Kitzbühel - a big name in ski sports and always at the forefront when it comes to new trends. Because of the terrain, freeriding in Kitzbühel is of equal interest to both beginners and professionals. Many deep-snow downhills go from the pastures down into the valley and skiing is therefore possible in bad weather conditions and even when there is a relatively high threat of avalanche. The disadvantage is, however, that some downhills also cross protection forests, habitats of wild animals sensitive to being disturbed and farmed areas, thus creating potential conflicts.
The Kitzbühel Freeriding project has set itself the goal of protecting the natural environment and the rights of the landowners whilst also enabling freeriding.
Over the summer, mountain guides, ski instructors, hunters, forest rangers and ecologists have established conservation areas and, to protect the natural environment, have agreed that people should choose not to ski in these areas on a voluntary basis. These areas are marked in bright red on the maps. This winter we will see if the conservation areas are effective and reflect together on what we can do to increase freeriders’ knowledge and acceptance of the conservation areas.
Protected sites and species/signposting
The outdoors signposting shows particularly important protection forests and wild animals’ habitats which are threatened by freeriders. Responsible freeriders choose not to ski in the areas marked.
“Farmed areas” as a protected site
When there is a covering of snow the risk of accidents close to farms is often not apparent. Children play in the confined farmyard, there are pieces of machinery lying around - work is going on here. In compliance with animal protection, animals roam free. There are fences, pipes, access roads and pits! - Please take special care and respect others’ privacy! As long as there are no ancient rights, the following applies: private property - voluntarily authorised passage permitted until revoked - passage at your own risk.
The “farmed areas” protected sites are marked in yellow on the maps.
Conservation areas are marked in open country only at locations where there is direct contact with a ski tour. The directional arrows, which make it possible to bypass or go round, are only used very sparingly. The signs in general are restricted to the area below the tree line.
The direction signs do not mean that the proposed routes are safe from avalanches and other natural hazards. It is the ski mountaineers’ responsibility to make this assessment themselves.
The “Kitzbühel Freeriding” working party
For the first time, all those who work, live and spend their leisure time in the Kitzbühel ski area have come together to form a working party to try to understand each other better and to find solutions where there are problems.
The following people and institutions were involved in the working party:
- Ski schools in the region
- Mountain and ski guides
- Kitzbühel Alpen - Brixental Tourist Board
- Kitzbühel Tourism
- Community of Aurach
- Community of Jochberg
- Community of Kirchberg
- Township of Kitzbühel
- Bergbahnen Kitzbühel
- Forest owners
- Forest rangers
- Austrian Alpine Association
- Province of Tyrol - Coordination