For those who have experienced The Yacht Week you know the feeling when you watch the youtube videos of hundreds of like minded party-goers diving into the Mediterranean sea or the feeling of being sun-kissed sailing around the Aeolian islands with a cold drink in your hand. For those who haven't I highly suggest it, because just as they admit - it really is nothing like the real world. For those who may not know me, I would trade in my Rainbows and Vix bikini for a pair of K2 skis and my Canada Goose Jacket any day of the week. So when the idea of The Ski Week came about I felt the urge to experience something new and obviously something very similar to that of The Yacht Week - only on skis, in the alps - more specifically Obertauren, Austria. With a previous trip already planned, I was pretty bummed when I found out I wouldn't be able to make it to this inaugural episode of fresh snow, sun & of course an incredible après ski (a concept the USA has yet to adopt). A few days before the week began an opening in a friend of a friend of a friend's flat (of whom I had never met - just another benefit of sailing the yacht week) had opened up and voila! I was joining ski week -- well, 1/2 ski week (which is better than no ski week at all - & so it began).
I Had arrived in Munich one day before The Ski Week began with no place to stay, and no plans since everyone was arriving the next day. After doing some research (Facebook stalking) I found a lovely, group of Americans predominately living in Seattle, but from San Fran, Canada, New York & Georgia who were gathering in Munich for an afternoon of sightseeing (Beer gardens) and casual drinking (more beer gardens) who were kind enough to adopt me into their crew for 24h, and let me be the first to tell you, this group was not messing around. From the moment I walked into the Wombat Hostel in Munich, these fine gentleman were ready to go. By the next day, and a 2h train ride to Salzburg we ended up on a giant bus to Obertauren (aka the ski week) with 50 others from across the world. Only a group from The Ski Week would kindly ask the driver to stop at a gas station in the middle of no where not to use the toilets, but to buy an assortment of adult beverages for the two hour ride through the Austrian Alps. --- 2 hours later our bus arrived in Obertauren, and one could feel the anticipation as we saw fresh snow falling onto country flags draped from balcony windows. It was like Christmas, but better
Unlike The Yacht Week, TSW's accommodation did not move, was slightly (and by slightly I mean significantly) more spacious, had fresh water along with big balconies to let in the fresh crisp air from the alps. They were cozy, chalet inspired flats with kitchens, fluffy down bed linens and modern appliances perfect for everyone's taste. Each Building was equipped with a sauna, jacuzzi, bar and of course wonderful hospitality from the brave hotel staff willing to host 400 ski weekers. It was like hoping from boat to boat, only from flat to flat. All you had to do was follow the music and everyone door was always open to welcome in guests.
From Icelantic Ski Demo's, Pop-up Champagne Bars, Jacuzzi's equipped with rubber duckies & all, the Ski Week did not fail when it came to keeping ski weekers busy & constantly partying. I personally woke up early to catch the pistes while they were still fresh (well worth it if I may add) but within a few hours we had the locals confused by shredding down the mountain in onesies, golden spandex tights, tuxedos, neon crop tops & of course lederhosen - they loved it. The weather couldn't of have been better for such an event, a couple days with fresh snow & a couple days sporting spring skiing at its finest - tank tops & light jackets. The Ski Week had specific places to meet for lunch, or to grab a drink (jäger, beer, or Champagne - pick your poison) on the mountain if you wished to take a break from the mountain (we usually followed the great music and popping champagne bottles "pool" side.)
It wouldn't be The Ski Week, or skiing in the Alps without an amazing Après ski. The major difference from skiing in Obertauren on a normal week verses ski week was the amazing music, locations & mind set of 400 people with a week off from work ready to party. Dancing on tables, Girls in bikinis, guys in tights, mini jäger bottles being passed around all in ski boots from mid afternoon to late night sounds about accurate. Every. Single. Day. Walking home at 10pm in your ski boots - normal. I have had the opportunity to participate in Après ski in the french alps, swiss alps, italian alps, but it has never been as good as The Ski Week's après. The best part was that the party kept going in the apartment buildings throughout the night just like The Yacht Week.
Overall TSW team did an amazing job integrating the best aspects of TYW to the alps for the first ever Ski Week. I was very interested to see how they were going to do it, and I am very glad I got to be apart of something great. Wifi on the mountain to make sure everyone can find the pop-up champgane bar - genius. I wish i was there to witness the late night ski with torches, and the final closing party but I guess I will have to save that for next time when TSW brings après ski to the USA.
Reasons to experience the ski week?
1. It really is nothing like the real world.
2. You'll make international friends that will last a lifetime.
3. A Perfectly Planned / Unplanned Party.
4. Who doesn't like to ski in costumes?
5. The inflatable swans from Yacht Week made a debut on the slopes.
Yacht Week or Ski Week? I would say both. I experienced TYW in Italy last summer, and it was amazing, but The Ski Week is entirely different in a good way. Just Book It so you can have your own stories. www.theskiweek.com
Questions? Feel free to ask!
Cheers from India - Speak soon.