The proposal: End with a gasthaus beer. Begin with a cable ride. Ski tour. Wear your harness for a bit. Ski powder. Ok, deal.
Zillertal Alps of Austria provide yet another area in the western European mountains where deeply riven valleys and high peaks give stunning relief — and provide the height to hold good snow when lower reaches are too warm for perfect powder. For today’s adventure, we drove to one of the highest ski resorts in the Zillertal region just east of Innsbruck, on the Tuxer Glacier. A cable ride brought us to 3,270 meters, where we enjoyed the view and scored a bonus powder descent to the start of our muscle powered day. Follow us in photos (for location, see map at bottom of post):
We’ll, without the rope work this could have ranked up there with the most hedonistic ski tours I’ve ever done in my life. As it was, still pretty good. Only crowds were at the start. After that, it was like touring in the relatively deserted mountains of Colorado or Wyoming.
“Hoher Riffler” marked on map below was our first highpoint. We then toured and skied northeast and north from there, eventually dropping down northerly to the main drainage.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.