I awoke like a child peeking through the curtains praying the forecast had come true. It had. Fresh snow lay all around and those giddy excited feelings I felt on those winter mornings as youngster where back again.

On the recommendation of Kevin & Sarah we booked an off-piste freeride ski day with Bengt from www.drsnow.at as it something we had always wanted to do and the fresh snow just brought that extra level of anticipation. We gobbled down a big breakfast to keep the energy levels up and headed down to the Schattberg gondola to meet Bengt our guide for the day.

On meeting Bengt you just had the feeling that we were heading for a great day, he looked like he belonged on these mountains. Bengt handed out our backpacks with all our rescue equipment; shovels, probes and transceivers are compulsory, and after a lesson on how everything should be used we headed up the mountain.

Finally we were ready and it did not disappoint. The feeling of floating down the back side run was fantastic, the sheer quietness the blanket of snow projects felt strange but at the same time my head was screaming as that silent white stuff flew past our thighs and then waist.

This was a warm up run, announced Bengt, “I need to know you can ski” he explained with a smile in accented Swedish.  Wow, warm up I thought bring on the next run.

We explored the backcountry of Saalbach on the way to Hinterglemm, the only times we touched the pistes was to access the next gondola. Tree runs, open meadows and endless untouched powder. Bengt with his years of experience new where everyone else was going, we avoided them and didn’t cross paths with a sole until gone 11 am.

We took lunch in a wonderful traditional mountain hut, everyone had a smile on their face and that excited aura about them. The table was a buzz of chatter whilst everyone was excited to learn were we were heading next. There were many tracks everywhere alongside the pistes but that wasn’t for us. We dropped into the woods and spent the rest of the day weaving tracks in and out of tall pine trees and then emerging into another unspoilt powder field.

We didn’t want the day to end, we were again like children not wanting to stop playing. We said our goodbyes to Bengt and headed down into Saalbach to enjoy a well-earned beer and relive the day. There were moments of magic coupled with moments of hilarity as one or two of us failed to spot that onrushing pine tree.

It was an experience I will never forget and one that I will definitely repeat.

Bengt is a Swedish born certified mountain guide that has lived in Salzburgerland for many years. Bengt offers freeride ski days and ski clinics. Find out more and book a day out with Bengt at www.drsnow.at or contact us for more information.

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