Off-Piste Skiing in Austria



We went skiing around Christmas time and it was well, brown – nice for well prepared empty slopes but less ideal for getting the Christmas spirit, not to mention taking pictures. Fortunately we had a second trip lined up, and in March winter finally hit in a big way. We stayed in a family run vacation home in Montafon, with the beautiful Austrian scenery.

Traditional Austrian house in an evening snowfall
Same house the next day (still snowing)
View from our kitchen on the mountain

It snowed almost every day which meant is was usually overcast, but to our advantage we had plenty of fresh snow and good conditions. I’m third from the right below in the blue and orange, with my eyes barely open.

Part of our ski group: Raise your hands and squint!

I carried my camera gear with me at all times and would often get off my skis to try and get a different perspective or take action shots. It was a lot to carry and a bit of hassle unbuckling each time but it’s how I was able to take the title image – I actually went down onto a rock in the riverbed. I was happy with the results though and treated myself got the hard work. Here’s me doing two of my favorite things:

It’s always beer o’clock on the mountain
Unbuckled trying to get some action shots

Carrying your system camera and 2-3 lenses with you at all times is annoying but sometimes pays off, here the clouds opened up to reveal and frame the mountain top.

The summit in view

The area we were in is known for off-piste or backcountry skiing. Less backcountry because you would take lift but deviate from the prepared routes at the top. Ideally you would end up back at a lift at the bottom, going off route is strenuous enough as it is.

Off-piste in Montafon
David was more experienced off-road, I’d probably still be up there if it weren’t for him

Off-piste you would often just sink and get stuck and dig yourself out. I thought I was getting the hang of it and was actually making good time and I heard my binding click. I had enough time to say “Oh shit.” before getting a face full of snow. I took a picture of my skis (once I found the one that was burried), they were a good 7-10 meters apart.

Good company
I’m no expert but you need to keep your skis closer together

Good food