The fall can be a very frustrating time of the year; the desire to get back on snow after a long summer is high, but finding decent riding conditions can be difficult. Thus, we’ve interviewed and collected some of the best tips for preseason riding from our team riders. This time Freeride World Tour rider Manuela Mandl is providing some tips about where to go in the Eastern Alps.
What’s your favorite resort for pre-season riding?
Kitzsteinhorn. I like the park setup, but there are also many possibilities for freeriding.
What makes the place special?
Already early in the season there are some technical and steep lines which can be ridden. They tend to be quite icy, so very good technique training. And there are not too many crevasses on this glacier, compared to some others. As soon as there is a bit more snow, you have a lot of possibilities for easy and playful lines with a variety of drops.
What time of fall would you recommend to go there, and why?
I normally start my season by late October, but it really depends on weather and snow conditions, which vary widely every season. The park normally opens beginning of October, so from that time on there is something to do.
Any special runs you could recommend?
I like the run underneath the gondola which is going up to Gipfelwelt 3000, the highest spot in the skiresort. It’s quite steep in the beginning and there are some variations. There are some creavasses at the bottom, so be careful.
Do you also have any favorite place for splitboarding in fall/early winter?
I actually enjoy Dachstein Glacier quite a lot. Very early in the season you can take the gondola up and then work on technical skills like crevasse rescues and alpinism techniques on the glacier. The peak of Dachstein is magnificent and it’s only a short walk to be out of sight of the resort.
If there is already snow at Ramsau there are some really rewarding tours up the southside. You can for example tour up Edelgries and ride down again without using the gondola at all. But you still have to pay toll for the road or pay the ski bus which brings you up to 1700m. You can really experience the impact of climate change up there, as the glacier is melting rapidly and one can investigate different geological traces.
Backcountry snowboarding can be a dangerous activity. You should always read the local avalanche report, bring the necessary safety equipment, and have the required safety knowledge before heading into the backcountry.