Since merging with the deep powder mecca of Fieberbrunn a few years ago, the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn has made a name for itself as one of Austria's premier freeriding spots. A regular stop on the Freeride World Tour, the Skicircus doesn't just limit freeriding to the pros. Specially adapted snow parks allow budding freeriders of all levels to experience the pure joy of freeriding. Read on for everything you need to know about freeriding in the Skicircus.
The Skicircus offers endless off-piste opportunities for experienced freeriders and beginners alike with large powder bowls and exciting terrain, much of which is accessible with minimal hiking. Don't forget that freeriding is done at your own risk in unsecured and unpatrolled terrain. If you're just starting out, hire an experienced guide to show you the ropes for a fun and safe time in the powder snow.
Safety comes first when riding in the backcountry and the Skicircus has done everything possible to ensure that freeriders have the safest experience possible. This includes LO.LA, the snow information and avalanche warning system, which has an info point at the bottom station of the Streuböden lift in Fieberbrunn. ORTOVOX has also installed avalanche beacon checkpoints at strategic points in the mountain so you can test whether your beacon is working. At the peak of the Schattberg (Saalbach) and at the Zillstatt lift (Fieberbrunn), you'll find avalanche transceiver search fields where you can practise finding buried transmitters with your own transceiver to keep up-to-date on your avalanche safety skills. The Skicircus also hosts numerous freeriding courses, camps and workshops. With all these freeriding resources at their fingertips, even beginner freeriders can venture into the powder.
Fieberbrunn is an annual stop on the Freeride World Tour, which will be hosted at the Skicircus again this winter from March 7-13, 2020 (contest is planned for March 7th but may be rescheduled due to weather). Don't miss this chance to see the world's best freeriders compete on the cornices, chutes, trees and powder fields of the Wildseeloder to see who will advance to the finals in Verbier. Contestants will first complete a gruelling 40-minute hike before dropping from the summit (2118m) and navigating 620 vertical metres of powder snow on a slope measuring up to 70 degrees. Follow along as the contest is broadcast live on huge screens in the Contest Village at the Lärchfilzkogel (1645m), accessible by gondola.
On March 14-15, test out next season's freeriding equipment for free at the Freeride Testival in Hinterglemm. The Freeride Testival also hosts workshops, courses and safety exercises, as well as guided freeride sessions for experts with local guides. Beginner freeriders haven't been forgotten, and there are tailored sessions for off-piste skiing for beginners as well. In the evening, enjoy music and drinks while you chat to fellow freeride enthusiasts and professional athletes about the freeride equipment and the best powder stashes.
At the Muldenbahn 8er in Leogang you'll find an innovative freeride park which incorporates obstacles and jumps built right into the natural terrain. One of the first of its kind in Europe, the freeride park is 300 metres long and features in drop, drop to box, powderkicker and drop out features. The Skicircus also has several 'freeride routes', signifying either ungroomed slopes or marked descents that are partly off-piste. The Skicircus is constantly updating its offering and you can expect new parks, routes, checkpoints, nature trails and more in the coming years. All in all, plenty of opportunities to make your first tracks in the virgin snow!
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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