Posted by: sunshack | May 25, 2016

Besucher

I have recently spent over 6 weeks in Austria. In Kaprun for most of the time. It’s given me the chance to see a little more of how a ski resort functions. I stayed in one place throughout, which was organised by the provider of the course I attended. Called Freeride WG, the Tourist Office classified it as a Hostel, and it’s not a place I would have chosen for myself. I did expect it to be basic, however I was not happy with the standard of the property. The Housekeeper told me that everyone was very relaxed there.

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Dirty walls and dangerous electrical fittings in my room. Reported on checking in, still not fixed 6 weeks later.

Some of my peers on the course were happy with the accommodation, and were prepared to stay there again. I met with the owner on the day I checked out, and he understands how I felt about my stay.

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Towels on the left catch water leaking from the water inlet. Towels on the right catch waste water leaking from the soil pipe.

The Housekeeper did undertake a temporary fix on the water leaks, but it was unpleasant staying amongst this for a few days. I also found a large sink plunger in the Bathroom, this was because the Bathroom sink was blocked. I did try to clear it, but that resulted in waste from the blockage spraying out of the overflow and ending up on me. The Housekeeper came up and dismantled the pipe, and found that the sink was blocked with cigarette butts. Smoking was not allowed inside the property.

I had paid for bed and breakfast, tried the Breakfast and found the Cereal choices to be very basic, so purchased my own.

I was unable to get the radiators in my room to work, so I purchased a Fan Heater. The Housekeeper advised me that it was “not the coldest room” On one morning I found the communal Kitchen locked, so I went and purchased my own Kettle, and thereafter ensured that I had a hot drink to start my day. I did my washing up in the Bath, it seemed quicker all round.

The daily Bread delivery stopped, and the Housekeeper seemed unable to fix the problem, so after a few days one of my peers made a phone call to our course provider, which got this fixed.

I sat on the floor when studying in my room, as there was no chair. I’m not sure if this had any effect on the outcome of my course, but I can say that it was less uncomfortable than using the bed. I paid over £600 extra for the Double room.

I really wanted my Bedsheets changed after almost 3 weeks use, caught up with the Housekeeper in the kitchen and offered to change them myself. The Housekeeper then attended and changed them. You get the general idea.

Each day, I caught the bus. Most days it was to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier slopes outside Kaprun, although I did get to ski the Maiskogel slopes for a few days before it was closed.  The Maiskogel area is small tree lined and pretty, with traditional mountain restaurants.

The Bus to the glacier was at 7.45am, and each day over the 6 weeks, I saw people standing on board by the time the Bus reached the other end of the village. On a few occasions, folks were left at their Bus stop, as there was not enough room.

At the other end of the day, there always seemed to be quite a crush to get onboard the half hourly Bus back to Kaprun, plenty of pushing and shoving. I did see people left behind. It was as though the Bus company put on too few Buses for the number of people on the slopes. Some days it was very busy on the Glacier slopes.

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Parked cars, as far as the eye can see. These are the folks who did not use the Bus!

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Most people stay on Piste.

There does not seem to be any active crowd management on the slopes at Kitzsteinhorn. At places where slopes converge there is no flow management. This leads to collisions, as no-one is required to slow down, or give way. I did ask my Coach, and he told me that signage or artificial crowd management barriers such as Chicanes are not generally used in Austria. I saw plenty of collisions on piste. I was knocked over, and another member of my group was also knocked down.

For a Glacier resort, there is enough off piste skiing to occupy a moderate skier for a week. Slopes range from marked Itineraries, to steep unsecured slopes. Outside of marked Itineraries, Crevasses exist.

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Our Coach took us down the resort’s Signature piste ” Black Mamba”during our first few days. I thought we had missed out the steep section, but apparently this was not the case. I came home without the T Shirt celebrating my achievement.

Eating and drinking at the Kitzsteinhorn is mostly at the giant Alpin Center building. Upstairs is a giant self service cafe with seating for hundreds, and queues to match.

It’s a fact that Austria is still in love with smoking, and the covered entrance to the Alpin Center is where the smokers gather on the steps.

 Off the slopes, I managed to find a non-smoking Cafe/Restaurant in Kaprun village. The staff were charming and the choice of food excellent. The Kennidi  also gets good reviews on Trip Advisor.

When I had some free time I visited the small Motor Museum, which contains lots of really small cars.

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A Messerschmitt with wings, but not a plane!

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Just put the Bubble cars on the top shelf!

It is many years since I last skied in Austria. Lifts have become bigger, and faster. Technology is being utilised, though I’m not sure I’m the right person to appreciate the benefit of heated seats inside a Gondola.

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