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Benski

Innsbruck 11/30-12/3

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Since I am studying abroad near Amsterdam Innsbruck is the easiest ski destination. Last week i saw a storm forecasted to drop 6 inches Wednesday so a booked a Thursday morning flight. Trip was 10/10, transportation aside, which I kept screwing up. Getting the Stubbaier Gletcher for the first powder day, was a 8 hour saga, listed bellow in steps. 2 in the only interesting one. 

1. 3:45 am uber to the train station, 10 minuets 

2. 4:00 am train. It had a bunch of drunk people and smelled like a frat house, I got some sleep on it. 

3. 5:05. I get off the train and go strait to baggage check then security. total tame 15 minuets

4. Get breakfast and walk to the gate for 10 minuets. 

5. wait for my 6:50 flight. 

6. flight gets in at 8:50. half the time on the plane is spent in the airport including a 10 minuet delay

7. 8:50 Baggage claim and changing for skiing 30 minuets. 

8. Bus downtown. 15 minuets. 

9. put my bags in a train station locker. 

10. bus to the Stubaier 1 hour. 

11. Ride gondola to midstation where you rent skis at Stubiaer and get lunch start skiing at 12:00 

First thing I knottiest are the massive mountains are inescapable, look at the airport!

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Stubaier is a massive ski area with 4500 vertical feet and 20 lifts, most either bubbles or gondolas. Lift ticket was about 53 USD with no discounts I could find. Glaciers go 1/3 of the way down. 

The first gondola is massive. They call it an S3 I guess becouse it has 3 cables.

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Turns out its the snow is actually KNEE DEEP. I spent a fair amount of time Thursday "in the white room." I also stoped on top of a 10 foot cliff and decided to just drop off it. Some people saw and laughed at me but whatever. 

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Here there is a good view of the bubbles six pack. I guess I found where Greek peak gets its stock photos.

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Here are 2 of the most challenging run i did, under the 8 Pack. It served the my favorite terrain. 

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The top of one of the glaciers.

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Around 2 it started to clear up. Here panorama is looking strait at the 8-packIMG_2029.thumb.JPG.e75e3c3fcea75b9539eb05858fab6b3f.JPG

and 2 more panoramas.

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I got last t bar to near the top of another glacier. I started this run at 4 and it took about 30 minuets. The mountain advertises this run at 10 km if you stick to a windy piste on the lower mountain. I did not and skied some more steeps. The sun started to set half way down, creating an alpine-glow effect and I had to give up my goggles to see. IMG_2032.thumb.JPG.24f0248de9e2dbef11900a2d90d67ce4.JPGIMG_2037.thumb.JPG.d001e4fb87b0bec27b3134702de94afc.JPGIMG_2038.thumb.JPG.0532be6bd368384c544a11ee0e5da8b6.JPG

And that was day one. One of my favorite days skiing. 

Friday I took a bus to Axamer Lizum. I smaller ski area with 2600 vertical and only 3 lifts running that day which was there first of the season. One of them was essentially a railcar on a 45 degree angle called a funicular. This lift in practice is similar to a tram. This ski area is about the size of Jay peek with what is open with 2 more pods closed. One of them looked ver interesting, the other not so much. The day was bluebird and they had plenty of powder. Tickets were about 41 USD and the bus from  Innsbruck was free. Terrain was awesome especialy if you did not let some rocks a short travers stop you from skiing some great terrain.

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The next peek over is normally list served but not on Friday unfortunately.

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Here you can see the city of Innsbruck. 

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on the skiers right in this picture is an area that is easily accessed from the lift with a short traverse with some rocks and barbed wire at the top which i think stoped a lot of people. The terrain is great, though. 

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The snow at Axium was not as deep but still pleant to cover all but a few rocks. 

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Here you can see the Funicular. You could ski under it in many places but it went strait up the fall lin. 

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There summit lodge is one of the coolest I have ever seen. Good pastries and beer, along with a deck. The walls were all glass but they came out bad in photos due to the contrast with the ceiling and floor. IMG_2051.thumb.JPG.5728135b59e5143e1760341e67550080.JPG

 

The next day i went to Schlick 2000 for there opening day, a third bluebird powder day. The place is about the size of Mount Ellen and has a 2 express chairs, one with a bubble, a gondola and a fixed grip all for 37 USD. This place was mostly bellow the tree line so I got some good tree skiing in but few pictures. At there umbrella bar at the end of the day I had a few drinks and figured out, Killington is the only East cost ski area they had heard of and it was due to the world cup. They find our lift ticket prices unbelievable.  

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Sunday before my flight i returned to Stubaeir for one last day. This time bluebird with little powder. First pick you can see the bottom from the top. IMG_2060.thumb.JPG.f5263a8f7c268d823aeeeb0f31309ebb.JPGIMG_2061.thumb.JPG.825e842b0b1bf36f1b57ae010265d097.JPG IMG_2058.thumb.JPG.f173f18e01ccc6a19318c9aa24d5ec01.JPGIMG_2062.thumb.JPG.8500eb132af9f3d179ba6f3ab1751d16.JPGSome other Observations from the trip. Being a

 

One final picture from the valley as I left Sunday on my way to the Airport. Taken near the base of Schlick. I skied a almost full day before my flight back to Amsterdam, and almost missed the 6:50 flight. 

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University city Innsbruck has a lot of young people but the University nightlife tends to be more private so you mostly see them earlier in the night or at ski areas. Its also very pretty and worth walking around. This weekend they had there annual Christmas market, a good place to get food for dinner on the streets of the old city. Not speaking German can be a problem but I did not have trouble finding help. People seam much friendlier than there accent implies. One german girl I met on the bus made some jokes about how unfriendly their accent sounds. 

I also lacked good internet hence why I waited to post.

 

Edited by Benski
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This is torture. I love skiing Europe. Really, really love it. Everyone who does out west for their vacations has no idea what they are missing. Sure much of the west has better snow, but the experience in Europe is unparalleled.

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18 minutes ago, Weatherman said:

This is torture. I love skiing Europe. Really, really love it. Everyone who does out west for their vacations has no idea what they are missing. Sure much of the west has better snow, but the experience in Europe is unparalleled.

Agreed though most flight are expensive, over 1000 from NYC with 1 layover on a major airline. The cheapest is 500 USD right now but you have a long layover, in London and separate discount airlines. 

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1 hour ago, Benski said:

Agreed though most flight are expensive, over 1000 from NYC with 1 layover on a major airline. The cheapest is 500 USD right now but you have a long layover, in London and separate discount airlines. 

You just need to fly somewhere other than Innsbruck which is too small to be cost effective. For example, fly into Munich rather than Innsbruck. I just checked prices from Boston for the same dates as my trip this year (1/26 - 2/5) -- $684 to Munich, $643 to Milan, $645 to Venice, $547 to Zurich, $545 to Geneva. For those same dates you're looking at $1,113 to Innsbruck.

I paid $660 last year from Boston to Milan. And international travel includes a free checked bag. Plus once you get there the lift tickets are significantly cheaper than in the USA.

I swear you can save money skiing in Europe vs the western USA given current exchange rates.

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Saw a few sales over the summer to Milan for under $500. Say $550 in the fall. All these were from Boston. 

More expensive than going west (under $300 to UT and CO from BOS), but not prohibitively expensive, IMO at least. 

Real issue for me is the lift ticket situation. I try to stick to my passes as much as possible, so a week long trip where I'm buying tickets is something I try and avoid, especially if I can also get great skiing on my pass out west.

The Epic pass has some reciprocity in Europe, right? Would love to see more options out there. Also South America... but that is a different story. 

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4 minutes ago, Jully said:

Saw a few sales over the summer to Milan for under $500. Say $550 in the fall. All these were from Boston. 

More expensive than going west (under $300 to UT and CO from BOS), but not prohibitively expensive, IMO at least. 

Real issue for me is the lift ticket situation. I try to stick to my passes as much as possible, so a week long trip where I'm buying tickets is something I try and avoid, especially if I can also get great skiing on my pass out west.

The Epic pass has some reciprocity in Europe, right? Would love to see more options out there. Also South America... but that is a different story. 

https://www.epicpass.com/info/europe-is-epic.aspx

 

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Just now, Jully said:

Saw a few sales over the summer to Milan for under $500. Say $550 in the fall. All these were from Boston. 

More expensive than going west (under $300 to UT and CO from BOS), but not prohibitively expensive, IMO at least. 

Real issue for me is the lift ticket situation. I try to stick to my passes as much as possible, so a week long trip where I'm buying tickets is something I try and avoid, especially if I can also get great skiing on my pass out west.

The Epic pass has some reciprocity in Europe, right? Would love to see more options out there. Also South America... but that is a different story. 

Window rate is around $60 in Europe. I don't get too worried about tickets.

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5 minutes ago, Weatherman said:

You just need to fly somewhere other than Innsbruck which is too small to be cost effective. For example, fly into Munich rather than Innsbruck. I just checked prices from Boston for the same dates as my trip this year (1/26 - 2/5) -- $684 to Munich, $643 to Milan, $645 to Venice, $547 to Zurich, $545 to Geneva. For those same dates you're looking at $1,113 to Innsbruck.

I paid $660 last year from Boston to Milan. And international travel includes a free checked bag. Plus once you get there the lift tickets are significantly cheaper than in the USA.

I swear you can save money skiing in Europe vs the western USA given current exchange rates.

I think that's true from the US where you need to transfer which adds a lot of costs. It looked like its a prime target for budget airlines who do very little for people in the US. Innsbruck was mostly budget airlines. They probably get a good deal from the airport and the city is also cheap to complement them. 

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1 hour ago, Weatherman said:

Window rate is around $60 in Europe. I don't get too worried about tickets.

Definitely not something to worry about, but having to drop $300 on tickets or ski for free at someplace out west makes it that much harder for me to plan an Alps trip as opposed to a CO trip!

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That is a great trip and sweet photos.  I used to live a bit north of there just over the border in Oberammergau, Germany.  

Couple other places you should checkout, some kind of busier....

- St Anton/Lech/Zurs

- Obergurgl/Hochgurgl

- Solden

 

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That is a great trip and sweet photos.  I used to live a bit north of there just over the border in Oberammergau, Germany.  
Couple other places you should checkout, some kind of busier....
- St Anton/Lech/Zurs
- Obergurgl/Hochgurgl
- Solden
 

I thought about St Anton but only had 4 days. St Anton is hard to get to since the train was not frequent.

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