Saturday, May 11, 2019

Good Skiing in Utah and Austria

With a fat snowpack, photos I'm seeing from Utah suggest the spring skiing there continues to be good.

Similarly, the skiing here in Austria remains quite good.  My son arrived this week from the states and "suffered" through a few days sightseeing in Innsbruck while I was dealing with teaching commitments (yes, I have those).  Friday, however, with weather coming in for the weekend, we got up to Stubai Glacier for his first turns in the Alps.

In general, I've been trying to resort ski here on sunny days and this is especially true for skiing at high elevations resorts like Stubai where the terrain is entirely above treeline.  That, however, is not possible during his visit as he's not here for long and Mother Nature is not cooperating with the timing of weather breaks and my work schedule.  She did, however, provide half meter of snowfall  on the upper mountain several days ago.

I've been immersing the kid in Austrian culture since he arrived and ski rentals for him were no different.  He's skied on Rossignol Soul 7s for a few years, but the rental shop provides three types of advanced skis: slalom racing skis, giant slalom racing skis, and sport carving skis, which are essentially a hybrid.  Welcome to the Alps!  No all-mountain skis for you.  Put these on edge and see what they do.

They weren't optimal for off-piste, but they worked.  Most of the dump from a few days ago had settled down into a few inches of cream.  It skied reasonably well.  In some places it was quite fun.

Skiing in the morning was OK as the resort was just below cloud base.  Around noon, lower clouds developed, making the visibility meh.  I felt like a novice on skis.  Rather than waste our legs, we decided to have a coffee and hope for the best.  It worked!  The sun came out around 1:45 and we had really great skiing thereafter on uncrowded slopes.

Given the relief (600 meters in Innsbruck, over 3000 meters in the highest terrain), spring here is a bit like that on the Wasatch Front on steroids.  Hiking, biking, skiing are all possible.  The transition from spring to winter is just a tram ride away.  

No comments:

Post a Comment