It’s slightly cold in Great Britain these days, and as soon as it gets slightly cold in Great Britain, we start to dream of hitting the snow and sending it down some mountains.
The thing is, as you may have heard, it’s actually pretty cold in Great Britain the majority of the time, so this is somewhat of a recurring dream for the team at Mpora. As soon as a small gust of wind hits our fingernails in July, we immediately start digging for the ski goggles and beanies.
What this all means is that when the opportunity presents itself to get out to the mountains and return to the life of sun, snow, gluhwein and shredding, we like to do exactly that.
So, what better place to start our season than in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl in Austria? Found in the Otztal valley, the resort is often the first non-glacier area to open its slopes each winter, with runs reaching up to 3082m and views just as good as you’d expect at those heights.
We went out to try out Obergurgl’s new “Top Mountain Cross Point" gondola, which takes riders from a delightful new restaurant and motorbike museum in the valley to the top of the mountain, rode some wonderful winter lines under bright blue skies... and even made it back in time to get our advent calendars sorted for December 1.
If you’re stalling over booking your winter holiday this season or are already all booked and buzzing to get out to the snow, here’s some snaps from the slopes to send your stoke into overdrive.
The resort of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is pretty damn attractive. You ski facing dramatic mountain tops no matter which way you turn, the snow arrives early, and the slopes aren't too crowded either.
The snow generally lasts from mid-November till early May here, so if you're looking for somewhere that guarantees pow - get it on the list.
The history of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is pretty damn interesting too. It shot into the public eye after Swiss professor Auguste Piccard crashed his hot air balloon there in 1931, after reaching a world record height of 16,000m.
Some children spotted the balloon crash and a mission was lead to save Mr. Piccard from Obergurgl. Stay tuned to Mpora for a full feature on that amazing story soon...
The dining spots aren't too shabby in the resort, either. TOP Mountain Star can be found in Hochgurgl, and offers some views that could leave anyone stunned.
The restaurant sits on a narrow ridge over 3,000m high, on the Italian border, and lets you look out on the Ötz valley Alps up to the Dolomites.
The slopes hardly make for an eyesore either. The snap below shows the new Top Mountain Cross Point, which can be driven to and offers access to the new gondola to take you to the top of the mountain. It's a fun ski down from up there.
That dodgy looking cliff-face below? That's where the annual freeride comp is held in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl. Trust us, it looks even more daunting when you're there in the flesh.
If you're keen to get out to Obergurgl-Hochgurl, your best bet is to fly to Munich or Innsbruck if possible, the latter of which is only 96km away. Somehow we doubt you'd regret making the journey...