Every year in January the balloon week takes place in Gosau at Dachstein, where countless balloons decorate both the ground and the air. (photo: RudiKainPhotografie)

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The brave gladiators with their "Fassdauben"

As soon as foolhards men and women in their short Lederhosen or long "Gattihosen" (underwear) call to the "Fassdauben" race, hundreds of fans come to this "athletic" event in the winter. Each year it takes place on the Krippenstein in Obertraun, each second year also in Bad Goisern on the lake Hallstatt.

What are "Fassdauben"?

For those who do not know: "Fassdauben" are the boards, who keep the barrels in shape and grounded.  A leather strap is the only hold for the prehistoric-skiers. Except of the alpenstock, who completes the static triangle to the ground (of a soft snow base) – and should counteract the gravity. Gravity is most of the times a big problem of the competitors with the easy-going attitude. And suddenly, the boys and girls, the men and the women fly around and show their inacrobatic unhandiness.


The aesthetics of the "Fassdauben" race

In the inrun track to a meter-high jump over which the competitors have to go, you can already see those movements and attitudes that you probably have not seen since the beginnings of skiing. All kinds of falls are made here. At the key points they become aesthetic highlights. Hats, sticks and of course the "Fassdauben" develop an independent existence until they are put back to the head, hands and feet of the slightly confused competitors.

The following photo gallery can be navigated with the arrow keys (left, right).

Running after the "Fassdauben"...

Not only the falls are fascinating, but also the competitors, who reach the finish line without their sports equipment. Probably that is also the deeper cause of the event's name: "Running after the "Fasstauben"  

The ambitious one searches his equipment to get everything together again, the stoical one stays sitting in the snow, thinking about his life, which seems useless at this moment. The small bottle of "Schnaps" in his backpack is helping, but probably that is also the reason, that brought him into this situation...

The time is measured aswell, as there is an award ceremony at the end of the race. If only an alpine worldcup would have the same entertainment factor as the "Fassdauben" race... but it hasn't, and this is the main reason for all fans, to see the sliding, flying and stumbling women & men in their "Gattihosen" (long underwear).

"Fassdauben" race Krippenstein
4831 Obertraun
mobile: +43 660 6981211
Web: www.fassdauben.jimdo.at


"Fassdauben" club Untersee
Untersee 8, 4822 Bad Goisern am Hallstättersee
mobile: +43 660 3950462