Schneewallfahrt: The Soulful Art of Tree Skiing

Skiers Stefan Häusl and Björn Heregger pay homage to unforgettable moments tree skiing in pristine European powder.
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Schneewallfahrt Ski Video tout

Hanno Mackowitz' film "Schneewallfahrt" was introduced at the International Mountain Film Festival in St. Anton, and it was so successful it won the jury prize. The short ski film features two pro freeriders who find unbeleiveable terrain and snow in Eastern Tirol, Austria.

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Martin Winkler at Nordpark

Austrian Ski Photos

We sent Tom Winter to Austria to see if he could become an Austrian, or at least grind skis in some factories or fit boots in some shops. Turns out, all he did was ski powder. Here are shots of his trip.

In 1907, Hannes Schneider was hired as a ski instructor in Austria’s Arlberg region, four ski areas spread over six villages.  There, he began developing the Arlberg technique: the modern-day parallel turn.  Over the next few years, Schneider smashed the notion of skiing as cautious step turns.  It became about speed and flow.  And the Arlberg began drawing skiers who wanted to experience it for themselves.  Little has changed.  Since 1999, Swedish photographer Mattias Fredriksson has shot in the Arlberg at least once a year.  He goes for the suffocating powder, narrow tree fields, and cliff-dotted terrain.  But he also goes to pay respects to the tracks laid down before him.  “Hannes Schneider showed people from all around the world the parallel turn,” says Fredriksson.  “I skied with Pep Fujas, Henrik Windstedt, and Sean Pettit in the same area he taught in.  that was pretty cool for me.”  The photos that follow, all of them Fredriksson’s, are a tribute to the area, its history, and skiing as we know it. Pictured: Stina Jakobsson above the village of Zug.

St. Anton, Austria

Inbounds descents down powderfields up to five miles long dump you in the middle of the Tyrolean frescoes and church steeples of a too-cute ski village.

The day our group of international journalists and representatives from Black Diamond Equipment and Polartec arrived in Iceland, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, causing enough smoke and ash to shut down all airports in northern Europe for almost a week, wrecking havoc on the global economy. We had planned to head south to ski the highest peak in Iceland, 2,110-meter Hvannadalshnjúkur. But road closures as a result of the eruption changed our plans and we headed north instead, to ski the mountains near the town of Dalvík.

Skiing in Iceland: How to Plan a Trip

Even a massive volcanic eruption that shut down all European airports couldn’t halt our ski-touring trip to Iceland. Here are images from a week of climbing and skiing Iceland’s peaks—plus tips on how to plan your own trip there.

I am Austrian

I am Austrian

Most of Austria’s huge ski industry clings to its heritage—ski racing. But one small company is betting that’s all wrong. An American tries to get a job in the Kästle ski factory to find out what it takes to be Austrian.