Austrian Dams

Dam Boys: Reservoirs of Potential in Austria

Standing at 430 feet tall and 2,400 feet wide, Schlegeis is one of five massive hydroelectric dams located in western Austria’s Ziller Valley. The gargantuan structure looks like a towering wave of cement nestled uniformly into the picturesque landscape of the Alps. A miles-wide reservoir rests on one side of the wall, with mountainous terrain pushing up against the other. It took six years to construct this leviathan levee, completed in 1971 and producing electricity in Mayrhofen a year later. It’s also one of the largest rideable pieces of concrete in the world.

Winter 2008: Wolle Nyvelt is gearing up to snowboard down Schlegeis. In the air above him hangs Absinthe Films Director Justin Hostynek, soon to be zooming by on a zip line. Justin is on a homemade rig, hoping like hell his sketchy setup won’t send him crashing at high speed into the wall. Following a hair-raising trial run, the crew films a groundbreaking lead-cam shot for Absinthe’s Ready—one of several clips they have captured over the years at these truly iconic spots…

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