A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

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A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby NateidOpf » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:09 am

I thought I would share some pictures of a few ski areas I've visited while living in Germany. I'm in my second winter out here and have been lucky enough to sample a variety of resorts in the region. They range from the small, family-run areas to some of the bigger resorts in Austria and Germany. My goal this season is to ski every weekend I possibly can and to visit as many different areas as possible. I'll keep adding to this page as I make trips.

November 2007 - Stubai, Austria

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October 2007 - Klausenlift near Mehlmeisel, Germany. Yep, one t-bar and a couple hundred meters of vert. I was out on a scouting mission this day checking out ski areas in my region. Doubt I'll be going to this one. There are a lot of these little family-operated areas around though.

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Same day as above - Fichtelberg at Ochsenkopf. This place has some promise as it has two actual chairlifts, one on each side of the mountain, that meet at the top. I'll be skiing here this coming Sunday.

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August 2007 - Grosser Arber Ski area, Germany (near the Czech border). I actually skied here last month and found it fun. It's the biggest area in my region with two six seaters, a gondola and a few other lifts. It's big enough that a woman's world cup race is held here each year. It's still not the Alps or even a Hoodoo in Oregon, but it makes for a good, short day trip. The bldg on the left is the top of the gondola station.

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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby NateidOpf » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:29 am

March 2007 - Garmisch Classic Ski Area, Germany. I did not like this place. It was way too packed and the lift layout is horrible. At least the snow and scenery were great though! The day before, a friend and I scored waist-deep powder at the Zugspitze area. We found fresh lines all day and had a great time. Of course, I did not have my camera with me that day......

The Alpspitze as seen from the Garmisch slopes
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Closeup of some climbers on the Alpspitze (center of pic above)
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Prost! to the Alpspitze
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March 2007 - Oetz Valley, Austria

HockGurgl - Mountain Top Bar at over 3,000 meters. Italy is just over the ridgeline.
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Getting ready to ski one of the only true black diamond runs at Hochgurgl. Most off-piste areas were unskiable due to lack of snow. That lift below took forever!
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Hochgurgl - At least it wasn't crowded!
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Soelden - The glacial ampitheater. I would love to go back to this resort with more snow. So much promising terrain and it is HUGE! This only show a tiny slice of the terrain. There are many other peaks and valleys to explore.
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Another shot of the Ampitheater at Soelden
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I'd never seen this at a resort before - a tunnel that connects one valley to another. Soelden, Austria
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Soelden - some steep and icy bumps. They did soften up nicely in the afternoon sun, however
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That's it for now. I'd better get some work done :D I'll post some more from home later.
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby jasoncapecod » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:33 am

thanks
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:06 am

=D>
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:05 am

I was telling Jason on the lift the other day that while everyone here dreams about moving to Utah or Jackson Hole or wherever, it's no contest for me -- the scale, the number of areas, skiing from village to village, the atmosphere.

Even if it means less frequent powder days... the Alps win.
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Re: re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby NateidOpf » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:43 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:I was telling Jason on the lift the other day that while everyone here dreams about moving to Utah or Jackson Hole or wherever, it's no contest for me -- the scale, the number of areas, skiing from village to village, the atmosphere.

Even if it means less frequent powder days... the Alps win.


Trust me, I've got no complaints about the skiing over here, but there is just something missing compared to some of the better North American resorts. I know that I've only scratched the surface over here and I've got a lot more places to explore, but right now, if I was given the choice to ski The Alps vs. say Whistler or Mt Hood Meadows or Alyeska, I'd choose the resorts in NA at this point. Maybe I just miss hamburgers and french fries for lunch ;) I think there is another thread going on about this topic. Let me do some thinking and I'll comment on it.

I also lived in Japan for 3 years and helped run a ski club over there. You wanna talk powder? WOW! Now, the terrain wasn't that great, but I bet we skied fresh pow 75% of the time. A couple of the resorts such as Hakkoda and Hachimanti Forest, where the strict Japanese rules didn't apply, were unbelievable. Do a search on Hakkoda and tell me what you think :D

Back to Europe. I just got back from skiing a place 10 miles from where I live for the first time. The 'snow' was bullet proof, but I still had fun. I actually got a pretty good workout in doing laps at this single run local area. I think I'll keep going back as it's easy to do after work and it will keep my legs in shape. Why not?

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Re: re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby Patrick » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:51 pm

=D> =D> =D> =D> BEautiful once again Nate.

jamesdeluxe wrote:I was telling Jason on the lift the other day that while everyone here dreams about moving to Utah or Jackson Hole or wherever, it's no contest for me -- the scale, the number of areas, skiing from village to village, the atmosphere.

Even if it means less frequent powder days... the Alps win.


Again, I've made this comment to Tony and on this board more than once. Alps is a totally different animal.

Alps are great (cannot compare to elsewhere, except the Andes maybe).

West is great. Totally different. Vibes, atmosphere, more up and down feeling than the Alps less the notion of touring.

East is great. Again Apples and Oranges. Each have a great quality the other doesn't.

Trust me, I've got no complaints about the skiing over here, but there is just something missing compared to some of the better North American resorts. I know that I've only scratched the surface over here and I've got a lot more places to explore, but right now, if I was given the choice to ski The Alps vs. say Whistler or Mt Hood Meadows or Alyeska, I'd choose the resorts in NA at this point. Maybe I just miss hamburgers and french fries for lunch I think there is another thread going on about this topic. Let me do some thinking and I'll comment on it.


Although my personal experience is very limited as I have skied almost exclusively in the French Alps, Val d'Isère/Tignes is probably my favorite Alps feel. It has it all. Chosing one place to live based on skiing in Europe, it would definitely be Bourg St-Maurice in the Tarantaise Valley (Trois vallées (Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Meribel, Courchevel), La Plagne, Les Arcs and Val d'Isère/Tignes...and those are only the major ones).
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby NateidOpf » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:26 pm

Each have a great quality the other doesn't.


Exactly Patrick! I often get asked where my favorite place to ski is since I've lived in a variety of places. It's a very tough question for me to answer as I have great memories from every single place I have ever skied. That's the great thing about skiing for me - there is NEVER a bad day :D Sure, there are certain things that I like more at once place over another or things that may grate on me slightly, but overall the experiences are always positive.

Okay, back to more pictures from my forays in the Austrian Alps last season.

February 2007 - Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria

The weather was incredible the 3 days we were there. I really liked this area a lot as it had a variety of terrain and was quite large. This is a resort where you could play the 'chase the sun' game all day long as there were slopes lining both sides and the head of the valley. Unfortunately, there just wasn't that much snow so off-piste opportunities were very limited. Also, my favorite on-mountain restaurant in Austria is located here.
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Our hotel was supposedly ski in/ski out. The slope in the foreground was the access to the lift below. It made it kind of exciting first thing in the morning!
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My buddy Seth catching some air off of a cat track
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby NateidOpf » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:46 pm

January 2007 - Alpendorf/Wagrain/Flachau in the Ski Amade region south of Salzburg

Lots of man-made snow
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Nice view from the slopes (I was getting used to my new camera so colors are a bit off)
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December 2006 - Ski Amade Region, Austria

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November 2006 - Stubai, Austria

Glacier skiing at its finest
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A small 'earn your turns' area with a little bit of powder and lots of crevasses.
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The national sport of Austria is skiing and they take it seriously. This glacier had numerous race courses set up on it as did the lower glacier.
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I studied glacial geomorphology in college so I tend to take a lot of pictures of them. This cirque glacier was just over the ridge from the ski area.
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby NateidOpf » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:57 pm

November 2006 - Kitzsteinhorn, Austria

This is a good place for early-season skiing due to its high elevation (over 10,000 ft) and the fact that it has a couple of glaciers to ski on.

As seen from Kaprun
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This place had kind of a convoluted lift system. Once at mid-mountain, you would take the tram up to near the top. To get to the peak and one of the only true blacks open so early (had to duck a fence too), you then had to climb down some stairs and then board a gondola car looking thing that sat on rails (next pic). After that, you had to climb 3 more flights of stairs. It was worth it though.
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Rail-gonda-tram thingy in upper right hand of pic
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Most definitely early season conditions. Unfortunately, most of the season was like this
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby NateidOpf » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:11 am

Well, that's it for Austria/Germany for now. Again, I'll post more as I make trips. I have many, many more pictures from over here but hopefully this small sample gives everyone a taste of the skiing and terrain over here. One thing I need to concentrate on more this year is getting action shots and more shots of the slopes themselves. I get so overwhelmed by the scenery that my camera is naturally drawn towards the amazing peaks and vistas.

One last pic - my dog Osu (taken in Alaska, actually)
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Cheers!
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby Admin » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:18 am

Great stuff, Nate -- you've earned your keep around here!
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re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:01 pm

Hey, I can post Alps pix too... from Lech:

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Re: re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby Admin » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:44 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Hey, I can post Alps pix too... from Lech:


Gotta love how many Euros stick to the groomed piste. I wish Utahans did the same. :lol:
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Re: re: A few pictures from Austria and Bavaria

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:50 am

Admin wrote:Gotta love how many Euros stick to the groomed piste. I wish Utahans did the same. :lol:


That's a big difference between St. Anton and Lech/Zurs... St. Anton has all the hotshots and the LCC-esque first tracks insanity. Go 15 yards or more off-piste in Lech and you're hearing crickets.
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