I woke up to text messages, multiple – Milton and Daud abandoning plans for the day as they opted to stay in their rooms and engage with their work emails, as i headed down for breakfast. There was something of the coincidental and improbable about it. Milton for one, best i can tell, simply doesn’t have that type of job and personality wise seems all but incapable of making such a distinct decision. Such decisiveness is for the most part outsourced, i pondered what if anything this might mean for my day with a view toward the intended destination for this day, Kaltenbach. It was a few more stops on the train than yesterday and Zell am Ziller and the originally intended train was still one i remained inclined toward with a view toward not eroding the morning.
Charlie texted, he was having breakfast and was querying what the intentions were… Either a repeat visit to Zell am Ziller or on to Kaltenbach was the preference. We agreed to meet at the station.. It’s certainly not the most social of sentiments but some parts of my thoughts had been wondering on a day of lone skiing, yesterdays failure to get back, the generally somewhat KM light days, so i did wonder on a day of more concerted effort. Charlie is the fastest and strongest skier, the weather was still improving, all things considered it had worked out pretty well, should be a solid skiing day ahead.
Unlike Zell am Ziller there was no sign of a ski bus here, instead the march of the skiers took them across the road and away from the station, so we followed in reasoned expectation that the collective wisdoms knew more than we did.
Its not a long walk but probably about 10mins in ski boots and carrying skis, with an effective two Gondola system that shifts visitors so swiftly that there appeared barley a queue for getting on.
After an initial lack of a plan the day took shape and we initiated our day by migrating toward the furthest left point on the piste map before starting to head back across, headed toward the right of the piste map. Its best to have a purpose, a sense of direction of travel. Otherwise you get caught up either doing the same run over and over, inadvertent repetition or you find at least member of your collective spending excessive amounts of time gazing at the various piste maps and signs available on route & wondering upon which direction to head, often again ending up where you’ve been all to many times before.
Conditions remained unpredictable, as they had been since we got here, alternating between compressed icy patches and mogul like tufts/clumps of lumpy snow.
We stopped once during the day in the second valley of this ski region (HochFugen Side) for a hot chocolate and pretzel at the base of the gondola station after completing one of the best runs we’d come across in that valley, it doesn’t appear on the piste maps but a black run from almost the very top of the Zillertal Shuttle and goes down to near its base.. At the time the length of the run along with its ongoing delivery of random terrain (ice-bumps-powder-ice) over what it quite a long black made it the stand out experience of the day and arguably the run of the week.
and this was the uncustomary thing about this ski area – all these people… the width of the pistes and the numbers of the people, the queues at the lifts were there, especially at certain bottle necks but the lifts are largely new, quick, efficient, but the pistes they were full…very very busy – all manner of ability and congested..
On days when i’m left to my own devices i have history, i’m fine when i ski and i ski, except for when on the lifts where i eat breakfast remnant saved in a bag in various states and conditions until the end of the day when the lifts stop and i begrudgingly terminate my efforts and then, at some moderately belated point later collapse, exhaustion and sleep – so in every sensible retrospective view of things, this was the way ski days probably should be, though i do have a thing for those which end abruptly in sudden and abrupt fatigue.
Charlie has, in recent years focused on matters of fitness and takes serious concern over skiing technique in all rational and well founded ways.. i should, i haven’t, i really haven’t, if i had my legs would be doing better at least to their previously normal standard .. So there he was doing all these well meaning and quite correct im sure stretching motions at the station and there was me quite bored and train waiting .. only right that in full hefty ski boot and general attire i should break out the competition, wafting my boot in the direction of the ski rack and waving a hand at it … and so time was wasted as impromptu competition on the heavy booted broke out, boots being wafted, hoicked and whetched and stretching unleashed while randoms cast glances in likely pondering uncertainty as to what all this was in aid of … i don’t feel it aided either of us in any great way but the train arrived soon enough, so there was that.
We rejoined the others in the evening with a mind born once more out of yesterdays unselected dinning option – Pizza, Charlie and I had a mind toward Pizza after passing Manni’s yesterday but collectively not opting for that.