I rented skis and spent a day on the mountain with friends. We watched our children’s races and had a day of skiing for ourselves. It was a long time since I went downhill skiing and by the end of the day, I felt more comfortable. The runs in Europe are marked blue for easy, red for intermediate, and black for difficult. We mostly went down red and I could handle them. I did feel a bit out of my league on the steeper reds. On our final run from the top to the bottom, I felt the “buzz” of skiing and really was having a great time. To get to the top, one takes a train, then two chair lifts. We skied all the way down to the ski school for the award ceremony. It is amazing how long the runs are. Being from Michigan, with hills and not mountains, I am always impressed with the length and variety of slopes in the Alps or Rockies.
I am not sure however, if the joy I felt on the slopes outweighs the cost and hassle of skiing. Renting the equipment (36 euros) and a lift pass (50 euros) are crazy expensive. The day felt crowded, as there were lines to get on the train and chairlifts, lines for lunch, and lots of people all around. I think there are too few ski areas for the number of people that want to ski. I prefer the solitude and ease of cross-country skiing. It is also a better workout. Downhill skiing is a nice family day outdoors. Nadia will never downhill ski, however. Owen loves it and Oliver I think will like it once he is a bit older. I am still not sure if we will have a ski holiday in the future. Once again, I don’t think the costs and hassles outweigh the fun. I do have a newfound respect for downhill skiing in the Olympics. The speed they attain is amazing. The Austrians are organized the week of skiing was as easy to organize as it could be. We all received lessons (classic cross country, skate cross country, and downhill) and got on the slopes or trails immediately upon arrival.
My lunch on the mountain was great without kids and the wheat beer and “Jagr Tea” was delicious and motivating for my afternoon ski down.