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Freeriding in Fieberbrunn - James Cove, Fieberbrunn
Wednesday January 20, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

The resort has a growing reputation as a freeride hotspot. With a new lift linking it to Saalbach and 1 meter of fresh snow this week conditions are currently near-perfect.

The secret is out; Fieberbrunn is turning into one of the best new destinations in the Alps for freeriding.

It has some steep terrain, huge amounts of off piste and its where people head to from far and wide after a dump of snow.

It also hosts a round of the Freeride World Tour and we have a few videos of the event at the end of this article if you want a look at the experts in action.

It does not have the high mountains and the range of slopes that Chamonix, St Anton or Verbier have. 

But it does have this.

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has more than enough terrain and is especially good for those who are learning the freeriding skills.

Fieberbrunn, AustriaPlaying in the powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We have a lot of possibilities here with steep runs and a few couloirs for the experts and some great terrain for those learning. Many of the slopes have grass underneath so we do not need so much snow as other areas of the Alps," said the off piste ski guide, Richard Mayrl, from the local ski school, S4.

Fieberbrunn, AustriaRichard Mayrl in his natural environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It does though get plenty of snow and has its own weather system called 'Schnee Loch, which translates as 'Snow Hole'.

Now I was told this by a tourist office representative and if I had a £1 for everytime such a person had told me of their so-called microclimate then I would be rich.

So, I checked with my good friend, the alpine weather expert Fraser Wilkin from weathertoski.co.uk.

"It's true, Fieberbrunn gets huge levels of snow compared to the surrounding area," said Fraser.

"It averages 4.8m of snow at resort level each winter and that is twice the amount of nearby Kitzbuhel that is around the same altitude," he added.

And with that I hit the slopes with my friends, Mary Creighton from Fall-Line Magazine and Mark Hodson from 101 Holidays.

In two days we barely went on the marked runs.

Fieberbrunn, AustriaYours truly in the powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaMary in heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaMark makes his mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside of the main lift system and ski area there are countless freeriding opportunities if you are prepared to walk a bit with skins on.

We were more than prepared to walk.

We skied down and then walked up the other side of the valley to even more powder fields.

Fieberbrunn, AustriaWe're going there...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaSkins on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A gentle hour heading up hill took us deep into the wilderness and to the Horndlinger Graben area where the powder seemed bottomless and we sank in up to our waists.

"This is my favourite area in Fieberbruun and is a very special place," said Richard Mayrl. 

I could only agree.

Fieberbrunn, AustriaWinter playground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaEndless powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But perhaps most significant for the resort of Fieberbrunn is this - the new TirolS lift. 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaGame changer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We reported on its opening earlier this season and last winter I toured the whole of the Ski Circus area that it is now connected to.

Many resorts have new lifts each season, but rarely are they so significant.

This one is a game changer.

Similar in my view to the new lift likning Arosa with Lenzerheide in Switzerland which I skied last season or Warth-Schrokken with Lech in Austria - I was there for its opening in the season of 2013/14.

It takes Fieberbrunn's ski area from 40km to 270kms and there is talk of linking it further to Zell am See that would make it one of the biggest ski areas in the Alps.

"It is a very significant new lift for us. We used to play in the Second Division but now we are in the Champions League," said the CEO of the tourist office, Florian Phleps, to me.

"We get many people coming from Saalbach too in order to ski our freeride area. It is a very important future market for us and we have embraced this new trend for some years now," added Florian Phelps.

The village of Fieberbrunn itself is a draw, with its typical Tirolean charm.

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn by night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaVillage centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austria is on something of a growth spurt with the British and is closing in on France as the most popular destination for British skiers.

"It is a shame we do not see more British, like 20 years ago, but more and more are coming as they hear of our reputation for snow and our terrain," said Richard Mayrl. He was born in the village and has lived here all his life.  

"Back in the 1980s Austria was far and away the most popular country with almost 50% of British people heading to Austria. It has some great skiing, wonderful accommodation and the hospitality is second to none," said the group head of purchasing, Harvey Gahl, from Inghams.

The tour operator is offering the resort in its brochure this year.

It used to take guests there many years ago and now, with the new lift and its growing reputation as a freeride hotspot, it is back in and selling well.

Next winter Inghams in hoping to team up with the local ski school, S4, and offer special freeride packages.

If they go ahead we'll let you know here on PlanetSKI as they sound a very interesting option.

If you like this:

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as promised here are the experts from the Freeride World Tour.

FACTBOX

Inghams (01483 791 114, www.inghams.co.uk, has introduced the resort of Fieberbrunn in the Pillerseetal to their ski programme for the first time. A week's half board at the 4* Austria Trend Hotel Alpine Resort starts from £869 per person, including flights from Gatwick to Salzburg and resort transfers.

For details about the S4 ski school that specialises in freeride lessons then see here.

For more information about Tirol www.visittirol.co.uk or about Fieberbrunn www.kitzbueheler-alpen.com/en/fieberbrunn

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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