Sadly, of all the years Mark is able to fulfill his lifelong dream, it is the ONE year with very little snow. So we were a bit worried that there wouldn’t be really any snow to ski on. The day we arrived, Mark found a ski shop (he needed to rent some boots), and they advised him to ski the glaciers. The best snow was there.

Well, glacier sounded a little intimidating to me. After all, I’ve only been skiing less than 10 times (the last time was more than 5 years ago!) and I barely reach intermediate status. So the first day we skiied Axamer-Lizum, a large and popular resort that seemed to have a lot of beginner and intermediate runs. Here’s what it looked like:


And here’s what we looked like:


I spent a good portion of the first morning trying to remember how to turn without going into the “wedge” position. As time went on, I became more successful, but those first couple of runs were rough! By the end of the day, I felt pretty good.

On the second day, we went close to the glacier, to a place called Schlick 2000. This is where we learned a truth about European skiing. The first lift line is LONG and miserable, primarily because a gondola takes you from the bottom of the mountain, where there is no snow, all the way to the top, where the snow pillows into fluffy mounds. But after that first wait, the runs are long and you hardly wait the rest of the day.

On days 3 and 4, we went to the first glacier called Stubaier Glacier. It was FANTASTIC there. Of course you are imagining a glassy, icy surface. No. That’s not what it was. But when the snow falls on to a glassy surface, it stays cold and surprisingly dry. This was by far our favorite place. Besides the long runs (one was 10 kilometers–6.6 miles long, and you know we had to do that…at the end of the day…perhaps not our finest idea), there was a fun park with a timed slalom run and ski jumps. In case you were wondering, Mark’s time was 37 seconds. I opted out of that place. It was beneath me you know.



(That’s me!)

And the last day we skiied, we headed for the other glacier, Khutai. This one was not so great. It was on the other side of the mountain and the snow was not so nice. In the morning it was all icy and by the afternoon it was so sticky that I would actually stop without trying to. You would think with my comet-like speed that would be impossible. Plus, by now, our legs were barely functioning. It was like two rubberbands walking. So we stopped an hour early, ate lunch and cruised the town. Oh! And there was this beautiful lake there:

We skiied between 5 and 7 hours each day, turning our flabby bodies into the very images of Adonis. Well. Kind of. We would have looked like that if we would have just stayed away from those pastries and sausages….

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