Winter Sports Away From the Ski Pistes

Winter sport equals alpine skiing, right? Not exactly. In addition to perfectly prepared pistes, Mayrhofen in the Ziller Valley offers much more for winter sport athletes; cross-country skiing, ski touring and mountain running.

Winter Sports Away From the Ski Pistes

©Laurin Moser

Created by Elisabeth Frontull

©Laurin Moser

Mayrhofen is not all about skiing

Extreme sports athlete Markus Kröll gives us an insight into his diverse training plan in the beautiful Ziller Valley. 


Cross-country versus alpine skiing 


“The best training area is just outside my front door in Mayrhofen”, Markus Kröll informs us when asked about alternative winter sports. He has been one of the top ten international mountain athletes for over a decade and lives for his sport. “In the cold months I mostly train at a low intensity. All-round sports such as cross-country skiing, jogging or ski touring are ideal for this”, Markus explains. His is consistently true to his motto “Never give up!”

Burgschrofen cross-country circuit – Markus’ home training ground

For Markus Kröll the intense sporting season finishes in October. He then takes two weeks off from training and dedicates them to his second passion – restauration. However, in November he is already dusting off his cross-country skis. “This sport allows me to train for the longest possible time at the optimal pulse rate”, he says, describing the benefits of the discipline. 


The two kilometre cross-country circuit at Burgstall is lit at night and is Markus’ home training ground. However, his favourite place in the Ziller Valley is on the Grünberg mountain. With his touring skis this athlete can reach the peak within two hours. 

©Laurin Moser

Lace-up those trainers

“I love the sound of snow crunching under my trainers”, says Markus, who also enjoys jogging in winter. And why not? Mayrhofen in the Ziller Valley  offers kilometres of well-maintained, snow-cleared walking and jogging paths. 

The 46 year old enjoys running along the Ziller Promenade just as much as a mountain run. “For me jogging is all about being in nature and conquering altitude metres. The view from the summit is the best reward”, Markus says. He is convinced; “If I could choose any place in the world to train in, I would always choose Mayrhofen.”