Map - Sölden, AT

Just got home from our snowboarding trip to Sölden, Austria and wow it was just an amazing trip. We had the best spot to stay the nights and slopes, snow, pow and weather was just amazing. It was about a 10 hour drive, which could have been a bit faster if the last few stretches weren’t crowded with fellow ski-area travelers. Anyway we arrived in good fashion and explored the village and transformed our apartment with our gear and luggage.

The first 2 days the weather was just perfect, with every day a fresh pack of new POW on all the slopes. These first few days were extra tiring as we really weren’t all that much trained to withstand so much POW riding. At the end of every run our legs were burning like hell, but hey nothing beets shredding some fresh powder! This was Jorg and Marieke’s first snowboard trip to the mountains, so we started by getting used to the nice snow. We also ventured on a small afternoontrip taking us up to one of the BIG3 high points and we had to make our way down. We would have been better off doing that early in the morning, because now, at the end of the day, the slopes looked like a massacre of small heaps & bumps.

Our apartment really is situated perfectly at the bottom of the elevator, we only had to walk for 2 or 3 minutes to get there. So in between the tiring runs down the hill, we could easily grab lunch in our apartment and relax for a small bit, before we hit the boards again. The area featured several elevators up the mountain and from there you could spread out and span the whole area by taking a series of elevators. But as we didn’t want to hurry ourselves over all mountains and trails there were, we actually focused more on getting our technique and skills updated. So we decided to stay on the Gigijoch mountian for the remainder of the holiday.

The weather had been perfect in the first 3 days, but the 4th and 5th day where snowy and very misty. This made it (almost) impossible to tell the difference between the slope and the air. Even with a freshly bought goggle with yellow lenses could not help us tell the difference in all that white stuff. But staying at home isn’t in our nature and soon we were finding ourselves using the board as a sled. It was great fun to do but keep in mind to wear something to cover your whole face, because your boots are used as breaks and guess where the snow is flying ;).

Marieke sitting on the slope of the Gigijoch, Sölden, Austria.

Marieke sitting on the slope of the Gigijoch, Sölden, Austria.

Luckily for us the last bit of our holiday featured some nice weather again, but the slopes were closed at the supposed elevator opening time, because they were trying to lower the avalanche hazard up on the mountain. After the hazard had been taken care of, the riding could continue on the Gigijoch. We were riding this part of the mountain for a bit longer, so we had kind of trail set which we could ride to hit the most POW. Later we did some riding on other parts of the slope where some nice features had devloped because of the snowfall. Jumping and landing in deep POW is kind of hard, but so much more fun to do.

From left to right: Marieke, me (sanne) and Jorg.

From left to right: Marieke, me (sanne) and Jorg.

I remember myself riding the POW in the first days and wanting to jump back on the prepared slope, but didn’t actually take into account that when a slope is prepared the edge between POW and prepared. Because of this edge, which was more packed and dense than the powder itself, I got launched onto the prapared slope… I think that was by far the highest and furthest jump of the holiday, I found myself flying horizontally about 1,5 meters in the air for over at least 4 meters in distance. Well ‘No pain, No Gain’ we always say!

After returning our boards to the rental shop and having had some good food for dinner, we decided to drive through the night. We didn’t want the busy roads we had on the way to Sölden, so we figured a night drive would do the trick. Finally back home, we can look back on a awesome week. For sure next year we’re going for some big ass mountains to ride again.