Wednesday evening November 27: hey Winny, it's not epic but probably worthwhile, are we on? Off course RP, will be with you tomorrow around noon. Knowing Winny, noon would probably be 13.00 so I worked all morning and yes, Winny pulls up the driveway at 13.15 hours. We hit the road to Kaprun where we will be sleeping in the (rental)apartment of @Berber. Afters some minor traffic jams around Köln & Frankfurt we reached Kaprun after just 9 hours. The apartment of Berber is a real recommendation: nicely furnished & decorated, good beds and fantastic kitchen & bathroom, deserves a place on our shortlist….
Saalbach still thin
The next morning I am jumping up & down at 6.30 from stoke… 8.30 we arrive in Saalbach where @Berber is waiting to ride with us. The season opens today in Saalbach so we will have first tracks! Although not all lifts were open and the base layer still was thin we had a great day, also because there was not much competition! In the afternoon Emmer, also a forum member on wePowder, joined us for a while and we had some great turns.
After some consideration we decided to spend another night in Kaprun but because of the temperatures we agreed to find a more eastern & higher destination. To the Kitzsteinhorn? No way, everything will be shredded out and lots of ‘Triebschnee'. Obertauern? Mwa, half of Munich will be there….. Tauplitz? Mwa, still relatively low and probably busy as well…. That's when we decided to go to Sportgastein. Where? Yeah, Sportgastein… We never heart of the place, let alone been there but @meteomorris told us there was snow and the altitude was ok, so let's go for it!
Sportgastein is located at the end of the Gasteinertal (valley), this means that you have to pass Bad Gastein: wow what a Spa resort! A little bit of perished glory but the ancient and huge hotels still have some of the grandeur of a glorious past, a very special place to be…. After Bad Gastein the road goes further up and after some brutally hewn out tunnels you reach Sportgastein which is nothing more than a parking place with a restaurant and starting point of the lift.
There were only 16 cars on the parking lot, so it would not be crowded! The Goldberg Bahn took us to the top where we were surrounded by shark invested territory. According to the numbers there should be 150 cm. of snow but as a result of strong winds it was thin at some spots so let's be careful! There is another lift in the area but it was closed, so a true one-lift-wonder!
Fog, real fog
After some light snow in the morning we had fair weather and some good freeriding, especially on skiroute 1 (which was not open). In the afternoon the fog came in while we were in the skiroute. Sometimes there was only 3 meters of sight so we had some exciting moments but eventually we landed underneath the lift and guided by the lift masts we found our way down. As it was 15.30 we decided to call it a day and have a beer (or two).
Next morning: Yes, bluebird in da house! Cold and clear weather, that should promise something for today! We took the lift up and what a clear view and glorious day… We found some more powder, got hit by sharks here and there (ski's to the shop this week) and around 14.00 we called it a day, took a shower and headed back for The Netherlands.
Was it epic? Concerning the powder: no, the base layer was still thin and there was not much fresh pow. The trip? Hell Yeah! The perfect roadtrip with my buddy Winny, lots of laughs, good food, some drinks… and really enjoyed the snow that was around and last but not least: the discovery of one-lift-wonder Sportgastein. Worthwhile to get back after or even during a dump. From the middle station downwards some forest around that can be a lot of fun, providing there be enough snow to cover the sharks and tree stumps.
Has anyone of you guys ever been to Sportgastein? And, what did you think?