Racing -

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.

Die Singletrail Schnitzeljag lockt jedes Jahr aufs neue das entspannte Endurovolk nach Sölden.
The Singletrail Schnitzeljag lures laid back enduro riders to Sölden year after year.

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.

Letzte Vorkehrungen vor dem Start werden getroffen.
Last preparations before the start.
Bei der Singletrail Schnitzeljag waren viele Grils am Start - we like!
There were lots of girls taking part in the Singletrail Schnitzeljag – we like!
Pirmin und Fabian sind top Motiviert und voller Hoffnung vor dem Start an der Talstation der Gaislachkoglbahn.
Pirmin and Fabian are fully motivated and full of expectation before the start at the bottom of the Gaislachkogl cable car station.
Ungeduldiges Warten auf die Gondel und die Trails.
Eagerly waiting for the lift and trails.

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.

Oben angekommen und ebenfalls top motiviert: Johann Mahler vom PROPAIN Factory Enduro Team.
Arriving at the top and also fully motivated: Johann Mahler from the PROPAIN Factory Enduro Team.
Hoch oben auf 3056 Metern über dem Meeresspiegel bei kühlen 3°C und leichtem Schneefall.
High up at 3056 above sea level with a cool 3°C and light snowfall.
Veranstalter Holger Meyer gibt noch letzte Instruktionen und peitscht die Fahrer auf die Strecke!
Organiser Holger Meyer gives the riders last minute instructions and hypes them up for the trails ahead!
Und los geht’s!
And they’re off!

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.

ENDURO Dauertester Pirmin im Kampf gegen die Wurzeln.
ENDURO Long term tester Pirmin fighting the roots.
Traumhafte Aussichten und flowige Trails, was will man mehr?
Breathtaking scenery and pure trail flow – what more could you ask for?

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?

Die Aufgaben haben nicht selten eher scherzhaften Charakter.
The tasks which needed completing were often of a playful character.
Sechs dieser Stempel mussten die Teilnehmer finden und einsammeln.
The participants needed to find six of these stamps.

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.

Für das leibliche Wohl der Fahrer sorgten die Almhütten rund um Sölden.
The various mountain huts around Sölden provided re-fueling for the riders.
Vorrausschauendes Fahren - die Checkpoints waren auf den Trails verteilt und durften nicht übersehen werden.
Looking ahead – the checkpoints were spread out of the trails and musn’t be missed.

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.

Jeder erfolgreiche Stempel wurde mit einem abwechslungsreichen Ötztaler Trail belohnt.
Each successful stamp is rewarded with a richly varying Ötztaler trail.
Die Singletrail Schnitzeljag ist auch was für Entspannungssuchende.
The Singletrail Schnitzeljagd is also perfect for those seeking a relaxing day out.

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.

Die Sieger bei der Zieleinfahrt …
The winners crossing the line …
… trotz eines platten Reifens.
… in-spite of a flat tyre.

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.

Die Jagd nach dem goldenen Schnitzel war auch diese Jahr wieder ein großer Spaß und ein voller Erfolg!
The hunt for the golden Schnitzel was huge fun again this year and a complete success!

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

Words: Pirmin Fischer/Fabian Strobl | Photos: Christoph Bayer