Packed powder but flat light in high Obertauern

4th March 2015, by Chris Gill

Early afternoon Wednesday, from the western extremity of the lift system

Early afternoon Wednesday, from the western extremity of the lift system

The last stop on our Dolomites-Salzburgerland tour was Obertauern – developed pretty much for skiers and unusually high for Austria, at 1730m on the Radstadter Tauern pass. Not surprisingly, it seemed strikingly cold and snow when we drove up on Tuesday evening.

The Kindl family made us very welcome at their neat, central b&b hotel Kristall, even kicking Herr Kindl Senior’s car out of the garage to give the editorial VW a berth for the night. Cracking wifi and boot warmers, too.

Obertauern’s skiing is unusual in more ways than one: it is arranged around a bowl, mostly on the north-east side of the pass and the village, and is of very limited vertical. It is also practically treeless, which had us studying the weather forecasts: was Wednesday to be yet another day of cloud, light snowfall and flat light?

The answer, basically, was Yes and No. Conditions ranged from the occasional burst of pale sunlight at one extreme to skiing from pole to pole at the other extreme – notably at the high point of Zehnerkar. Mostly we had reasonable visibility but flat light. Happily, underfoot we had the best snow of the trip – in places, perfect packed powder.

You can do a circular tour of the whole ski area, going clockwise or antclockwise, following pink or green signs. We had an excellent long morning doing the circuit in both directions, and then picked out a couple of blacks that the tours avoid – groomed, and great fun.

Now we’re off towards the Channel tunnel to regroup before a tour of small resorts in the Maurienne valley in France. Watch this space.

Back to all blogs

Recent blogs

Share |