Singletrail Schnitzeljagd in Sölden – a special type of race
Last weekend in Sölden the 8th annual Schnitzeljagd (literally ‘Schnitzel hunt’ or treasure hunt, paperchase) took place in Sölden/Ötztal. In perfect conditions 300 participants set off to hunt for the elusive golden Schnitzel.
At different checkpoints and stations teams had to collect stamps and carry out fun tasks. The team which gets to the finishing line first with a completely filled out Schnitzel passport wins the golden Schnitzel! The exact route and sequence chosen is up to each team to decide.
As per usual the start was at 10.30 from the Gaislachkogel summit in Le-Mans start. At the start you could already see a clear difference between the various teams. Those who were really hunting for the golden Schnitzel sprinted to their bikes and sped down the fireroad at 75 km/h whilst others just looking for a great day out on fantastic trails with one or two gastronomic stops in the Ötztal set off at a much more leisurely pace.
At the end of this fire road the mid-station of the Gaislachkogel cable car the defending champions had their first pause with a puncture which already made another victory look unlikely. From this point the field split up as every team had their own strategy and chose a different route.
The task station at the close-by Gampe Thaya refuge was the first halt for many teams which led to a short queue. Instead of nervously waiting many riders used the time effectively to find a cosy spot on the terrace and enjoy a cappuccino. At this point the question could be asked: who was having the most fun?
In total four task stations and six stamp stations needed to be visited in order to collect each stamp required. In order to find the checkpoints a bit of local knowledge and keen observation were advantageous as the checkpoints which were spread about between the trails linking the task stations were easy to oversee in the heat of the battle. If you missed one of the checkpoints you needed to get the lift back up the mountain and ride the trail again.
Each task station was located at a mountain hut which could be easily reached with a cable car. Only one hut necessitated a pedal powered climb of around 600 metres. Whether you really needed to tackle the climb at full speed was left up to each rider to decide. But maybe it’s sometimes better to relax and enjoy a day in the mountains.
One sure highlight was surely the checkpoint found on the new Sölden flow-trail. The new Teäre Line was only opened the previous weekend and offered natural singletrails and a fun, flow filled change of scenery.
Around 13.30 the winning team crossed the line with a time under three hours. The winners were just like last year Florian Dumperth and Christian Morgenroth, who rode an amazing time even with two punctures.
The Golden Schnitzel was presented in the evening ceremony. For all other participants there was a real, edible Schnitzel to refresh them and lots of cool prizes in the tombola. Riders partied late into the night accompanied by live music and on the next day after a hearty breakfast set off again to check out the local trails.
The scouting Singletrail Schnitzeljagd in Sölden was a fantastic event with plenty of fun and amazing trails guaranteed.
More information at dierasenmaeher.de/schnitzeljagd.
Words: Pirmin Fischer/Fabian Strobl | Photos: Christoph Bayer