The Beatles and I in Obertauern

AustriaSki+board / September 2022
'Austria'

A less stubborn skier than me would have ended the ski season of 2021/22 on a high in December. And I am not talking Covid lockdowns here. Snowfall in the first week of December in Arlberg was bounteous: in three days three metres of snow plunged everything from lift pylons to traffic lights deep under the lightest powder west of Hokkaido. As the season carried on, plentiful snowfall became a rarity. Still, I had two days of nice powder over Christmas and the New Year in Schladming, plus two days of seriously enjoyable snow during my week in Courchevel. But I’m talking four days...Read more

 

 
Winter goes wild in Arlberg

AustriaSki+board / March 2022
'Austria'

A less stubborn skier than me would have ended the ski season of 2021/22 on a high in December. And I am not talking Covid lockdowns here. Snowfall in the first week of December in Arlberg was bounteous: in three days three metres of snow plunged everything from lift pylons to traffic lights deep under the lightest powder west of Hokkaido. As the season carried on, plentiful snowfall became a rarity. Still, I had two days of nice powder over Christmas and the New Year in Schladming, plus two days of seriously enjoyable snow during my week in Courchevel. But I’m talking four days...Read more

 

 
The best winter we (n)ever had

Austriaskiclub.co.uk / April 2021
'Austria'

Winter was not admitting defeat easily this year. It came with unprecedented amounts of snow, unusually cold weather, and lasted well beyond its sell-by date. When I visited Heiligenblut, the tiny, Austrian ski resort at the foot of Großglocker (3,798m) at the end of April, the battle with spring was not yet decided. On one side the still-three-metre thick armoury of snow, a firm frontier retreating only a few inches per day. On the other side, beyond the debris of this winter’s avalanches – a no-man’s-land of uprooted forests, smashed fences and damaged houses – spring, a ...Read more

 

 
HEILIGENBLUT : A winter like no other

AustriaSki+board / February 2021
'Austria'

The snow is falling, the lifts are turning, but the hotels remain closed. Andreas Hofer visits the quaint – and empty – mountain resort to speak with the locals about life during the pandemic.
While we read of fellow skiers locked up by health authorities in Verbier instead of enjoying their paid-for skiing vacations, and about all of Europe fighting the Swiss and the Austrians for trying to keep their ski lifts running this season, deep uncertainty is chipping away on our plans to ski this winter. Direct flights from the UK were ...Read more

 

 
Hit the road, Jack: skiing Japan by bus

JapanSki+board / October 2020
'Japan'

The taxi ride from Aomori Airport to downtown Hirosaki was both a journey into winter and into the provincial life of a Japanese small town stuck in the 1960s. The city centre, an unruly scramble of ugly high rises, post-war cottages and a scattering of quaint medieval and 19th century officialdom, was panting under relentless snowfall. Shop owners and dwellers were stoically shovelling snow from the sidewalks into open manholes, some of them, it seemed, clearly too frail and too old for the job. After a walk through Hirosaki Castle's parkland, I soaked in the outdoor onsen of the Dormy Inn, waiting for Hiro. Hirofumi ‘Hiro’ Ishizaka has been my mountain guide in Japan for 15 years...Read more

 

 
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