20 years ago the family wanted to extend our nordic skiing experience with a Alpine skiing week in Bad Hofgastein, Austria.
Bad Hofgastein is an exclusive ski and wellness resort in the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the state of Salzburg in Austria. It is part of the "Gasteiner Tal" valley, near the village of Bad Gastein.
Bad Hofgastein is also part of Ski Amade, a network of 28 ski areas and towns that combined, make up the largest ski area in Europe (860 km of downhill slopes / 278 modern ski lifts). In addition to the 250 km of pistes (reaching as high as 2700m in the area of Sportgastein) Bad Hofgastein also offers one of Europe's most exclusive and extensive thermal spas, the Alpentherme.
Rikke was only 9 years old when she faced her first Piste Noire and called us child assaulters before she throw herself over edge of the steep mountain side. She still loves to be in the hills although she now mostly uses her Telemark equipment.
Sondre Nordheim was the first to develop this the type of skiing originating in the county of Telemark, Norway. The first Telemark turn was witnessed in public in 1868 during a competition in which Sondre Nordheim was taking part. Incidentally, he is also credited with being the first to introduce a sidecut to make his skis turn more easily. Telemark skis are mounted with bindings that only connect the boots at the toe, allowing the skier to walk uphill with skis on (as in touring), ski with telemark technique, or ski parallel. Two years after the first photo was taken of our family with Alpine gear on a flat floor, we visited with friends Verbier, Switzerland. Here we reached the peak Mont Fort with the fantastic glacier slopes under the peak (altitude 3330m).
We are not going to Austria or Switserland in this year winter holiday, nor in the future. But if you like to experience something spectacular and love downhill skiing, both these resorts can be highly recommended. As far as I have heard they have only developed positively during the last 20 years.
Klick on the "Verbier" link above and see the "4 Vallées" skiing area.