go site Austria, where the hills are alive with the sound of music, homeland of Arnold and some very outstanding mountains. Combine that with great bier, schnapps, Austrian folk music and this non-pretentious country is an excellent option for a winter skiing excursion. This post is about Mayrhofen in the Tyrol region, about an hour south-east drive from Innsbruck.
Prior to this trip (Feb ’17), I’d only known about Mayrhofen from friends who had been to Snowbombing, a festival combining skiing + raving. So I expected that it’d probably have a good Apres/night scene at other times of the year. This wasn’t exactly the case but we did manage to find a few good spots:
- Ice Bar – classic Austrian Apres bar at the base of the main gondola. This place cranked from 330 to around 7 or 8pm. Song of the trip: Johnny Dapp – only took one chorus to have us singing our lungs out!
- Harakiri Bar – the one post-Apres (10pm onwards) spot we found worth going with some tunes to get down to.
- Mo’s – Restaurant bar, great place for a sit down meal and session. The staff were fantastic and it had a good buzz about it. Food was average but that’s besides the point really.
- China Restaurant Singapore – Chinese (or Singapore?) restaurant that was perfect after a big day on the mountain.
Other bits about the town: There are buses that circle through the town but it’s small enough that we walked everywhere. Try book accom well in advance so you can get a spot in the town itself & save you the extra 5 min walk.
Should note, it’s still legal to smoke indoors in Austria, so watch out for cigarettes burning holes in your snow gear when dancing around in those Apres bars!
I was impressed, it’s a decent, snowboarder friendly ski area with a variety of terrain.
Some notable points:
- Timed Slalom – on the far peak off run 27, there were a couple of timed slalom courses on which we had a solid bit of competition on among our group. Loads of fun.
- Terrain Park – really tidy terrain park with clean M, L & XL kickers and a reasonable variety of jib action. Also has a ‘kiddie’ terrain park for those getting back into it or learning.
- Harakiri – Steepest groomed trail in Europe. Can confirm, it’s bloody steep and a good challenge to try dominate even for those who chew up double blacks. I did it three times, it won twice. We saw a lady fall and a helicopter land to take her away, it’s not to be taken lightly.
- Favourite run – #27, it was way out the back, less crowded and after a couple inches of overnight snow, provided something to play around with on the piste fringes.
- Ahorn & the Igloo Bar – Worth the trip up the other side of valley (lift pass works across both). They carved a huge igloo and use it as a bar with fun little rooms. Also has what I thought was the longest run from peak to carpark – took 15mins.
- Con – It’s not great of learner snowboarders – Run 14 was the only wide, gently sloped run but it was on the far side of the mountain only accessible but a long narrow cat track. Ahorn did have what looked like a good slope for beginners too, with better access, but that’s on the other side of the valley.
A solid rating of 4 snowballs out of 5. You’ll love the relaxed, jovial nature of the culture & variety of trails with plentiful facilities and bars/cafes/restaurants. The Austrian alps are a stunning range of peaks and the Villertal valley provides some picturesque views.
P.S. The cover photo on homepage was actually taken in Mayrhofen by my good friend Rob (insta: @itskiwirob).