1. Where and when you went.
Bad HofGastein, Austria - 2 weeks late Jan 2007
2. What you did there ski/board/blade.
I own my own boots and salomon SB9 blades. One day I will own a pair of Revel8 skiboards http://www.skiboardsonline.com/Merch...rvl8_emp06.jpg
and scoff at Salomon snowblades -
whats wrong with salomon snowblades
My SB9s are not too bad as they are a full skiboard shape - symetrical tips/tails - but suffer the same flex problems as they have 8 hole bindings whic makes them stiff. Not sure if salomon still make them - they seem to have gone to a 120cm length with a skibinding (4 hole) - id like to try them, might test them and give 'em a shot next trip. Hard to get good skiboards in europe.
3. How were the conditions on/off piste.
4 days of very little snow - sunshine runs on hardpack with lots of ice patches - blades performed fine. offpiste - either Hard crust or grass!unskiable for the most part.
2 days of rain
- 2 days off
4 days of snow - including a massive dump that put a foot of new snow (powder) on piste and +2 feet of powder offpiste.
Blades performed very well but struggled badly off piste in deep power, hence my yearning for a pair of Revel8.
Life queues very short, rarely had to wait more than 2 mins, most times ski straight through the liftpass machine.
4. Are you beginner/intermed/advanced.
Depends whose asking
Basically I can blade (skiboard) most of the mountain, comfortable on high level reds, easy/med blacks.
5. What were the bars/restaurants like.
Half-board at 4* so didnt eat out that much, but food was excellent in the mountains (especially the germknodel - a giant dumpling filled with plum sauce and served with a kind of custard - essential ski food)
Nothing special about the bars except for great austrian/german beer!
6. Anything in particular to recommend about this resort.
Access to the Alpentherme - sheer heaven http://www.alpentherme.com
7. Any hidden gems you found nearby.
My wife was there for the 'cure' - she has asthma so the heilstollen (natural thermal radon caves) are really good for her...she doesn't ski so we found this to be a great resort for non-skiers (this is our second year there)
8. Was the population when you were there mostly Irish/Brits or mainland Europeans.
Few Brits/Irish, mostly Austrians, Bavarians, Poles, Slovaks, Russians and Finns (for some weird reason)
9. Any other relevant comments, and whether you would go again.
Recommend this as a ski destination for mixed ski/non-ski couples. Alpentherme is great and you can spend most of the day there if conditions are crap, I often packed up at 1/2pm (I'm an early starter - like to be making first tracks at 8am when the rest are crawling down to breakfast) and hit the sauna/outdoor pool. Nice feel to the place as it feels like a town rather than a few huts up a mountain. Strongly recommend this over Bad Gastein.
Good resort for intermediates, plenty of good reds, not fantastic for black experts (but some good blacks nearby - skibus service) Offpiste can be limited at Schlossalm, but some other nearby resorts on same pass are good/great in good conditions. Offpiste is bloody fantastic at Bad Hofgastien with 2+ feet of powder
For some weird reson there is no snow park in any of the ski amadé skipass area. Plenty of boarders about, but very few kickers or halfpipes or rails laid out
Some natural halfpipes are around just on the piste edges and some fun to be had there - but it is crying out for a proper snow park, or to do some maintainance to convert/groom the natural features. For some reason, few boarders here want to get air...
And finally, throw away those poles
people - half of you don't know how to use them anyway
- rent blades to get the feel for it and then buy a decent set of skiboards. It's the future! For those of you struggling to get parallel I guarantee you be parallel (and carving) in 2 days tops. I had a german friend of mine visit for one day's skiing, who had not been on skis for 7 years, and had severe upper body position issues - crap skier basically
- and he was pulling 360s by the end of the day after I insisted that he try blades.