Video: Fabio Wibmer and Vali Höll Shred Saalbach Bike Park on its Opening Weekend

Jun 15, 2020
by Saalbach Hinterglemm  

Bike- and YouTube-Star Fabio Wibmer meets two-time Junior Downhill World Champion Vali Höll. During Lockdown Fabio managed to reach an audience of millions with his interpretation of 'Home Office', while Vali was busy constructing a DYI fitness studio to prepare for the World Cup season and her ‘Home’ World Championships. For both athletes, the opening of Austria’s largest bike region on June 11 finally marked the beginning of a return to business as usual. Goodbye home gym, hello trails.

Race-Time vs. Airtime

The trails in Saalbach Hinterglemm are as unique and diverse as the skills of Vali Höll and Fabio Wibmer. The Season-Opening edit shows the two athletes riding two opposing mountains and demonstrates that Saalbach has something in store for every taste. While Vali is working on improving her technique and finding those elusive final tenths-of-seconds on the X-Line on Schattberg, Fabio is busy racking up airtime on the Panorama-Trail on the Kohlmais.

Image by Hannes Berger

Vali Höll should have been competing in the third World Cup of her season on June 7 but thanks to the lockdown, the season-opening of Saalbach actually marks the beginning of her preparations for the World Cups which have been postponed to September and October. At least for Vali the lockdown wasn’t all bad, as the young racer from Saalbach was able to fully concentrate on her final exams in school and now still has the chance to fully prepare for the World Cup Season including the World Championships in neighboring Leogang.

Image by Moritz Ablinger

Vali Höll:

“When Saalbach and Leogang open their doors for the summer season it feels like Christmas and Easter on the same day as I can finally move from the home gym to riding the trails on my doorstep. Next to the World Championships track in Leogang, the X-Line in Saalbach is the perfect training ground to work on my technique and fitness."

Fabio Wibmer’s plans for the year have drastically changed as well thanks to the lockdown. But even confined to his ‘Home Office’, the creative Bike- and YouTube-Star managed to adapt and get creative by producing a video that reached a global audience of millions.

Image by Hannes Berger

Fabio Wibmer:

“I am absolutely stoked to be able to ride in Saalbach again. Even though we managed to create a surprise hit during the lockdown, nothing beats being able to go outside again. Being able to ride the trails in Saalbach again, a region that has supported me for years and with which I have built a unique relationship, was something special and definitely beats riding on my washing machine and dining table.”

Image by Hannes Berger

Austria’s largest bike region

On June 11, Saalbach Hinterglemm opened the gates to start the summer season, which also means that Austria’s largest bike region is completely open as of now. With more than 70 kilometers of trails, nine lifts and gondolas and seven mountains as well as several beginner areas and pump tracks in Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, those new to the sport as well as advanced riders will be hard-pressed to identify their favorite trail.

Image by Moritz Ablinger

Image by Hannes Berger

Further information on riding in Saalbach Hinterglemm is available at saalbach.com/bike

Regions in Article
Saalbach Hinterglemm


80 Comments

  • 116 3
 Sure... Its ok for Fabio to take a piss off the side of a berm, but where is the shot of Vali squatting in the bushes. It's 2020 people.
  • 45 33
 Taking a leak in the video...? WTF, total cringe. Not professional, not funny, not riding.
  • 14 15
 @TW80: I'm with you. That was pretty much the end of me watching that video.
  • 42 0
 @foggnm: @tw80:
Right... I mean you couldn't see his weiner or anything... What a letdown.
  • 10 0
 @TW80: but it's so edgy. We've a ways to go before re-attaining the progress of Diogenes the Cynic's public masturbation circa 350 B.C. 'If only I could soothe my hunger by rubbing my belly.'
  • 19 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: rumour has it that it took Fabio over 200 takes to get that shot. So much redbull...
  • 5 0
 Next time have him pee mid air.
  • 4 3
 some weird european humor?
  • 4 0
 are you taking the piss?
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: What a pissoff....
  • 1 2
 @Patsplit: thing is, it's not really a joke if you live in Europe. People piss everywhere here. Go to any corner on the side of a country road or little side path in the woods and the stink is real. Not to mention the piles of piss covered McDonald's napkins from the ladies.
If you're really lucky, you might even get to see a week old number 2.
  • 91 1
 To be honest, I would have expected a tad more from the video with two such legends starring in it. Also, the song used for this commercial sucks big time...sorry for my honesty Smile
  • 23 1
 Don't apologize for honesty bro, it's a rare thing.
  • 9 1
 and we got one of the photos twice...
  • 1 2
 @brodoyouevenbike: On the internet we have way too much honesty.
  • 2 1
 Yeah, shutterstock music...
  • 2 0
 @tom5: honestly?!
  • 1 0
 But... dudeperfect brah!!!
  • 18 1
 No JokerCard, no Saalbach.
  • 4 1
 Pro tip: Get a hotel in Leogang instead. With their guest card you can still ride every lift once in Leogang and Saalbach including bike transport. That'll keep you busy all day at least for Enduro riding.
  • 1 0
 @stefkrger: Even with ebike I'd not be willing to ride the Wurzeltrail twice each day Rolleyes

Yeah, it's a shame with the Jokercard. But it was a question of time. The offer was just too expensive for Saalbach. I'm happy that I could use it for the last three years Big Grin
  • 1 0
 The joker cad was an unbelievable deal. I think our room was 20 euros a night each in a gorgeous chalet with a sauna. Free riding to boot. Fairly different to riding in Swizerland
  • 16 1
 Wait, did he wash his hands before giving high 5?
  • 1 0
 Nope, but he was wearing gloves.
  • 1 0
 Nah, but looks like he took a piss just before the high 5...lol
  • 11 0
 Best thing about that load of tosh was the beaver (Marmot) thing. Rest of it was blurb....
  • 12 4
 "Austria’s largest bike region"
--> this information is not correct.

"The Season-Opening edit (Edits name) shows the two athletes "
--> I think this is another mistake ;-)
  • 9 0
 agreed. What a weird video
  • 20 0
 Good ol Austrian mtb tourism advertising, where the truth isn´t that important. Smile

To the others: Always remember, that in Austria even on fireroads, mountainbiking is illegal, except its a marked mountainbike route.
  • 6 0
 @GuinnessRCD: it's the same with wintersports advertising Smile
In Austria (and particularly in Tirol) every mountain is "the jewels/diamond of the Alps", every resort has its "top of the world/Tirol" point of view. It's also the best snow conditions while having the best weather, the most natural environment while having the most cable cars (...).
At the beginning I was finding it annoying, now it just amuses me. I'm curious which city will be first to dare calling itself the mtb Mecca
  • 2 0
 @GuinnessRCD: it always suprises me how bad for mtb the west of austria is compared to the east. As tyrol (and everything around it) is much more mountainous than the east, I would have expected that the best bikeparks would be in the tyrolian alps or something like that.
And yet, my absolute favorites, schladming and semmering aren't exactly in the most alpine parts of austria. In addition, Wexl Trails is also pretty cool, Schöckl is worth a visit all year round and for riders from styria or carinthia, bikepark Maribor is pretty close too.
MTB in Austria isn't bad, its just not where you'd expect it to be Smile
  • 1 0
 @Floho: MTB is more than buying a ticket and shredding on bike-park lines ... ...but this is strictly forbidden in most regions of Austria – even if you simply just want to take a ride with your family on a fire-road apart from public asphalt/tarmac roads.

If you pay 45€ to a bike ticket in Leogang, they tell you that you can do anything – fck the nature, fck hikers, fck everything – MTB is the best thing in Austria. But if you want to go on a short after-work-ride in the evening at your home spot you will get into trouble in lots of austrian regions, with penalties up to 750€ and maybe also a trial/law-suit which are even more expensive.

However – according to bikepark: there are also great parks in the west of Austria.
  • 3 0
 @zede:
In my opinion they call themselves already as "mtb-mecca".

Innsbruck declares as "Bike City Innsbruck"
Bundesland Salzburg declares as "Mountainbike Paradise"
Mühlviertel even declares as "biggest mountainbike-region of central-europe"


At least skiing is legal in Austria everywhere (also ski touring and backcountry skiing) – so i do not care too much about the embellished and beautified pictures and informations. But mountainbiking is still illegal nearly everywhere in Austria, and tourism advertising do not care about the legal situation which tightens all problems even more ...
  • 1 0
 @cbtp: Do not forget the one and only Bike Republic! I've never been there but the comments below the 'destination showcase' article from some days ago stated how perfect it is for every kind of mountainbikers, except when you are not pumped on mtb freeways...
  • 11 0
 gimme five that I just pissed without washing my hands !
  • 12 3
 every video with fabio in has cringe cheesy music!
  • 8 0
 Ok hear me out...I'm going to do a jump and you just zoom in on my crotch! It's going to be epic. You'll see
  • 6 0
 Concerning Austria:
Schladming reopened with a 3 new lines (including a 4km jump line) and a new gondola.
Much better than Leogang/Saalbach in my opinion.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, I spent a good few days around Leogang/Saalbach and only really found that the X-Line was worth riding and good fun.

Spent half a day at Schladming during my drive back from Leogang and it was pretty much the most fun I'd ever had on a bike.
  • 3 1
 Schladming was better than saalbach even with just one line. although I must say that I do like the Pro Line at saalbach its just a shame that x-line requires you to ride back up that massive hill on the road.
  • 1 0
 hey man can i get some clarification as to why saalbach is hated so much, from the videos it looks good but maybe there is a lack of trails? thanks
  • 2 0
 @Jaib06: I wouldn‘t sag it‘s hated. But their marketing promises too much. Saalbach/Hinterglemm is a top ressort for enduro/trail/family/tour. But for a downhiller there are many better options in Austria.
Plus: S/H was pushed with their „Joker Card“ (free lift ticket) so it was very crowded. They stopped Joker Card this year.
  • 1 0
 @Jaib06: and there are a lot of good trails - enough for some days.
  • 3 0
 @Jaib06:
It´s a accumulation of things. First off, it´s a beginner region. There´s not much to challenge experienced riders for a longer period of time. Basically X-Line and Pro-Line, that´s it. It also was very crowded because they gave you free lift access with every accomodation. As the two tracks i mentioned before are rather difficult for beginners and advanced riders, most of the traffic is focused onto the beginner lines, which as a result get beaten up pretty badly. So people start complaining about a lack of maintenance.
Now that they got rid of the free lift access and people have to actually pay for their tickets, they get even more angry. The average clientel being middle aged people with kids doesn´t exactly help keep things in perspective either.
It´s not a bad region to ride. As was said, much more suited towards the beginner/intermediate enduro rider. Worth a day trip for advanced or more downhill oriented riders though.
  • 2 0
 @Loki87 @styleguide : thanks for the reply guys, so as im a downhiller at heart i guess not for me, i was hoping for a replacement for the usual chatel/les get/morzine trips but i guess not, thanks for the in depth and actually honest thoughts as most of the onlines videos and articales are clearly paid for...
but yeah cheers guys
  • 2 0
 @Jaib06:
If you plan on spending multiple days in the region you´re right, it´s probably not for you and especially comparing it to Morzine etc, it´ll be a huge disappointment.
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: Wish I'd had something like your write-up before I went there! I went after spending a couple of weeks at Aosta valley, so the disappointment was real.

@Jaib06 if you can ever swing by Schladming though, it was absolutely awesome and definitely worth a visit, just not sure if there would be enough stuff for a few days of riding.
  • 2 0
 @Paluzas: concerning Schladming:
There is the Planai Downhill Park AND the Reiteralm Trail Park nearby (same lift ticket;; best trail park in Austria).
I would say enough stuff for a few days...
  • 1 0
 @Jaib06: if you want to make a weekend out of it and dont mind a few hours driving and changing hotels then its possible to have a good time. We did 4 nights in the region going from Saalbach to Leogang and then to Schladming. I would also order the parks that way in terms of progression with Schladming having the best dh track and saalbach the easiest.
  • 7 0
 Video of a marmot, featuring Fabio + Vali
  • 5 0
 This video summed up Saalbach quite nicely; artificial and overhyped. Probably still going back this summer, as I did last year and the year before that...
  • 1 0
 hey man can i get some clarification as to why saalbach is hated so much, from the videos it looks good but maybe there is a lack of trails? thanks
  • 1 0
 you forgot backward thinking and full of them selves
  • 3 1
 @Jaib06: Most of the trails that are open to bikes are very bike park-like (for lack of a better word) With the exception of the Hackleberg trail, that is my go to trail when I'm out there. Rest are hiking trails and they make sure you know that you have no business there.

To me, and this is nothing more then my own personal opinion, Saalbach is to Austria what Bruges is to Belgium. Sure, it's a nice place, sight's are amazing, but you just get this feeling of "overwhelming commercialization" The whole vibe seems kind of forced. Maybe it's due to the fact that winters are becoming shorter and people who live of tourism have to improvise to make a living (That Audi A6 ain't gonna buy itself...) So they fake some enthousiasm about bikes, but you just feel that the heart' not in it.

That's why I feel that this video with Fabio Wibmer is the perfect analogy for Saalbach. He would sell his grandmother on Instagram if they would allow it, but everytime a new video of him drops, I check it out...
  • 5 0
 Fabio deserves a better song than that
  • 5 0
 Hell yeah ! Free to piss on every piece of the Forrest.
  • 4 0
 Hottest new stunt on the FMB World Tour: the zipper-close one hand! Wink
  • 5 1
 Generic as hell
  • 1 0
 Covid 19 has brought about the death of the disingenuous high five. Yeah they chose throw a fake stoke one in at the end of the video. Fail.
  • 1 0
 But a full-face helmet gets partial credit for being a surgical mask
  • 2 0
 hahaha...the comments here are the complete opposite of the comments on the youtube channel....I prefer the ones here
  • 1 0
 "Okay guys, not a lot of budget, we need one good banger. Ideas?"

...

"I could take a piss on your trails and then zip my fly mid air?"

...

"Great idea."
  • 1 0
 They really should have given the riders full creative control on this one. They both make some of the best content out there.
  • 5 3
 Hay! No high fives allowed!!! Wink
  • 2 0
 Slow-mo fly zipper shot is the new slow-mo giggle shot!
  • 1 0
 I wish i could drive there, but living on an island is like no flights for me for next year i guess Frown
  • 2 0
 Hmmm could have been better...
  • 2 0
 Stopped watching at the zipper bs
  • 1 0
 Crackin place to take a slash though
  • 1 0
 good exercise in spotting the differences between the two frames..
  • 2 0
 That was dumb
  • 6 9
 haha what were you guys expecting - another home office?? It's a fine edit featuring two great riders shredding in the best bike region I know (acutually been there this opening weekend).
  • 6 1
 I'm sorry for you Bro!
  • 3 1
 @xyzHero: tell me more
  • 3 0
 @stefkrger: If we talk about Bikeparks in Europe, check out Livignio, Portes du Soleil, Lac Blanc/La Bress, Hafjell, Spicak. In my opinion way better than Saalbach.
If you talk about natural Trails, almost any region in the alps provides more and better options.
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