Frühling am Wolfgangsee

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Ski tours - the roots of winter sports

Upper Austria's mountains don't just offer well-groomed slopes. The mountains in the south of the province – in the Salzkammergut and holiday region of Pyhrn-Priel – are particularly suited for ski tours to mix things up a bit.

They need neither hard slopes nor lifts. The only way to the ultimate downhill run is climbing using your muscles, as difficult as that may be. Only when your hot breath condenses to form a cloud of steam in the cold air and the snow crushes rhythmically with every step have you earned the refreshing wind blowing against your face. We are talking about ski tourers, those contemporaries that get to the roots of skiing. Back to when today's sporty skis still used to be the method of transportation in the winter mountains without paths.

The following photo gallery can be navigated with the arrow keys (left, right).

Whether in the mountains of the Salzkammergut or of the holiday region of Pyhrn-Priel. Whether in the bizarre winter world of the Totes Gebirge or in the realm of King Dachstein. Upper Austria offers a wide selection of possibilities for ski tours. From easy tours to difficult routes where differences in altitude of more than a thousand metres have to be dealt with. Walking times from one hour to over five.

The subsequent ride down is both the highlight of the tour and the reward for so much sweat. The trip up through forests required every muscle of your body and was very taxing. One last look over the simply endless expanses of the mountains. There’s peace and nature seems to be hibernating. Then push off and take the first curves. Travelling downhill alone, in sought-after solitude. And the realisation – yes, this feeling was worth all the effort...

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