Gurgling with delight

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					Obergurgl | Sölden | Austria

Gurgling with delight
While Sölden kicks off the season early, its neighbour
Obergurgl has a triple anniversary to celebrate!
                                                      These twin resorts, located at an altitude of
                                                   1,930m, also offer top quality in every other
                                                   respect too. Because of their altitude, they can
                                                   open really early even without glaciers, and so
                                                   they’re in action before all other ‘non-glacier’
                                                   ski areas open. The traffic-free village welcomes
                                                   all those winter sports lovers who want to
                                                   enjoy unlimited snow, an unspoilt mountain
                                                   landscape, and the highest levels of comfort.
                                                      Twenty four state-of-the-art lifts and a
                                                   capacity of almost 40,000 people per hour
                                                   ensure skiers and boarders reach the slopes
                                                   quickly, without lift lines, and access 110km
                                                   of slopes for all levels of difficulty. And after
   Ötztal's renowned sister ski areas are off to   your day on the slopes, you’ll find the ‘wellness’   the opening celebrations. The Opening Party
a flying start! Sölden, where Europe’s World       facilities just as impressive.                       itself takes place at the Obergurgl Piccard
Cup season traditionally gets under way, has          Stylish après ski and the well-developed spa      Lounge on November 26 and 27. On November
three winter seasons: early winter, mid-winter     culture of the exclusively top-class hotels make     26 the top Bavarian band ‘Stoapfälzer
and spring. From September onwards, skiers         your stay unforgettable.                             Spitzbuam’ performs live in the village, and the
and snowboarders have been able to enjoy the          Foodies will find two gourmet attractions         following day the party continues in the Piccard
resort’s superb glacier slopes. And by October     high above the clouds: the 360° ‘Top Mountain        Lounge with a DJ and the sound of popular
the season will really be up and running, with     Star’ panorama bar at an altitude of 3,080m, and     radio stations. Those interested in the history of
the official ‘glacier opening’ from October 8      the sunny Hohe Mut Alm mountain restaurant           Obergurgl can learn more about the legendary
to 10, followed soon afterwards by the the FIS     at 2,670m.                                           balloon landing by Auguste Piccard in 1931
Alpine Ski World Cup Opening on October 23            There’ll be concerts, candle-lit events and       during a multi-media show on November 25.
and 24 October. From then on in, it’s non-stop     winter parties at the many huts and hotels              Snow here is guaranteed from November
winter right through till early May!               during an 11-day opening ‘premiere’ period           to May, and later in the winter, anniversary
   Meanwhile, from November 18, Obergurgl-         when the cost of the season-opening lift             celebrations continue. From March 26 to April
Hochgurgl offers its guests an extra-early start   pass will be reduced, and there’ll be many           16 there’ll be a number of high-calibre events
to the delights of winter amidst a spectacular     other interesting opening offers lasting until       and numerous special offers. They start with
and unspoilt mountain landscape.                   November 28.                                         the exciting ski school production ‘Rückkehr
   This winter, Obergurgl-Hochgurg has                The Gurgl locals are already looking forward      der Pionere’, continue with ‘Balloon Night
three anniversaries to celebrate: The Gurgl Ski    to November 19, when they launch the new             Glow’ with themed parties at various huts,
Club has its 100th anniversary; 80 years ago       season at the Hohe Mut Alm hut. The welcome          and a sunset party at the ‘Top Mountain Star’
Auguste Piccard famously landed here with his      party the following day features the ‘Highlights’    restaurant, along with a parallel slalom race for
hot-air balloon; and 50 years ago Hochgurgl        live band.                                           ski instructors.
was founded. Good reasons, all three, for triple      On November 25, a romantic night           
celebrations in this wonderfully picturesque       tobogganing party on the new 3km floodlit
winter sports arena.                               natural toboggan run in Hochgurgl continues

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Sölden brings snow galore and lots of fun
Linked ski areas in the eternal ice
   The glacier slopes in the upper Ötztal,            World Cup season will open with the women's
towering high above the skiers’ village, offer        Giant Slalom while the men's GS is scheduled
ideal snow conditions as early as September.          for the following day.
That's the time when the valley's meadows                More fun and games come your way with
and forests usually wear their most colourful         the Fan Club Parade and prizegiving ceremony,
dress – ranging from yellow to russet and dark        and the ultimate World Cup Oktoberfest . And
red. The highest panoramic road in the Eastern        every Wednesday from late December until
Alps takes skiers and snowboarders effortlessly       mid March, Sölden sees the breathtaking Stars
by car or coach from Sölden to the slopes of          & Fire Night Emotions night-skiing event. And
Tiefenbach and Rettenbach glacier, one of             the The Fun Zone at Giggijoch hosts the Maxxx
Austria's largest glacier ski areas.                  Mountain Sölden Party every Friday afternoon
   The glaciers are linked by a road tunnel           between New Year and mid April.
and a separate skiers’ tunnel. Sölden boasts                                                               you can conquer 50 kilometres of slopes and
the only interconnected glacier ski area in           Sports arena of superlatives                         clock up 10,000 vertical metres while enjoying
the Alps, where 36 kilometres of immaculate           The opening of the Sölden and Hochsölden             three awe-inspiring panoramic views from the
slopes and 10 lifts with an hourly capacity           winter ski area is expected to be on November        BIG3 viewing platforms.
of 20,000 people guarantee unlimited skiing           13. Skiers and snowboarders can choose from
for all ages and preferences. And Sölden's            148 kilometres of expertly groomed slopes for        Snowy future
Rettenbach glacier boasts the only European           all levels and abilities, served by 34 lifts. Lift   From December, two brand-new gondolas
Test and Exhibition Centre, where winter sports       lines are a rarity. And thanks to a modern snow-     will whisk skiers and boarders up to the scenic
enthusiasts can test the latest equipment from        making system covering some 80 percent of the        peak of Gaislachkogl. The middle station is
September to November.                                slopes, snow is guaranteed between 1,350 and         accessible by a new eight-person n gondola
                                                      3,340 metres from October through May.               with an hourly capacity of up to 3,600 persons.
Swinging Sölden                                          Sölden has another unique attraction – or         The next section up to the peak features the
A free ski and snowboard equipment test of            rather three. Three mountain peaks of 3000           world's highest triple-cable gondola of its kind,
several top brands is available during the official   metres or more which are easily accessibly on        which takes just 12 minutes to cover 1,677
glacier season kick-off: ‘Maxxx Mountain              skis provide all the excitement of the so-called     vertical metres.
Glacier Start’. There’ll be DJ shows and live         BIG3 Rally. Between them, Gaislachkogl (3,058           Also to be found down in Sölden this winter:
acts, bag-jump contests and entertaining              m), Tiefenbachkogl (3,250 m) and Schwarze            ‘Zentrum Shuttle’ – a small cable railway with
nightlife events in the bars and pubs as well.        Schneide (3,340 m) provide a unique tour of all      two cabins, taking you – free of charge – on a
   Even more entertainment is waiting at the          three summits which can be made in a single          three-minute journey to the beginners' ski area
traditional men’s and women’s World Cup               day. This spectacular rally starts at the base       of Innerwald. Each cabin accommodates up to
opening in late October. Holders of a valid ski       terminal of the Giggijoch gondola and ends at        40 persons – and it operates day and night as
pass can enjoy free admission to the races in the     the base terminal of the Gaislachkogl gondola.       the cabins are fully automated.
standing area. On October 23, the European            It’s a truly challenging experience: In four hours

                                                                                                            There’ll be a Ski Club Leader in
                                                                                                            Obergurgl from Dec 19 to April 8.

                                                                                                                                      Ski+board | 75

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