The warmth of the sun, the joy of relaxing with people I love. This photo was taken at the BruggerAlm at Schlick2000. On our third day of skiing, Justin was trying to take a picture of the hang gliders, and instead perfectly captured my relaxed and joyful state.
Skiing in the Alps is magical. During our stay in Innsbruck we skied at four resorts, three pretty local, one bigger. More importantly, we skied with people I love to be with. I once skied with Dee on a Thanksgiving weekend at Sugarloaf, on one of the few trails open, narrow and not very snow-covered. I remember having an absolute blast. The feeling of no pressure, of loving her company and the conversation, and the beautiful woods around us.
Kevin is a fearless skier, and he pushes himself constantly. You really have to trust someone to follow them blindly over a lip of snow, onto a trail that you cannot see, but that you have to get down, hopefully upright. Justin and I have always skied well together but his new center of gravity put him more in a league with Kevin. It was wonderful to watch. And Dee has become an incredibly confident skier, pushing herself as much as Kevin does, with little trace of the woman I skied with at Sugarloaf those years ago.
I kept up and when I couldn’t, I sat it out. My only regret was skipping the Dohlennest at Axamer-Lizum. I had not had the best day skiing and decided (smartly, I hope) not to take the last run. I enjoyed my time waiting and people watching at the Hotel Lizumerhof, where we had all enjoyed an incredible lunch (Justin’s Tirol Toast was memorable.)
Also, the Austrians do the wildest thing, called “skinning.” They adhere a cover, or skin, to the bottom of their skis that allows them to walk up the mountain on skis. UP THE MOUNTAIN. ON SKIS. The skis have a specific kind of binding that lifts at the heel for the skin up, and clips down for the ski down. We saw dozens and dozens of people doing this on the four days we skied. It’s a bit unnerving as they are walking up the same trail that you are skiing down!
I hope you will keep reading, and let me know what you think in the comments. Have you skied or skinned in Innsbruck? I want to hear about it!