Growing up, the gorge on his doorstep was his playground. Coming home with wet shoes, however, was forbidden. With that in mind, he and fellow children in the district of Nesslegg climbed around on the banks of the torrent, built dams and swam in the ice-cold water. “The waterfall was the limit of our adventures,” says Jürgen Strolz.
Even today, the waterfall remains both his profession and his source of adventure. Jürgen lives in Schröcken, a small village just below the tree line where the road’s hairpin turns wind up the steep slopes towards the Hochtannberg pass. His father, Erich Strolz, is the former head of the Schröcken ski school. In addition to the farm in the Nesslegg district, the Strolz family of four also managed an Alpine pasture during the summer months of his youth. Jürgen’s first apprenticeship was as a carpenter: “Spending the whole day only seeing the mountains from below wasn’t for me,” Instead, Jürgen became a hiking guide, a member of the mountain rescue and ski instructor. In the mid-1990s, a friend told him about the emerging sport of canyoning, which at the time only existed in the south of France. Intrigued, Jürgen set off for the birthplace of canyoning and completed his training to become a guide. But it was only later that he realised that he had the perfect place for tours right on his own doorstep.