RESIDENTS of an alpine village in Austria receive their post in a unique way.
Helmut Edelmaier has been delivering letters, newspapers and Amazon packages on skis in the Tauplitz Mountain Village for the past 15 years.
When a package is ordered, an Amazon employee at a European fulfilment centre packages the item, which then travels to the carrier’s warehouse in Austria before arriving at a postal station in Bad Mitterndorf where the Austrian village is located.
Each morning, Helmut 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,” Helmut said.
“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.
“I love being out in nature. Being able to work up here on the Tauplitz Mountain Village is wonderful.”
Helmut first drives in his van to the base of the Tauplitz Mountain Village and parks at the gondola station before grabbing his skis and beginning his delivery route through the mountains.
From January to April, Tauplitz Mountain Village receives significant snowfall and so is a popular destination for avid skiers.
Helmut is a familiar face to visitors, residents, and mountain inn hosts in the village during this time.
“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.
Oskar added: “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 when Oskar ordered a new pair Helmut delivered the gloves the very next day.
Local resident Christoph Huettner, who runs the Hollhaus Mountain Inn, also spoke of Helmut’s speedy ski delivery service that has been useful during the busy tourist season.
Christoph recently discovered a cast-iron pan that helped him develop his recipe for Kaiserschmarren, an Austrian traditional sweet pancake with raisins, that he serves his guests.
“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,” Christoph said.
When asked what he does during the summer months, Helmut said he loves hiking around the mountains, but he also grins and admits: “In summer? I wait until the snow starts falling again.”
Speaking on Helmut’s unique delivery method, an Amazon spokesperson said: “Every day, incredible delivery people from the around the world come up with creative ways of fast, reliable and safe delivery for Amazon customers.
“From motorbike deliveries in the Himalayas, to deliveries by ferry and horse and carriage in Mackinac Island, to deliveries by skis in the Tauplitz Mountain Village in Austria.
“We are inspired and delighted by Heli’s innovative approach and dedication to ensuring that his community gets everything they need.”