The locals: sometimes you see them, sometimes you don’t.
There’s a dilemma that is felt by skiers around the world. Keep your tiny but oh-so-amazing home mountain a secret, at the expense of the lift company going bankrupt because the only people who ski there are the locals and they don’t spend any money. Or tell the world about it, so the world comes and keeps the operation cash flow positive at the expense of the untracked powder and empty slopes that make the locals happy.
It’s unlikely that this blog will bring the world flocking to Krippenstein’s door. So I will probably avoid the death threats from the Krip’s fanatical local contingent by reporting that if you are skiing in Austria (which you should be), you should go spend at least a day, if not more, at a tiny gem called Krippenstein.
Located in the Dachstein region, with the main lift access being a two stage tram, this ski area is small when compared to the Austrian behemoths in the Arlberg. But it doesn’t ski small at all. The resort boasts a solid 1500 meter vertical drop, featuring a wild, fantasy land of broken limestone teeth, sinkholes and lace like forests with hidden chutes glades and rock drops. It’s otherworldly in its beauty and the line options are endless.
The Lodge am Krippenstein. Stay up on top and score first tracks on powder mornings.
If the pillows at the Lodge am Krippenstein aren’t soft enough for you, there are other options.
Even better, this area remains relatively undiscovered. Sure, you see plenty of locals with packs stuffed with avalanche gear, fat skis and shit-eating grins on their faces, but once you get off the top of the second stage of the gondola, they all seem to vanish, and you are left alone with ample snow, plenty of line choices and the otherworldly terrain.
One of the best ways to experience this mountain is to start your day at the top. The only way to accomplish this is to spend the night at the Lodge am Krippenstein. The lodge is a modest, simple affair, which serves up mountain comfort, good food, cold beer and pole position at the start of every day, courtesy of its prime location at the top of the mountain. Pick your timing wisely and you’ll enjoy a cozy evening while a storm rages outside, secure in the knowledge that when day breaks, you can nail first tracks while everyone is riding up in the tram. Or, head out even earlier and score first tram while you’re flush with the winning hand of already having one run under your belt while everyone else is frantic in anticipation.
Or there’s another way. Kick back, watch the sunrise, enjoy breakfast. Do some stretching. Relax. Because even if you don’t get the first run, or even the second or third run, Krippenstein remains one of those special places where first tracks last all day, and really, there’s no rush because the only people here are the locals. And you’re not going to poach their lines anyhow.
Krippenstein: your secret is not safe with me.
All you need to know about one of the best little ski areas in the world.
Lodge am Krippenstein
Plan your stay now.
Deals on traveling to and from Austria, background information on ski resorts and other winter pastimes and an overview of the culture, music and geography which makes this country one of the must-visit destinations for skiers of all abilities.
To see the first installment of Tom Winter's blog in Austria, Click Here.