Back in action at the Peak of Tirol

7th April 2014, by DaveA

The mid station of Hohe Mut Bahn gondola and view towards Obergurgl

The mid station of Hohe Mut Bahn gondola and view towards Obergurgl

Having managed only one day on piste since my ACL operation a couple of years ago, I was somewhat tentative as I slid away from the Hochgurglbahn top station on to a cool and crisp blue slope. A few minutes of careful turns later, I was gradually recalling how to bend and move and was delighted that the weather and snow conditions were in my favour – blue sky and sunshine above, firm but forgiving piste below.

Shortly I was gaining a bit of confidence and going a little faster, as we cruised around the slopes above Obergurgl. After a restorative lunch enjoying the glorious views from Hohe Mut Alm, I tackled my first red run in three years; it might not have been record breaking in speed or style, but it certainly was memorable.

After a busy day on the slopes, my aching limbs were soothed at extensive Aquadome leisure centre-cum-spa that evening, with the mountain views from the outdoor pools being a particular highlight.

The slopes of Hochgurgl from the top of Wurmkog

The following day involved riding plenty of lifts and runs being explored in Sölden. The slopes were busier here and so I had a few ‘moments’ in traffic, but on the wide pistes above the Giggijoch and a glorious run on the Tiefenbach glacier I was beginning to remember why skiing is so much fun. The toughest part of the day was sitting on low chairlifts in my not-too-forgiving knee braces, which I have yet to decide whether I really need (other than as a security blanket!)

My buddies and I rounded our day off on the Gaislachkogl, before rewarding ourselves with a weissbier or two in the village.

The final day of my long weekend in Ötztal took us to Hochoetz, a small resort closer to Innsbruck that shares a lift pass with Kühtai (which can be reached in 10 minutes by bus from the Ochsengarten base). Sunshine had been replace by heavy snow, which had been falling through the night, leaving 20cm or so on top of the pisted runs.

With confidence returning I was relishing the powder covered reds on offer and delighted in making some fresh tracks on one wide-open and empty piste in particular. I could have continued riding these slopes for days, but begrudgingly had to leave. Having reminded me of how much fun can be had in the snow, it won’t be as long though before I make my next visit to the mountains.

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