Out and about with the cross-country skiing machine

Cross-country skiing in the Gschnitztal has become an integral part of life here. What began more than 50 years ago through the initiative of Adi Messner with a one-kilometre hiking trail has developed into a substantial network of trails with the possibility of classic cross-country skiing and skating. Recent decades have also seen changes in the way the trails are prepared. What used to be groomed by a skier at the end of a ski-do is nowadays handled by modern cross-country skiing equipment. We had the pleasure of accompanying cross-country skier Paul Wurzer in his cross-country skiing machine, also known as a husky, and were given a glimpse into his day.

A look inside the cross-country ski machine

Working hours depending on the weather
Paul’s working hours do not have anything in common with a typical 9 to 5 job. Once the forecast indicates fresh snow in the evening, Paul has to prepare the trail at 5am the next day. If the weather is fair, meaning it doesn’t snow during the night, he will make his runs in the evening so that the track can freeze through nicely until the next day.
Not only does the preparation depend on the weather, but it also takes time. It can take 5 to 5.5 hours when Paul prepares the 25-kilometre classic trail and the 18-kilometre skating trail.

The “husky” at work

High quality standards
The cross-country ski trails in the Gschnitztal have been awarded the cross-country ski trail quality seal of the State of Tyrol since 1984. The requirements such as the correct signage and the quality of the trails are also repeatedly checked by the State of Tyrol. Yet it is not just the state that inspects the trails, Paul has also been an enthusiastic cross-country skier for almost 6 years and assesses his work in his free time.
When it comes to the question of whether Paul finds anything annoying about his job, he has to ponder. The only thing he can think of are the dogs running around without a lead and the rubbish and dog dirt he always has to pick up from the track. When asked what he loves about his job, we got a quicker answer. “Most definitely, the feeling of skiing through fresh snow with the cross-country skiing machine. When you see the dust while skiing and there is a fresh trail behind you.”

Paul Wurzer – the cross-country ski master in Gschnitztal

Tip: This winter, cross-country skiing taster days will take place in Gschnitztal from January 24th to 25th, 2023. Perfect for anyone who has always wanted to try this trendy winter sport.
You can find our entire range of trails on the interactive map

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