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Quite long it was a true insider tip, but now the freeride potential of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl has become very popular. Why? The high Alpine altitude and absolute snow reliability of the winter ski resort often allow the first "pow" runs of the season - as well as the very last ones before skis and snowboards start their summer break. Another good reason: the well-developed, varied terrain. Whether wide open but only moderately steep deep powder snow slopes or narrow couloirs with cliff drops, the winter resort with its small side valleys offers an exciting terrain to freeriders of all levels.
In general, the terrain of Hochgurgl is characterized by very steep freeride slopes in the upper area. The middle section, however, is only moderately steep and therefore ideally suited to leave the marked ski runs to enjoy the first powder run of the day. In the lower, more wooded area it's getting steeper again. But here you have excellent visibility also in bad weather.
There are spectacular freeride routes in Hochgurgl, starting for example from Wurmkogel, from the top station of Schermerbahn 3000 or into Königstal side valley. In spring, when the snow on the sunny slopes slowly turns into corn snow, the time is just right for firn skiing enthusiasts!
Starting in 2018/19 winter season, freeriders have new and truly incredible opportunities in Hochgurgl. As the second section of the Kirchenkar mountain gondola goes into operation, the freeride potential has once again been extended - clear the ground for new variants and powder runs!
The topography of Obergurgl resembles Hochgurgl a lot: here, too, narrow gullies and steep slopes dominate the rocky terrain in the area close to the summits. Therefore this region is particularly suitable for experienced freeride enthusiasts. On the other hand, powder newbies will find wide open, large-scale powder slopes for their first turns in deep snow at medium altitudes in Obergurgl. Access points are right next to the ski slopes. In the lower area wooded terrain prevails again, for example below or along Steinmannbahn. Especially in bad visibility a real alternative with cool tree runs and pillows!
There are great freeride routes in Obergurgl, starting from Hohe Mut into Rotmoostal or from Festkogel into Ferwalltal.
Speaking of "lift-assisted hiking", the two freeride areas of Hochgurgl and Obergurgl - linked by the Top-Express Gurgl gondola lift - combine the following characteristics: short lift-assisted ascents and long, rewarding downhill slopes. Another great advantage: unlike other well-known freeride areas, you don't have to get up very early in the morning if you want to hit the powders stashes. Pristine slopes can be found even hours after the lifts open their gates - so get ready for your "first track".
An overview of the freeride area in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is provided by the "Freeride Map Obergurgl" which can be purchased at the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl Information.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is a partner of varied Tirolean skipass alliances (Freizeitticket Tirol, Regio Card, Tirol Snow Card) and thus an ideal destination for powder aficionados.
Please note: Freeriding in the free skiing terrain is at your own risk and the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl lift company doesn't assume any liability for accidents. Freeriders act on their own responsibility and at their own risk. Ötztal Tourismus & the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl lift company assume no liability for the listed freeride opportunities and strongly recommend to enlist a certified local freeride guide or mountain guide.
Before setting out on a freeride tour inform yourself about the current avalanche hazard level! A daily updated avalanche report (in the winter months) is offered by Tirol's avalanche warning service on the official website.
Enter the free skiing terrain outside the secured slopes only with the appropriate equipment (avalanche transceiver, avalanche shovel, avalanche probe). Wearing an airbag backpack is strongly recommended - safety comes first!
More about freeriding safety and how Obergurgl-Hochgurgl supports you (besides workshops on avalanche safety) can be found here.