We wondered out of the Gondola station in time to see a ski bus close its doors, Daud looking out from within just before it drove off.
Unamused in the round the timetable was studied, there was quite the wait for the next one with the ski bus back to Mayrhofen leaving quite a bit earlier than the intended bus to Eggalm, so i settled my thoughts on that, the less the time spend sitting about in frustrated fashion the better. Most frustrating of all, had we not wasted the time up top looking about and dithering on Daud’s disappearance then we could all have been down in good time to be on board the now out of reach bus…
However the plan was flawed. I studied the detail of it and realised that the journey duration was unexpectedly much shorter to Eggalm than that of the bus to Mayrhofen.. The two places were remembered from the piste map as being closer together than all that, some level of inaccuracy had crept in. So it was that we all headed off on the more local ski bus toward Eggalm. On nearing our destination a somewhat wide eyed and dejected looking Daud appeared, sat at a bus stop waiting, joining us on the bus to go that one more stop to the Eggalm ski lift.
After some errant skiing we somewhat less than deliberately ended up at the top of the Eggalm area, from there we took the red (2) and then (4) down into the valley where the Mayrhofen connecting lift is found. It was the run of the holiday in many ways, it had everything that is best about Austrian skiing, a sort of accidental mixture dictated by the mountainside and what lay beneath. Slender long grassy prongs shooting up, snow thinning to the point of disappearance in patches, a stream at which the piste ended, turning into two planks of wood (one with some snow, one almost entirety without), a mound and a surprise road crossing that may not legitimately hold its surprise status had i potentially been paying a little more attention. It was a run that as we arrived finally back in the valley to catch the lift had put a smile on nearly all our faces, not the fastest, not the most grueling or even the most taxing but something very fun about it.
After getting back over to Mayrhofen the group divided up, this time deliberately. I opted to continue with the skiing , while Daud wanted to head of and find Damon whose lessons were due to end shorty, the others had a return to the hotel in mind…Sauna, swimming pool etc.. The plan being, that i would join up with those not heading back, at one of the bars around the Penkenbahn while retreading some of the runs that were hard to appreciate back in the white on white of the first day. Black (17) … among those, the only black run open in this part of the ski area at the time.
One or perhaps it was two jäger tees later, on may part at any rate, others – the more beer inclined were almost certainly sticking with that – and once again we were loitering as the word went round, time to leave, Penkenbahn closing exaggerations but still there were not many people left as the daylight light dimmed.