Cross-country skiing with view of the Grimming, Ausseerland - Salzkammergut | © Steiermark Tourismus | Tom Lamm Cross-country skiing with view of the Grimming, Ausseerland - Salzkammergut | © Steiermark Tourismus | Tom Lamm

Cross-Country Ski Trail Seal of Quality of the Styrian Ski Association

Cross-country skiing in the green heart of Austria is excellent – in the most literal sense of the word. Hans Hörzer has been vice president of the Styrian Ski Association for many years. One of his tasks is to ensure that the highest quality standards are met year after year. As of today, a total of 15 cross-country skiing regions in Styria have received the Cross-Country Ski Trail Seal of Quality.

„It is phenomenal with how much heart and soul our cross-country ski trail operators go about their work. It's the only way these optimal conditions for cross-country skiing can be created.“
Hans Hörzer

An excellent cross-country skiing experience in Styria

Hans Hörzer describes his work as both meaningful and enjoyable. It is up to him to make sure that the Styrian cross-country ski trails are perhaps the best in all of Austria. In this, he says, the Styrian Ski Association has a significant advantage: Styria's nature. Where else are there such optimal conditions for cross-country skiing at the highest level? Up in higher altitudes or down in the valleys: The trails are always perfect, the landscape a winter dream come true, and the services of first-rate quality: 

"Every cross-country ski trail must be at least five kilometres long and four to six metres wide. The many helpers who ensure that everything is in mint condition during winter season are also on standby to groom the trails every time the weather changes. And in case natural snowfall doesn't quite suffice, we help out with artificial snowmaking, using state-of-the-art equipment. Every region that fulfils all these criteria and also offers appropriate supporting services receives the Cross-Country Ski Trail Seal of Quality." – Hans Hörzer

Criteria for the Cross-Country Ski Trail Seal of Quality

There are certain minimum requirements for cross-country skiing regions awarded the Cross-Country Ski Trail Seal of Quality, which are checked regularly:

  • at least one classic trail and one skating trail
  • minimum length of 5 km and minimum width of 4 to 6 m
  • signposting including information on km, skiing direction, and trail markings (easy / medium / difficult)
  • protection of descents and dangerous spots with danger signs and padded fall areas
  • permanent or immediate grooming of the trails in case of weather changes. The grooming equipment must include a snow cutter in order to create sufficiently high-quality trail conditions.
  • medical equipment (first-aid kit and a skidoo with an akia as well as medical facilities in case of an emergency)
  • guaranteed snow for at least 60 days per season, or a snowmaking system

In addition, there must be one or more starting points or entry points equipped with the following:

  • panorama boards with a map that shows the complete network of trails (groomed and closed trails), levels of difficulty, trail or altitude profiles and temperature display
  • information about cross-country ski rental at the trail or in the village
  • parking spaces for easy access to the cross-country ski trail network

That's a whole range of quality criteria – and they are met by a total of 15 cross-country skiing regions in Styria!

Good to know for your cross-country skiing holidays