The Villgratental valley is a popular ski tour resort in East Tyrol. The villages of Außervillgraten and Innervillgraten want to use the project to develop an environmentally-friendly form of ski mountaineering which takes into account the needs of all nature users in the area.
At a meeting in Badl Alm in Kalkstein on 24 August 2015 tourism experts, landowners, local ski tourers, the Alpine Association, mountain guides, mountain rescuers, hunters and forest rangers agreed to be part of the “Bergwelt Tirol – miteinander erleben" programme. The project is now in full swing.
At weekends and during the holiday periods, when the weather is fine, numerous ski mountaineers are on the move. Often there is a lack of parking spaces at the starting points for particularly popular ski tours, so that access roads and yard entrances are blocked. Within the framework of the project we are trying to improve the parking situation in critical areas.
A good example is the "Fürat" car park, on the way to the Rote Kinkele, which was newly built in 2019 and is very well received.
Forest aisles for skiers
Often the first part of a ski tour leads through forest, this area is often particularly critical, because especially on the downhill run striking areas with young trees, which are partly hidden under the snail slug, are used. Damage to the young trees can be the result. An extensive use of forest areas also leads to a strong disturbance of wild animals.
We have therefore tried to create forest aisles in particularly suitable places to achieve a concentration of tour hikers. The "Fürat" ski tour aisle on the way to the Karmelisenalm is an example of such a steering, which was possible with the consent of the landowner.
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. Of 29 ski tours which we have designated in the whole of the Villgratental valley, only 5 routes are this year equipped with direction signs and information boards indicating conservation areas.
- Rotes Ginggele mountain
- Marchginggele mountain from Kalkstein and from Innervillgraten
- Gabesitten mountain
- Hochgrabe mountain from the Volkzeiner Hütte
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.
In January 2016 orientation boards were erected at the two busiest starting points in the Villgratental valley - as is already the case in Sellrain. At the car park in Kalkstein/ Innervillgraten and at the Reiterstube Inn in the Winkeltal valley you can now consult the illustrated maps for information about the course of the ski routes and forest and wildlife conservation areas. The QR codes provide all the information and background stories about our 4 protected sites and species so that you can understand why you should bypass the conservation area shown.
The information about emergency equipment, the emergency APP and the link to the avalanche report come from our partner Tyrol Mountain Rescue.
The maps illustrated here are the detailed 3D-versions which you can download here:
Protected sites and species
Based on the principles of the “Tyrolean Ski and Snowboard Tour Plan”, the partners to the “Villgratental Ski Tour Region” project have agreed on four protected sites and species, and mountaineers should voluntarily avoid the conservation areas protecting these sites.
The four in the Villgratental valley are:
The “Villgratental Ski Tour Region” working party
With the Tyrolean Ski and Snowboard Tour Plan, it has been particularly important to us that all stakeholders should have an equal say about all measures and be able to voice their concerns. In the Villgratental working party, as with the Sellrain pilot project, we have so far been very successful in achieving this and hope that, by virtue of the wide range of stakeholders, all interests have been considered in a balanced way.
Represented in the working group are:
- Alpine club (Alpenverein), local tourers and guides
- Tourism association
- Forestry authority
- Nature conservation
- Administration Land of Tyrol