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).