Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Sighting of the Rare Alpine Skunk

@Steinkogel, 2290m, Mittersill, Austria.

Thanks to Hermann, Hansgeorg, and Sepp for an epic bluebird powder alpentour, a day which neither Andy, Ted, nor myself will ever forget. We climbed 4000 feet, signed the book, then carved up the powder all the way down to an alpine restaurant called Steineralm. Steineralm is only accessible via skins or snowshoes. We had beer, schnitzel, and Almdudler. Can you get any more Austrian than that? Then we climbed back up into Mittersill with full bellies, which was a challenge all its own.

Andrew and Ted really surprised me by how fit they are, Ted actually set the pace most of the way to the top. Hermann, age 63, kicked all of our asses once again. Hansgeorg is 67 and kept up every step of the way.

On the down side, I saw Michael H today outside the Rennbureau, and he looked sick about the weather forecast. Looks like either rain or snow through all three days of downhill training.

We watched the Wengen DH today on ORF at lunch. It was a beautiful day and an entertaining race to watch. Swiss Timing's TV graphics were hilariously bad. Their attempt to match our RADAR speedometer was so lame, the people in the bar were laughing at it. They put two speed traps in the S-Turns, one at the entrance and one at the exit. THAT's their technological leap forward.

My friend Steve N. took a nasty fall at S-Turns, taking out the gate with his face and shattering both poles. Lost both his skis and slid down into the finish area, face down. I felt a bit sick watching it. He seemed to be OK, but ORF cut away really fast, so I'm not sure he's not hurt. Ouch. I also felt bad for his Mom, who is a real sweetheart, as I know she was there and saw it on the video wall.

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