Thursday, March 3, 2011

Willkommen to Austria!

With the storm rolling in Austria, we left Cortina direction Innsbruck. On the way, we had spotted a ski resort called Stubaier Gletscher as a good potential destination. We were quite optimistic as this resort had received 20cm in the past few days and another 15-20 was in the forecast. We left Italy, it's coffee and it's beautiful girls for this new promising destination.

This turned out to be a good decision as we woke up with more than 10cm of fresh on the ground. After the bad surprise that this resort doesn't sell single rides to the top, we were left with no other choice than to slap on our skins and hike up the nearby slopes.

The snow was really nice and fairly deep!

Even with really bad visibility, we lapped it and had the best turns of our European journey so far!

From the mountain, we heard really loud party-style music! What a surprise to find out there was a huge party in the bar just next to our camper! The legend of Austrian's ''après-ski'' was proven true: even in subzero temperatures outside, people were dancing and partying in ski boots (lasers and smoke machines included)!

Traditional Austrian music helping, we joined them for few drinks as a cultural experience!

The snow was so good, we figured it would be worth exploring the area another day. Unfortunately, the temperatures warmed up and even with 10 more cm overnight, the conditions were not as good as the previous day.

Etienne was leaving us to join a friend in Berlin, so we cut the day short and encouraged him as he was packing his gear. We then made it to Innsbruck where we parked just next to the train station; his early departure spot the next morning.

With Etienne now gone, we drove all the way to Hochgurgl-Obergurgl where we spotted a parking lot just next to the resort at 2171m. With the warm temperatures experienced in Stubaier at an altitude of 1750m, it seemed like the best option even with the high altitude mishaps of Passo Pordoi!

We hiked in a great bluebird day and cold temperature helping, the snow conditions remained good even in the slightly south facing aspect.

The snow was light and much drier that what we had skied the day before.

We are going to stay around Hochgurgl-Obergurgl for one more day before planning our drive back towards Budapest where the guys are leaving in a few days!

Auf wiedersehen!

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