Yesterday was my first time skiing on a true glacier, although it seems to be very similar to all the skiing I’ve done on summer snow fields. (The difference between a snow field and a glacier is that snow fields melt completely every year.)
The Dachstein glacier is gorgeous, especially the tram ride up to it.
The tram is incredibly steep. It seems like you are being lifted straight up.
The ski trails are not too exciting. 4 kilometers of trail, all within an area the size of three football fields.
It isn’t freezing at night, so the snow is very soft. I got rained on a little bit today. The grooming is fine, but unfortunately they don’t salt the trail, which would help it firm up.
Also, the lift from the Nordic trails back up to the top of the tram isn’t running, so it’s a bit of a walk at the end of each workout.
The picture above is of the top of the tram from the Nordic trails. My overall impression is that this place is beautiful but a poor on-snow training venue compared to New Zealand because you can only ski once a day, it’s a bit of a commute to snow, the snow is extremely soft, there aren’t very many kilometers of trail, and there aren’t too many variances in terrain on the trails. The Sognefjell snow field in Norway, where I skied in June and has since lost all of its snow for the year, was better training because they salted the trails, the skiing was right out the door, and they had 10 kilometers groomed.
I’m still enjoying being here; it’s fun to be on snow in late July, and I’m looking forward to skiing in Oberhof, Germany on August 4th and New Zealand on August 31st.