As our EPIC competition winner KATIE STEVENSON found out; one week in a ski resort is simply not enough! (Lucky for her, she won TWO ski holidays in our competition!) Here’s her story…
Opening an email on a Tuesday morning in early November the last thing I expected to find out was that I was the winner of Ski World’s Epic Ski Holiday Competition. I wasn’t too sure of exactly what I had won and had to double check the Facebook page and Skiworld.co.uk several times in order to be sure that the grand prize was actually not just one but TWO ski holidays.
It took several days for the reality of the prize to sink in. Not just one ski holiday, but two, and for two people! Ironically I was working in a ski resort pre-ski season and doubted that I would be able to go skiing at all this year… But now I had won a competition that would allow me and my boyfriend to ski in some of the top ski resorts in both Europe and the USA, with an Epic season pass for Vail resorts thrown in for good measure!
Although I have spent plenty of time working in ski resorts during two seasons in France doing almost every job possible I have never had the opportunity to be a guest in a chalet. So I was supremely excited to spend an epic week in Chalet Gretl in St Anton last week. Luckily the Epic pass gave us five free days of skiing in St Anton too!
Chalet Gretl, complete with Alice the host
Chalet Gretl is a beautifully modern chalet and our chalet host Alice only added to the experience. Her exquisite cooking filled our hungry bellies every evening as we chatted with the other guests around the table. Staying in a chalet is always an exciting experience as you are never quite sure who the other guests are going to be. Our co-guests were as good as you could wish for. An Irish couple and their brother who had perfect comedy timing kept the laughs flowing as much as the wine. Andy and Juliette kept everyone entertained with their outrageous stories of travelling and we discussed everything from the slopes of the day, to middle child syndrome.
The meat eating contest
Unfortunately our rep Lee was ill for the first few days but he quickly bounced back and popped up to make sure everything was going as epically well as it could for us. He kindly booked us into the Rodelstall for an evening meal when our lovely host Alice had the evening off. After a slow ascent in a piste basher, a meat eating contest followed – with the males trying their best to score the most ‘man points’ possible by eating the most pig knuckle (pig shin for the less squeamish, basically a huge hunk of meat on the bone, really great if you are vegetarian – I am). Following a quick dance to the German versions of the latest pop hits played on a keyboard by a man in lederhosen it was time to jump on a toboggan and race down a beautiful tree lined run with the stars shining brightly overhead.
The trip wasn’t just about evenings spent around the dinner table with a full wine glass, skiing was obviously the most important thing on the agenda. Every day we rose, ate a fine breakfast and headed up in the lift to hit the slopes. St Anton is simply epic for skiing, it’s a huge resort that caters for all levels, from beginners who shout abuse at their partners in frustration for taking them down a difficult slope to experts who rip up the extensive off-piste.
On top of the world…
A missed turn and accidental journey on a bus led us by mistake to the smaller and quieter ski area of Zurs on what turned out to be the most epic day of the week. The sun was shining, there was fresh powder, and to top it all off, the slopes were deserted. What a day! On studying the piste map, we realised that we could catch the bus to Lech and then ski back to Zurs, cruise some more slopes and then take another bus, and ski back into the centre of St Anton never retracing our steps. An average ski day was turned into an epic adventure of discovering alternative places to have coffee, carving down new pistes, seeing different resorts and most importantly managing to end up at our favourite après spot the Mooservirt.
St Anton is probably as famous if not more for après than skiing. Even stopping for ‘just one drink’ at the Krazy Kangaruh
or the Mooservirt
will encourage the most reluctant of partyers to ditch their skis and join in the crazy fun; singing along to the cheesy Austrian pop music, drinking Jagerbombs and making best friends whilst dancing with your table neighbours. Bumping into your co-chalet guests just makes the evening even more fun – Andy makes friends with everyone, Val dances like mad and to top it all off, our chalet neighbours brought their nine month old baby Freddie – probably the biggest-smallest party animal there! Unfortunately a few too many drinks for us led to very sore heads the next day haha. One tip – don’t forget your ski gloves at the Moosewirt and then climb back up the piste to fetch them – it’s probably better to just grab a taxi or buy some new ones.
The legendary Mooserwirt!
Finding one word to sum up this trip isn’t easy.
1. Excellent – the service, the food, the chalet, the snow…
2. Exciting – it was but it’s not enough,
3. Exhilarating – skiing all day
4. Eventful – partying all afternoon
5. Entertaining – with Irish in your chalet, obvious
There’s only one word left: EPIC – epic chalet, epic snow, epic après, epic guests! EPIC SKI WORLD!
All that is left to say is thanks for this EPIC experience Ski World! I wish we could have stayed for the whole season and cannot wait for our next Epic Adventure to Breckenridge and Vail in March!
Katie. She felt EPIC!