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There is a special attraction to skiing in open terrain. Far away from the hustle and bustle of popular ski runs, you can serenely cut your own trail in fresh powder or granular firn and discover the magic of the mountains close to nature, like in bygone days, when ski lifts had not yet been invented.
Open terrain skiing is practiced in three different forms:
. Ski touring - where skiers strap skins onto their skis and ascend the mountain before making their way down in open terrain.
. Freeriding - freeriders use the lift to ascend the mountain, perhaps mounting for a short while on skis, before venturing on ungroomed runs down to the valley.
. Off-piste skiing - is a particularly enjoyable form of freeriding.
Freeriding and off-piste skiing are increasingly popular. In Lech Zürs am Arlberg practiced skiers ski off-piste virtually everywhere. In other regions, too, demand and the number of courses offered is permanently on the increase. No wonder, since Vorarlberg offers ideal conditions for off-piste skiing and a surprising diversity within limited confines.
The main freeriding spots can be found in areas above 1,800m sea level, above the timber line. This is an important aspect to bear in mind in the light of nature preservation, since skiing winter forests may cause damage to trees and disrupt animals. „Respect your limits‟ is a campaign which urges skiers to comport themselves respectfully in nature.