Three months into 2016 and I’m already 2 ski holidays down! Impressive for a beginner, right?
So after a first hectic week of beginner lessons in Tignes, France in January, I ended up at a much smaller resort to improve my newfound skills. Alpbach in Austrian Tyrol region is a tiny traditional village (also named the prettiest village in Austria…) linking up to the Ski Juwel skiing area. It’s not the biggest place but perfect if you’re out for a long weekend or don’t mind doing runs multiple times.
Cat came with me this time and started out in beginners ski school and I joined an intermediate class with Schischule Alpbach which we organised when we booked our holiday through Inghams. I think that’s one of the things I enjoy most about ski holidays – I pick up the phone once and everything (flights, transfers, hotel, ski hire, lessons, even most of the food-it was half board) is sorted out! No need to worry about anything except getting down the mountain in one piece…
So firstly skiing is tough. Like really tough on the legs. I’m so glad I joined the gym 3 months ago because if I’d gone having done any less exercise I definitely wouldn’t have coped! Haha! My ski instructor was awesome. He’s a middle aged Austrian man who acts like an 8 year old. Once he was sure we could ski and keep up, he was all about “having fun with the snow”. Which in his case meant doing lots of little off piste ramps and obstacles, purposely jumping into fresh powder and throwing snowballs at each other… Good times! It also meant randomly stopping in the middle of the piste for impromptu photo shoots and getting passing skiers to stop to take photos! On our last day in Alpbach, Cat and I left ski school and ventured out on our own only to get completely lost and ended up on a lift we really shouldn’t have been on which took us to an area with just red and black slopes! Which was OK for me but Cat had only really done blues so far! That was a, er, challenging moment but we made it down! We can put that mistake down to bad navigational skills. They don’t teach you that in ski school.
We stayed at the Hotel Alphof which was pretty good. Not 5* accommodation but very comfortable and it had really good sauna facilities if you didn’t mind them being full of naked people. I forgot that’s how Europeans are in saunas… We booked half board so that meant breakfast, a tea time snack and dinner was included. I’m not gonna lie the food wasn’t really to my taste but it was plentiful. Drinks weren’t included in the price- there’s even a charge for tap water- but we decided we didn’t mind because we had managed to get such a good deal on the price.
Food on the mountain was pretty good though! Between us, I think Cat and I ate at almost every restaurant up there! The Hornboden on the Wiedersberger Horn and Gipfö Hit on the Schatzberg were my faves, plus they both had free wifi.
One cool thing to note is that your lift pass records where you went so it notes which lifts you use and calculates from that how far you’ve skied. So if you’ve forgotten to turn on your Ski Tracks app like I did, you can still note what you did! I was quite pleased with myself when I checked mine!
This second week of skiing has really helped improve my confidence on the slopes – I’m now up to red runs, though I think a lot of the reds I did were more like purples… Hopefully I’ll only get better from here!