After skiing in the foggy weather, it was nice to finally get to see the mountains we were skiing on. Here you can see the town of Kühtai. Kühtai is not a typical Austrian ski town, in that it has not been here for hundreds of years like most European cities. Instead, the town was built in the last 30 years or so, specifically as a ski town. Every hotel and apartment has a ski-in/ski-out location, which is quite nice. If you look at the picture above, the main part of the town is on the left, and the apartment we rented is all the way over in that group of buildings on the right. No wonder we got a great deal! But the kids get picked up every morning for ski school, and there are chairlifts on both sides of the road near our building so it's still pretty nice.
Here's a nice self portrait. Not easily done with a huge SLR camera! We don't have the pocket camera on this trip, because it finally died, which means no fun ski videos.
Here's Oliver's favorite activity. Riding up the cable car. Everyday during our lunch break we take the kids for a ride up and down. Oliver gets really grumpy if we walk into the apartment without riding on the cable car first.
For comparison, the highest lift in Kühtai is about 8000 feet, while the highest lift in Zermatt is just under 13000 feet! A Swiss friend of mine refers to the Austrian Alps as "mountains" only with quotation marks. But the skiing is closer and cheaper!
The weather was pretty cold in the morning, but as the sun came up, it was much nicer. The runs here in Kühtai are mostly intermediate runs. There are a few blacks, and a bunch of areas for backcountry/off-piste skiing in powder.
This nice panorama was taken while hiking up to a section of powder that hadn't been skied on yet. I skied as far as I could up the hill and then side stepped the rest of the way in calf-deep powder for 15 minutes. Tiring! As I was hiking up, a crowd gathered around below me to watch. I think were expecting something spectacular like in a Warren Miller film... But I'm not that good! By the time I got to the top and finished taking some photos, most of them had moved on.
Back in Kuhtai outside of the kindergarten at the end of the day, Ollie was having a great time ringing the cowbell of the town mascot. Needs more cowbell!