next gully with a 15m jump without a problem and a nice landing), or you go on the hiking track and leave at the last right curve to the left and cross the slope for about 150m under the rocks. Those slopes, rock and gully are much longer untracked, because it doesn't get as much sun there. Both choices bring you back to the bottomstation of the Hundskogelbahn. This route is not that long but still nice.
At the area from the Zehnerkardescent heading to Gamsleitenbahn1 you will see avalanche hills on both sides. If you go a bit faster on the left side between the hills, you’ll head into a pinetree forest with steps, rocks und mostly untracked areas. There are also cornices and rocks to drop 1-5m, start slow without taking too much risk until you get used to dropping bigger stuff. Landings are mostly suited for the different heights, and are steep and soft, but if something should happen you are not that far off the village to get help.
The www.longplaypark.com crew have brought a really nice park to Obertauern. All Obstacles where built some years ago out of soil and with the mass of snow that they get there the park starts perfect and just grows bigger and bigger the longer the winter goes. Next to some fine beginner and jibb obstacles they build some fine big Kickers and hold competitions throughout the season.
The bigger kickers rise to about 12 meters, a hip with 6 meter hight and 15 meters length. The park is located along the Kehrkopfbahn and has a 200 meter hight difference and starts right after you leave the chair. At the bottom is a parkingspace for all those who only wanna go to the park from dawn till dusk.
The park is 1,5 km long with a kicker or a rail every couple of meters. there are 12 Rails, from rainbowrail to straightrail. 3 big kickers, 1 huge corner and two beginner lines that suit the jibber as well.
Pistes. Advanced riders have plenty of good, testing blacks where carvers can leave some nice lines.
Beginners have loads of nice, not too steep tracks with plenty of space to fall, slide, roll and crash, and because its a valley, you can follow the sun to ensure its the soft stuff youre falling into. There are some good board schools to choose from, and youll find most of the lifts are very easy to get on and off.