Surfing safely through the snow

Surfing safely through the snow


Freeriding in Zell am See-Kaprun

Once you have discovered the perfect powder line, and have been gliding through deep snow, you will quickly become addicted to freeriding: Away from the pistes, great freedom beckons on pristine slopes. All freeride fans, who come to Zell am See-Kaprun every year and turn the region into a hotspot for deep-snow lovers, know this too. We have collected the most important information about freeriding on the Kitzsteinhorn, the right equipment and the perfect preparation for you.

An unbeatable advantage for freeriders is, above all, the altitude of the Kitzsteinhorn: You can enjoy turns in deep snow from early winter, and off-piste skiing is possible until well into spring. The glacier ski resort also offers five perfectly signposted freeride routes close to the lifts: X1 "Ice Age", X2 "Westside Story", X3 "Left Wing", X4 "Jump Run" and X5 "Pipe Line". They make it easy for you start with freeriding, but will also inspire experts with their diverse terrain.

The Freeride Mondays: learning from the pros

Speaking of beginners: Freeriding is not that easy at the beginning. After all, you stand on the ski in a completely different way in open terrain, you have to get over yourself again and again and adapt to the different conditions. That's why we recommend getting tips from a pro. A good opportunity to try freeriding under professional guidance are the Freeride Mondays: the Kaprun ski schools offer one-day freeride courses every Monday. Here you learn the basics for your off-piste excursion, work on your technique and enjoy more skiing fun. For experienced freeriders, riding technique and safety tips are shared in a second group of riders.

Meeting point is at 9.30 am in front of the InfoService at the Alpincenter on the Kitzsteinhorn. The course lasts about 2.5 hours and costs 99 euros; you have to bring your own ski pass. In addition, there are always special freeride camps in the region, managed by experienced pros.

 Winter vacation in SalzburgerLand | © Kitzsteinhorn
Info points for freeriders: everything in view

An important contact point for freeriders in the region is also the Info Base and the Freeride Info Points in the glacier ski resort in Zell am See-Kaprun. Here you will not only find tips and rules of conduct for your freeride day, but also the latest avalanche situation report and important tips for equipment.

 Information is also available from the Info Base | © Kitzsteinhorn
Safety First: Only go off-piste with complete equipment!

This brings us to the most important rule of freeriding: Safety First! 
You are moving in open, mostly unsecured terrain, and you should therefore always have the complete safety equipment with you. The basic equipment for freeriders includes an avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe and first aid kit, and ideally an ABS backpack like the versatile A.LIGHT TOUR from ABS. With its unique twin-bag system, ABS offers double safety with two completely independent airbags. This means that both airbags can be inflated individually with separate valves and hold their air independently of each other. In the event of an emergency, this means that if one valve or airbag breaks due to obstacles such as stones, rocks or bent trees in the avalanche, the second airbag will still protect you and provide you with contact surface so that you don't sink into the masses of snow.

Freeriding in winter | © ABS Sports + Protection GmbH & Co. KG
Preparation is everything: get to know the equipment, check the weather

But the equipment alone is only one of many things you need to keep the risk on off-piste trips as low as possible. It is also important to get to know your own equipment and practise using it. That's why we strongly recommend taking avalanche courses on a regular basis: In addition to learning how to use a shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver, you also learn about the weather and snow.

It is also important to plan your freeride day responsibly. This includes checking the weather and avalanche reports the day before, and never going off-piste alone.

You're dreaming of powder snow downhill runs, but you're still looking for an avalanche backpack?

Then we can help you: Using the voucher code KITZSTEIN20, you can get a total of 20 percent off in the ABS online shop until 30.04.2023 - for example on the new ABS A. LIGHT TOUR with the safest avalanche airbag on the market.


Well-equipped, with tips from the pros and perfectly prepared, nothing stands in the way of your freeride day: we wish you lots of fun and the best powder!