|Year of Production|
2 x 52 min
Schladming in Austria is not the best known of the country’s ski regions but it’s one of the finest – because it keeps a low profile and makes sure the season doesn’t dominate the landscape. That also means its nature is better protected than in normal mixed regions. Though this region is controlled by men, it is a hot spot for wild animals – and sometimes even the wolves come back to this territory, which once belonged to them. Part I: Land of the Chamois Sheer rock walls and deep ravines crying out to be climbed, cycling trails in the forest and some of the swiftest and blackest ski runs; peaks and pines eye their refl ections in shimmering lakes, bordered by moss, lichen and flower-studded slopes. These are Schladming’s Magic Mountains. Beside the slopes this landscape is full of wild animals. Red deer, black-grouse and pygmy owls inhabit the woods and alpine meadows. Winter is mercilessly cold in these mountains, but there is one animal which is perfectly adapted to this habitat: the chamois. Though this region is controlled by men, it is a hot spot for wild animals – and sometimes even the wolves come back to this territory, which once belonged to them. Part II: Land of the Champions “Sustainable development” could have been invented by this place. Schladmingers welcomed big-city money to their region to develop tourism and peak alpine sports, but never sold out completely. They never forgot their uprising in 1525 when, as miners, they claimed their share of Europe’s biggest silver mine – and were crushed. From then on, as secret Protestants in a Catholic country, they learned to keep their own counsel. But now roads, railways and mountaineering have put the town on the European map and in 2013 Schladming faced its greatest challenge: to host the Alpine World Championships, skiing’s greatest show – while still staying defiantly itself.