Adventure

Autobahn Adventure Trip

In search of high-speed adventure, Aspen native Baker Boyd and Whistler local Ian Morrison head out on a road trip from Munich, Germany to the Austrian Alps, home to some of the best freeride terrain in Europe. From the minute they hit the Autobahn, the duo has one mission: Charge.

Baker Boyd and Ian Morrison, two North American homegrown ski-town guys from Aspen and Whistler, take on the “Cradle of Alpine Skiing” in the Austrian Alps. Road tripping from Kitzbühel to Sölden to Ötztal to Arlberg, they explore the regions famously known as the birthplace of modern-day alpine skiing, and also where après is just as notorious as the terrain. Navigating their appetite for skiing and Schnitzel, Baker and Ian find themselves mesmerized by the raw beauty and inherent ski culture of the Austrian Alps.

Photos from the Autobahn Adventure

Boyd and Ian Morrison climb beyond the Sölden's pistes.
Photo courtesy of Matt Hardy

Boyd and Ian Morrison work to get the goods beyond Sölden’s pistes. If the backdrop looks familiar its because you’ve seen it in the 2015 James Bond flick,, Spectre.  

Baker Boyd and Ian Morrison at the top of Obergurgl- Hochgurgl ski area.
Photo courtesy off Matt Hardy

Boyd and Morrison enjoy the views from the top of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area at 3,000 meters (9,800 feet).

The top Mountain Star, a stunning summit bar at the top of the Austrian- Italian border, Hochgurgl.
Photo courtesy of Matt Hardy

The Top Mountain Star, a stunning summit bar at the top of Hochgurgl, is perched above the Austrian- Italian border and offers spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks. 

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Boyd sends a 360 over Zürs, one of the five ski towns connected by Arlberg’s slopes. 

Ian Morrison throws a huge spread eagle under Sölden's tram.
Photo courtesy of Matt Hardy

A stormy day in Sölden didn’t interfere with the athletes’ agenda to hit every feature in sight. Morrison throws it back with a spread eagle under Sölden’s tram. 

Where To Go and Ski

Arlberg 

Lech Zürs am Arlberg
Lech Zürs am ArlbergPhoto courtesy of Lech Zuers Tourism/  Christoph Schoech

Dubbed the “Cradle of Alpine Skiing” because this is where modern ski technique was pioneered, the Arlberg region is Austria’s largest ski area (and the world’s fifth largest). Eighty-eight lifts connect Arlberg’s five historic ski towns of St. Anton, St. Christoph, Stuben, Lech, and Zürs, forming a massive web of nearly 200 miles of groomed slopes. 

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl

Obergurgl- Hochburg ski area
Obergurgl Hochgurgl ski areaPhoto courtesy of Ötztal Tourism

Thanks to a high base elevation, the Obergurgl Hochgurgl ski area, dubbed the Diamond of the Alps, is one of the most snow-sure resorts in Austria. Nestled at the far end of the picturesque Ötzal valley, the ski area comprised of two resorts is connected by a gondola and offers up miles if groomed slopes and free ride terrain. 

Sölden

The Tiefenbachkogl viewing platform, Sölden
The Tiefenbachkogl viewing platform, SöldenCourtesy of Bergbahnen Sölden

Europeans jonesing for ski season to start head to Sölden, also located in the Ötzal valley and home of the Rettenbach and Tiefenbachferner glaciers, which open in September each season. These glaciers offer more than 21 miles of runs; when the adjacent slopes of the Sölden ski area open, that increases to 89 miles of piste perfection. 

Kitzbühel 

Kitzbühel became synonymous with skiing when ski pioneer Franz Reisch imported the first wooden skis and skied down the steep slopes above the quintessential Austrian town in 1893. Today, thousands of ski racing enthusiasts flock to the historic mountain town in January to cheer and party at ski racing’s most spectacular event: the Hahnenkamm

Getting There

The most convenient access point from the U.S. to the Austrian Alps is Munich, Germany. Fly into Munich International Airport, a two hour drive from St. Anton. If renting a car and driving, be sure to pick up a “Vignette,” a road tax sticker needed to drive on highways in Austria. 

Sights and Slopes

  • Kitzbühel: If you can, plan your visit to coincide with the Hahnenkamm World Cup Downhill race on Jan. 24-27 to experience Kitzbühel’s ski racing culture and après. 
  • Sölden: Check out 007 elements at a James Bond installation situated at the top of the mountain where scenes of Spectre were filmed. 
  • Hochgurgl: Take in stunning views from the Top Mountain Star. 
  • Arlberg: Experience world class free riding by booking a guide and skiing the famed Valluga North Face. 

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