Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) but only the consequences of the skier falling.
Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.
Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.
High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.
Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.
A short, safe and rightly popular tour with fantastic views throughout - this is a great place to start your Tirolian ski touring career. Ride the cable car up to the top of Patscherkofel ski area and then head south on the clear, pisted track.
The track climbs gently throughout and requires almost no concentration so you can get on with admiring the views, which are ever changing but consistently wonderful.
As you climb you can really begin to get your bearings and figure out exactly how all the mountain ranges and valleys around Innsbruck fit together.
To the south lies the Wipptal, the valley leading to the Brenner Pass and Italy.
Over to the west is the Stubai Valley and the Kalkogel peaks that are home to the Axamer Lizum and Schlick 2000 ski resorts.
To the north are the Karwendel mountains - some of the wildest peaks in the whole of the Alps - and over to the east (once you get high enough) the Tuxer Alps reveal themselves too. The track is always obvious and easy to follow and after a long traverse to the south it does a couple of zig zags and climbs onto the summit of Patscherkofel itself.
There is a huge radio mast and some associated buildings up there, plus a small and very welcoming mountain hut, which serves the usual array of delicious Tirolian specialities.
From the summit it's possible to ski back down the ascent track but a much more fun option is to ski north-west directly back down to the top of the cable car.
The face you ski down kicks up to 30 degrees-ish and there needs to be a good covering of snow for it to be skiable.
In good conditions it's a fun and exciting ski line, with great views of the Inn valley throughout.
There are some small trees to negotiate but generally the skiing is open and flowy. Once back at the lift ski the pistes for a few hours or go for another lap.