Year after year, the lift operators look to the sky from November onwards to see if and when the snow god will decide to send some flurries their way. And year after year, after late snowfall, the media discuss whether winter sports really have a future.
The question of a snow guarantee may be relevant in the mid-term for many ski resorts in the alpine area, but in Obertauern, we haven’t even starting asking it yet. Although the highest winter sports location in the Salzburg region had already previously advertised its now well-known snow guarantee, now this claim is supported by a study by ski tourism researcher Günther Aigner: Obertauern is actually the winter sports location with the greatest snow levels in Austria!
In Austria, the Hydrographic Municipal Services and earlier institutions have recorded snow volumes across numerous locations for over a hundred years, giving us the means to compare snow levels at many winter sports destination over a long period of time. Long-term records are also necessary to allow for inevitable fluctuations in snow levels and to provide an average that enables general statements to be made about the actual snowfall of a location. In his study, Günther Aigner incorporated the seven Austrian federal regions where winter sports are possible. From each of these federal regions, he selected the places with the most snowfall according to records, and compared the figures from these seven locations. He included snowfall records officially measured in the last 30 years, from winter 1985/86 to winter 2014/15, in this comparison.
In scientific terms, there are two parameters with which the frequent appearance of large quantities of snow can be determined objectively. On the one hand, the annual new snow accumulation and on the other hand, the annual maximum snow volume. As the new snow accumulation has not been captured equally reliably everywhere in the last two decades, Aigner analysed the annual maximum snowfall. With an annual average maximum snowfall of 264 centimetres, Obertauern tops the ranking of the seven Austrian snow giants by a long way. The second location, on the Arlberg, reaches 197 centimetres, a good 25% below the figure for Obertauern.
Some of the figures that came to light in the course of this study on the snow situation in Obertauern, carried out by ski tourism researcher Günther Aigner, are rather interesting. For instance, the greatest snow depth ever measured in Obertauern was recorded at 470 centimetres in winter 1966/67. The lowest figure was recorded in winter 1938/39, at 66 centimetres. The scientific comparison concludes with the remark that snow levels in Obertauern within the last 108 years have remained statistically unchanged. The data therefore show no signs that Obertauern’s snow levels are falling. That means: the snow guarantee of Obertauern is not only a marketing claim but also a scientifically proven fact.
Be there and enjoy unforgettable winter holiday days in Obertauern, at the Apartment Hotel Glöcknerin.