Damüls, AT 02/01/15


Day 3: Damüls
As mentioned in yesterday's TR, I'm currently skiing in what's acknowledged as the snowiest part of the Alps and of course, the region is going to leverage that in its marketing to visitors. Thus, Warth-Schröcken proclaims itself the ski area with the most snow, while today's stop, Damüls, calls itself the snowiest village. They both have similar snow totals of well more than 11 meters annually (440 inches) and no other place in the Alps gets close to that:

Keeping that in mind, Damüls has come up with a great tagline: "Willkommen im Schneereich" -- "Welcome to the Kingdom of Snow."

The state of my car (the dark one) since arriving late yesterday afternoon:

There was a short break in the storm at 9 am this morning, when I did a warmup lap on a run that had just been groomed 90 minutes earlier:
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And from there, snow came down all day long. The only places I could find people to take photos were on groomed runs back to the lift, so no pix of all the face shots. I skied through the entire afternoon, which was a total whiteout:
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I've stayed the last two nights at the very comfortable Alpenhotel Mittagspitze, named after a famous peak that towers over the ski area:

Your day there starts with a huge breakfast, including a big table of Brötchen: delicious little rolls that you slather with butter and jam. They're something I really miss from when I lived in Germany and Austrians take them just as seriously:

After 3.5 straight hours of powder, I was running on fumes and stopped in for lunch and ordered another dish that I miss: Spätzle, a type of noodle from southwest Germany (not far away), mixed with the local Vorarlberg cheese, roasted onions, and served in a traditional wooden container that's used to make cheese:

Being Austria, guess what was on TV in the lounge:

As mentioned in the Day 1 trip report, meeting all the local hosts is a really unique part of a trip to Austria and over lunch I got to know the owner of the family-owned hotel, Ingo Madlener, as well the head of the Damüls tourism office, Pascal Keiser. Here we are post-meal with me suffering through an advanced case of ski helmet hair and the gentlemen in their traditional Austrian winter jackets:
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We had an interesting discussion about how the name of the region, Bregenzerwald (which refers to a forest), leads people to believe that the ski areas here maybe aren't as impressive as their neighbors -- now that I think about it, I had that same perception before I came and saw that they're definitely big league mountains.

After dinner this evening, Ingo invited me for a glass of amazing high-end schnaps: incredibly aromatic, almost like brandy and not at all sugary like the schnaps I've had in the States. He then took me on a mid-evening tour of the local sights, including the old town church:
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