"...all the terrain I love for my kind of skiing..."
The moment you are standing at the top of the mountain, alone, or with one or two good friends by your side, looking almost straight down at the landscape, and further on to the city, below you– this is the moment your heart flutters just a bit faster. You feel your perspiration run gently down the back of your neck after the long hike up, and you know that at this moment, it was worth it. The snow is pristine, augmenting your sense of excitement…
This awesome feeling of exhilaration is something that many skiers spend their lives searching for, trying to find that perfect mountain, that perfect terrain, which will take their breath away. And in the world of skiing, there is no shortage of choice. Will you choose the great bowls of Whistler, the deep, fresh powder of Nozowa Onsen, or the massive glaciers of the Alps? Will you ride the piste, leap through the freestyle course, free-ride in the wilderness?
Here at Bogner we think: Few people have skied as many mountains or finished as many runs as the members of the German Ski Association. The German Ski Team trains year-round and all over the world – so who better to ask about the best ski locations than German National Team skier Bene Mayr?
“In general the Alps, but if I would have to pick one spot, I would say the Nordkette in Innsbruck, Austria,” said Mayr at a recent event with Bogner, when we simply asked where his favourite place to ski is.
The choice actually comes as no surprise: Mayr is among the best free-skiers in the world. He explained that the reason he’s partial to the spot is because of its emphasis on unprepared runs, fewer lifts and steep, steep terrain filled with cliffs and spots to jump around. The fact that the Nordkette is also only fifteen minutes away by car from his home in Innsbruck is just an added bonus.
An integral part of the Nordkette, and undoubtedly one of Mayr’s most beloved aspects, is the Hafelekar. At a jaw-dropping 70% incline, the Hafelekar is one of the steepest free-ride runs in Europe, reserved for only highly experienced free-skiers. The lift will get you most of the way up, but you must be prepared to hike a fair bit, depending on where you wish to start down the mountain.
Avalanche equipment is strictly mandatory.
Aside from the death-defying free-skiing options, the Nordkette also offers a selection of prepared pistes for skiers of all levels, as well as a free-style park. The winter hiking trails take visitors up to awe-inspiring panoramic lookout points (several of which can also be reached by the gondola), and a variety of huts on the mountain offer excellent opportunities to relax and enjoy the local cuisine. The Cloud 9 club is the highest club in the Alps, with some of the best après ski parties available, as well as an ice museum.