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In the footsteps of Ötzi on snowshoes

Being in the mountains stands for experiencing a special feeling of freedom. I also wanted to start the New Year with this kind of freedom. As a passionate snowboarder, “hard slope” skier, occasional snow biker and fun fanatic on short skis, one winter sport was still missing in my range: snowshoeing!

Vent (1900 m) seemed the perfect spot for my plans. The multifaceted mountain village - with its 150 inhabitants - is encircled by Tirol’s highest mountains and has wonderfully preserved its alpine village character.

Vent in Ötztal

© Ludmila Lins / Media Marvel

Vent – in the heart of the Ötztal Alps

At 10.30 am we left Innsbruck together with my friends Lukas, Daniel and Thomas. A strong wind blew and heavy snowfall accompanied us. That's why we drove a bit slowly through beautiful Ötztal valley. Leaving behind Sölden, near Zwieselstein, we turned right and from this point on, time seemed to pass more slowly.

For us, coming from the city, a new world opened up. Steep mountain forests and slopes densely covered with snow, adorned with farmsteads built boldly off-road. Meter by meter, the feeling of leaving everyday life increased. And soon we spotted the unmistakable silhouette of Vent. The scenic church of Vent and the pastel-colored facades came closer and closer...

Finally arrived.

We found a parking space immediately, everything was very uncomplicated. In the “Venter Kaufhäusl” grocery shop, Kathi baked fresh bread rolls for us, filled them and packed them as provisions, while her husband Alex picked out snowshoes and poles for us and adjusted them individually for everyone. It was perfect, we got everything we needed from one source - so the "small corner shop" still exists!

Feldkögele at 2018 m was our destination

Perfectly equipped, we started in the direction of Haus Hubertus, the meeting point of Vent’s mountain guide office. Kilian - our mountain guide and at the same time the boss - was already there to welcome the first high-altitude air hunters. Together we discussed possible tours. As I said, there was strong wind and temperatures were of a Siberian nature.

That's why everyone unanimously decided to make a tour to Feldkögele. After the first steep ascent, the route mainly leads through flat forest paths. These were not only the ideal protection against the wind, but also allowed us to completely indulge into this white wonder world around Vent.

The snowshoe trail was a perfect blend of pure relaxation and enjoyment. It wasn't the speed that counted, just the moment.

Vent in Ötztal

© Ludmila Lins / Media Marvel

Vent in Ötztal

© Ludmila Lins / Media Marvel

Stepping safely along memorable paths

The experience of exploring paths together and still collecting very personal impressions has certainly opened up our horizons.

Climbing the mountains with "our" mountain guide is not just a tradition here in the cradle of mountain tourism. The experiential value of the guided tour was incomparable and it was also more fun in a group. We didn't have to worry about the right route, we could just feel, enjoy and experience every meter we walked.

Traditionally, there was also schnapps at the summit of Feldkögele

Once conquered the summit, Kilian shared some schnapps among all those present and showed us the "Gipfelsteinmandle", a small stone sculpture that watches over the summit.

The shots created an entertaining mood among all participants and you could clearly see the joy on our faces. As they say in Tirol: "Mountains and valleys never come together, but people do." In this sense the small talk was in full swing and new contacts were made.
Vent in Ötztal

© Ludmila Lins / Media Marvel

"Every summit over 3000 meters is called ‘Kogl’, as we are just under 3000 meters it is a smaller-sized ‘Kögele’."

Kilian Scheiber, mountain guide

Some snowshoe hikers - like me - collected the summit stamp and then we started our way down. What was special about it was that we went down on a different route. Such a loop tour not only made hiking more exciting, but also much more varied.
Vent in Ötztal

© Ludmila Lins / Media Marvel

Après-ski atmosphere

Down again in the valley we thanked Kilian and went back to the “Venter Kaufhäusl” to return the snowshoes.

"What would you like to drink? Hot chocolate, tea, coffee? It comes on the house!” Kathi asked us as we walked in. Of course, we accepted the friendly offer. I had some green tea. But soon - when the whole family was together in the grocery shop - the first beer was being tapped, stories were told with a lot of laughter.


"You must be hungry, right? Then come with me, I’ll buy you a pizza,” Alex said as we were about to leave. We just had to accept this tempting offer. The pizza was really delicious. The huge cherry peppers on my Pizza Diavola were not only decorative but also tasted fantastic. After that, coffee was served for the driver and pine schnapps for the passengers. As a co-driver, I clinked glasses filled with “Zirbeler” pine schnapps.

This article was first published in January 2017.

This article was first published in January 2017.
Ludmilla Lins

Guest author: Ludmila De Albuquerque Lins

Mila is a keen winter sports enthusiast and has worked as a snowboard instructor in Oetz for many years. As a native Brazilian, she fell in love with Ötztal and the people who live here as a child. Today she is an entrepreneur, lives in Innsbruck and offers online marketing services, especially social media marketing for several companies. She likes to experience her stories herself so that she can report on them first-hand.

This is her social media channel: