When the first winter snowfalls arrive and the Grossglockner High Alpine Road closes, the small village of Heiligenblut turns into a winter wonderland. It is cradled under Austria’s highest peak but remains largely forgotten. There’s a ski resort above the village with vast amounts of off-piste terrain. Grossglockner draws strong winds and precipitation to this area and has a strong impact on the weather and the snow.
This April we finished the 2017/18 ski season with almost six thousand vertical meters of pristine powder and it was only fitting to open the new season at the same resort. Conditions weren’t ideal: ridges were windblown and there was no more than 80 cm of snow. After a difficult morning drive in snowy conditions, we arrived in Heiligenblut in glorious sunshine. The temperature at 2,600 meters was -16 degrees C, which meant that the snow would be first class. It was, especially in areas with windblown snow, and the skiing exceeded all our expectations. We did, however, run ran into some rocks that left some scars on the bases of my skis.
Because the season had just started we had the whole place almost to ourselves and no one else ventured off-piste that day. We had a blast, the snow was as dry as it gets and the views of the Hohe Tauern were breathtaking. If you’re a good skier and are interested in skiing off-piste, visit our website and join us on our next adventure.