Mini's Week in Gastein

Yippee! I’m back from paternity leave and our little one is here; I can finally call myself daddy Mike! Our son was born at the end of last year and my board has been stored in our cellar since then. I’ve been concentrating on family life and my new role as a dad. Although it’s not been easy at times, we’ve found a routine that suits us well and I can make room for a few hours of boarding!

At the end of January, we managed to take advantage of several fantastic family deals that Ski amadé had on offer. The little one, Anna and I were visited by Anna’s sister and co. Born in the mountains, she has twins who are five years old and a one-year-old baby called Biene. She lives quite far away from us with her husband and three children, so they come to visit us every winter and always have a lot of fun in the surrounding mountains of Salzburg.

Fun at the best facilities and slopes for kids in Ski amadé

For the first time ever, we signed the twins up for the ‘Ski amadé Minis-Week’ in Gastein. This first-class offer allows children (up to 6 years old) to learn how to ski or advance pre-existing skills. The lift company of Gastein provides an extensive programme during these special-offer periods as the children learn skiing from professionals, are looked after well and can really get going. They also provide a whole bunch of activities alongside the ski courses: kid’s magic and games shows, the daily dance school of Gasti, a wheel of fortune, clown shows and the farewell show are incredibly fun for the kids. These shows create a special atmosphere for the kids and supplement the ski lessons extremely well. This has to be the best way to start off a kid’s “ski career!”

Enjoyment Ski Route

Whilst the twins attended ski lessons, my brother-in-law and I took the cable car up to Schlossalm. This is our preferred part of the ski area. Once we were above the tree-line we were greeted by a wonderful mountain panorama. This evokes a sense of being in high-alpine territory; the resort reaches a height of 2300m above sea-level and simply cannot be compared to other resorts in the area. Right off the back, we decided to go for the slope named “Hohe Scharte Nord” which translates as something like “high-jagged north”. It’s a run over 10km in length and a descent of almost 1500m so it’s a popular run for ambitious snow-sport enthusiasts. The ski resort is great for experienced skiers and boarders as it offers a variety of exciting slopes that – when open – are challenging but safe. One should always pay attention to the resorts signposts, as a closed slope or ski path must not be skied under any circumstances. If a slope has been closed, there is always a good reason for it and you are only endangering yourself and those around you.

Best facilities and slopes for kids in Ski amadé

We reached the Stubnerkogel via the Angertal valley. There were two special attractions awaiting us alongside the family-friendly and the longer, more challenging runs. Once we had reached the summit we took off our skis and boards and started walking over the more than 100-metre suspension bridge that swings freely over a precipice. To cross this bridge takes a lot of nerves and the lattice construction of the bridge allows for an incredible view into the abyss, which quite honestly just takes your breath away. We both passed this real test of courage with flying colours! We trudged along further to the viewing platform “glocknerblick”, which gave us a view of the surrounding mountains and Austria’s highest mountain – the Grossglockner.

Fun for the whole family on the race tracks in Ski amadé

Meanwhile, Anna brought our little one to his Grandma’s place and then carried on to the alpine baths of Gastein (Alpentherme Gastein) with her sister and her little one ‘Biene’. They had a wonderful time relaxing in the thermal baths and saunas on offer there. The three of them had a great time in the “Family world” which provides a great setting and entertainment for Biene. The newly designed toddler’s pool and surrounding area have been covered with an anti-slip material which lets small children have fun in a safe environment; it also let Anna and her sister relax! Even the adults really get their money’s worth here; in addition to the ‘water cinema’, there’s also a channel where you can let yourself float and be pushed along by the current. For the more adventurous, there are various slides to enjoy too and the whole experience takes place in the warm thermal waters that Gastein is famous for.

To round up, I’d say the Gastein valley offers the perfect conditions and activities for the entire family to have fun. We all got our money’s worth and could recommend something for every type of activity one might wish to partake in. Our day was an adventure for everyone and both the local as well as East-Austrian part of our family will definitely come back again to explore further!

Anna Pilz

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