Safe and fair in the backcountry

Safe and fair in the backcountry

Mit Schneeschuhen am Tourenlehrpfad am Rofan unterwegs

The bright blue sky stretches over the snowy winter landscape, and the only sound is the crunching snow under your feet. Lake Achensee offers a variety of designated routes for ski tourers and snowshoe hikers. The routes have been chosen because of their comparatively low risk potential – yet they are located in open alpine terrain. Outdoor enthusiasts should always be alert and well prepared. When the conditions are bad, it is advisable to avoid and postpone tours. The alpine schools and mountain guides at the Achensee are happy to advise you and offer guided tours. In this way you get first-hand knowledge and experience from professionals on the way or route.

If the conditions are good, the following five tips of the Tirolean piste tour model provide valuable advice:

  • Tour planning

    Good preparation is key – make sure you have the necessary equipment and provisions. Are there places for a stopover and where? How many metres of elevation does the tour involve? Are there any alternatives or a plan B in case of changed conditions? Questions of this kind should definitely be clarified in advance. Maps, internet and tourist information inform (not only guests!) about the current conditions in advance. Pay close attention to the weather forecast, also during the tour.

  • Avalanche awareness

    The proper assessment of snow conditions requires a solid basic knowledge of snow and its characteristics plus a lot of experience. To deal with this in a short paragraph does not do justice to the matter, so an avalanche awareness course is recommended for those who want to pursue backcountry skiing. Occasional ski tourers can visit the avalanche educational trail in Maurach which provides the basic knowledge for venturing into the open terrain. The trail covers 240 metres of elevation and has several stations explaining the dangers of avalanches. The tour takes approx. 1 hour.

    Additional information and current forecast bulletins can be found on the website Lawinen.Report and on the website of the Austrian Alpine Association.

  • The proper equipment

    The rucksack is easier to carry if it is light, but you should always bring a few essential things. Food and sufficient drinks are required for every tour. Must-have pieces of equipment for avalanche emergencies are avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe, and you should also carry a first-aid kit and mobile phone. An avalanche airbag system is the best protection against burial in case of an avalanche.

  • Stay on track

    No matter whether you are a seasoned ski tourer, a Tirolean mountain enthusiast or an absolute freeriding expert – anyone who ventures out into open terrain at Lake Achensee should not leave the designated routes as the potential dangers can increase exponentially. On maps.achensee.com you will find all the tours that are available around the Achensee – there is something for everyone.

  • Be considerate of wildlife and nature

    Not only because of potential dangers but also out of consideration to wildlife and nature, snowshoers and ski tourers should stay on designated routes. In winter, the animals generally have an energy problem because there is little food available. It can be life-threatening to the animals if they are frightened by winter sports enthusiasts. At Lake Achensee we enjoy the great privilege of being able to spend our leisure time in a beautiful natural landscape and we would like to keep it that way for future generations. This is also the reason why waste should always be taken back to the valley.