Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Austrian skiing before the baths of Budapest!

We figured Obergurgl would be great for another day of skiing.

We have spotted a nice gully in between the resorts Hochgurgl and Obergurgl. The motivation level was low as we were making our way up the resort to gets to the good.
Even by using some new motivating strategy, we didn't made it pretty far that day! A huge cliffy dip cut our ascension towards the north faces we were trying to reach.
We turned down without getting any good turns. As we were driving down the valley, we pick-up 7 Germans who were going down the valley! This was certainly a jam-packed RV that made it out the Otztal valley!
After dropping our new friends, we made it to Kitzsteinhorn which is the resort in Austria boasting the biggest vertical drop. The view from the town wasn't any promising as there wasn't much snow on the ground!
After catching 6 different lifts, we finally made it up to the highest point of the mountain at 3000m! This resort feature some really nice terrain that can certainly make a great destination on a good snowstorm.
The top part is a bit flat and good for someone looking for open-groomed runs but the lower part got some nice rocky outcrop everywhere creating gullies and ridges quite fun to ski.
There wasn't much snow reported lately, but we were surprise to find some good snow all over the mountain (and some nicely hidden rocks!).
After an other day topped up with warm-wine, we left to go to the nearby Gastein valley. The more we made it eastward, the tinnier the snowpack.
We drove up to Sportgastein who seemed to have the best terrain. This resort is nestled high up and using only one gondola and one T-bar to serves its terrain. There was certainly not a lot of new snow around but by being creative, we were able to link few good turns here and there.
This morning session was the last one for this first part of my European journey. As we had 8-10 hours to make it back to Budapest, we left early to get close the Hungarian capital.
We saw the valley getting wider and greener while the mountain were now snowless until we were finally down to the plains. We stopped short on the way around Gyor (about 1.5hours from Budapest). We had lunch over some more skiporn before heading out.
As it was the birthday of Jeff on the following day, we took off to celebrate his 29th anniversary. We ended up in a karaoke bar, where Hungarian music was making it's effect on the local crowd to warm them up. We tried to joined the karaoke, but I certainly have to tell you we weren't even closed to nail the lyrics down!

A short drive lead us back to Budapest. After going around town to settle the car rental for my next 2 weeks, we made it up to Szechenyi Fürdö. This old public bath features countless pools at various temperatures, saunas and steam rooms. A great way to relax and enjoy life after a good 2 weeks of non-stop skiing.
As the boys were leaving early this morning, they packed all the stuff before going out for a gigantic food-fest at the Fatal restaurant. The service was as crap as the porting were huge!
After eating too much, we drove out of the downtown to get close to the airport where I drove the boys this morning at around 4h30.
I am now waiting for Amelie who will be landing in about 1.5 hours. The plan is still a bit unsure, but the Balkan seem to be pointing out as our stomping ground for the next 2 weeks. Here's the map of the past two weeks journey.

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