Exploring the Slopes with Nina Gigele

Dive into the world of skiing with Nina Gigele, the ski guide and entrepreneur who authored “INSIDE THE ARLBERG“, a book that enhances your understanding of skiing, the alpine environment, and responsible practices. We caught up with Nina to stir up excitement for one last ski adventure before the arrival of summer.

IRMA: What’s the best way to prepare for off-piste skiing?
NINA GIGELE: As someone deeply passionate about off-piste skiing, preparation is key for a safe and enjoyable experience. I make it a point to inspect my gear, stay updated on avalanche forecasts, and understand the weather trends in the area. It’s also vital to assess the capabilities and objectives of my skiing companions. A useful tip is to be aware of the conditions in the preceding days or weeks, as they can greatly influence local skiing conditions. I select my skiing spots carefully, based on the most favourable conditions at the time.

IRMA: What do you find most rewarding about ski touring?
NINA GIGELE: The sheer joy of being immersed in nature and exploring new terrains is unparalleled. I treasure the camaraderie of skiing with people who share my enthusiasm and skill level. It’s about pushing our limits together, both in conversation and on the slopes. Each day is an opportunity to excel and expand my comfort zone. The sense of fulfilment I get from a day spent in the natural beauty of the outdoors, feeling the sun on my skin, and making fresh tracks in the snow, enriches my life in profound ways. I encourage everyone to experience this regularly and understand the deeper satisfaction it brings.

Nina Gigele skiing in Norway

IRMA: When is the ideal time or weather for a ski tour?
NINA GIGELE: Ski touring can be enjoyed throughout the season, depending on factors like weather, snow conditions, and skill levels. The key is to select your tours wisely based on these factors, which will deepen your understanding of the sport and its timing.

IRMA: Do you have a favorite ski tour near Lech?
NINA GIGELE: The Arlberg region, which I’ve showcased in my book “Inside the Arlberg”, holds many favoured ski tours for me. A standout starting point is the Marojkopf, which offers an excellent introduction to the area for beginners, ideally under the guidance of a ski mountain guide.

IRMA: Beyond the essentials, what else do you bring along on your ski outings?
My backpack is strictly filled with necessities like avalanche safety equipment, a first aid kit, spare clothing, and a snack. Occasionally, I’ll bring my Leica camera to capture the stunning vistas of the Arlberg, as I have a keen interest in creating high-quality content.

Nina Gigele skiing in Norway

IRMA: What motivates you to ski even in poor weather conditions, and why?
NINA GIGELE: I believe there’s no bad weather, just inadequate clothing. I adapt my skiing to suit the conditions and find joy in what’s possible. Surprisingly, challenging weather conditions are ideal for honing your skiing technique. Plus, skiing in such conditions boosts your mood, invigorates your skin, and improves overall well-being, making that post-ski hot chocolate with rum all the more rewarding.