Who doesn’t love to see an early summer sunrise, at a time of year when the weather is becoming milder, the days are longer and bright colours adorn the landscape. There are only four weeks between the last day of the winter season and the start of the official bike season. It seems that Mother Nature has blessed Saalbach Hinterglemm, as well as other places, with a lovely start to spring. Although the official start of the summer season was the 10th of May, the locals could hardly wait to check out the now snow-free trails.
We also can’t wait to get started: Photographer Daniel Roos – a “Zuaroasta” (local dialect for “Expert”), Karin Pasterer, a local and I are already sitting on our bikes ready to head off. Yesterday we had the feeling it was time to store our snowboards away and time to get on the saddle and feel the earth, stones and roots underneath the tyres. Waiting for the mountain lifts to operate was not an option. During the between season, we have to get on our bikes and pedal up to the summit.
The weather predicts brilliant sunshine. Sunrise at 05:30. Alright! To make the most of enjoying the sunrise on the summit we leave the house at 04:00 – armed with headlamps, cameras and snacks. Our route takes us from the valley up the Reiterkogel, with an ascent of 800 metres. The astounding view that we know is awaiting us at the summit drives us upwards and onwards. After about an hour we are at the top and enjoy the first rays of sunlight and a well-deserved breakfast.
On our way down, we pass the Pro Line on the Reiterkogel. It won’t be too long now before we are on our downhill bikes in the Bikepark! The Shape Syndicate Crew will be busy at work. We follow the sounds of the “Fichtenmopeds” (Chainsaws) and nails being hammered to find the crew in the process of building new obstacles. The lads from Trail Touch are already at work. To conclude our “Springrise” Enduro Tour we were able to head down the freshly shaped Pro Line which will be officially opened on the 10th of May.
With broad grins our faces we arrive back down to the valley at approx. 09:00. One would think that having lived so long in one place you wouldn’t treasure your homeplace as you once did, but as the expression goes “Home is where the heart is” - and our hearts most certainly belong in the mountains of Saalbach.