Wurzeralm, AT: 02/05/19

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Wurzeralm, AT: 02/05/19

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:59 am

I had a slightly more ambitious itinerary for Day 3, starting with a 25-minute drive through the nearby city of Liezen featuring a winding mountain road that was buried from the huge storms in early January.
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With absolutely no road signs indicating its existence, I arrived at Wurzeralm (VOORTZ AH AHLM), a comparatively smaller ski area that I'd seen in an Alpinforum trip report a year earlier. Arriving at the base area at 9:30, I could see that the school break had resulted in a fair amount of business: the parking lots were already more than 2/3 full ("besetzt"):
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As I walked to the funicular that takes you to midmountain, It was clear that an inversion was in effect. Temps at the bottom in the shade were a chilly 6F; however, the summit was already claiming high 20s. They really should consider replacing this huge visual with the ghastly 1970s logo, which is incongruous with a really low-key local's mountain with zero onsite lodging:
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The gondola that was replaced in 1978 -- this pic will play a minor role in an upcoming TR:
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Riding up in the funicular:
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I saw dozens of people skinning up the entire day, including this gentleman who looked to be in his 70s:
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While there's a modest number of marked trails, several are long; the offpiste areas are decent-sized; and the T2B lift-served is a legitimate 3,800 verts with two ways to the base from mid-mountain. The winding blue valley run on the looker's left was especially fun.
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Arriving at midmountain and connecting to the upper lifts, which serve 1,700 vertical feet:
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Coming down from the top: no inversion smog effect. The groomed trails were like velvet and the offpiste was absolutely perfect bootcuff-deep.
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Gliding into a shaded area:
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There were beautiful gladed sectors with lightly tracked low-angle pow to play in. I was by myself, so no in-action shots:
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Around noon, I topped for a quick beer in the sun:
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Wurzeralm definitely counts as a little ski area that rocks, both visually and for turns. With some local guidance, I could've easily spent the rest of the day clucking around the offpiste; however, I wanted to hit a nearby partner ski area (included in the day pass) that afternoon, so I'll cover that in a separate report.
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