The beginnings of the Nordkettenbahn
One of the most significant milestones in our history was the opening of Nordkettenbahn on 8 July 1928. The gondola took its’ first passengers up the mountain to the area called Seegrube, which is located 1.905 meters above sea level. On 21 July 1928 a second cable car was opened to the public to reach the highest viewpoint via the 2.256 meter high Hafelekar. Originally the cable car was hoped to contribute positively to increase the tourism industry and also to improve leisure time facilities serving local residents. The 1927 statistics show a total population of 60.000 in Innsbruck; 320.000 guests were registered to visit Innsbruck annually. The gondola ride itself was worth a trip. In addition, it offered great access support for mountaineers.
Immediately, various inaccessible and remote peaks located in the first and second ridgeline of the Nordketten range were accessible to be crested within a day. At the same time skiing started to gain increasing popularity. In 1937 a ski jump at the Dreier Stütze was built offering specialized facilities for skiers. In 1947 the first ski lift was constructed, carrying 80.000 people every winter season, followed up by the Frau-Hitt-Warte ski lift in 1949. But also nowadays, the ski and snowboard area Nordketteis one of the most favored venues for the Innsbruck locals to get together and catch up on life. Within the first 25 years of the Nordkettenbahns’ existence it carried approximately 10.2 million people up the mountain. In the earlier days it was not an uncommon occasion during the summer months to wait for hours in order to board the gondola; on high season days in winter it was necessary to reserve tickets at least two days in advance.
Ossi Schmidhuber as the legendary founder of the Ski School Innsbruck in 1928
Karl Hagspiel and Luis Gerold encouraged and supported Ossi Schmidhuber’s idea of founding a ski school. The Innsbruck locals showed a lack of understanding for the concept and thought the three of them were crazy! The difficulty of the terrain on the Seegrube was said to be too dangerous. The skeptics were proved to be wrong. The ski school built up by Ossy Schmidhuber produced a number of world-class professional skiers like the two time world champion Dagmar Rom, the world champion Egon Schöpf and also the famous Proxauf siblings. Throughout the summer months Ossi Schmidhuber was one of the best-known mountain guides in the area taking the Queen of Holland and Prince Albert into the Tyrolean mountains. In addition to his life in the outdoors he played characters in various movies with regional background (Geier Walli, …).
Ossi Schmidhuber was also greatly involved with the construction of hiking trails in the Innsbruck area. The track leading to the Frau-Hitt-Sattel and continuing to the Solsteinhaus is named after him. One of his favorite sayings used to be: “That’s how it is here. That’s what counts!”
Ossi Schmidhuber retired in 1966 and Georg “Schorsch” Moser took over the lead of the Ski School Innsbruck
Schorsch Moser perused his duties passionately and coached the Ski Club Seegrube with great enthusiasm.
He initiated the free shuttle bus service, which enables visitors to get easy access to various skiing resorts around Innsbruck.
Peppi Pittl taking the lead in 1982
Building international connections and providing service to American and Japanese tourists gave the ski school a refreshing and new touch. Peppi Pittl established a children’s lift on a mellow terrain slope called Gramartwiese to enforce and enlarge the practicing possibilities for the local children and teens.
Work overload, however, in addition to other occupational duties forced him to hand the business over to Bernhard Schlechter.
Bernhard Schlechter to become the boss in 1994
Snowboarding started to boom dramatically in the 90s. Therefore, it was time to enrich and broaden the provided services to ensure quality instruction also to snowboarders. According to the new image the school was renamed "Ski & Snowboard School Innsbruck".
Due to an occasional shortage of snow on the Gramartwiese, the children’s lift facilities were relocated into a mellow terrain section on the Seegrube.
Since 2006 the Ski & Snowboard School Innsbruck is an officially recognized partnership organized under Civil Code (BGB) by Bernhard Schlechter and Michael Bär!