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Off-Piste Skiing in Heiligenblut am Grossglockner

Off-Piste Skiing in Heiligenblut am Grossglockner

Powder snow & ultimate freedom in the Grossglockner/Heiligenblut Freeride Arena

The sun is dazzling in a perfect blue sky. The air is crisp and cold; last night brought a new layer of fresh snow. We take the first cable-car of the day, hoping to be the first to reach the mountains. So far, there is no-one in the ski area apart from workers and safety officers, ensuring smooth runs in the new snow. You feel the biting cold on your face, and as soon as you put on your skis you know that your off-piste dreams are about to come true.

And we’re off – diving into the endless freedom of an untouched mountainside. Turn after turn, metre by metre, we carve our trail into the virgin snow. The Grossglockner looks on from a distance – a quiet observer, reflecting our sense of joy. As soon as we hit the end, the decision is clear: back up again, for one more incredible powder run in the Heiligenblut Freeride Arena.

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Freeride Arena & Sectors

The vast area surrounding the Grossglockner is divided into six Freeride Sectors – ranging from Sector A (Schareck) to Sector F (valley runs). This allows experienced off-piste skiers to put together their own tailor-made itinerary. Please note that the Freeride Sectors are not secured, maintained or marked, but entirely natural runs – usually covered in the most fantastic powder snow. This does, however, require off-piste skiers to place a strong focus on  their own safety, and have a good knowledge of avalanche safety and local topography.

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Ski Routes & Safety Check-Point

A ski route is an openly accessible ski-run that is not prepared or groomed – however, it is marked and secured against avalanches. In contrast to the Freeride Sectors, ski routes provide a high degree of overall safety. Nevertheless, any type of off-piste skiing adventure requires good levels of training and skill. At the Freeride Checkpoint, you can test your avalanche transceiver and gain valuable information about avalanche risk, open or shut-off runs, as well as current and forecast weather conditions – all free of charge.

Freeride Arena – facts & figures:

  • approx. 1500 hectares of ungroomed skiing terrain
  • High-alpine terrain with countless runs and variations
  • Ski runs and powder-snow runs with altitude differences of up to 1500 metres
  • Highest point: 2989 m; lowest point: 1204 m
  • Excellent snow reliability and tree-less terrain due to high altitudes
  • 6 Freeride Sectors with runs all the way down to the valley
  • 4 ski routes - not groomed, but marked and secured against avalanches
  • Departure points for numerous high-alpine ski tours to 3000-metre summits
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Out and about with our local experts: courses & guided tours

The topic of safety must always be central to any off-piste adventure. In addition, a skiing or mountain guide will be able to ensure that you get the absolute most out of your off-piste day. Our guides know how to select the most suitable runs, make accurate risk assessments – and, of course, show you their favourite ‘secret’ runs, which any non-local would be hard-pressed to find. The Grossglockner/Heiligenblut Snow Sports School and the Grossglockner Mountain Guide offer a range of services and courses, and are the perfect partners for an unforgettable day in the powder snow.

Safety Check: what to consider when going off-piste

  • Never go off-piste without safety equipment (avalanche transceiver, shovel, beacon)
  • If you have an airbag backpack, it is vital to learn how to use it
  • Be sure to test the functionality of your equipment prior to every off-piste session
  • All emergency numbers must be stored on your phone (i.e. 122)
  • Check reports on avalanche conditions and the weather situation at the start of every day
  • Talk to our ‘Local Heroes’ to get additional information on weather and terrain conditions throughout the day
  • Never go off-piste alone, and never lose contact with your group
  • Group members never ski at the same time – instead we ski one after the other, keeping plenty of distance  
  • We seek out Safe Spots to stop and wait for the rest of the group – never wait directly in a steep slope
  • Never follow an unidentified trail into unfamiliar terrain
  • High-risk runs which contain people must never be traversed
 

Itching to have an unforgettable powder-snow experience in the Freeride Arena?

With the right preparation, there is nothing quite as exhilarating as the powder runs of the Grossglockner/Heiligenblut Freeride Arena. If you’ve got a taste for off-piste freedom, then embrace it – load your skis, pack your safety gear, and hop in the car for an unforgettable adventure in Heiligenblut am Grossglockner!

We’ll be delighted to advice you on any aspect of planning your holiday. Simply contact us with your query, send us a non-binding holiday enquiry, or phone us on +43 4824 2700-20.

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