We are fortunate to be surrounded by a magnificent mountain world. It is our concern to make this accessible to people – regardless of their agility – and to inspire them for nature. Likewise, we encourage them to treat our living space, connected with our alpine culture and tradition, with mindfulness and respect.
“The huge mountains like the Alps make the experience of humility very strong: you are up there on the mountain and are simply overwhelmed by the endless expanse. You realise that you are very small and you see yourself facing the challenge of ‘mastering’ the mountains – for example, just by skiing them.”
Marcel Beaufils, rheingold institut
Exercise in the great outdoors is important for our health and our psyche.
Sports activities and infrastructure take up space and resources.
Every leisure activity leaves an ecological footprint, a visit to an indoor swimming pool, as well as a visit to a cultural event, but Netflix is also one of the biggest power guzzlers in leisure behaviour. “There is practically no activity without sustainability aspects,” emphasises economist Gottfried Tappeiner, study officer of the Master’s programme for “Sustainable Regional and Destination Development” at the University of Innsbruck. Nevertheless, time out from everyday life is of utmost importance for our mental and physical well-being.
Winter sports also take up space and resources and have an impact on our ecosystem, we are aware of that. However, we all love and need the movement and the free space in our wonderful mountain world. Mountain experiences give us a feeling of freedom and space, the opportunity to feel our own body, to experience nature, to recharge our batteries and to strengthen our spirit in order to return to everyday life satisfied and joyful. Winter sports are good for our psyche, as Marcel Beaufils from the Rheingold Institute so aptly describes it:
“Skiing is a part of the outdoor world and thus a kind of culmination of the outdoor moment. This means that everything that outdoor entails – orientation, safety, strength – is completely present in skiing: more nature, more challenge, more escape from everyday life. Not to be forgotten in this outdoor sport is also the magic of snow. Snow can be perceived as a magical element that wraps everything in a soft shell, gives peace, makes things seem untouched and virginal, makes the world a little quieter and cushions the everyday hustle and bustle. There is a pleasant calming effect, the background noise of everyday life is taken away by the snow, stress fizzles out and you relax. These sensations are multiplied when you then glide over the snow and feel that you are no longer facing any resistance.”
Barreer free mountain world
Not all people can enjoy the mountains without a climbing aid or without accessibility. This includes not only the almost 80 million people with disabilities in Europe, but also the average ageing population. We want them to enjoy the mountain experience too. Our specially trained employees are happy to provide assistance if needed, so that all mountain lifts in our skiing and hiking areas are accessible to wheelchair and monoskiers. We are particularly proud that FIS and Europacup handicapped competitions have been held on the Pitztal Glacier for years. Teams from all over the world do their training there.
What you can do:
In order to experience mountain experiences joyfully, we need a healthy ecosystem. Because it is nature for all of us, we want our tourism in the Hinter Pitztal to be in harmony with the environment and are committed to careful use. We are therefore working consistently to continuously improve our ecological footprint. You – as our guest – can also make your contribution by being mindful of our nature and the people in our valley:
Did you know that over 80% of the carbon footprint of winter tourism (in all its forms) is due to travel to and from the destination and overnight stays? Your decision for a winter holiday with us is a good one, because a long-distance trip to warm regions or cruises would lead to a visible increase in your tourism carbon footprint. Even a yoga holiday in Mallorca with arrival by plane would have a worse energy balance. Perhaps you have already considered giving up your car and travelling by public transport? To make it easier for you to give up your car, we have also improved a few things.
“Only those who know nature can protect it”, as the saying goes. There is much to experience and learn in our magnificent mountain and glacier world – if you take a closer look. Direct your gaze to the diversity, uniqueness and beauty, as well as to the special natural phenomena of our mountain world, such as at our power spot, the Rifflsee, where raft trips are offered in summer, or at the newly built glacier cinema at 3,440 metres above sea level. You can always find out what there is to experience on THE HIGHEST IN TIROL, the Pitztal Glacier or around the Rifflsee on our homepage.
Our areas are wonderful starting points for magnificent ski tours in winter as well as hikes and quite demanding mountaineering in summer:
The increasing environmental pollution is not only unpleasant to look at, but above all poses a danger to the animal inhabitants and the plant life. As nature lovers, we take responsibility and take our rubbish home with us: With the following tips, you can reduce or completely avoid rubbish:
- Use refillable drinking bottles.
- For your snacks between meals: Use lunch boxes or other reusable packaging.
- Use cloth bags instead of plastic bags.
- Use used rechargeable batteries for your electronic outdoor devices instead of batteries.
- One cigarette butt contains up to 4,000 harmful substances, can pollute 40 to 60 litres of water and takes between 10 and 15 years to decompose completely in nature.
It is not always possible to avoid litter entirely. Nevertheless, there is never a reason to leave your own crap in our nature.
When you move in nature, you also enter the habitat of many of our wild animals. Therefore, you should move considerately and quietly, especially in the wild, as your behaviour has an influence on the stress level of the wild animals. You should also pay increased attention when you are out and about with an animal yourself. Your dog should therefore always be on a leash. Even if you have it under control – a fast fleeing animal can still trigger an unwanted chase. Please also note our regulations regarding transport in the gondola and leash regulations in the respective hiking area.
The proud Capra Ibex, the Alpine Ibex, adorns the coat of arms of the municipality of St. Leonhard in Pitztal. In the 19th century, the animals were almost extinct in the Alps. 65 years ago, ibex were successfully reintroduced to the Pitztal. Today, the largest ibex population in the Alps lives here. The tales of the ibex in the Alps are closely linked to the community of St. Leonhard. Today, 65 years after the successful reintroduction of the ibex in the Pitztal valley, a visitor centre worth seeing is dedicated to this exciting topic. The barrier-free centre impresses with its unusual architecture and includes an interactive exhibition on two levels, a café-restaurant with guest terrace and an information area with shop. In a freely accessible wild animal enclosure (feeding station accessible without barriers!), marmots and ibexes can be observed at eye level.
The landscape is shaped by the people and the people are shaped by the landscape. The locals in the Tyrolean Oberland have learned over generations to stand their ground against an all-dominant nature, to survive in it – this makes them a special breed of people. The inhabitants of the Tyrolean Oberland are direct, down-to-earth, obliging and friendly. This authenticity must be preserved. When guests and locals meet, this means an enriching exchange of experiences for both. It is important to behave tolerantly, openly and respectfully towards each other.
CO2 in the atmosphere leads to global warming through the greenhouse effect and is thus a major cause of the climate crisis. In the Alps, the average temperature has risen by two degrees over the past hundred years, twice the global average. One of the most visible changes in the Alps due to climate change is the melting of glaciers. Each and every one of us is called upon to make a contribution in our everyday lives. If you want to protect the climate, you have many options. You can achieve the greatest effect by reducing your energy consumption and supporting the use of renewable energies. There is also scope for action through conscious consumption decisions in everyday life. Many small gears move one big one. The next time you decide to give up your car, just think of our wonderful glacier world, then maybe it will be a little easier for you.