This year the annual ski trip came round pretty quick with no time for anticipation to build, I can't describe why but since Christmas things have just felt a little flat.
Within our group we're lucky that we have an absolute booking champion who puts in the research to get us the best value for money, we give very little brief, I think my only input was it needed a sauna and a short transfer. Simple beasts ay.
The hardest thing we find is finding flights to accommodate a short trip, the closest airport was Manchester which is a fine drive from Nottingham. We landed in Innsbruck with a one hour transfer to our hotel, the conditions were warmer than expected.
We arrived at the Hotel Valluga, in true lads fashion by knowing nothing about the place. We were blown away when we were shown to our suite with its lounge and spacious rooms and 2 bathrooms, perfect for stinky boys. We unpacked and headed down for tea, oh yeah we also like to have food included if possible, costs a little more upfront but saves on spending money and guarantees a warm meal after a hard day on the slopes. What we didn't anticipate was such fine dining and service, as good a food as I have ever eaten.
You may assume it was just a piss up but we were up, breaking our fast and in the gondola for 9am aiming to get as high above the clouds as possible. The weather report wasn't great but in reality it was much worse, at the top it was dangerous so only the bottom of the mountain was enjoyable riding. We didn't let the visibility stop us, it did slow us down a little when I missed a marker and went off the edge and ended up to my neck in snow and had to climb back to the piste, there was a moment of panic and some very heavy breathing, when I caught back up with the group who had sat waiting for me to emerge from the fog, he said to me all I heard was "OH FUCK and then you disappeared over the edge." A very lucky escape and a mistake I wont make again. Conditions didn't improve but we stuck it out all day.
On the way down the last run we coincidentally stumbled across the famous Krazy Kanguruh, this is rumoured to be the highest grossing mountain bar in Europe. We couldn't miss an opportunity to dive in, it was banging but the downside is there is still a slope to navigate once you've had your refreshments, we lost count but when the bill arrived we realised we'd had too many to safely take on the mogul infested final run, we could not stop laughing as one by one we were took down by the invisible sniper in the distance.
Day 2 was a picture, a blue bird from start to finish with the most perfect scenery, we smashed the life out of it getting as many runs in as we could. We went to the top in a 40 man cable car that hung between mountains with views that spanned for miles. We went from top to bottom in one run all the way to base camp for beers and Aperol spritz. The hotel was just a short jolly walk back, quick shower before we had pumpkin smash and mozzarella starter, beef cheek for main and a raspberry sorbet and chocolate cake dessert.
Our final day on the slopes and the forecast wasn't great but we took a chance on the mountain the other side of the valley, the staff at the hotel had told us this was our best shot at getting some time in the snow. The gamble paid off and we had a full morning in the off piste powder, I felt like Keanu Reeves in Point Break. This side of the mountain had some cool old 2 man lifts too which made it feel very cool, it swung round at such a speed and walloped you on the hamstring with such force you was getting on the lift whether you liked it or not.
By the time we reached the town it had turned to heavy rain which put an end to our time on the slopes. Whilst we left the gear to dry out we headed down to the spa for a swim and sauna, non of us had quite realised how much our bodies hurt until they relaxed. Utter bliss.
This will be our last time in Austria for a while after 3 consecutive trips out there, please send us your suggestions and recommendations.
I worked a season out in Switzerland. Look up the 4 valleys. Thyons, Veyzonnaz… stay in Les Collons above Sion. Great runs, traverse to Verbier .. saw a Lambo in snowchains there! Not sure on prices but great little place full of Totty :)
Not sure if you been before butt try Avoriaz France.. In between Morzine and Avoriaz is a Chalet called Chilly Powder I cannot recommend it enough.