The white trail of freedom

Hans Aufschnaiter practically grew up on skis, and learned how to make correct turns when he was only two years old. Since then, his dedication to this sport hasn’t let up, regardless of whether on the slopes or in deep snow: when Winter knocks on the Tyrolean door, he’s ready for the white slopes – as a ski instructor for magical guest experiences and alone to recharge his batteries.

Hans Aufschnaiter grew up in a small village near Kirchberg in Tyrol. There, in the middle of the Kitzbüheler Alpen, he looked longingly out of the window at the drag lift on the opposite slope with the eyes of a child and urged his mother to teach him to ski at the age of two. Childish curiosity quickly turned into a passion for life. “Skiing has always been my top priority.” Even when life pulled him off the planks and into agricultural college, he always found his way back to the sport. But ultimately the hobby became his vocation: “Having completed college, I passed the training exam and worked in youth ski racing. The state ski instructor training followed later, as well as the state-certified ski guide examination."

© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Summer and Winter alike

Two seasons in Canada followed, where Hans worked for a heli-skiing company, but his home has always been in Tyrol. "I like to look at other things, immerse myself in big city feelings for a few days, but in the end I always feel drawn back”. Drawn both to his parents' farm where he likes to help out and also into the Kitzbüheler Alpen mountains where he maintains the hiking and mountain bike trails in the Summer on behalf of the local tourist office. In Winter he puts on his skis to explore the pristine slopes and to create special moments among the guests as a ski instructor.

Kitzbueheler-Alpen-Hero-Ski-Hans-Aufschnaiter-rasanter-Pisten-Spass-im-Skigebiet-im-Brixental-c-Daniel-Gollner© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Winter sport paradise - Kitzbüheler Alpen

“The ski area around Kitzbühel and Kirchberg offers everything a skier's heart desires from beginners to experts. From the legendary Streif to the ideal blue beginner's slope, there are over 230 perfectly groomed runs and modern lifts." If you like to venture off the beaten track, you can discover the deep snow experience for yourself with Hans: “It starts at the morning meeting point, where we check our equipment again, then take the first lift up the mountain and leave the groomed slopes as soon as possible. Depending on our ability, we look for easy or more difficult routes to ski down."Creating the very first tracks in powder snow with the certainty of having an experienced ski instructor with you who knows and can assess the terrain very well, that's quite an experience that remains for many unforgettable. "Some of my guests find it difficult to switch off because the cell phone rings all the time, but when they stand with me in front of an untouched slope and have the Kitzbüheler Alpen mountains in front of them like a panorama poster, then even the most annoying ringtone is quickly muted using the flight mode to ultimately allow the soul to take off."

Family, flexibility and freedom

Kitzbueheler-Alpen-Hero-Ski-Hans-Aufschnaiter-auf-einer-kurzen-Tiefschneeabfahrt-c-Daniel-Gollner© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Hans loves what he does and the guests thank him with smiling and exhilarated faces. In order to recharge his batteries, however, he seeks the peace and quiet of the mountains far away from the beaten tourist track. “Then I have to be on my own, be able to go at my own pace, adjust my ski tour according to my wishes in order to regain energy for the next day. I enjoy this freedom and flexibility."

Here in Kirchberg, Hans can find everything he needs for a contented and happy life. It starts with the unique landscape and ends with the good, regional products. “It would never have occurred to me to eat Argentinian meat at home, but I buy regional products to support local agriculture.” After all, if good things are so close, why go far away?

Kitzbüheler Alpen - Ways of life | Hans Aufschnaiter

Sabine Ertl

Sabine Ertl

...nurture body and soul. Born 1986 in Carinthia, studied media and communication sciences in Klagenfurt. As a freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger she likes to travel a lot. Mountain freak, horse freak, neo-cellist and gourmet. More details: www.gedankenschmiede.at more details

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