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Freeride Tour "Following the tracks of Pastor Müller"

Priest Müller Freeride Tour Warth-Schröcken

Set off in the historical "footsteps of Pastor Müller" and be part of the ski history of Warth!

Already in the late 19th century, the little of village of Warth drew attention to itself when the pastor at the time, Johann Müller, became the first person to ski from Warth to Lech. Ski history was thus written laboriously, but full of confidence and ambition.

The ski guides of the Warth and Schröcken ski schools take interested parties on the original route from Warth to Lech and back. Become a part of history and enjoy the beautiful deeply snowy landscape that you will see on this tour!

The most important information about the tour:

  • Brief ascent to Wartherhornsattel (2,220m)
  • Freeride descent past Bürstegg to Lech
  • With the cableway to Mohnenfluhsattel (2,300m)
  • Mohnenfluh north-facing descent (1,000 vm)
  • Freeride descent back to Warth-Schröcken with an entry in Priest Müller's tour book and comfortable in Kaminbar Steffisalp.

The ski instructors reserve the right to change the tours based on the weather and snow conditions!

Registration

Contact Warth-Schröcken ski schools

SKI- UND SNOWBOARDSCHULE WARTH SCHNEESPORTSCHULE SCHRÖCKEN-HOCHKRUMBACH
Mathias FRITZ Josef Staggl
6767 Warth Nr. 77 6888 Schröcken Nr. 104
T +43 5583 3443 T +43 664 75 75 500
info@skischule-warth.com info@skischule-schroecken.com
www.skischule-warth.com www.skischule-schroecken.com

Read the exciting story of Priest Müller and his first freeride tour to Lech here

Priest Johann Müller - the ski pioneer from Warth

Priest Johann Müller was the priest provisor in Warth from 1891 to 1896. In the late winter of 1894, the newspaper "Deutscher Hausschatz" on how one could move using skis in the high north even with large amounts of snow. Priest Müller ordered these skis, spent a few nights practising in the parish residence and then took his first ski tour to Lech a few days later.


Excerpt from the newspaper Vorarlberger Volksblatt on 1 March 1948

Director Müller of the Valduna charitable organisation who has lived in Rankweil since the end of the war and is still very active despite his advanced age, told me the following story that sets the beginning of skiing in Vorarlberg in a new light. He obtained skis out of practical considerations back in the middle of the 1890s, at a time when Vorarlberg's first ski pioneers were making their first attempts solely out of athletic interest, and taught himself how to use these as an autodidact.

But we'll let him tell his own story: "I was the priest provisor or priest in Warth from 1891 to 1896. At the time, I received the newspaper "Deustchen Hausschatz". In the winter of 1894/1895, it printed a picture of how one can move in winter on skis in the high north, Sweden and Norway, despite large amounts of snow. Below the picture, they printed where one could buy skis and how much they cost.

I immediately thought that they would also be something practical for the Tannberg where there are not only days but whole weeks throughout the entire year where no one could leave or reach the community due to the quantities of snow and risks of avalanches. Back then, there were no telegraphs or telephones in Warth, not to mention radios. So I took out a money order and sent the required patient north with the request to send me a pair of skis.

After about 14 days, the postman Jakob Felder from the Steeg im Lechtal post office brought me a package with no idea about the innovation he was giving me. Back then, no one on the Tannberg and only a few throughout the entire Ländle had heard of skiing or even seen a pair.

Now it was time to learn how to ski. From the picture I could see that the skis were strapped to the boots and that when used a large alpenstock to walk. I had an alpenstock, just like every other tourist at the time. So: what to do? How to learn skiing?

I waited until night-time to avoid being seen and laughed at, until it was dark and all of the lights in the village were extinguished. Even my sister, the housekeeper, had gone to bed. Now I could dare to try. I strapped the "little Swedes" to my boots, took the long alpenstock and tried my luck in vast amounts of new snow of the parish residence.

Nope - I kept ending up with my skis crossed and my head in the snow until midnight. I courageously stopped and knew: you can't do it yet!

I thought, like with snowshoeing, you had to slide forward half on one foot and half on the other and I kept falling. I tried again the next night and did somewhat better. So the next day, before the villages lit their first light, I dared a trip to Lech. I made it, aside from a few falls, in 1 ½ hours, at a time where my neighbour, the priest of Lech, had barely made it out of bed.

I couldn't travel back that day due to the large risk of avalanches. I stayed in Lech and started back off the next day at dawn for Warth, where the dairy farmers with the "Bazida" at their backs awaited me with great expectation, since they had seen this strange dark figure in the direction of Lech and soon recognised me. They were very excited and made big eyes and asked a lot of questions and the unanimous verdict was: these are something very practical for the Tannberg. They knew: with a lot of new snow, it was not possible to get to Lech, not even with snowshoes.

I often travelled to Lech with my "little Swedes" as well as via the Luchrere Alps to Hochkrumbach and Schröcken, but never used my skis for sporting activities, but simply as a practical means of transportation. I took the skis off on steep ascents, put them on my back and continued on with snowshoes. For big descents, I took a seat and used my alpenstock as a brake. When it was particularly steeps, I either skied in serpentine movements with hairpin turns or I preferred to go on foot where the trail was blazed. My favourite thing was to travel to Lech.

The schoolboys soon learned that skis were a practical means of transportation for the Tannberg. They improvised skis out of barrel staves and rode on them. Provost Walch told me about 12 years ago that he can still remember how I, back when he was still a schoolboy, came to Lech on skis and always wore tall boots. He and everyone else his age imitated me afterwards with barrel staves. Hannes Schneider also talked about how he had his first ski experiences like this.

When I left Warth in the summer of 1896, I left the "little Swedes" to my successor, priest provisor Peter Paul Matt (who died in 1899 in Rehmen). He continued to use them and instructed the young teacher Wilhelm Huber from Warth (now school director in Hittisau) in the secrets of the white art. He then broke his leg while skiing in Lechleiten. I don't know anything more about the further fate of my "skis".