Escape Trail Saalbach
Since summer 2022, Saalbach Hinterglemm has a completely new and exciting outdoor highlight: the Escape Trail "Path of the Smugglers". Here, players immerse themselves in a story from the year 1765. The mule-trader Anna was innocently imprisoned in the Saalbach Tower and is now waiting to be freed. Her call for help accidentally ends up in the here and now, and so it is up to the players to help Anna free herself. So far, so good. But what is an Escape Trail anyway?
"It's a bit like an Escape Room, only outside," is a rough explanation you often hear. Of course, you can't give too much away in advance, because otherwise the whole thing is only half as exciting. Without giving too much away now: the Escape Trail is a mixture of outdoor adventure, scavenger hunt and puzzle rally, embedded in a rousing story. The whole thing takes place as part of a hike against the backdrop of the Saalbach mountains. The start is at the Tourism Service Centre, where the players receive their game set and can immediately set off on the first riddle.
Along the way, players will find clues and information that will help them solve puzzles, pick locks and thus make the contents of the game set accessible piece by piece. On a path of approx. 5 kilometers and 170 metres in altitude, you will gradually come closer to solving the puzzle.
Exclusively, we of course also got some exciting background information. After all, who could tell us more about our Escape Trail than the inventor himself? We asked Tobias Hundertpfund a few questions for you. He is the managing director of the event and adventure agency "Zeitenwanderer", who brought the concept of the Escape Trail to Saalbach. Here is a little insight into the work behind such a project:
What are the 5 most important ingredients for an exciting Escape Trail?
The basic ingredients are a good story that fits into the location and riddles or tasks that also make sense in this story. This improves the immersion - and the more we manage to draw the players into the story, the more exciting the Escape Trail is. The beautiful mountain scenery in which we are allowed to set the game here in Saalbach is of course also a huge plus for an unforgettable experience. And then there is another important "spice": we develop our outdoor Escape games with joy, passion and attention to detail.
Do you come up with individual puzzles for each Escape Trail or do you draw from a certain pool of ideas?
We create each Escape Game individually. Especially because it's important to us that the puzzles and tasks also have a connection to the story, they also have to be individually "hand-knitted". After all, they should result from the story. Of course, we have a pool of "basic ideas" from which we often draw inspiration and develop them further. But we don't do off-the-shelf riddles.
From the idea to the first game: How long did the development and construction of the Saalbach Escape Trail take and what are the major milestones?
Ten to eleven months. The first milestone is finding a suitable route with interesting waypoints and developing a rough story idea. Over the winter, the story and puzzles are then worked out in detail and a prototype game set is built for the test games - these then form the next milestone in the spring. Each game will be test-played and optimised until everything fits. After that, we go into production of the hardware and the shooting of the video clips. The last significant step is the assembly and completion. For us personally, the biggest highlight came afterwards, namely the gratifying feedback from the Tourism Service Centre that the game was so well received.
What are the biggest hurdles on the way to an exciting Escape Trail?
Good question. Maybe the voice in my head that questions again and again whether we can't do it even better. But that's one of my own personal hurdles, and I encounter it often. Otherwise, I wouldn't call them hurdles, there are just a few steps to take. Some are higher than others and some are unexpected, for some it takes a lot of creativity and for others a lot of patience (until the weather is finally right, ...), many hours, a lot of energy ... But in the end they lead to the goal, to an exciting Escape Trail. Could you possibly have a nicer job?!
So if the riddle fever has already gripped you and you want to take up the challenge, then let's go! The game is played in groups of two to eight people, so it's perfect for a weekend trip with friends or a challenge for two. You should plan about three to five hours for the game, lace up your good trekking shoes and pack yourself something to drink and possibly some food for your nerves.
Your personal Escape Trail adventure can be booked either online, via email or spontaneously at the Tourism Service Centre, subject to availability. It is essential to bring a smartphone with full battery and internet connection.
More information about the Escape Trail "Path of the Smugglers" and the possibility to book can be found here: saalbach.com/escape