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Port Angeles, Washington
March 20, 2004
I surveyed the ski scene while going up a surprisingly long chair lift. "That looks pretty steep" I said to Antonia, another Average Ski Jane. She was nervous too. We searched our brains for the German words for "Which is the easiest?" with no success.
My first day of skiing in Tirol was at a ski resort area called Kühtai, which turns out was the perfect place to start my European ski adventure. I discovered that 1) skiing is like riding a bike, so I remember what I had learned while skiing as a kid in Wisconsin, and 2) there are plenty of beginner and intermediate slopes at Kühtai, not just expert ones. Although in retrospect, it would have been nice to know that the red circles don’t mean easy, but rather intermediate!
Kuhtai is Austria’s highest ski resort at 2020 meters. The elevation makes for reliable skiing from December to May, a longer season than other resorts in the area. Kühtai is small enough that it can be skied without a ski guide and without fear of getting lost, making it a great place for beginning to intermediate skiers as well as for families. But while it is small, the scenery is still breathtaking. Everything was so beautiful, especially with the unreal blue sky and sunshine, that I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the ground, which of course was detrimental to my skiing ability, or lack thereof.
While at Kühtai, make sure to check out the traditional Tirolean food and atmosphere at the Dorfstadl restaurant, on the main road and just a short walk from all of the lifts. The owner, Buggi, had a fascinating European charm/Harley Davidson biker look with his leather lederhosen and long hair and beard. He was superbly gracious and brought us fantastic dishes such as Käsespatzle (cheese dumplings with crispy onions) and ötztalker berg-gröstl (potato, meat, and egg skillet), each priced less than €8.
Kühtai has reasonable rates for ski passes, with day passes starting at €27. Kuhtai has plenty of affordable accommodations to choose from, as well as room/meal/ski pass packages that are good deals. Another option is to ski Kühtai as a day trip from Innsbruck, with is about 30 minutes away via the free shuttle bus. There are three trips to and from Kuhtai each day from various points in Innsbruck, including a shuttle for night skiing on Wednesday evenings.
From journal An Average Ski Jane goes to the Alps
Johannesburg, South Africa
September 25, 2003
Noordpark -- closest to the city has a fun steep bowl and a few gnarly cliff drops if you look for 'em. The gondola will take you to the top for an nice view of the city and some steep chutes.
Patcherkofel -- fast groomed runs and the occasional sneaky tree run. Family-oriented resort.
Axams -- Sickest mountain with awesome natural terrain (piste and off piste). Sick mogul runs and lots of trails. Access to the back country as well!!
Schlick 2000 -- Fun resort, cruisy trails, good beginner run, and a few tree runs for the adventurous. Bust some nice grabs on the trail merge!!
Stubai Glacier -- Long trails and deep pow. Lots of snow and unbelievable scenery.
That's all I checked out and could live quite happily in Innsbruck sampling all these choice mountains day in and day out. Blow your mind on the slopes and then suck down a gluvine beverage of Zipfer brew for a ski apres. Get out there and enjoy!!!
From journal Fallin in love with Austria
by Wildcat Dianne
January 25, 2003
Innsbruck is the most famous ski resort in Austria. It was the host of two Winter Olympics, in 1964 and 1976. It is also famous for one of the most dangerous ski runs in downhill-skiing history, the Hammenkammen, in nearby Kitzbuhl. Remember Franz Klammer and Bill Johnson's famous winning runs during the World Cup?
Seefeld and Igls are two other popular ski areas that can be tried out. Lessons and ski rentals are available, so you don't have to haul your awkward and heavy skis on the airplane. Today, they probably consider ski poles a weapon, anyway.
The ski runs are easy to get to by car or bus, and cable cars and lifts take skiers to the top of the runs.
From journal Olympic Games and Hapsburg Royalty