Friday, April 27, 2012

love skiing the Austrian Alps!

After over two decades of skiing New England and The Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Utah, Montana and a few trips to Canada...we finally made it back to Europe. Skiing in The Alps is amazing, this is where the sport of alpine skiing originated, the first lifts and ski schools were created teaching the "Arlberg" style...and apres ski was invented.

We visited Austria and skied legendary St Anton in the Arlberg and the vast slopes of Lech Zurs, then Solden in the Otztal Valley where the US Ski Team trains on glaciers, and finally Obergurgl Huchgurgl where we finished our season with 20 centimeters of fresh snow and sunshine!

5 things we love about skiing in Austria:
1. In Europe, they "prepare" their slopes for you, what we called groomed in the states is "prepared" and we love that terminology - sounds like such personal service. "Madam, your ski slope is prepared just the way you like it this morning!"

2. It's better to be off piste than piste off  (ha ha)! There is so much terrain in The Alps, above tree-line open bowls, completely accessible and totally untouched. It's legal to ski, but you need to be wary of avalanche danger (and getting lost) so tranceivers and a guide are always a good idea.

3. Eurpoean ski lifts are uber modern and efficient. Six and eight passenger chairs with heated leather seats and bubble covers are more the norm than the exception.  8 to 30 passenger gondolas - all glass lined for optimum viewing, whisk skiers from the ski villages to mid mountain and the summit with swiftness and spectacular Alps scenery.

4. Skiing to mountain chalets that serve extraordinary lunches sure beats cheeseburgers in the States. These ski huts are so charming, their menus feature authentic homecooked food like fondue, spatzle and schnitzle, in a warm music filled atmosphere. So much better fare and more fun than a ski area cafeteria. Oh and there's beer, wine and schnapps!

5. Apres ski is not an option, it's an objective. Europeans love their leisure time on the slopes in the sun, relaxing on a sonnenterasse or at an umbrella bar with a beer or schnapps in hand.

For more reasons why we love to ski Europe read our European ski reviews of St Anton, Lech Zurs, Solden and Obergurgl Huchgurgl!

We are already eager to return to Austria and to explore more of the Alps in France, Switzerland and Italy...so stay tuned to our websites www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Have you logged a million vertical this season?

 A little ski math, I typically log 40, maybe 50 if I am lucky, ski days in a season. My husband Greg tracks our vertical with his handy Vertech Ski watch and with the Alpine Replay iPhone app – for comparison. Okay, so we are a bit obsessed, but we enjoy measuring our time on the mountain, typically bagging 10 runs before lunch. It’s a game, it keeps us going. Our average ski day, we accumulate about 26,000 vertical feet, so that squeaks us in at just over 1,000,000 vertical feet in a ski season. I have always thought our alpine accumulation was worthy, till I saw Tom Hanson’s stats. Read Heather's Boston.com blog about the 4 million vertical this Loafer has logged...

Ski season is not lacking for this Loafer