A ski trip (almost) without snow – Austria in the HYMER Free 540

Anticipation is known to be the greatest joy. And so sports photographer Chris Gollhofer could hardly wait to finally load his ski equipment into the HYMER Free 540, collect his buddies and hunt with them from slope to slope for two weeks. When the time finally came, they chased the lack of snow...

HYMER Free 540

The agony of choice

Slovenia or Austria? Even before the trip starts, Chris and his friends have to make the first fundamental decisions: should they dare to try something new or rely on the tried and tested? They choose the apparently safe variant. In Tyrol - at least that's what they think - there are a number of ski areas in a very small area. Nothing can go wrong.

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The anxious checks at the weather report

The closer the day of departure gets, the more anxious and excessive checks of the weather forecast will be. In the weather app, on TV and even in the newspaper. All available sources are checked several times a day. Always hoping that they missed a little snow symbol. But the snow actually seems to have extended it's Christmas vacation. Nevertheless, the Team decides to leave as planned and try their luck.

First stop: "White Roof"

And so they drive to Axamer Lizum on the first day. The place is considered a true ski paradise. The high alpine winter landscape with 10 cable cars, lifts and around 40 km of groomed slopes stretches just 19 km from Innsbruck. Best of all, his nickname "White Roof" is a guarantee of snow.

In fact, the boys are also welcomed by white meadows - but there can be no question of conditions suitable for freeriding. The snow is clearly too old, too settled and too difficult to move. But such a small setback should not affect the mood. On the contrary: there was a real spirit of optimism in the campervan. After all, there are enough ski areas in the area around Innsbruck. So, next stop - Kühtai!

On the trail of the snow 

The Kühtai promises the advantage that the slopes face both north and south. This means that one side is permanently in the shade so that the snow stays fresh longer. At least that's the hope. And especially on the northern slopes there is also relatively loose powder snow. However, countless other freeriders have apparently become aware of this alternative as the slopes are completely damaged. So back to the loading area with the boards.

In the campervan, the heads and the ski apps must first be put together in order to develop a plan B together. The crew does not want to afford a third failure under any circumstances. The almost logical consequence: a change of location is necessary. And after working through a few reports, they decide to go for the Dolomites. That means: up to the Brenner and down to the Alpe di Siusi!!

Finally deep snow in sight

The Seiser Alm is a beautiful and above all extensive ski area. The slopes are well prepared and there are many interesting, passable terrains off the slopes. That is almost more important for Chris & Co. And indeed: in the shadier slopes you get the first deep snow under the boards.

Reason enough to add another night to the stay, and for this night a 4 star campsite "Camping Seiser Alm". A welcome change from the last few days when the HYMER Free 540 was simply parked in the open in the evening. In this exclusive setting, the evening is used primarily for joint activities in the campervan: cooking, relaxing and chatting.

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It's snowing in Innsbruck

The next morning, for a change, starts with really good news. Already at breakfast the crew got the message that it should snow in the Innsbruck area later in the day. Finally, fate seems to be on your side! And so the muesli is hastily eaten and the camper packed up.

After exhausting themselves, the buddies reach the Stubai valley around 6:00 p.m., which actually greets them with the first flakes. The plan is working! Shortly before the valley, they set up camp in a small parking bay and fall asleep full of hope.

When the alarm clock rings at 6:45 am the next morning and the view outside reveals that it has been snowing all night, there is no stopping. Without breakfast, but with a lot of anticipation, it goes on the slopes. And even if the boys are not the first on the mountain, there are still enough slopes with over 30 cm of fresh and undamaged deep snow.

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We have all learned that a successful trip does not require driving far or the best conditions.
Sport Photographer & Freerider Chris Gollhofer

It's all a question of timing

The weather choses the optimal day for an expedition - at least if you are not bound by the school holidays. Because while most holidaymakers make their way home on January 6th, Chris and his friends only have to share the fresh powder snow with a handful of other freeriders. A real compensation for the snow-free days at the start of the trip.

After almost 8 hours on the boards, the extreme snowboarders are also over. When they arrived at the HYMER, they asked themselves the all-important question: "Could it have been even better?"

"At least not here!" They decide together and set out to try their luck the next morning on the famous freeride routes of the Innsbruck Nordkette. But although the day starts promisingly - Bluebird and plenty of free space in the parking lot - the disillusionment follows. Or rather: at the summit. The day before, some freeriders must have been on site to claim all of the deep snow.

The last stage

To complete the tour, the troupe took on a few relaxing days in the Tannheim Valley. Whenever Ms. Holle means well with you, take the opportunity for a little adventure in deep snow. And if not? Then they use their campervan to explore the valley, hang out together and enjoy the beautiful mountain panorama.

And so in the end it is not difficult for Chris at all to draw a positive conclusion about a trip that was anything but blessed with snow luck: “We all found that for a successful trip you don't have to drive far away, nor need the best conditions. The most important ingredients are a few like-minded buddies, a common idea and a reliable vehicle. “Camping couldn't be more beautiful!

Did you know…

... that the Eskimos do not know most of the words for snow, but the Scots? Researchers at the University of Glasgow have found that there are a total of 421 words for the white splendor in the Scottish language. But the best thing is: no matter how you prefer to describe the snow, the HYMER Free 540 brings you comfortably to every ski area on earth.

The perfect HYMER for any adventure

You can experience stories like these with any HYMER.
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