It’s never a bad thing to have sun on your first day in a new, large interlinked ski area like Mayrhofen, Rastkogel and Eggalm. It gives you a chance to get your bearings, understand the lay of the land, the aspects of the hill, and figure out where the best terrain might be.
Unfortunately there had been little snow and warn conditions for a few days in most of the Alps. This meant our first run off the Rastkogelbahn was a teeth-chattering experience on a bullet-proof piste with groomer ruts and death cookies to avoid. One to return to in a few hours, we thought, so moving on, we headed towards Mayrhofen.
This was a good idea, and we found some quality ski terrain on the runs down from the ridge on the skier’s left from the Wangspitz chair. Mostly north-facing, you could dial up the challenge from evenly pitched red groomers, to rolling wide open off-piste, to progressively tighter and dangerous chutes as you got nearer the Tuxer 150 cable car. Off the groomed, the snow was respectable quality, firm but emminently carvable, but these condition really weren’t right for chute bagging. Maybe one day.
Next we stumbled upon Harikari, the 38 degrees ‘steepest black run’ in Austria. Apart from one short slick section, it was a fun, fast ride, so we lapped it and I explored some narrow off-piste through the rocks and bushes on the skiers right of the run. Despite variable snow conditions, it was all good skiing.
Before we knew it, lifts started to close due to high winds, and this limited our ability to explore much more around Mayrhofen. So we headed back to Rastkogel and had lunch in the restaurant below the gondola. 30 minutes and tasty goulash soup later, we were on our way to Eggalm for more exploration, and eventually the long slushly slide down to the bottom of the valley at Vorderlanersbach where we were staying. On the whole, not a bad first day (pics here).
Day 35 – 8700m
35 days, 17 powder days, 266,400m vertical