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When I came to Austria at the age of 16, winter sports were still pretty exotic for me. Then I discovered snowboarding for myself - a sport that immediately appealed to me. Besides the gorgeous views in the ski resorts, the sport is both fun and refreshing. This winter I wanted to try something new and skiing was next on my to-do list. If you live in Tyrol, you have to at least try the classic winter sport! Coincidentally, a friend of mine is a certified ski instructor with the Austrian Ski Association: the perfect accompaniment for a day of skiing on the Patscherkofel. #
The Patscherkofel ski area is easily accessible and ideal for beginners. There is also a rental store here, for borrowing skis and slope equipment. If you go there by public transport, like us, take the bus line J from the city center to the terminal station Igls Patscherkofel Talstation. The bus stop is an estimated two minutes walk from the ski area. Just get the right ticket at the ticket office: Click here for prices and discounts.
Ski rental at the slope
Since I don't own any ski equipment, I just borrowed it for the day. Right next to the ticket office is a rental store where you can borrow any ski/snowboard equipment. When it comes to skis, there are several factors that play an important role, such as length, width or hardness. But don't worry, you don't have to be knowledgeable to get the right equipment. The dealers are very friendly and advise you to the best of their knowledge. For example, I had to give my height, weight, and how well I can ski to get the equipment to fit. I paid about 30 euros for skis, boots and poles and that was for the whole ski day.
The first steps
Then it started! First, my friend showed me how to properly get in and out of the skis. Even if you don't expect it, walking with the skis is pretty challenging. I either stopped or slid backwards, but after a few minutes you get a feel for it. From my snowboard beginnings I still remember the difficulties with the drag lift. So this time we first went to the magic carpet - a conveyor belt for little kids and big beginners like me. You just have to stand on it and the belt moves upwards. There is a slope there that is suitable for beginners, where I quickly learned how to get up if I fall down without sliding further. Then how to brake if necessary and how I can even make the first turns in the so-called "pizza slice" (formerly known as "snow plow").
Then we went to the drag lift and there I can really promise: It is much easier than with the snowboard. I managed to get on the drag lift every time without any problems and always arrived safely at the top. There I immediately tried to apply what I had already learned. However, the slope was of course a bit steeper than on the magic carpet. Not so easy to slow down! I fell a few times and had a few difficulties, but that's part of the game when you're faced with a new challenge. They don't say "all beginnings are difficult" for nothing. The falls were mostly painless and so I was also able to laugh at myself, which also made the day a very fun experience. But of course it was a big advantage that my girlfriend is such a great ski instructor. She gave me super helpful tips on what to do in such unexpected situations and also how to prevent them in the future. I'm excited to see if I can implement them in the future!
T-bar lift on the Patscherkofel: much easier with skis than with a snowboard!
Lunch break with a wonderful view
After some progress, we went for a well-deserved lunch break and rewarded ourselves with a pizza. This we got down in the Restauran next to the rental store. We could even take the pizza with us in the gondola. Once at the top, we enjoyed a delicious pizza with an enchanting view.
Pizza with beautiful panorama
Since it was my first time on skis and skiing is quite exhausting, we agreed to ski down only once from the top. The lunch break gave me a bit of energy to give my best once again. So I drove a red slope for the first time, which was quite challenging. But I was very motivated and was able to master all the challenges quite well, not least thanks to the good tips. As is well known, one grows through challenges and so I certainly got the desire for more.
In the evening, when I was reviewing the day, I decided to buy my own skiing equipment, because I knew that I wanted to continue this sport.
In the meantime I have been skiing four times and I know now that it was the right decision to start. It is still a lot of fun to ski down the slopes. Skiing in Tyrol is rightly a classic winter sport. Once you start, you don't want to stop!