Montafon THE MAGAZINE FOR THE MONTAFON // WINTER 2010 / 2011 ISSUE
Coming home has become quite special to me. Eric Themel // Professional freerider
MAGIC MOMENTS IN THE MONTAFON // OUR WINTER PARADISE: FAMILIES REPORT ON THEIR EXPERIENCES // THE HIGHLIGHT FOR SNOWBOARDERS: NOVAPARK // MONTAFON TABLES – A TRADITION LIVES ON // LOOKING FORWARD TO SUMMER IN THE MONTAFON // SAFETY TRAINING ADVENTURE // IT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ALPINE SKIING
Real mountains. Real experiences. In a time when the pressure to meet deadlines, mad rushes to get things done and stress define our daily lives, there is a growing desire to experience the more natural state of things on holiday and in our leisure time, and to have more time for quiet reflection. In many holiday regions this idea of living life at a slower pace is achieved using expensive means. Authenticity becomes staged. It becomes Disneyfied. It doesn’t really add up, does it? That’s what we think, too. Over here in the Montafon nothing is staged or arranged in this sense – here, the mountain scenery doesn’t fall down behind you once you step onto the Montafon stage. Here, everything is genuine. After all, our motto: “Real mountains. Real experiences.” isn’t some empty advertising slogan. The way we see it, skiing is a winter sport, not one that consists solely of rushing from one party hut to the next – but one where it feels good to get sore muscles, either in the family skiing area or on challenging ski runs. If however you’d like to visit one of our cosy Alpine huts – and obviously you won’t want to miss out on the experience – you’ll love our delicious regional dishes and drinks as you kick back, relax and enjoy breathtaking views of the beautiful natural surroundings. Discover what else will turn your holiday into a true holiday on the following pages. Your MONTAFON/ER/INNEN team
CONTENTS MY MAGIC MOMENT IN THE MONTAFON TRY SOMETHING NEW FOR A CHANGE HAVING FUN FOR ADVANCED LEARNERS THE GREAT MONTAFON CHECK HEAD MAKES IT ALL POSSIBLE SAFETY TRAINING ADVENTURE APRÈS-SKI WITH A DIFFERENCE A WONDERFUL VIEW CULTURAL EXPERIENCES HIGHLIGHT EVENTS IN THE MONTAFON INFORMATION
// 05 // 06 // 08 // 10 // 14 // 17 // 20 // 22 // 27 // 30 // 31
MY MAGIC MOMENT IN THE MONTAFON. They occur every now and again, sometimes completely unexpectedly but they linger long in the memory. They are those magic moments, which make us long to go off on a journey. Whether to Australia or to us here in Austria, it doesn’t matter. For example, take that precious moment on a downhill run at sunrise on a beautiful winter’s day. The snow is still fresh and powdery, the slopes completely untouched, the body processes the altitude difference and the mind is absolutely focussed. All eyes are on what really counts – the scenery. The Montafon has an endless number of such beauties and riches. Seven people from the Montafon tell us about some very personal moments they’ve experienced in the region.
“Coming home has become quite special to me. I well remember driving back home one time in February. I was returning from the Freeride world tour. Almost three weeks of dreadful snow conditions, avalanches and airports. So there I am at ten o’clock in the evening driving from Munich to Vorarlberg. Snow has already started falling around Lindau. When I get to Schruns I just can’t wipe that smile from my face. By this time it’s three in the morning with not another soul on the road, far and wide. It’s me and the car I’m driving that leave behind the first tracks in the snow on the road to Gargellen. Once I get home, I’m already thinking about the next morning. And when I actually attach my binding five hours later I know where I belong! Three weeks away in the world, and now I’m the first person lucky enough to carve tracks through the freshly fallen snow in Gargellen.”
Anita Wachter // FORMER WORLD CLASS SKIER “A magic moment in my career was when I won my first ski cup. I was six years old. The children’s race took place in Gargellen and I came third. I can still remember the race so clearly, and when I actually received the trophy it was just brilliant, I was so excited. My trainer at the time asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I replied: “A ski champion.” So that’s what I became, and it worked out pretty well.”
Alexander Kessler // OPERATIONS MANAGER AT GOLMERBAHN CABLEWAYS “My magic winter moment in the Montafon? There’s so many to choose from and they still keep coming!
I LOVE THOSE THRILLS.
Eric Themel // PROFESSIONAL FREERIDER 10TH OVERALL PLACE IN THE FREERIDE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2010
Particularly on the Diabolo downhill run in the Golm skiing area. This black slope is really something special and means you have to make good use of your ski edges. You have to negotiate an altitude difference of 312 metres along the 1,500 metrelong course. The most difficult sections have a gradient of up to 70%, so it’s not really something for the faint-hearted. I love those thrills! Anyone prepared to accept the challenge and get down this steep piste can look forward to a great feeling of accomplishment and a whole load of fun.”
“The most beautiful moment I had in the Montafon was on one of my days off, when I went on a ski tour. A good friend of mine and I wanted to enjoy the fantastic conditions on the slopes, and to spend some time skiing offpiste, a short distance away. We soon had our avalanche beepers and the rest of the stuff we needed all packed,
A MOMENT FILLED WITH FEELINGS OF HAPPINESS.
and then we were off on our way to the outback. After two hours of walking through the fresh, knee-deep powder snow we enjoyed the sight of the Montafon mountain panorama on the summit. All that was left was to get onto the virgin slope and enjoy the best powder downhill run of the whole winter. It was a moment filled with feelings of happiness.”
Markus Büchel // PISTE MANAGER AT SILVRETTA MONTAFON CABLEWAYS
Bertram Klehenz // TECHNICAL MANAGER AT GARGELLEN CABLEWAYS
Joe egle // PARISH PRIEST IN THE MONTAFON
“Just before seven o’clock in the morning, you see a few stars through the swathes of mist. It looks like it’s going to be a perfect day for the HochjochTotale; the pistes are perfect. It’s already quite busy at the car park next to the Hochjoch cableway – looks like all the spaces are full. A quick few words at the station, then into the cable car and off we go – up to the Kapell. The weather is turning out fine, and though it’s a bit chilly at the Sennigrat terminal, the air is clear, and the view just like on a postcard – beautiful, almost kitschy – and it’s very peaceful on the mountain. Well, it’s precisely those brief moments I love so much. The sun starts coming up over the Kreuzjochsattel, the starting point of the HochjochTotale, it’s just before eight o’clock and the magnificent panorama of the Verwall, Silvretta and Rätikon lies before us. I warm up a bit, have a gulp of tea, and then I’m off... one swing turn after the next – I hardly need to think about it: It’s almost magical.”
“It’s early in the morning and I’m driving to Gargellen – there’s 30 cm of fresh snow. I get the latest weather station updates and quickly check the safety equipment, then it’s off up the mountain to secure the slopes. The rest of the team is already there. We climb up and over the ridge towards Gargellner Köpfe. The overwhelming views mean you soon forget the heavy rucksacks filled with avalanche explosives. After a hard sweaty hour we’re ready to blast the avalanche. Now the office is waiting... No, we have to wait a bit longer – we treat ourselves to a reward. Past the “Wassermesser”, through the gap in the rocks, and we’re standing at the entrance to the Nidla. Go! With each swing turn a white curtain of fresh powder snow rushes past my face. 387 swing turns and I’m standing on the freshly groomed “Täli” piste. I shake off the snow and enjoy gliding down to the valley with long slow turns – what a magic moment!”
“30 centimetres of powder snow, no appointments, glorious sunshine and
IT’S THOSE LITTLE MOMENTS THAT WINTER CONJURES UP WHICH I FIND MOVING. Joe Egle
Markus SChairer // WORLD SNOWBOARD CROSS CHAMPION 2009
gliding through the snow. Marvellous. Or when it snows and there’s a good storm. Putting your good winter clothes and snowshoes on before going off on a walk through the glittering, snowy winter woodland. Only a few metres away from me four chamois struggle up a steep slope in the deep snow. I watch how a fox uses their tracks to ease his way forward. And then I can look at the deer for ages. For me, these are wonderful experiences in a fantastic, snowy winter landscape.”
TRY SOMETHING NEW FOR A CHANGE
SNOW OFFERS MORE POSSIBILITIES THAN JUST ALPINE SKIING.
Fancy a wintry challenge? Want to explore the pistes of the Montafon mountains, to enjoy the wonderful views and to be able to say at the end of the day: “That was really good!”? In the Montafon, leaving the trail doesn’t necessarily mean skiing off-piste – but simply “Try something new for a change!”. Here are our top picks:
CONQUER THE MOUNTAIN BY DRIVING A SNOWCAT! Each time you look down the mountain from a dizzying height you’ll see a flattened area in front of you which prevents you from sinking right down and virtually disappearing into the snow. This work is carried out by a PistenBully snowcat. It’s hard to imagine that any vehicle can make it up such a steep gradient, but once you’ve been given the opportunity to drive a PistenBully snowcat, you know it’s possible! Those of you who haven’t yet had this pleasure will probably struggle to understand what it’s like to steer this huge machine, which weighs many tons, delicately and nimbly across the snowy expanses with a few skilful manipulations of the controls. It’s something you really have to experience for yourself – in the Silvretta Montafon, for example.
THE GENTLE GIANT – DRIVING A SNOWCAT REQUIRES CARE AND SENSITIVITY! If you’re lucky enough to be allowed to drive a PistenBully snowcat, you’ll quickly notice that speed is not really a strong point of these machines, but then driving a snowcat has nothing to do with racing along the slopes at top speed. Instead, it’s about experiencing how it feels to master a giant with the subtlest of commands. Simply approaching the entrance to the driver’s cabin is an impressive moment that will give you goose bumps. It’s virtually impossible to imagine just how big a snowcat really is when someone standing next to it – an SUV looks like a toy car in comparison. Once in action on the slopes, the giant actually turns out to be a protector. There really is absolutely nothing to fear. Instead you feel a pleasantly thrilling sensation when it goes up and down the almost vertical slopes in the dusk. Bottom line: Driving a snowcat is a great adventure for youngsters and grown-ups! Further information as well as prices and opportunities to reserve a drive on the PistenBully snowcat can be found in the attached “Mountain Experience Catalogue 2010/2011” or at www.silvretta-montafon.at
SILVRETTA SKI SAFARI
WALKING ABOVE THE CLOUDS Safaris usually make us think of Africa, of an excursion into the bush where people watch and photograph rare animals. Here in the Montafon our Silvretta Ski Safari also offers you lots of impressions on a very special journey. When we close our eyes in the evening after a day on safari, we recall images of the gigantic mountain peaks and virtually infinite expanses high above the clouds. This relaxing thought evokes deep feelings of genuine happiness in us. The Silvretta Ski Safari starts in Partenen. After the ride up on the Vermunt cableway the tunnel bus takes you to the frozen Silvrettasee on the Bielerhöhe, where a fascinating panorama of the Silvretta’s 3,000 m peaks awaits. We then ski onwards to Galtür in the Tyrol. After a fantastic day of skiing in Galtür and the odd stop for refreshments we are towed up to the Zeinisjoch by a snowcat. The crowning finish to the tour comes with the 11 gorgeous kilometres of downhill runs through the ruggedly picturesque Ganifer to Partenen.
RUTH GOLLOB UND IHR TEAM
THIS TRIP REQUIRES GOOD SKIING SKILLS The Silvretta Ski Safari is such a unique experience because of the crossborder ski adventure and the unique mountain setting of the Silvretta. This trip appeals to all of the senses and requires considerable skill on the part of the participants. The tour takes skiers on a journey through the Silvretta, to the great outdoors and into themselves. Bottom line: An absolute must for skiers wishing to immerse themselves in a different world for once!
Further information and prices for the Silvretta Ski Safari can be found in the attached “Mountain Experience Catalogue 2010/2011” or at www.silvretta-bielerhoehe.at
WIR FREUEN UNS AUF IHREN BESUCH
GÖSSL SCHRUNS Geschäftsführung: Ruth Gollob Kirchplatz 13, 6780 Schruns T. +43 (0) 5556/76810 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.goessl.com 21.10.10 11:28
HAVING FUN FOR ADVANCED LEARNERS
LESSON 1: THE NOVAPARK
The NovaPark – one of Europe’s most exciting snow parks – is situated in the Silvretta Montafon skiing area. Well-known under this name since 2003, the fun sports area is the ultimate spot for the snowboarding scene in the Montafon. And not without reason as the XL snow park is among the biggest and best of its kind on the continent, for which it has received many awards. Apart from its size, the excellent design and high quality of the park certainly catch the eye. The NovaPark has lots of fun features for everyone – for snowboarders and skiers and for beginners and experts alike. The attractions include 120 m halpipe, 8 kickers, 14 rails, 19 boxes and plenty of other obstacles such as jibcans and treebonks. The designers are particularly proud to present a new highlight in the park this season – the BagJump is an enormous air cushion which enables you to try out new jumps and tricks in safety. Measuring 15 x 15 x 3 metres, it provides a safe landing spot even if your jump goes wrong. If you wish to see your jumps from a spectator’s point of view, you can also make a of your BagJump. In other words, you can have a video recorded for downloading at a later stage. But the BagJump is not the only new attraction. It’s also accompanied by a 3 metres high and 6 metres long wall ride and a 1.5 metres and 3 metres long wall ride spine. So there’s a great choice of ways to have brilliant fun in the park.
novapark facts n n n n n n n n n n
14 rails, 19 boxes and lots of other jibs 120 m halfpipe 8 kickers in all sizes BagJump FunCross section Chill-out area with music and loungers Maintained daily by large shape team Highest safety standards Open daily
Further information is available at www.novapark.info
THE GREAT MONTAFON TEST
ONE FAMILY. ONE SKIING HOLIDAY. ONE TRAVEL REPORT. Holiday time, they say over here, is the best time of the year. But how easy is it really to accommodate the wishes of the whole family, to ensure that everyone’s happy on holiday? Lots of resorts, hotels and regions claim to be a paradise for all, including the whole family. Everyone is supposed to find what they’re looking for and need. Really? Can that be true? Do such offers deliver what they promise? We wanted to investigate these questions in greater depth, so we asked a family if they would try out a holiday for us. Instead of sending them to the desert, we sent them to the mountains – to real mountains – in the Montafon. Our test family consisted of parents Jens (47) and Alexandra (44), and their two sons Marc (11) and Tim (16). The four of them fearlessly faced the challenges both on and off-piste. Here they open up the pages of their own very personal travel diary for us.
WEDNESDAY // MID-SEPTEMBER A thick envelope from the Montafon arrived today with all the brochures we’d ordered on the Internet. The boys immediately grabbed the brochures and went off with them. They’re now looking for something suitable for the four of us.
SATURDAY // 2 JANUARY The day we’ve all been waiting for has arrived at long last! We can now finally try out the things we’ve only known from descriptions and pictures. We’re arrived here in the Montafon for a holiday experience with lots of winter sports – both on and off-piste. The first thing we did today was to explore the area. Afterwards we did our first bit of skiing and immediately booked the Madrisa round trip for next Tuesday.
TUESDAY // 5 JANUARY The Madrisa round trip turned out to be quite an experience! The boys are already asleep, they’re absolutely exhausted, and Jens is also about to crash out. The ski tour through Austria and Switzerland lasted for about seven hours and was great fun: Beautiful and fairly easy to do, and there was something in it for each of the four of us. I really liked the ascent up to the St. Antönier Joch which took about 45 minutes, and the views of the mountains were simply breathtaking. The bit my three
EVERYTHING STILL LOOKS SO INNOCENT AT JUST AFTER SEVEN O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING.
men liked best, they all said, was the one-hour or so downhill run on the varied slopes to St. Antönien. It really helped that we’d already studied the Mountain Experience Catalogue very carefully at home so we knew that we could buy the Madrisa round trip as part of the package. What’s more, the skiing instructor and the transfer from St. Antönien to the Madrisa cableway via Klosters are also included in the price. Time to go to bed; we have an early start tomorrow – the HochjochTotale in Schruns with a mountain breakfast.
WEDNESDAY // 6 JANUARY It’s as if this trip had been waiting for me forever – a ride on the Hochjoch cableway up to the mountain before the start of the normal service. Everything still looks so innocent at just after seven o’clock in the morning; it’s all so peaceful. No-one else in sight, just our group. After the longest downhill run in Vorarlberg I felt completely exhausted, but happy. Just like Jens and the boys.
THURSDAY // 7 JANUARY What we did today really makes a man’s heart beat faster. I dared to ski down the Nidla off-piste run. The legendary powder snow slope in Gargellen is the
longest of its kind, the most consistent, the most beautiful, etc., etc. From the Schafberg cableway mountain terminal we only had to walk about 100 metres to the Täli, which is where the Nidla run starts on the right. And then we were off: What a rush!
MY PULSE STARTED TO RACE, IT WAS AWESOME, FANTASTIC… Jens Bergmann
My pulse started to race, it was awesome, fantastic and got even better the further we went along… in almost perfect formation we glided down the mountainside, light as a feather, making almost 400 synchronous swing
turns (surely a record) until we reached the Kesselhütte – where we stopped for a breather – and then on to the Schwefeltobel, and from there to the cableway valley terminal. Race training was the next item on Tim and Marc’s schedule and over the evening meal they explained to us in great detail how you can approach which gate at what speed, whether you can approach it directly or whether it’s better to make a slight detour so you don’t get to the next one too quickly. Tim is a little dejected at his younger brother being faster than him – but of course he tries not to show it, he’d never make a fuss.
FRIDAY // 8 JANUARY Alexandra was allowed to choose again, today. She had really wanted to do so. All day yesterday she kept looking at me out of her big brown
THE GREAT MONTAFON TEST
eyes until we finally called the Kristberg cableway and just managed to grab the final places. She’d probably enjoyed doing this, even as a child –
SUDDENLY THEIR NEW DREAM CAR IS NO LONGER A PORSCHE – IT’S A SNOWCAT. Jens Bergmann
unlike Tim or Marc. But what they had this evening was the ride on the PistenBully snowcat as the final item on their schedule. Although they were only allowed to ride along as passengers, they had great fun. Suddenly their new dream car is no longer a Porsche – it’s a snowcat. Are they really my children? In any case, for me it was my first snowshoe adventure: A four-hour trek to the Muttjöchle. I felt just like the trappers must have done long ago when they went out looking for animal tracks. We kept to the signposted trail, went through the deep winter wood, uphill and downhill. After the descent we felt
we had really earned the refreshments at Panoramagasthof Kristberg, an inn with splendid all-round views.
SATURDAY // 9 JANUARY On our final day my men insisted on getting in one last rush of speed so we went off to the extremely steep Diabolo run. They must have really bombed down the slope according to their timings. In the afternoon I also got my own adrenalin buzz when we all took a ride on the Golm Alpine Coaster. All I can say is going down the mountain on rails certainly gives your bones a good shaking. Then in the evening we all went for a nice meal together. And tomorrow, I’m afraid, we set off on the journey back home…
Further information as well as prices and opportunities to reserve the abovementioned activities can be found in the attached “Mountain Experience Catalogue 2010/2011” or at www.montafon.at
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Skisets from â‚Ź 29,-/day incl. deposit Hochjoch valley station:
Mon-Thu 8 am-6 pm Fri-Sun 8 am-6.30 pm
Valisera valley station:
Mon-Thu 8 am-5.30 pm Fri-Sun 8 am-6 pm
Hochjoch mountain station: Mon-Sun 8 am-6 pm
HEaD MaKES It aLL PoSSIBLE
tHE oRIGInaL Montafon SKI. Based in Vorarlberg, Head is an established player in ski racing. Apart from the glittering successes of ski racing teams ongoing innovations also form part of the agenda. Alpine racing manager Rainer Salzgeber took the time to come into the MONTAFON/ER/INNEN office and spoke to us about Head’s plans behind the scenes.
Montafon/ER/InnEn: Hi there, Rainer! Let’s get the ball rolling by asking you straight off: What’s all this about the “Montafon Ski”?
Who thinks with sport of noble design and highquality materials, finds with Sport & Mode Wilhelmer in Vandans a high-class choice. Since 1980, Wilhelmer offers exclusive collections for sports and fashion, including top brands as Vist, Norrona, Toni Sailer, Mountain Force Zerorh+, Goldwin, and jackets and pants up to size 52 by Allsport. The company is based in Vandans, one of the top addresses in the country for sports and fashion.
The idea behind the “Montafon Ski” obviously came from someone in the region, from Franz Wilhelmer in fact. He owns Sport Wilhelmer in Vandans. As you know, Head produces its skis in Vorarlberg and the Montafon is a top skiing region, so it didn’t take long for us to agree that we’d do this project! And now we’re proud to be able to present this limited edition. The special thing about the Montafon Ski is its high-quality sandwich wooden core construction, its high torsional stiffness and soft longitudinal flex. This makes the ski fast, but at the same time easy to use on all terrains. It’s a top ski for everyone.
Montafon/ER/InnEn: Thanks for giving us our cue, Rainer – speaking of fast, let’s turn to racing. Congratulations! – Head has just added some new top-class skiers to its team. Who are you excited about most?
Our store also has a wide range of traditional costumes and accessories.
tHE Montafon SKI Sport & Mode Wilhelmer GmbH
Am Heitersheimerplatz 3 6773 Vandans +43 (0) 5556 72742
MO – FR: 08:30 – 12:00 am 02:30 – 06:00 pm SA: 08:30 – 12:00 am
June – October: Thursday afternoon closed!
the Montafon’s leading lights in the world of skiing, anita Wachter and Rainer Salzgeber, present the “Montafon Ski”.
Rainer Salzgeber: We’re delighted about every one of them. In their own way, each of the new members of the team is a highly individual personality with a lot of character when it comes to Alpine ski racing. For us at least, the fact that we can sign up such athletes proves that they have confidence in our materials and our work. It’s this aspect which is the real reason why we’re delighted and can look forward to further success in the future.
MONTAFON/ER/INNEN: Among the women Maria Riesch, Lindsey Vonn and Anja Pärson have just about won everything there is to win. How can you improve on a season like that?
Rainer Salzgeber: We always make a fresh start each season – that way, we don’t lose ourselves in established structures. Anyway, there are always injured athletes coming back and the odd new face is good for the scene. The important thing is that last year’s superstars ignore all the fuss and commotion around them and get on with their preparations so that we continue to achieve success. Athletes such as Lindsey have already demonstrated this, and we’re playing our part, too. Of course, developments in the material sector are also influenced by the new additions to our team. These athletes bring good new approaches and ideas along with them.
MONTAFON/ER/INNEN: Among the men, stars like Miller and Cuche were also very successful. What’s the story on new skiers in the men’s team?
Rainer Salzgeber: Well, we had a very good season with the men, although the size of the team until now has been a bit limiting. The set-up among the men is that in addition to the speed-oriented skiers we continue to go for athletes with a mastery of at least three disciplines. We’ve always done things that way, but it puts us at a disadvantage when you take the season as a whole: Training for the technical events suffers because we also have to concentrate on the downhill and Super-G disciplines. Didier Cuche
won the giant slalom at the opener in Sölden, but the lack of preparation for the Super-G during the season is a handicap. A giant slalom specialist has a week to make calm and careful preparations for the race in Alta Badia while the all-rounders have to train and race in Gröden. Our new addition to the team, Ted Ligety, is intended to plug this gap.
MONTAFON/ER/INNEN: OK, from one ski aficionado to another – can you tell us how your skis will be even faster next winter?
Rainer Salzgeber: Well, I’m prepared to reveal this much: We’ll continue to optimise the Kers system (kinetic energy recovery system) which we presented at the Ispo in Munich. What’s more, we’re pursuing further, very promising developments based on the tests we’ve carried out until now. We’ll continue to step up our testing and Christian Greber (Head of Testing for Alpine Skiing) will continue to focus his attention on the technical disciplines.
MONTAFON/ER/INNEN: It all sounds very exciting, thanks for telling us about that. Just one more question: Where does Alpine racing go from here in order to become even more attractive? And do you think that’s even possible?
Rainer Salzgeber: Of course Alpine racing has to keep moving on; though having said that, I think that races we have now – particularly the men’s races – are already highly attractive, with one or two exceptions. We can’t reinvent the wheel, but we can always try to the bridge the gap between up-and-coming athletes and the World Cup more effectively. The field of young talent has to remain attractive in order for us to draw in young people and keep them loyal to the sport.
MONTAFON/ER/INNEN: Thank you very much, Rainer, for the insights you’ve given us into Head’s plans and strategies. The Montafon Ski is available for testing and sale at all branches of Sport Wilhelmer in Vandans and Intersport Montafon in Schruns.
SAFETY TRAINING ADVENTURE
Freeriding or going off on a ski tour have emerged as the most natural form of Alpine snow sports – yet only a thin line separates fun and danger. Venturing out into terrain away from secured pistes doesn’t just expose people to considerable risks. It also sets off numerous uncontrolled avalanches each winter. All the better, then, that many regions now offer avalanche awareness and safety courses which combine theory and practice in an uncomplicated but effective way as a rehearsal for when disaster strikes. We went along on one such course in the Montafon.
MONDAY MORNING // 7:30 AM The day starts off right at the Hochjoch Bahn terminal. There’s a slight air of tension as we rummage about in the rucksacks which our guide Christian has handed out: “You’ll find your avalanche safety equipment inside the rucksacks. Shovel, probe and an avalanche transceiver. Knowing the basics of what you have to do can decide over life and death in the event of
THE EQUIPMENT’S NO GOOD TO ANYONE BY ITSELF.
an avalanche disaster. In an emergency you barely have 15 minutes to get yourselves organised. After that, the likelihood of survival plummets. So it’s important that we train for this contingency as realistically as possible, that we carefully learn how to use these gadgets and practise effective search and rescue methods. The equipment’s no good to anyone by itself.” Christian’s team knows what really matters. They hold safety training courses every winter. 7:45 am: We take a special cable car up to the skiing area.
A CRASH COURSE AT DIZZYING HEIGHTS Christian and his colleagues don’t lose any time. We’ve barely found our places in the cable car when we start to hear about the background to the different kinds of avalanches and the different ways in which they can originate. With great enthusiasm, empathy and virtually tireless patience, our guide explains to us the differences between snow slabs and loose snow avalanches, and between powder snow avalanches and slope avalanches. We start to explore the subject in ever greater and more detailed depth. Suddenly, we are able to recognise the interconnected factors which can set off an avalanche. The nature of the slope itself, for example, plays an important role. Ground cover is a further factor which influences whether an avalanche will occur. Dense woodland can prevent snow slabs from coming loose while rocky soil, on the other hand, tends to favour the onset of avalanches.
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER CHECK Whoa! A jolt makes us jump slightly. It’s just gone eight o’clock. We’ve arrived at the top. Obviously that will be the last of our stops for now: We know only a brief time separates us from possibly the most thrilling part of the day. “Stop! Not so fast. First of all you have to check your avalanche
search and rescue equipment on this electronic panel.” One after the other we test our devices on the display panel. Its flashing lights tell us whether the search and rescue equipment is working and ready for use.
THE EXPLOSION – DANGER CRASHES DOWN THE MOUNTAIN The moment we’ve all been waiting for finally arrives at 8:50 am: It’s time for some avalanche blasting. Our group has positioned itself at a safe distance from the point where the chief blaster is about to trigger the avalanche. We hear the message: “All clear, all secured” on our guide’s radio. The countdown begins. We look at the gash carved into the mountain. Suddenly, a flash of light! Then a few seconds later a loud, muffled bang, slightly delayed because of the distance. “Look, over there!” The avalanche sweeps down the slope with a deafening roar. It’s so fascinating that it almost takes our breath away.
WE PRACTISE AN AVALANCHE SEARCH AND RESCUE SCENARIO Five minutes later things get serious: “Please switch the setting on your avalanche transceivers from TRANSMIT over to SEARCH so you don’t end up looking for each other.” Christian tells us that three transmitters have been set up in the avalanche search area. One of them has been switched on to simulate a buried person. We all feel highly motivated as we set to work. First we have to use our search equipment to identify the location of the “person” buried under the avalanche. Before very long we’ve located the approximate spot and start digging. The snow is wet and heavy, so we frequently have to take turns. Then it’s all over when one of the participants comes across the 20 x 20 cm slab with the transmitter underneath. “Here – I’ve found him.” We all laugh. “That took 13 minutes.” Christian has been timing us.
SafEtY tRaInInG aDVEntURE
RESPECt YoUR LIMItS
KEYWoRD: SnoW PRofILE
Ten o’clock. After being asked by several people, Christian finally showed us how to carry out a snow profi le before we arrived back in the valley. It’s all been a truly intensive experience. In barely three hours we’ve learned about all the important factors that help to give people buried under an avalanche a good chance of being rescued. We practised risk management, hazard and terrain checks, aids to decision-making, codes of conduct and worst case scenarios. It takes a lot of practice to master all these techniques, but we now feel much safer after this reminder of our personal limits and possibilities.
Also known as a ram or snow cover profi le, a snow profi le is a cross-sectional sample of a snow cover which is taken for further study. The cross section enables the different snow layers to become visible and to be further investigated with regard to parameters such as hardness, type of snow, grain shape and liquid water content or moisture. These enable conclusions to be drawn about the meteorological conditions which affected the creation of each layer (fresh snow, rain, wind and sunlight, etc.) as well as subsequent developments within the snow cover (autogenous pressure, incline, etc.).
further information as well as prices and opportunities to reserve the freeRide Safety Check can be found in the attached “Mountain Experience Catalogue 2010/2011” or at www.silvretta-montafon.at
SPORTSWEAR, SKI/BOARD RENTAL, SERVICE & STORAGE
Sport is our speciality – Dietmar, Harry & Helmut Rudigier Our sports shops in Schruns, St. Gallenkirch and Gaschurn ensure that all visitors and locals in the Montafon are able to hire or indeed buy top-notch sports equipment every day. What’s more, each of the Rudigier brothers has his own company history with personal highlights of sports provision in the Montafon. Enjoy expert personal advice, individuality and other advantages from this attractive network in the Montafon. Best wishes from the Rudigiers – Dietmar, Harry & Helmut
ery day ined ev a t in a ectly m ard brands ds perf r bo a o b / kis ski and Hire – s dern fashion, night o er eck Sale – m e – express ov ic binding ch 6780 Schruns, Silvrettastraße 5 n ic analysis o v r Ski ser ervice – elect al, digital foot vis à vis home of the guest (Tourism Office) sion n ing s Tel. +43 (0)5556 78072, www.sportshop-rudigier.at Bind rvice – profes Garfrescha ru e e s h e t Sho – on an hire Tobogg
6791 St.Gallenkirch, Silvrettastr.7 1 x village centre, 1 x at the Garfrescha run Tel.: +43 (0)5557-6644, www.sportharry.at
6793 Gaschurn-Zentrum 1 x village centre, 2 x at Versettla valley station Tel. +43 (0)5558 20122 0, www.hochmontafon.com RZ_MFT_Magalog_210x280_EN_CS4.indd 19
APRÈS-SKI WITH A DIFFERENCE
AFTER A DAY OF SPORT: SPORTS RECREATION.
Après-ski doesn’t always have to mean partying and boozing the nights away in pubs. If you prefer a less alcoholic and quieter way of finishing the day, but still want to enjoy a genuine experience, you can actually make plans at home before your holiday to ensure that a good day out on the slopes doesn’t stop after the skiing is over.
NIGHTTIME HIKE & FLYING BLIND – THRILLS IN THE DARK
Whether you’re 16, 36 or 56, a passionate hiker or a top skier, a strong leader or looking to rediscover the child in you – in terms of sheer excitement, you simply can’t beat flying blind above the Latschausee after a snowshoe hike to the Kristakopf with others at night. The peaceful snowshoe hike generates a feeling of inward tranquillity, calls on your last reserves of energy and is certainly a little tiring. But your heart starts beating faster and faster as soon as you approach the point of departure and see the steel cable of the Golm Flying Fox glistening mystically in the torchlight. Well strapped in, you suddenly swoosh along 500 metres at speeds of up to 70 km/h towards the other side of the lake. Everything is utterly quiet, apart from the swish of the pulley on the steel cable as you traverse the lake – or perhaps it’s just the sound of your heart pumping? The evening finishes with a joint meal of cheese spaetzle and stories of what everyone has just experienced – heroic deeds! Your rosy red cheeks beam with joy at having fulfilled probably mankind’s oldest dream – the dream of flying. Warning – can become addictive: We’d be highly surprised if you only chose to do this once after a day out on the slopes. Anyone who’s fulfilled the dream of flying will want to repeat the experience over and over again.
A TOBOGGANING EVENING WITH EXPERT TIPS After a day of winter sport out on the slopes anyone in search of stimulation for the mind and body is more than welcome to try out the latest approach to après-ski. Tobogganing, for example, holds out the prospect of terrific fun. But with a little more knowledge and skill it’s so easy to gain much more enjoyment from whizzing around the bends; particularly with the aid of genuine tips from a true former expert. Suddenly tobogganing becomes much more than an alternative to the slopes. The right choice of toboggan depends on your actual skill and the prevailing conditions on the slopes. It makes all the difference if you wish to get the most out of downhill sledging. What do you want to do? Sit or lie down to steer the sledge as best and safely as possible? Or would you prefer the two-seater? And what’s the secret of shifting your weight for tight bends? Is it true you lose out by braking? Of course you don’t! Learning how and when to brake as well as how to brake precisely when someone tells you to do so is already a thrilling challenge. Obviously, safety, consideration and fairness are also important aspects of training on a genuine championship course under the watchful eyes of experts.
Please note: Practice makes perfect, particularly when it comes to sledging! Use the opportunity to practise what you’ve learned over the rest of the evening on the championship section! Our tip: It’s well worth booking these activities in advance. Both the nighttime hike & “flying blind” and the tobogganing evening with expert tips have proved to be very popular and are limited to a restricted number of participants. Further information as well as prices and opportunities to reserve the nighttime hike & flying blind and the tobogganing evening with expert tips can be found in the attached Mountain Experience Catalogue 2010/2011 or at www.golm.at
A WONDERFUL VIEW
THE MONTAFON IN SUMMER. The Montafon isn’t just a rewarding place to visit in winter. There’s also plenty to experience and lots of opportunities to enjoy outstanding sport in the warm months of the year. We’ve selected some of the great choices that make spending the summer in the Montafon even more worthwhile.
FAMILY FUN CLUB Games, sport, fun and adventure – both children and grown-ups appreciate the experience of exercise right up to their personal limits of endurance and the pleasure of overcoming challenges as part of a team. All this is possible at the Family Fun Club in Gargellen! Depending on the weather, the daily schedule of activities encompasses virtually every aspect of mountain sport. Choose from mountain biking, rock climbing, guided excursions or games afternoons. The highlight is the FUN forest. This piece of woodland is a natural high ropes course featuring wire ropes, a gorilla slide, climbing nets, balance training and safe tree-climbing.
THEMED TRAILS FOR CHILDREN
The philosophy behind Aktivpark Montafon is as simple as it is strenuous; It’s all about the pleasure of true physical exercise so each park attraction has been designed with active involvement in mind – otherwise they won’t work. The idea is to enjoy the pleasure of sport, give your muscles a work-out, develop team spirit and actively experience the Montafon’s natural surroundings. Even the more entertaining side of the park involves a certain amount of physical effort, like brushing down llamas. Whether child or grown-up, regardless of preference or proficiency, you’re sure to find the right activity at Aktivpark Montafon. You can choose from swimming in a natural Alpine lake, an adventure forest, football grounds, guided mountain bike tours (incl. bike hire), skating rink, tennis courts, beach volleyball plus adventure centre and range of children’s activities.
Listen up, all you adventurers out there: Experience the bygone thrills of former smugglers’ paths in the Montafon here and now. Today’s holiday visitors can now enjoy the thrills of hiking along the same routes that were once used by local border crossers with their contraband goods. Right at the start of the circular hiking trail a secret path conveys the kind of tension which the smugglers must have felt on their excursions – barefoot, incidentally! Just how close you are to nature is illustrated by the splendidly colourful mountain meadows, the breathtaking mountain views, the marmots and chamois which appear along the way, or the golden eagles which circle above the summits. What’s more, a completely new feature is “smugglers’ country” on the Schafberg plateau near Gargellen, which offers stimulating experiences at a number of different stops. “As if there wasn’t already more than enough to experience up here!” you might well think. Children as well as grown-ups wishing to find out more about the fauna and flora of the local mountains and woodland can either choose to go on Golmi’s “research trail” in Vandans or visit the Silbertal forest school on the Kristberg.
THE SILVRETTA CLASSIC MONTAFON RALLY Each year the Montafon offers a true celebration for nostalgic veteran car enthusiasts: The Silvretta Classic Montafon Rally. This popular rally was held for the 13th time this summer in 2010. The next staging of this event from 7-10 July 2011 offers a further possibility to seek out some 600 kilometres of dream roads – in the most beautiful landscapes of Vorarlberg, from the Montafon across the Silvretta-Bielerhöhe to the Tyrol, and across the Arlberg and the Bregenzerwald as far as Switzerland and Liechtenstein. There’s also plenty of history to see on the way. Over 180 fantastic cars built in the golden ages of motoring will be chugging their way through the mountains of the Montafon on a route that takes them across the Hahntennjoch and through the Bregenzerwald to Vaduz in Liechtenstein. Given that e-mobility has now become a central issue for all automobile manufacturers, the Silvretta e-Car rally was also held for the first time as part of the 13th Silvretta Classic event.
Di his tra
M3 MONTAFON MOUNTAIN BIKE MARATHON
The third edition of the M3 Mountainbike Marathon, launched last year, will be held on 30 July 2011. The name M3 reflects the successful idea of offering something to suit every mountain biker: Three routes present different degrees of difficulty, from sporty to very athletic. The “M3 extreme” not only covers a gruelling distance of 145 km, but also a total altitude difference of 4,400 m – it’s the biggest challenge on the M3 Mountainbike Marathon. Second comes the “challenging M2”, 65 km in length with an altitude difference of 2,400 m. For those wishing to take things a bit easier there is the “sporty M1”, with a distance of 28 km and altitude difference of 1,200 m. Mountain bike enthusiasts will also be interested to know that teams can take part and compete against each other with independent scoring. So get on your bike and off up the mountain!
Europatreppe 4000 Climbing up a stairway doesn’t get much better – or possibly more tiring – that this. With its 4,000 (!) steps, the Europatreppe 4000 in Partenen is a genuine highlight for sports enthusiasts. Getting from the bottom to the top involves a climb of 700 metres as well as a maximum gradient of 86%. So it comes as no great surprise that the Europatreppe 4000 enjoys a reputation of being the world’s largest fitness machine. Originally built as a means of monitoring the inclined lift, it is now used by many professional athletes for training purposes. They include members of a wide range of national ski teams as well as numerous football squads. And who knows, perhaps even you before long. Don’t miss the 2011 Stairway Cup on 23 July.
Free parking for 1.5 hours in Schruns
Discover the charm of our two villages in the heart of the Montafon valley. The historical town centre with its pedestrian area, varied shops, pleasant cafés, traditional restaurants, heritage museum, trendy bars, and much more awaits you.
A WONDERFUL VIEW
CLIMBING CENTRES IN THE MONTAFON Anyone with a good head for lofty heights simply has to visit one of the Montafon’s climbing centres – such as the Alpiner Kletterpark Kälbersee. The terrain gets a makeover each year and offers plenty of variety for younger or older climbers looking for thrills under the expert supervision of qualified mountain guides. It’s an ideal place to train your sense of balance or enjoy a thrilling, adrenalin-packed 150 metres ride on a Flying Fox high above the mountain landscape. Once you’ve had a great time at this and the other stops you can then enjoy a satisfying meal with your family friends by going for a barbecue at the Seetalhüsli – a wonderfully pleasant way to round off an eventful day. Alternatively, if you’d rather go off on a climbing tour through the trees, the best place to do this is in the Waldseilpark-Golm – the biggest one you’ll find in the whole of Vorarlberg. After you’ve put on your safety helmet and are buckled into your seat, you set off on an exciting expedition through the forest. With a little skill and courage you can easily negotiate the obstacles on the 11 courses. A further highlight is the Golm Flying Fox – its 565 metres make it the longest of its kind in the region.
FACT FILE: WALDSEILPARK-GOLM 12 flying foxes, pull fox. Bridges: Indiana Jones bridges, tremor bridges, Burma bridge. n Climbing: climbing walls, climbing trees, twin ladders, big ladder. n Walks: cable walk, criss cross walk, curtain walk, swinging walk, mushroom walk, postman walk, mixed walk, swinging units. n Swings: Tarzan swings, swinging plates, swinging beams, gliding rings, swinging tyres, roller ball, handrail. n Balance: islands, balance board, fitness loops, hour glass, jump way, stirrups, climbing beams, tension traverse, zigzag beams. n Specials: sledging, snowboarding, spider net, hammock, tube, cargo net, trapeze. n n
FACT FILE: ALPINER KLETTTERPARK KÄLBERSEE n n n n n n n
Climbing centre, 2 vie ferrate (intermediate/difficult). Jacob’s ladder and stack of beer crates. Giant swing and trapeze jump. 2 balancing points, pendulum jump, 80 m abseiling section. Pole jump and 2 flying foxes. By the lake: raft and bridge building, balance beam, spider’s web. Food and refreshments at the Seetalhüsli.
Further information is available at www.montafon.at
THE MONTAFON TABLE.
The first Montafon table was made in the Montafon over 300 years ago. Thanks to Markus Juen from St. Gallenkirch the preservation of this piece of cultural heritage is now assured. A Montafon table is a genuine cultural artefact from the Montafon. So only locally grown types of wood such as pear, cherry, oak, beech, nut, elm or maple are used in the manufacturing process. The crafting of a genuine Montafon table is a piece of handwork in the truest sense of the word: Today everything is still made by hand with great precision, making the table with the traditional slate board in the middle an excellent investment. “Over here in the Montafon tables have always been passed down from one generation to the next as a family heirloom. The table is an investment for generations of people,” Markus Juen tells us. For years now Markus has specialised in making Montafon tables under the brand name of “Handwerk & Design” in addition to other custom-made furniture. The profession has become a tradition in the Juen family; Markus learned his almost artistic handwork from his father Raimund, who in turn learned it from his father Otto, and naturally took over the joiner’s workshop that dates back to the 1930s. Markus now represents the latest generation of craftsmen to continue the traditional craft of the cabinetmaker. Markus was only a young boy when he made his first inlays in his father’s workshop. These inlays are the true heart of a Montafon table. The filigree patterns have to match each other precisely; if one little detail isn’t right, the craftsman has to start over again from the beginning. The vast amount of handwork involved, which requires lots of experience, craftsmanship and a mastery of the material of wood, makes the Montafon table a true work of art. It takes about two and a half weeks of work to produce the kind of art-
work which is a true Montafon table. “Quality has its price, you know,” says a self-assured Markus. “But the starting price of 2,500 Euros should bear some relation to durability. A standard piece by an Italian designer easily costs twice that much today yet probably barely keeps for 10 years.”
In former times Montafon tables were given to bridal couples as a wedding present. Most of these tables are still part of a family’s property today. The Montafon table was always a central meeting point in the family home, used for eating, for playing Jassen, the traditional card game in the Montafon, or simply for cosy get-togethers. Built into the middle of the table top, the slate board served as an area for putting hot pots and pans down on the table as well as a flat surface for writing down the scores during card games. Today, the Montafon table is once again attracting attention through the revival of traditional values. By making Montafon tables, Markus is also playing a vital part
in preserving the craft of the cabinetmaker. That means getting up early every morning and working hard in his workshop. His father Raimund is visibly proud that his son learned the trade and has taken over the business. Raimund himself can still be found in the workshop almost every day, contributing his experience and love of this piece of furniture.
HANDWERK & DESIGN” – JUEN ARTISTIC CABINET-MAKING Each table from “Handwerk & Design” is an individual piece made precisely to the exact specifications of each customer. In addition to its traditional function as a dining table, the Montafon table is also available as a side table or coffee table. n Prominent owners of an individual piece include Marc Girardelli, Baron von Gemmingen, Princess Marie of Liechtenstein and John Knittel, the author of “Via Mala”. n Deliveries within Austria and also abroad n
Further information is available at www.handwerk-design.at
Montafonertische Möbel nach Maß Exklusive Geschenkartikel Silvrettastrasse 28b A - 6791 St. Gallenkirch email@example.com Tel./Fax +43 (0)5557/66 76 • Mobil +43 (0)650/390 66 75
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Unique rehabilitation centre surrounded by unique landscape In summer 2010 the health resort Schruns was upgraded by a new, unique institution: the Reha-Klinik Montafon.
Competence & ambience The rehabilitation clinic, providing excellent medical service and delightful ambiance, is open to patients from the Austrian social security system as well as self-paying oneâ€™s. Appealing architecture, homelike atmosphere, classy rooms and high quality regional food complete the broadly based services of the Reha-Klinik Montafon.
The 150 bed clinic is located in the centre of Schruns, a village in the pictorial valley Montafon, offering orthopaedic, cardiologic and neurological rehabilitation on an international level. Facing the impressive mountains of Silvretta, Raetikon and Verwall this first rehabilitation clinic in Vorarlberg, the westernmost province of Austria, offers recovery and well-being completed by a highly qualified medical team and state-of-the-art facilities.
Excellent recovery A therapyâ€“coach accompanies each patient during the length of stay. As each patientâ€™s life background is integrated into the holistic treatment, patients receive an individual and ideal therapy programme.
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Eine Gesundheitseinrichtung der VAMED Gruppe.
HIGHLIGHT EVENTS IN THE MONTAFON
WInter 2010 / 2011
SKI OPENING IN GARGELLEN WITH THE SECOND GARGELLEN MUSIC NIGHT 03–05 DECEMBER 2010
BARREL STAVE RACE IN GARGELLEN 05 JANUARY 2011
SEASON OPENING CELEBRATIONS THROUGHOUT THE MONTAFON 04 DECEMBER 2010
TRADITIONAL BONFIRE NIGHT IN THE MONTAFON 13 MARCH 2011
SCHNEEBEBEN OPENING CELEBRATION IN THE SILVRETTA MONTAFON 11 DECEMBER 2010
DIABOLO RACE ON THE GOLM 19 MARCH 2011
CHRISTMAS WIND PLAYERS ON THE GOLM 24 DECEMBER 2010
3rd TOUR & CLIMB TROPHY IN GARGELLEN 09 APRIL 2011 3rd WATER ATTACK IN GARGELLEN 16 APRIL 2011 KING OF THE WATER ON THE HOCHJOCH 16 APRIL 2011 First Autumn / Winter 2010 Women and Men George Gina & Lucy . Marc O‘Polo . Cambio High . M.F. Girbaud . Velvet . Superdry Boss Orange . Replay . Napapijri Esprit/edc Store . Cecil Store Gerry Weber Store Accessoire . Wäsche Lifestyle
Schramm Mode Schruns Kirchplatz 05556 73535
Whether you’re coming from Germany, Switzerland or Italy – the superb location of the Montafon makes it easy and fast to reach many places. But take a look for yourself .
The Montafon Winter season ticket enables you to use all the cableways operating in the Montafon skiing areas (60 lifts with 243 kilometres of pistes) as well as the Muttersbergbahn in Bludenz/Nüziders at attractive prices. The Montafon Winter season ticket is valid from the start of December 2010 to April 2011.
Montafon Tourismus GmbH Montafonerstr. 21 6780 Schruns / Vorarlberg Austria Tel. +43 (0)5556 722530 Fax +43 (0)5556 74856 firstname.lastname@example.org www.montafon.at
Chur – Montafon 102 km // 1:13h Feldkirch – Montafon 33 km // 0:27h Friedrichshafen – Montafon 97 km // 1:11h Innsbruck – Montafon 142 km // 1:50h Konstanz – Montafon 111 km // 1:38h Lucerne – Montafon 194 km // 2:15h Milan – Montafon 320 km // 3:38h Memmingen – Montafon 139 km // 1:28h Munich – Montafon 251 km // 2:37h Salzburg – Montafon 326 km // 3:29h Stuttgart – Montafon 285 km // 2:49h Zürich – Montafon 169 km // 1:50h
SKI PASS The Montafon Ski Pass is valid for 3 to 21 consecutive days during the 2010 / 2011 winter season.
Mon to Fri Sat/Sun + holidays (subject to change)
08.00–19.00 Uhr 09.00–17.00 Uhr
Bookings accepted on www.montafon.at, by Montafon accommodation providers or by the Montafon Tourismus reservations centre.
YOUR SEASON TICKET AND SKI PASS ARE VALID ON Montafon cableways and ski lifts (60 cableways) n Montafonerbahn from Bludenz to Schruns (only for winter sports) n Ski buses in the valley (only for winter sports) n
Further information is available at www.montafon.at
CREDITS Concept // Design Hello AG Agentur für Kommunikation Deisenhofener Str. 1 81539 München Germany Editing // Text Hello AG Agentur für Kommunikation Deisenhofener Str. 1 81539 München Germany Translation (excluding advertisements) translingua ©, Graz Advertising advisor Montafon Tourismus GmbH, Sabine Erne. Content Montafon Tourismus GmbH Photo credits Edi Gröger, Young Mountain Marketing GmbH, Handwerk & Design Kunsttischlerei Juen, Montafoner Bergbahnen, Montafon Tourismus, getty images Printed by Vorarlberger Verlagsanstalt GmbH Schwefel 81 6850 Dornbirn Austria
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