Stay safe in the backcountry – besides avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe and airbag, it’s knowledge about avalanche conditions, snow cover, weather and skiing techniques that might save your life out there. This is where the Atomic Mountain Academy comes in. Atomic Mountain Academy online training teaches skiers how to minimize their risk in open terrain, while the Mountain Academy Gnadenalm Ski Tour provides an opportunity to review and consolidate the content in an “on snow” experience.
More and more skiers are drawn to backcountry terrain far beyond the ski lifts and après-ski bars in search of untracked powder snow and the ultimate outdoor experience. However, both powder aficionados with wide freeride skis and traditional ski touring sportsmen need to know what they are doing before starting their adventure.
And this is precisely the focus of the Atomic Mountain Academy – an online platform for progressive learning that has been developed in collaboration with leading mountain sports experts. High-quality videos explain how to assess snow conditions and terrain, and how to read the avalanche report; they show what types of avalanches exist, the range of available equipment, and how to rescue someone who has been buried by an avalanche. Never before has so much accumulated mountain sports expertise been available online permanently at a single location. Daron Rahlves, FIS world champion and professional freerider, fully relies on this tool: “When I’m skiing powder, the Academy is my internal avalanche safety system.”
But: There is nothing more impressive and informative than real-life experience! That’s why the Atomic Mountain Academy Tour Gnadenalm is positioned as an instructive, on-snow ski tour with eight signposts along the way that display content about planning, equipment, behavior and skiing techniques. You start your ascent from the Gnadenalm in Austria’s Obertauern region, hike up a forest road and then cross some open terrain until you reach the idyllic Tauernkarleitenalm mountain hut; you then ski down along the ascent or the off-piste terrain between the curves and turns of the forest road – stunning views of the surrounding mountain tops included!
“Learning by doing” is what it’s all about: this experience closes the gap between theoretical online knowledge and on-snow training. And anyone wishing for more can hike on from the Tauernkarleitenalm to other attractive touring destinations higher up (for example, the Stubhöhe or Lenkriedel). Skiers should however already have more detailed and profound ski touring know-how for this next step.
Whether young or old, family or school group, inspired newcomer or someone seeking to return to the sport – the Atomic Mountain Academy Tour Gnadenalm is absolutely suitable for anyone with regards to fitness, hiking technique and riding skills, and offers a valuable plus in terms of information, safety and ski touring fun. By the way, you can rent all the equipment you need at the shop at the Gnadenalm starting point.
For the Mountain Academy Gnadenalm Tour, Atomic has joined forces with capable partners: the Austrian Federal Forestry Office, which is committed to fair and environmentally friendly ski touring, in support of the ‘Respect your limits’ campaign, and the Gnadenalm, which is great for refueling with Austrian specialties after your tour. Additional partners: Suunto and Outdoor Leadership.