I’m here in Europe for 2.5 weeks total. After meeting in Switzerland and skiing in Wengen I spent a week near Stuttgart Germany. I had planned take the train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen but my company decided it would be better to drive so they arranged for a rental car. I made it there by around 6 pm and checked into Rindl’s Partenkircher Hof. It’s an old 4 star hotel about 200m from the train station. The room was big and comfortable and the half board food fantastic.
View from my hotel room
On Saturday I took the bus from the Train station to the Hausberg Bahn a Gondi similar to WFs to start my day. The lifts are fast and modern except for one key old tram and a few t bars which are in low traffic sections. After freeze thaws the morning surface was mightily firm and slick but thankfully they were having a demo day so I exchanged my 90Eights for Volkl Deacon 76 and made some GS turns. The scenery is amazing here so after giving up the demos I pulled a James and fortified myself for some Firn / Corn skiing once things thawed a bit
Insert strudel porn shot below
Garmisch Classic skis like a 4000 Vert eastern ski area in many respects. Most of it is below tree line and the base is around 700m. The Alpsptiz section is above treeline and has the main off piste skiing. Some aspects never thawed out but I managed to ski some nice corn and some drier left over crud in the shady sections. It has a double black pitch and skied a bit like our WF slides and about the same length.
Once the corn was over cooked I decided I needed a sausage and beer. I skied corn / slush groomers until 3:30 then had a beer at the bottom.
There is a serious alpinist thing going on here. Lots of guys skiing up thru the ski area and into the high alpine zone above it. This line in particular was seriously bad ass.
With a couple more lifts Garmisch could compete with Swiss and French areas for off piste but the majority of Germans don’t ski off piste so it doesn’t hapoen.
I had a nice stroll on Ludwig Strass in Parkenkirchen before dinner which was a beautiful old street.
A great 5 course meal though i skipped the soup course of bavarian lamb and a great dessert crepe followed in the hotel. Let me know if I’ve bought in too much to James dessert porn thing.
I chatted with a fellow guest and got a game plan based on his report that up high on the Zugspitz it was not corning up at all and was crusty so I skipped the hour each way train ride and decided to start the day more in the middle of the ski area and skip the Hausberg altogether to focus my time on the Alpspitz zone. I skied groomers and some lower pistes that were slushy and then a kucken break waiting for the corn to ripen.
A final and best dessert photo as it reminded my of my Bavarian grandmamas plum cakes
It finally did around 11 and i did a bunch of sweet corn laps on nice black and double black shots. My legs were toast by 1 so I headed down and had a radler (weiss beer mixed with a lemon soda) and a brat and then drove back to Stuttgart. On the way i saw a nice looking ski area called Lermoos in Austria that I kind of wish I had skied with the Top Card ticket which is more expensive but allows skiing in Germany and Austria. Maybe James can comment on this area.
One more week of work and then home - its been a long trip but I got some nice skiing in and met a lot of really nice people.
Fabulous report and fantastic pics please keep them coming. Coach Z and JD you have skied in both the Rockies and now Europe. Can you guys take a little bit about the differences and which you prefer and why. I spent a couple of days in Chamonix last summer and fell in love with the place. I am dying to go ski there. In the meantime I am going out west for the last few years (Big White, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village) but really want to go Europe really soon.
What I have taken from James posts is to make sure to take time to have the cake and lunch. It seemed like I was making fun of James but it was more imatation as flattery. James trs are the best. I didn’t mean to offend James.
To Big75’s question. The difference between a Rockies and a Euro vacation is making sure to have the experiences. In the US I tend to ski from opening bell to like 2 stopping only for water energy bar and pee breaks then have lunch in town becuase ski area food is meh in the US. In Europe I go for the whole day stop and smell the roses experience. In the US just the tourists may do that but here every Euro does it too. The food on Mt is great and cheap. I spent about $25 a day for my morning snack, lunch with a beer and a beer afterward.
The actual skiing in Europe can be awesome like my Saturday in Wengen or more ok Eastern as the mornings waiting for the corn to thaw in Garmisch. It’s a much more variable skiing experience here. If it snows and you are at an above treeline resort you may not even be able to ski because the visibility will be so bad.
If you haven’t done it you really need to. The big places and the small all are great.