Into the White – Customized Backcountry Adventures at Arlberg, Austria

Eike Poeppelmeier | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article


Blower powder - Rider: Chris Schnabel. Photografer: Markus Gmeiner
Blower powder – Rider: Chris Schnabel. Photographer: Markus Gmeiner

Chris Schnabel is a pro rider for K2 and former Freeride World Tour rider, who just started his own backcountry guiding company. He has been living at Arlberg, Austria for 10 years and is a fixture in the local freeride community. I have been lucky to shred with him and get to know the incredible, endless terrain of the Arlberg region.

Albonakopf - High Alpine technical Terrain
Albonakopf – High alpine technical terrain

Today I have Chris here for a short interview to introduce Into the White:

Chris Schnabel (CS) Interview:

Snowbrains: So what is Into The White (ITW) all about?

CS: Into the white derived out of my passion for freeriding. Having been a professional snowboarder for many years this was the next step for me. I would like to pass on my backcountry know how to interested customers, develop their freeriding skills and show them the best possible terrain. And most importantly guide them safely through the backcountry.

Snowbrains: How did you get started guiding and what are your qualifications?

CS: I completed the Austrian state certified snowboard instructor and guide education at its highest level in 2011. Since then I’ve worked for several guiding companies and ski schools and have gained a lot of experience in guiding groups.

Lift access Pow - Blower powder - Rider: Chris Schnabel. Photografer: Markus Gmeiner
Lift access pow – Rider: Chris Schnabel. Photographer: Markus Gmeiner

Snowbrains: Chris what is special about the Arlberg region in the Alps?

CS: It’s the cradle of alpine skiing and the terrain seems like it is designed for freeriding. This  combined with an incredible infrastructure of nearly a 100 lifts/gondolas and ski buses makes the Arlberg unbeatable. You can step out of the lift and find yourself in challenging freeride terrain for any kind of level. The snow is also great: When the low pressure systems hits from the north you can count on big snowfalls. The Arlberg area is known for great powder skiing/snowboarding.

Snowbrains: What is a perfect snowboard day for you?

CS: I can tell you what is not a perfect snowboard day for me: I hate super crowded, bluebird days with long lift lines and crowds tracking the mountain. I prefer dump days instead and lonely splitboarding missions just with friends.

Stale fish deep in the woods
Stalefish deep in the woods

Snowbrains: Why should I book a backcountry adventure with ITW?

CS: Whether you are a freeride beginner who wants to learn the basics or you are a full expert who just wants to get guided to the goods. ITW offers freeriding courses for every kind of level. Besides the basic guiding skills all the guides have a backgrounds as professional athletes which makes the difference. Expect an extraordinary experience with heaps of fun, powder and adventure.

Snowbrains: How has your season been so far?

CS: Its been tough on Europe so far. There hasn’t been any major snow falls the whole December and the temperature line went jojos (up and down). But we managed to find the rare goodies did some road trips to other locations and I was actually pretty surprised about the snow we have found.

Snowbrains: What is the plan for the future?

CS: I am supper happy to have set up ITW and cut my way through the law jungle of the Austrian ski school system. Besides that I want to do the best job I can to show my customers the best possible runs, teach them a lot about the backcountry and give them the best time they can have.

Endless Backcountry at the Arlberg - Rider: Chris Schnabel. Photografer: Markus Gmeiner
Endless backcountry at Arlberg – Rider: Chris Schnabel. Photographer: Markus Gmeiner

Snowbrains: Thanks for your time and good luck with Into The White.

Check out for more information and booking. Come shred the Arlberg!

Slashing windlips surfstyle - Rider: Chris Schnabel.
Slashing windlips surfstyle – Rider: Chris Garside. Photographer: Markus Gmeiner



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