The year is slowly coming to an end and I still had a few days of vacation that had to be used this month; instead of starting my over three week leave earlier I decided to extend the last weekend by two days.
Even though it’s already mid December there was not alot of snow in the European mountains – unlike in the US which made me slightly jealous!
But I had my waxed skis sitting in the corner telling me to finally shred some fine powder with them.
So I decided to drive to the Alps, stay in a German Army base which would make the trip significantly cheaper and enjoy a day or two on the slopes with artificial snow.
I left early Saturday morning with my skis on my roof and didn’t come along any other car equipped with winter mountain gear on the four hour drive.
The base is south of Garmisch, the #1 spot for winter sports in Germany and one of the places that I’d call home because I feel so homy there. Of course I had to stop at my favorite café for a snack and to have a look at the local Christmas market – a really nice one in the old town with a tiny ice skating arena.
After checking in to the base and driving around for a while ’till I found my room I grabbed my headlight and went for a quick run. The huge mountains of the Alps in the background made me feel satisfied and excited for the next day of skiing.
Thanks to the alarm I forgot to turn off I woke up early (6am) to a cold morning (14°F). I packed my bag with additional clothes, goggles and other ski stuff and went outside to my car. In order to start it you have to press the brake pedal and push a button – well, for some reason the brake line was frozen and I couldn’t start the engine! I kept trying and with every trial the battery discharged further…
For some reason I thought that opening the engine department might be a smart move. I pulled the lever on the inside which soon after I hold in my hand – broken! At least the hood was open and for some reason the engine decided to finally start! Now I had another problem: How to close the hood again?! The broken lever left the hooks in such position that they wouldn’t lock anymore. After dozens trials of slamming the hood it finally locked and one hour later then planned I left the base.
Half way to the small ski resort GarmischClassic in Garmisch (my destination was the Hausberg which had reduced tickets, but only a limited number of open lifts) my hood popped open while driving 60miles an hour. I slammed the brakes – luckily no one was behind me – to close the hood which was entirely blocking my view on the road! It locked propperly and didn’t come loose since then.
After a nice day on the slopes I relaxed my muscles at the local spa and went to bed way too early – skiing is exhausting!
My plan for the next day (Monday) was to drive to the Stubai Glacier (Austria) since I had a free day pass. The drive was without any incidents and I had an amazing day 11,000ft above sea level. Sun was shining, a little bit of snow on the large slopes and almost no people. I just made it in time to the last gondola down the mountain before they closed and one hour later I was back in Germany.
This left the week with only 2.5 workdays and now I’m off for the holidays. I’m still hoping for snow in the Alps as I wanted to go back after Christmas, but it looks like I might have to go to Norway if I want snow in Europe… No El Nino here…