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Off topic thread about Innsbruck...

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:50 pm
by collin
I'm going to be skiing in Innsbruck in a few weeks, and I was thinking that some of you guys in the "materials in innsbruck" thread might be able to answer a few questions I have.

Easy question first. What shops do you recommend for demoing some fat skis. Some Volkl mantra's/gotama's might be nice... I've never skied anything that fat and I figured that this is a good excuse to do so before I build some.

Are ski areas really that different there? I mean, here in the US if I get off a lift and I don't duck under a rope I'm not worrying about a slide. Is the stuff that isn't actively managed as clearly marked as it is here, ie a backcountry access gate that says "Have avy gear if you go this way"? Is it just going to be too tempting to ski stuff I shouldn't ski without a beacon that I should finally get around to buying one? [Yes, I do have some avy training.]

There seem to be a lot of places to ski around Innsbruck. What do you recommend?

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:21 am
by Alex
Hi Collin,

demoing fat skis is not that easy. Last season it was almost impossible to get a Gotama - the only place i know is the Dammkar at Mittenwald - but it is not open yet.

Backcountry here in the Alps is allways at your own risk. Even if you just leave the slopes for 10m you can get in an Avalanche. You should have some experience and knowledge and for shure be properly equipped with beacon, shovel and probe. Best thing would be to go with someone who knows the conditions.

Currently there's not enough snow around Innsbruck - you have to go further east (south of Salzburg) for backcountry skiing.

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:46 pm
by collin
Thanks Alex.

I was asking mainly because since I've never skied in Europe I was talking to folks at a couple ski shops here who had and their response was "There are no ski area boundaries! You'll end up off piste and not even know it! Hire a guide or you will get lost and die!" And my reaction was "I'm going die? Ok..."

And of course everything you said about avy safety is true.

Best of luck building and well, skiing on, skis..

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:03 am
by Alex
Collin -this is not true what they told you. Of course the slopes are clearly marked and you will always know when you leave them. But mostly when you leave the piste you leave the regular ski area (there are a few exceptions with designated freeride areas). There are a lot of people freeriding in the alps - you can watch where they are going and then judge for yourself if there lines are suitable for you - allways take your own judgement for the avanlanche situation!