Riesneralm, AT: 02/07/19

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Europe and Asia, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Riesneralm, AT: 02/07/19

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:03 pm

For Day 5, I was looking at my fourth and final "alm" (mountain pasture) ski area of the visit, which is in the next valley over/only four miles as the crow flies from the previous day at Planneralm. While not quite the same old-school flair as that mountain, it likewise had a minimal base area and three lifts: two high-speeds quads (one of which covered the entire 2,700 vertical feet, the smallest drop of the trip) and one fixed.
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You arrive to a Bavarian/Austrian greeting:
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Check out the summit restaurant. Reminds me of the great line from the movie "The Limey," when Cockney-accented hoodlum Terence Stamp realises that he's having a drink alongside an outdoor swimming pool that hangs over a deep canyon in the Hollywood Hills. Astounded, Stamp asks "what are we standing on?" His partner replies dead-panned: "faith."
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First, a few scenics. I liked these wooden sculptures spread throughout the ski area. Most of them had ladders so little kids could climb inside and look out through the animals' mouths.
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I warmed up with a few T2B groomers. The snow was really soft, great for high-speed trenching until the final 500 feet, which was snowmaking boilerplate.
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I saw quite a few of these matched jacket/trousers combinations, usually on family/casual skiers. While not the same as a 1980s body bag, it's a similar stylistic choice and one I rarely see stateside. You'll often see older couples wearing the exact same outfits and on the same skis. As mentioned in previous years, the helmets with furry rabbit ears continue to be very popular at family ski areas over here.
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From 11 am on, I spent the rest of the day traversing or doing short boot packs to sometimes chewed sometimes lightly untracked low-angle offpiste. We hadn't received any significant accumulations in several days; however, the snow preserved really well and was borderline pixie dust. It was too early in the year for the sun to bake anything except directly south-facing.
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Reverse Shot:
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This slope was really nice, did it three times:
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OTOH, this beautiful sector in the gut of the ski area offered 1,600 continuous verts of relaxed meadow skipping; however, the southern aspect left it a refrozen crunchfest, gah, so I bailed. Too bad:
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I wish I had taken more shots from the groomers during the morning; there were some gorgeous vistas of the valleys and surrounding mountains.

I called it a day at 3:15 with a couple beers at an atmospheric outdoor restaurant. My face by this point was nicely tanned and no raccoon/goggle marks due to all the lunches/beers in the sun. On the way out of the parking lot, a likewise southern German version of goodbye:
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After five days of "decent-sized to us/small to them" ski areas, I was looking forward to a legitimate large economy-sized ski safari for Day 6 and praying for the excellent weather to continue to take advantage of the much touted views. Stay tuned.
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jamesdeluxe
 
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