Once again this year, two couples were fortunate to come out as lucky winners in the “Ortovox Safety Day” prize drawing. A variety-packed ski tour, the very latest equipment from Ortovox, an avalanche safety course in the middle of the Rauris mountain world, accompanied by expert mountain guide Wolfgang Rohrmoser. No wonder expectations were high, right?
Despite a less-than-optimistic weather forecast, the motivated group of four Salzburg men and their mountain guide gathered early Saturday morning in Rauris. After everyone was issued their gear and given a short warm-up including safety check of the avalanche transponders, the adventure began – initially in the rain. Luckily, after the first 200 vertical meters the rain turned to snow and everyone was quickly overcome by happy winter feelings, just as intended. Crossing white alpine meadows and forests, the group came to the first steep mountainside. Here, switchbacks were the name of the game! After a brief training session and instructions from the guide, everyone was ready to tackle the rest of the ski tour; making a zigzag all the way to the summit, though visibility was modest to say the least. White above, white below, everywhere nothing but white.

Ortovox Safety Day - the Alpine Guide gives instructions

Nonetheless, nobody gave up and ultimately all of that effort was rewarded: On the summit, a window finally opened in the fog to reveal blue skies, with warm rays of sun shining on the proud faces. “We did it, how cool is that!” Snacking on their well-earned snacks at 2400 m above sea level, the participants were able to stare out in awe at the wonderful high peaks of the Hohe Tauern range, completely immersed in their own thoughts. Guide Wolfgang continued to share important tips, including how to navigate the mountains safely and vital things to keep an eye open for. He explained the different layers of snow, the scale used to gauge the steepness of mountainsides, the influence of weather and other valuable insights.

Ortovox Safety Day - Break at the summit

With the ski skins now removed and their touring skis clamped back on, it was already time to head back down the mountain again. After all, the group still had a lot of things on their itinerary. After virgin deep-snow slopes and broad sweeps across the mountainsides, the participants paused at a sunny spot once more. They slung off their rucksacks, pulling out shovels, probes and avalanche transponders. This was all about learning to use safety gear correctly. From how the equipment functioned technically to search methods for buried victims, they played through a wide range of scenarios and rehearsed how to respond in a worst-case situation. Rucksacks and transponders were buried, probed, searched for, and found – an outstanding job done by all!
Finally, it was time for everybody to wend their way down amid small trees and alpine meadows. Back at the start, the participants couldn’t have been more pleased with themselves! Thanks to this instructive day and despite their exhaustion, they now felt well prepared for their off-piste ski touring adventures in future. Our gratitude goes out to Wolfgang Rohrmoser & Ortovox for this adventure with “all the works” in Rauriser Tal.

Ortovox Safety Day - the descent