TravelGunstock Nordic Association's Glacier Skiing Trip To Ramsau, Austria

FasterSkierAugust 3, 2006

Ramsau, Austria, nestled high in the Alps, is a world-renowned cross-country skiing town. It has over 150km of ski trails in the winter which are great for running and walking in the summer. The skiing facilities there play host to World Cup events for Cross country, ski jumping and Nordic combined. The ski jumping stadium lies at the center of town and has two year-round ski jumps. Just outside town and very near to where we stayed is a rollerskiing track with different loops for all abilities. In the summer Ramsau plays host to many skiers who go there to train on the Dachstein Glacier, one of the best summer snow venues in the world. The Dachstein lies at almost 3000 meters elevation and has a 5 km Nordic ski loop which is groomed daily with perfect tracks for both skate and classic. The skiing is great and comes with spectacular views in all directions. The glacier also boasts several alpine lifts and a very modern tram station featuring a restaurant and Sky Walk. The Sky Walk, which was new this year, is a walkway where you can stand on a platform that hangs out over the edge of a huge cliff.

This is the view from our accommodations towards the mountains where the Dachstein Glacier lies. A third of the way into the picture from the left is a very pointed peak…..that’s the top of the tram we rode everyday to go skiing.

Our off days from skiing were highlighted by a day trip to Schladming for whitewater rafting and shopping, hiking and a trip to a local high ropes course. The rafting was quite the adventure, during which we all took a plunge or two into some extremely frigid water that I’m sure came straight from the glacier. My raft had a test about five minutes into our trip when our guide fell out of our boat! At least after that he could be sure we had paid attention to his rescue instructions. Our hiking day took us to several locations high in the mountains and all above 2000 meters. The route I took went past two mountain huts open to hikers for refreshments. One even boasted live accordion music and yodeling which was quite the spectacle after a three-hour hike. The ropes course was a repeat for some who had been to Ramsau last year but it was still a blast.

Our free time found us in the pool, watching the Tour de France live on Eurosport, the soccer world cup tournament action or making the short walk to downtown Ramsau to shop for souvenirs. I know there are a few suitcases that came home overweight due to some extra chocolate or Haribo gummy candy.

Special thanks to Atomic for loaning us their brand new race skis for use on the glacier. Also to Toko for sending us wax and ski ties for our trip. Igor wouldn’t let anyone wax without wearing a beautiful yellow waxing apron. Now that I’m home and going through the pictures from my fourth trip to Ramsau I’m already hoping that there will be a fifth.

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