Obertilliach is a village of 700 in the East Tyrol region of Austria. Petr and I did a strength workout on Thursday in Orillia, then flew overnight to Prague where we borrowed a car with a ski box from Petr’s father. On Friday I went for a short run, on Saturday we made the 7.5hr drive to Obertilliach and then we went for a ski so we managed to train every day during travel!


Driving up to Obertilliach.


East Tyrol is dotted with small churches and chapels.

We are certainly not the only skiers preparing for the Olympics here. I have spotted skiers from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Japan, Finland and Lithuania training here this week. Obertilliach is also the host village for a Worldloppet race – the Dolomitenlauf, which took place last weekend.


The local biathlon centre draws many top athletes to the town.


Immaculate grooming.


No need for snow guns at this point in the season.


The biggest quinzhee I have ever seen – I wonder who lives here?

Obertilliach is possibly the most picturesque place I have ever trained. Beautiful homes dot the hillsides, ski trails are just minutes away, majestic mountains tower overhead, sunlight bathes the village, the skies are azure blue, and the smell of woodsmoke welcomes you to the village. I have joked that there is no need to continue on to Sochi – I would be happy living here for a month!


Spectacular views from the ski trails.


Homes on the hillsides, and a small avalanche in the upper left of the picture.


A watermill beside the stream which the ski trail follows.


So far the only downside here has been the uphill ski home after training.


The views make the climb easier.

I am extremely grateful to our friends on the Austrian team who found us the nicest (and also surprisingly the most affordable) accomodations we have had all season. We have a small appartment in the house of a family which runs a a local hotel.


The barn next door.


A good example of the local architecture.


Balconies seem to be an essential feature here – our appartment has one as well!


Walking through the village to get groceries.


Perfectly stacked wood – things are kept tidy around here!


I was sad to leave behind my boot dryer on this trip – stepping into dry boots for the afternoon ski makes a big difference in morale.


I didn’t need to worry – boot drying is easy on this specially designed rack.


Austria is a downhill skiing powerhouse – it’s not surprising given how young they start skiing.


This article in progress – I had the morning off to rest today.

2 responses to “Obertilliach

  1. Nice part of the world; I have been to Obertauern, NE of there and Cortina just across the border in Italy. Prague seems like a long way; we flew to Salzburg. Keep training and stay injury free!

    • You’re right – I just edited the article to explain that we borrowed a car with a ski box in Prague. Otherwise there would be many more convenient places to fly to!

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