36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 139: Innsbruck: Seegrube Ski School


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 139 — Innsbruck: Seegrube Ski School
19-December-1971 (Sun.)

Beautiful scenery


Went to Seegrube for the ski school. Beautiful scenery. (I didn’t bring my camera). The sun was shining and it felt great to be in the fresh air. Ski school was typical, but I felt I was learning, for once. All Americans (except one girl); the ski instructor, George, was good. Spoke great English and was really funny. “American bombers” (out of control skiing); “boing” (when someone fell). So, for my first day of skiing I took two 1/2 day lessons. It felt really good.

Evening, good dinner, talk, and drink with group.

(*See next day.)


Innsbruck chair lift
Austrian Alps. Yes, I’m finally skiing. And, in Innsbruck! Yes! The Austrian Alps. A dream come true. The Austrian Alps are just incredibly beautiful. (See opening photo—I am not certain of the exact location of this picture.) Remember, that I am coming from NJ. The highest mountains I had seen prior to this might have been Killington in Vermont (4215 ft. elevation) and Hunter Mt. in New York (3200 ft. elevation); lest not forget the Great Gorge and Vernon Valley in NJ, now called Mountain Creek (1480 ft. elevation). I'm in the Alps now. Innsbruck elevations are as follows: Seegrube's (7415 ft.), Igls (2952 ft.), and Mutters (6890 ft.). These are all summits; the top peak. You don't necessarily always ski from the summit (unless there's an intermediate run). Photo left is a chair lift. (Unsure of exact location.)

Joy of skiing. As I mention, I love being out in the fresh air. When you are out on the mountain, the fresh mountain air is refreshing. [Gale force winds in a blizzard at 10 degrees is not refreshing.] On a nice day, or even snowy day, it’s just great being on the slopes. I don’t remember the exact weather, but I think the majority of my Innsbruck skiing was in sunny weather. I'll post some photos that show a cloud cover over the valley, covering the city of Innsbruck, while the skiing is in bright, blue-sky, sunny weather.

Seegrube. When you are in the town of Innsbruck, the mountains in which you ski, surround the town. If you do not have a car rental, you need to take public transportation. I take the bus to Seegrube. I suppose that I just asked someone which mountain I should go to and they suggested Seegrube. I am an intermediate skier, and I didn’t want to ski off of a mountain cliff or into a crevasse. Winking

[Skiing levels are generally classified as beginner, novice, intermediate, and expert. The experts are diamond, double-diamond, and the death-defying skiing and snow-boarding movies with helicopters, tree lines, cliffs, avalanches, and all of that really dangerous stuff you see on sports channels—don’t do it.]

How well do I ski? As mentioned, I ski at the intermediate level. I started skiing in college at the local NJ ski resort—in those days they were called, Great Gorge and Vernon Valley. I worked and couldn’t go skiing a lot, but managed to go a few times or so each year. Since I had no teachers and didn’t know what to do, I often took lessons. I wanted to learn to “parallel ski.” In those days, you were taught to parallel by “shifting” your weight and ski edges, not by jumping up. After many years, I guess I do okay and parallel moderately ok on not-so-steep slopes. However, I could never parallel perfectly and thus my weight and edges would fail me on very steep or icy slopes. As a consequence, I ski intermediate slopes, not expert. I tried moguls a few times in both lessons and with my cousin in Colorado (after Europe). Never could get it exactly right.

As a result, I often like to take lessons to see if I can improve my paralleling.

Austrian ski school
Austrian ski school at Seegrub. I’m in the ski class. This is Austria. Austrians really know how to ski. Remember, Innsbruck was the home of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. The Austrians are always contenders, winning medals in many annual ski races and the Olympics. So, who better to teach me how to ski? The Austrians. The masters. Photo right is perhaps that of an Austrian ski school. Uncertain of exact location. Note: remember that my ski photos are not documented. I do not know exactly if the photos are from Seegrube, Igls, or Mutters or mixed with other resorts.

Guess what, the class is mostly Americans. That's funny. George the ski instructor is Austrian, I believe, and he speaks very good English. He has a sense of humor. I like that. There is only one Austrian in the class and she is a girl. Stay tuned. The asterik * in the journal has something to do with this girl. I will talk about it tomorrow.

It was a great day. It ends with dinner, drinks, and talking with a group at the hotel.


- - - -