You’ve probably heard of package delivery by moped, robot, or bicycle, but what about a delivery on skis?
Located in Styria, Austria, at an elevation of 1,600 to 2,000 meters (5,200 to 6,500 feet), Tauplitz Mountain Village is a remote, mountainous region surrounded by six pristine natural lakes. The area is the largest lake plateau in Central Europe, and visitors from around the world flock to the region to enjoy the stunning vistas, incredible ski slopes, and local Austrian hospitality.
During the winter and spring months, Tauplitz Mountain Village receives significant snowfall, creating the ideal environment for avid skiers. The consistent snowfall can also mean challenging road conditions for locals to access everyday necessities, whether those be kitchen staples or ski pants, winter gloves or laptop chargers.
Snow or shine, Tauplitz Mountain Village is one of the many unique locations around the globe where Amazon delivers to serve customers with the convenience and speed that they expect. During the months when snow covers the mountain roads, local postal carrier Helmut Edelmaier—known as Heli—has his own unique way of delivering to customers.
Instead of using a traditional delivery van, Edelmaier embarks on his delivery route by skis—and he delivers packages directly to customers’ doorsteps. Edelmaier has been delivering letters, newspapers, and Amazon packages on skis for the past 15 years, from January to April, to the 15 hotels and more than 100 private mountain cabins in the area.
“I love being out in nature. Being able to work up here on the Tauplitz Mountain Village is wonderful,” Edelmaier said.
Amazon leverages its interconnected logistics network and strong carrier partnerships to safely transport and deliver packages to customers in the stunning mountainous area. When a customer clicks “Buy Now” to order a package for delivery to Tauplitz Mountain Village, an Amazon employee at a European fulfillment center picks and packages the item, which then travels to a carrier partner’s warehouse in Austria and eventually to a postal station in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria. This is where Edelmaier’s ski delivery skills come into play.
Each morning, Edelmaier picks up his deliveries for the day at his district postal station in Bad Mitterndorf, where he grew up and currently lives with his son and wife.
“At the age of 3, I learned skiing at Tauplitz Ski Resort–just like my father and my son. Our family has been ski instructors for all four generations at this place. Today, being a ski postal carrier at that same mountain village feels fantastic,” Edelmaier said.
After he completes his van route through the village so familiar to him, Edelmaier drives to the base of the Tauplitz Mountain Village, parks his delivery vehicle at the gondola station, grabs his skis, and begins his route throughout the mountains.
Visitors, residents, and mountain inn hosts at Tauplitz Mountain Village know Edelmaier well, and they are grateful for his many years of service to deliver their packages.
“The postal carrier comes on skis and brings us the newspaper,” said Oskar Bulant, a customer who regularly stays at one of the local mountain cabins. “And when we really need something, we order it on Amazon, and Heli brings us the packages to our cabin.” His child once forgot to pack skiing gloves, and Bulant ordered a new pair on Amazon—and the gloves arrived the next day. “That really saved the vacation for our child,” Bulant said.
Another resident and the owner of a local mountain inn, Christoph Huettner, appreciates the convenience and selection he receives as an Amazon customer. The Hollhaus Mountain Inn is known for its Kaiserschmarren—an Austrian traditional sweet pancake with raisins—that Huettner serves his guests. He recently discovered a cast-iron pan on Amazon that gave his unique take on the recipe the perfect special touch. “When this season started off and more guests came to visit us again, it was very easy to re-order pans, which helped us a lot,” Huettner said.
Edelmaier enjoys his job delivering for customers among the beautiful mountains on skis. When asked what he does during the summer months, he said he loves hiking around the mountains, but he also grins and admits, “In summer? I wait until the snow starts falling again.”