Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Austria part 1- skiing in Glungezer, Tirol

My first week of 2013 was spent on skiing on the slopes of Glungezer. Few things beats the glorious sport that is skiing, and coupled with excellent food and great company, that was a week happily spent indeed.

The actual location of our stay was Hall, a little town about 20 min from its larger companion, Innsbruck, where our plane landed amidst the snow capped Alps. From Hall, a short 10-15 min drive up the mountain was required to see us to Tulfes where the Glungezerbahn 1 takes you up to the ski-able areas of Glungezer. Here is a sample of the view we enjoyed as we swung our way up and down the mountain.

This is a small resort; in all, only about 7 red runs, 1 black and 2 blue runs. However, the snow and skiing was good and I couldn't ask for more. We even enjoyed a lovely day of unbashed pistes when it decided to snow continuously for a good day and a half. Beautiful powder! Some days after, lured by the seemingly light snow, I thought to do some off piste skiing only to discover the snow was heavy and crusted from the sunny weather. I also realised, too late, that thanks to the thick snow there was a significant drop in rejoining the piste as it traversed the slope. As it was, my momentum nearly carried me over the piste, but didn't. Instead, I bounced off its edge, lost my skis (I was angled all wrong) and ploughed head first into the thankfully thick snow below. All this, in front of the goggling eyes of my bf coming down the piste. It was quite the undignified moment as I struggled to wade through the snow back up on to the run with a tiny trickle of blood on my forehead. For days after, I had to suffer the curious stares of people at my skinned forehead. As my bf noted, it looked like I had had a horrible accident in removing a mono-brow with a shaver. Nevertheless, the day ended on a high as I was treated to a most spectacular sunset as I sat at the bottom of the Glungezerbahn awaiting transport home and nursing a very groggy head.

On to the more practical side of skiing in Glungezer.  Daily ski passes may be purchased at the stand just before Glungezerbahn1 at prices varying between 15.00 euros to 26.50 euros (depending on the time of purchase). You will need to pay an additional deposit of 2 euros for the skipass, which shall be reimbursed on returning the ski pass. You may also purchase ski passes for 5-7, 6-8, and 10-14 days for 113.00, 123.00, and 185.00 euros respectively. These are the normal tariffs for adults; children and seniors receive a discounted rate. The Glungezerbahn1 is open from 9 till 4.30, and the rest of the lifts operate at similar hours.

There are also two ski hires in Tulfes, ready and willing to kit you out, located on either side of the Glungezerbahn1. Depending on snow conditions, the blue run down to Tulfes does not always open. If that is the case, most people store their skis in the storeroom at the top of Glungezerbahn1 at the end of the day, ready and waiting for the morrow, and take the Glungezerbahn1 down. There are nice attendants waiting below to help you scramble off the chair. There are two bus services operating between Tulfes and the neighboring towns (Hall and Innsbruck for sure, I wasn't really paying attention tot he other destinations). This service is free for skiers/snowboarders; you shall need to be kitted out and lugging your equipment to qualify.

This blog will be moving to a new, more appropriately named, domain soon:
Updates soon to come!

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