Tales of skiing in Austria #nofear #nocontrol

I have been lucky enough to clock up 7 long days of skiing this season, all in the Ski Amadé region around Salzburg; one day in Wagrain, one in Altenmarkt, and 5 in the beautiful Hauser Kaibling area a little further out. The snow hasn’t been good this year, so I’ve been told, but nonetheless I’ve gone from being very ‘egal’ about skiing, not really caring either way, to becoming a definite fan (and black slope proficient daredevil, may I add!)

First of December, first ski of the season, Wagrain.

First of December, first ski of the season, Wagrain.

From the looks of the couchsurfing Salzburg page, and from chatting to friends, it seems that a lot of people are interested in incorporating a ski day into their city break, though this is pretty nightmarish to organise and to fund. Even after I bought my own skis, boots, helmet, poles and skiwear at the Skibörse exchange sale for ridiculously cheap, the €45 a day lift pass really is a big hit for someone like me! And if you’re renting kit on top of that, you can probably almost double the figure. So, if you’re lucky, you may have enough change from €100 to get a Gulasch soup and a beer at lunchtime.

Thankfully, and for which I am very grateful, my host parents paid for the pass during our week in Hauser Kaibling, where we stayed in the Hoflehner hotel, and they also paid for 5 days’ lessons, which were mostly only myself and one other with the instructor. This brought my level on considerably, and without the lessons I would still be making the same mistakes, wasting energy, and not have as much confidence. What’s more, having lessons in German meant that I was learning technical terms auf Deutsch, and thus was having real trouble explaining my skiing in English! So at the end of this blog post I’ve included a mini-vocabulary list of all of the strange useless terms I’ve learnt.

Haiser Kaibling

Haiser Kaibling

A couple of other things to note;

– Naked sauna-ing is not only encouraged, but swimsuits are frowned upon. I’m having a really tough time shrugging off my British prudishness.

– Picking a high-speed snow-ploughing 6 year old and a fast and fearless 12 year old up from ski school and skiing the long way back to the hotel with them is what I can only describe as ‘extreme babysitting’.

– The crazy coincidence of seeing a girl from school on the ski lift in Hauser Kaibling! Rather than bother with all that post-uni catch-up shiz after making eye contact, I ignored her and pretended to be German.

The spa pool at the fancy Hoflehner hotel, Hauser Kaibling

The spa pool at the fancy Hoflehner hotel, Hauser Kaibling

der Hügel – moguls (also heard Haufen, ie. heap, but I don’t think this is technical)
der Talski, der Bergski – what would we say in English? Valley ski and mountain ski? Top ski and bottom ski? No idea.
geschmeidige Kurven – smooooth curves
steile Piste – steep slope!
‘Jawohl Cherrie!’ – ‘Cherrie that’s perfect, you’re such an amazing skier!’

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