Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Night Tobogganing - Not for the Faint-Hearted!

If the thrill of the slopes isn’t enough for you, St Anton has something a little different to offer you: night tobogganing. The toboggan run starts from the top of the Nassereinbahn and weaves down past the Rodel Alm restaurant, finishing up in the Nasserein area of town. For just a few euros you can buy a ticket up the Nassereinbahn in the evening twice a week, and take your life in your hands by throwing yourself down a narrow, ice-covered, rutted track, on a traditional wooden toboggan with steel rails… The track is lit by street lights along most of the way, but between the pine trees glimpses of the town appear, as well as the steep expanse of the world cup piste to your right.  

At just over half way down the Rodel Alm restaurant is a fantastic place to stop. Live music, enormous plates of traditional Austrian cuisine (think lots of meat, bread, potatoes and cheese), steins of local beer or shots of schnapps and Jagermeister are the order of the day, enjoyed while watching the twinkling lights of the town below. Styled as a traditional Austrian chalet, it is finished in wood and decorated with the paraphernalia of skiing’s early days as well as a selection of stuffed mountain animals. Definitely not to be missed. Once you feel suitably relaxed, make your way down the last long straight to the bottom and see if you feel up to another go!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Spring Fun at Zermatt Unplugged Festival

If Snowbombing isn’t your kind of festival, I would highly recommend Zermatt Unplugged as something a little different. As the name would suggest, this is an acoustic festival where big names such as Anastacia, Billy Idol, Lionel Richie and James Blunt have all featured.

All the resort’s venues have live acts throughout the day, and at the centre of the resort a huge big-top style tent houses the main stages. While the acts on the centre stage require tickets, the rest of the festival is free, allowing people to pick and choose where they go and discover new acts from all over the world.

Sit in your favourite mountain bar in the spring sunshine, enjoying the magnificent views of my favourite mountain (the Matterhorn) and a glass of gluhwein, listening to some fantastic acoustic sets from up and coming artists from all over the world…a perfect afternoon. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Hidden Gems of the Arlberg

The Arlberg ski area in Austria is the cradle of Alpine skiing, and is well known for its spectacular off-piste, exciting network of runs and huge variety of apres ski bars. Big names such as St Anton and Lech are well known, but the lesser-known areas of Schrocken and Warth were linked just last year. One of my favourite areas in the Arlberg, I would highly recommend a visit!
Accessible from Lech, these small resorts boast the highest average snowfall of anywhere in the Alps, almost forming their own micro-climate in which snow not only falls heavily, but also sticks around far later into the season than some of the lower slopes in the area.

The link lift itself is a bubble across an almost flat expanse of snow, dotted with animal tracks and the evidence of the odd brave ski-tourer taking their chances over an area laced with streams beneath the snow. After a truly beautiful ride, you are treated with a small, quiet ski area, where snow stays untracked for longer and the bars and restaurants are truly Austrian affairs. What could be more perfect?