04 March 2011

Na Endlich. Skifahren!

Until yesterday, 2011 had been a long, hard winter of bearing questions from my students and co-workers regarding whether I had been skiing, how many times I'd been skiing, how good I was at skiing, and what I thought of Lindsey Vonn - often followed by disappointed, confused, and even disgusted looks after I admit that I have never been skiing in Austria and have no opinion about Ms. Vonn.  Who is she, exactly?

Me, arriving at the train station near Forsteralm.
My proud grimace disguises my overwhelming fear of
falling off the mt.
But all this has changed now that I've officially been skiing in Austria!  And what's more, I lived to blog it.

My friend Sophy and I had been delaying a trip to the very nearby ski mountain Forsteralm for months and we finally made it, with a just few days left in the season.  I had found it difficult to gather the motivation, as I am (or was...) certainly a nervous, anxiety-ridden greenhorn of skier, as those who witnessed my one and only attempt at skiing in the USA last year could attest.  Yet I like to think that I control my fears and not the other way around, so I headed for the slopes.

Although the mountain is not far from Waidhofen, getting there without a car does require scaling a massive hill by foot.  Fortunately we were picked up by a generous Austrian named Fritz, who, like everyone I met in Waidhofen, was somehow related to someone I work with.  Later in the day Fritz treated us to some delicious hazelnut schnapps at the Austall lodge and even offered us door-to-door service home.

As for the actual skiing, I was skittish at first, but after falling once and remembering that it doesn't actually hurt that bad, I started to gain confidence.  Other than that introductory fall at the top of the mountain and a later, regrettable incident on the t-bar lift, I stayed on my feet the whole time.  Toward the end of the day I even got an unironic compliment from a real, live Austrian.

It was a perfect day for skiing, as the weather was warm, the snow still powdery in places, and the slopes virtually free of fearless rocket children - my least favorite winter sport hazard.  We also got lucky and scalped our ski passes at a big discount (my first crime in Austria, shhhh...).  The resort itself is nice and its lodge, like many other unsuspecting corridors in Austria, transforms into a nightclub on the weekends.  Unfortunately I think it's too packed with teenagers for me to ever dare enter.

All in all, it was very successful trip and, unlike my last attempt at skiing, I didn't even bring home any bruises as souvenirs.  In fact, I've been inspired to try out skiing in the Tyrol, where I'm told the season can last as late as May. 


1 comment:

  1. hurray! so glad you tackled the mountains! as your original teacher, im very proud