February 23, 2011

Downhill in the Alps

One of my hopes since moving to Germany was to ski in the Alps. Finally, after a year and a half I pulled my ski goggles out of storage to spend a day in Scheffau, Austria.

(Decent variety of trails)
My expectations were low before we even left. I figured nothing would compare to the Rockies. This ski hill was technically lower in elevation than where we lived in Aurora. For the entire drive up, we barely saw any snow and it looked like it was going to rain.

Luckily the ski companies had been making so much snow that they had about a 1/2 meter base. The snow literally dropped off sharply at the edge to the grass underneath. Apparently the previous two weeks of above freezing weather melted any hopes for a long ski season. Still, after the morning clouds rolled away, Ayelet's uncle (Gil), cousin (Yuval) and I were able to cruise around the wide trails with very little traffic. Most people avoided the shallow slopes we were sticking to.

As many of you know, I used to ski in the US on a pair of used skis with the appropriately-named "aqua boots." Thankfully the top-notch rental operation in Scheffau got me a set of modern skis that offered everything I had been missing. No longer was I destined to look like I had come out of the 70s with my skis. I was able to cut and curve and really keep up with my 5-year old cousin!

[Editor's note: one of the cutest "images" I have of this day in my mind was when Greg told me how Yuval would follow Gil down the slope like a baby duck follows his momma.]

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