Fischer Transalp 2016 - the tour diary

On Sunday it was time for the eight participants, three mountain and tour guides, Axel Naglich and two Fischer employees to pack their bags and set off for Reschen in Vinschgau (IT). But as it turned out, the very first day of the tour (Monday) did not go as expected.

More on this can be found in the tour diary by Martin Eisenknapp (Product Manager Tour, Fischer Sports):

Day 1: Vna – Vna (instead of Reschen to Tschlin as originally planned)

Because the weather was so good we decided to do a more attractive and longer warm-up tour over the Piz Arina (1200 metres of climbing) from Vna to Tschlin. As expected, the sky was virtually cloudless so the views were spectacular. On the other hand, the sun and the temperatures made the descent to Tschlin impossible – the risk of gliding avalanches was too great – so we decided to take the descent back to Vna instead. After the tour, the participants had time to explore the village of Tschlin, population 162, and to hear about the village's history and economy from our host Georg from the Hotel Macun. Tschlin is a brilliant place to start many ski tours.
> Video Day 1

Day 2: Tschlin – Samnaun

Expecting miserable weather, we were surprised by sunshine in the morning that stayed with us almost right up to the highest point of Fuorcla Salet (~2800m – 1400 metres of ascent). We didn't know for sure whether we'd be able to make the descent to Samnaun until we were at the top and our guides judged the terrain and the snow to be safe. So we started the long descent to Samnaun, just as the wind was starting to pick up and snow to fall. We had almost reached our destination when we came across another small obstacle we had to clear: the path was blocked by a huge wet snow avalanche with a crater several metres high. Which meant removing our skis and climbing over it.
> Video Day 2

Day 3: Spiss – Kappl

The mountain peaks were already basking in sunshine under a blue sky as we had breakfast – a promising outlook for day 3. After leaving the customs post in Spiss we had a long, gentle uphill through ZANDERtal to Fliesser Alpe. From then on it became somewhat steeper and we had to be careful (avalanche warning level 3) up to the highest point of the day, MALFRAGKOPF (2776m). Some fresh snow overnight had whetted our appetite for the downhill ride, especially as we had only had very moist snow on the previous days due to the warm temperatures. In addition to what was without doubt the most beautiful day in the most impressive surroundings, we really were rewarded with powder turns, too, and the rather long downhill and lack of snow in places through Grübeltal did nothing at all to dampen our spirits!

"Generally, the descents are tricky," says Martin Eisenknapp, Product Manager Tour, Fischer Sports. "There's a bit of everything, from soft snow to crusted snow. The equipment and the participants are tested to the limit. All the participants are extremely fit and have no problem coping with difficult conditions. Also, in these conditions the benefits of the PROFOIL really come into their own. It doesn't crust or absorb moisture, and we make extremely good time. We're looking forward to the coming days and hope for good weather."
> Video Day 3

Day 4: Kappl - Kaisers

Regrettably the weather forecast for the fourth stage was spot on, so snowfall and mountain peaks shrouded in fog awaited us in the morning. This made it clear that the ascents planned for today would be too dangerous without good visibility. In order to still make it to today's destination – Kaisers – we turned to support from the lifts and, despite the bad weather, were able to enjoy a long downhill ride covered in fresh snow. The ride down from the Valluga towards Kaisers was in particular a big challenge for all the participants, also because the frozen moist snow avalanches of the previous days were very tough to ski down. The very flat and long exit through the Almajurtal valley made it what was all in all so far the longest and, despite the missing ascents, a very exhausting day!
> Video Day 4

Day 5: Kaisers - Mittelberg

Within 20 minutes of leaving our starting point in Kaisers we had already emerged from the fog and were able to admire the mountains of the Allgäu Alps capped with fresh snow in front of us. After the 3rd stage nobody believed that the conditions could get any better, but we were mistaken – on the climb up to Geisshorn not a minute went by without hearing a "Wow" or "Awesome". 30 cm of fresh snow, brilliant sunshine and a panorama that was second to none. The downhill ride had everything to offer again – from clouds of powder snow to the crossing of a river to Mittelberg. A hard test for the Fischer Transalp and Travers boots – conclusion: test passed, waterproof! A day that all participants will no doubt remember for a long time and one that was for most of them the best day's ski touring of the season so far. Current mood: "We'd like to add on another week." We arrive at Saturday's stage 6 in Oberstdorf not only with a feeling of happiness but also with a touch of sadness that the tour is coming to an end!!
> Video Day 5

Day 6 (Final Day): Mittelberg - Oberstdorf

The participants set off on the final stage to Oberstdorf with mixed feelings. On the one hand finally arriving at the destination, but also having to say goodbye to what had become a strong, close team! Following a short march from the centre the route is very direct and also in steeper terrain with serpentine turns for 1,000 metres of altitude to the Fiderepass (2065m). The sky clears up during the two-and-a-half hour climb and we are greeted by the sun and an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding peaks! Oberstdorf is within reach – some slopes with windblown snow are avoided with skill, we carve the last powder turns in the snow and finally, after a short stretch of poling, we ski down the pistes to the Fellhornbahn valley station. 6 days, no injuries, in dream conditions most of the time from the south to the north across the Alps – the participants fall into each other's arms, simply overjoyed.

Time to reflect briefly with the sun on your face before going back to the bus which is already waiting:

Peter Perhab (mountain guide): "It really is almost unbelievable: two weeks ago we were considering cancelling the tour, altering the route or doing basic daily ski tours because of the poor snow conditions. Now we're standing here in Oberstdorf and have been so lucky with the weather that we can look back on one of the most beautiful Fischer Transalp tours ever!"

Martin Eisenknapp (Product Management Tour): It was a great pleasure to be on tour with this crew for 6 days. There may have been plenty of laughter, but everyone was absolutely focused on the tours, especially when there were tricky situations from time to time. It was nice to see in addition to the experience, technique and fitness of the participants, that the latest Fischer tour equipment was able to contribute to this successful Transalp. There was a lot of praise, especially for the new Travers boot and PROFOIL, which many had not heard of before!
> Video Day 6