Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Ischgl - Home of Reasonably Priced beer and Unreasonably dressed Women.

It started, with a lot of university educated journalists scare-mongering and preaching about the lack of snow. Take this piece of 'ground-breaking' journalism form the Metro;

''Skiing holidays at risk as warm spell leaves slopes snow-free''
Hundreds of thousands of skiers could see their holidays ruined as a record-breaking warm spell leaves slopes across Europe snow-free.

That was December the 4th.
Then, to our joy, and relief, on December the 5th, the snow Gods descended upon the Alps in style, puking metres of white, pristine, fluffy gold. A jubilant middle finger was raised and people have enjoyed what can only be described as an epic season.

Having been lucky enough to ride Chamonix in February, injuries resulted in me not being able to go as hard as I wanted to. Despite the NHS's best efforts, I wasn't fit enough, and wheezed and coughed like a fat man on the tube.

So I bought a bike, vowed to get fit, and cycled a 5 mile journey that takes me 50 minutes on TFL in 18 minutes. Result. My legs felt fitter, I felt fitter and signed up to a 50 mile bike race. Prat. That's another story.

So, last Sunday, the usual shit house journey to Gatwick from West London was completed in record time, and I was on board Monarch Airlines finest Airbus heading to Ischgl, land of Euro Partei, Durndl girls and, fingers crossed, powder.

A short flights and transfer cued 22 of the ski industries finest sellers and crooks, to reek Euro havoc in an Austrian guesthouse for 7 days. Wilkommen am Ischgl read the sign, as we passed Pascha and snow covered trees. 22 twitchy people sat on the coach, gagging to get out.

The resort is epic. It's clean, has noise police to shut you up when leaving Kuhstall and has the best lift system I have had the pleasure of using. Using lifts that could be used in furnishing a Bentley is a sweet pleasure in ski resorts, unlike in Meribel, where most lift are equipped with plastic seats and travel at the speed of a 11 month old child.

Conditions for April were great. White out days were cleverly combined with hangovers and bluebird days were welcomed with open arms. When it wasn’t so sunny, it was technically a white-out and Baltic winds made it quite miserable when coupled with a hangover from the gates of Flugel Hell. One run down and fuck it. Early lunch time. However, the bluebird days were phenomenal.

Freshies in April? Are you kidding me Ischgl?

10 am in the Idalp was like waking up on Christmas morning. Not a single cloud, a fully functioning lift service (and body) and no one to be seen. Just the right amount of early thumping Euro beats to set us off and we were greeted by steep, shin deep runs covered in a fresh layer of mountain ambrosia. Epic in size, the number of lift served off piste runs was huge, and despite spectacular dismounts by a social media mogul on the first run and a rag doll down a rock face, we were stoked with our efforts, and 3 more days of this followed.

Photos are following, which include some standard scenery shots for the parents, some nice powder footage to impress the friends and way too much banterlash cam. Having pissed off enough people in bars and clubs in Ischgl, reciting the Schatzi song until staff cried in Solden, and throwing down some downright illegal dance moves, I for one can't wait to spread these pictures to the masses. Maybe the uptheirownarseresorts in France could learn a thing or too. Point put forward, the Austrians love drunk Brits and playing stop, drop and roll in the street. And I love the Austrians.

Ischgl kicks ass. At least from a deteriorating snowboarders point of view. My legs were shot and I ached everywhere, but nothing that a couple of Nurofens and some medicinal Pale ale won't help. But whatever, I am honoured to have ridden this resort, drunk its' well priced beer and danced in its' sausage infested clubs until 4am.
So after a week of epic pow in Ischgl with some great people, being back in london sucks.

Hakuna matata, at least i don’t have to wait long until i fly to New Zealand for a few years. May catch the last of the snow there – somewhere i’ve never been but always wanted to go.

In the immortal words of perhaps the most famous Austrian - ''I'll be back''.

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