Place: Fiss, Austria
Number of trails: 3 official
Number of lifts: 8
Riding style: Bike park
Elevation: 400 metres
Level: Beginner to expert
Lift price: €33 1 day adult pass, with reduction in price for multiple days
Note: Open until October 20th, for 2013 there is a 20% reduction on lift tickets
The riding in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis (the name for the three adjoined Austrian towns, which I will refer to as ‘Fiss’ seeing as this is where the bike park is situated) is for the majority made up of machine-built trails, although there is scope for adventure into the higher mountains thanks to the eight lifts running during the summer.
We stayed in the small town of Fiss, which is a traditional Austrian farming community turned ski resort. Known as ‘Disneyland in the mountains’, the area features many family-friendly attractions and the accommodation in town is largely made up of ‘wellness centres’, which are essentially hotels with saunas, good food and plenty of fluffy white towels to make you feel right at home. There is, however, budget accommodation available also, reportedly starting from as little as €40 a night half board. There is a handy accommodation finder on the official website at the foot of this page.
The bike park in Fiss was constructed throughout 2013 with huge amounts of effort put in by a large team of labourers working to a specification based on what locals had experienced in the mecca that is Whistler and from plans produced by an Austrian trail building firm, Trail Solutions. Opened for several weeks at the tail end of the 2013 season, the bike park will be fully open in 2014, with more trails promised.
The hill is labelled as a ‘bike park’, but don’t assume this means it is completely comprised of jumps and dudes hangin’ out. With three tracks already functioning, there is something for every rider; from an simple descent of banked corners on a mellow gradient (blue trail), to an endless collection of jumps (red trail), all the way to a tricky, root-infested and at times steep, but very much fun, track (black trail). There is also a pump track and skills area at the foot of the hill plus free bike wash, a huge bike shop and rental fleet (of Kona bikes of course) and a very relaxed air to the place.
Every track is incredibly fun to ride and has been graded suitably, although intermediate level riders who don’t like to jump may find themselves stuck between the rolling nature of the blue and the definitely-expert nature of the black run. Having said that, all jumps on the red trail are roll-able or avoidable.
This is how it can be done if your name is Connor Fearon and you are a pro downhill racer
Well worth a visit. Although there are only three trails at present, they are excellently built, generally safe to ride (which some French resorts could perhaps do with applying to their official trails), fun and weather proof.