The health manager and nutritionist from Thumersbach lives in Lower Austria and vividly remembers her first ski tour five years ago: "While fall was still colorful down in the valley, we already had perfect conditions for skiing on the Kitzsteinhorn. I'm a good skier; however, I had always preferred taking the cable car to the summit, until the day a friend of mine took me with her on the "Schneekoenigin" (Ice Queen) ski touring route, which is perfect for beginners."
The Ice Queen starts at the Langwiedboden 1,976m above sea level. The Info Point shows how the route runs as well as alpine hazards. Verena Dreiseitl remembers: "On the marked ascent alongside the slope, I slowly gained trust in my climbing skins. I focused on efficiently dragging my skis and automatically got into a steady rhythm. That gave me time to let by gaze wander over the superb winter panorama. While the valley was still lying in a thick blanket of fog, the sun was already warming our noses. I experienced my surroundings in a much more intense way than I previously had when ascending the mountain in a cable car and was surprised by this new, slower side of the Kitzsteinhorn. Smelling the scent of sun-kissed rocks, hearing the sound of crunching snow underneath the skis in the silence of the ascent, seeing the hawk hovering high above us before swooping down into the untouched nature of the Hohe Tauern National Park. That's when I experienced a feeling of peace and relaxation. While I associate skiing with speed and thrill, the slow ascent using my own muscle strength gave me previously unknown pleasure."
Another aspect that makes the ascent pleasant is that one does not have to bother about alpine hazards on the secured track. "An ascent on the edge of the slope is perfect for novices at ski touring. I was completely inexperienced, so that helped me in ascending at my own pace while concentrating on technique and also chatting with my friend. I remember numerous ski tourers passing by at race speed with a friendly hello. That motivated me and I quickly conquered the Ice Queen's 474 vertical meters with pure muscle strength. Being a nutritionist, I place great importance on seasonal and local food. I was, therefore, super happy about my hard-earned "Groestl", a delicious bacon, onion and potato fry-up, in the Gletschermuehle restaurant. The ride down the wide slopes was the highlight of my first ski tour. Since then, the Ice Queen and I have been reunited for several more times. An off-piste ski tour to the Tristkogel mountain is on my bucket list, which I want to tick off by participating in the Ski Touring Thursday, accompanied by a mountain guide."