Review: 3. Choice Splitboard Camp Zillertal 1 – 06.-08.04.2018

Pure sunshine and splitboard touring deluxe in the Zillertal

Offering hundreds of touring and freeriding options, the Zillertal is no insider tip any more. But it´s also the Choice Company´s home of choice for a good reason. Those who know where to go, can still find untouched powder faces and awesome backcountry runs in early April in the Zillertal mountains. And unsurprisingly, the first April Camp at Zillertal was fully booked with all-time-splitboarding legends.

On Friday afternoon, a great bunch of motivated splitboarders travelled from all over Germany and Austria to the cosy mountain hostel House 4 Elements Zillertal, high above Stummerberg. With almost summery temperatures, Amplid and Jones splitboards were adjusted on the terrace. Spark and Karakoram bindings were tuned and test gear from ABS, Ortovox and Alpina was given out to the campers. While happy goats, sheep and cows were already grazing on the neighbours meadows, people might have called us crazy to plan a splitboarding adventure. After an amazing dinner at Pavlina´s unique mountain hut, the campers enjoyed their last evening drink with a pleasant anticipation of what the weekend might bring.

The forecast predicted sunshine and warm temperatures for Saturday, so the decision was made quickly: escape the heat and get above 3.000 metres to find the best snow. So the group took the first gondola to get high on Hintertux Glacier. From the mountain station of Zehnergondel the first run took us down to the infamous Kleegrube. At 2.650 metres above sea we changed to hiking mode and startet touring up the popular Hoher Riffler. Later on, the adventurers seperated in two groups. Mountain guide Benjamin Bliem went with one group all the way up to the summit on 3.231 metres. After a short break they changed to riding mode and enjoyed a long run with perfect snow conditions and some last sprays all the way down to Kleegrube and Sommerberg. Big smiles and happy faces were the result of that mission.

The other group went across the Federbettkees and made another ascent to Napfspitze on 2.870 metres above the sea. A long and steep run across the Griererkar and all the way down to Juns was the reward for all the efforts. A climb of 801 height metres earned a decent of 2.431 height metres in total. Not a bad outcome for such an awesome day. Happy, hungry and sunburnt, we arrived back at the House 4 Elements. After dinner, ABS´s Michael Vogt explained the avalanche awareness basics and showcased the practical use of the ABS P.ride remote release system.

The avalanche bulletin announced another classic spring situation and loads of sunshine for Sunday. In other words: another early one! The next mission started from the resort of Mayrhofen, taking the lift to Horbergjoch. From there, another beautiful splitboarding adventure startet from 2.460 metres to the impressive summit of Rastkogel on 2.762 m. After the obligatory summit photo and a short break, the motivated riders follwed their mountain guides on a nice run down the Sidan Valley, where they changed back to hiking mode, skinned back up to Horbergjoch to go further to Horbergspitz.

Much to the joy of everyone involved, the following run included some untracked terrain and little powder sprays. The last long run took the group along the Horberg valley and all the way down back to the resort and straight to Grillhofalm for a well deserved finishing drink. Even on the second day, the splitboarders hit the jackpot with an ascent of 620 height metres against a total of 1.380 height metres decent, perfect spring snow and even first tracks in fresh powder. What a weekend! So much sun, a really cool gang and the best accomodation you can find in the Zillertal with the most likeable host ever! Looks like we´ve got to do it again!

Special thanks to the Choice partners for the support: Amplid Splitboards, Jones Snowboards, Karakoram, Spark R&D, Alpina, Deeluxe Snowboardboots, Ortovox, ABS, PallyHi

Pia Schroeter – The Choice Company