Alpine Skiing in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

Yesterday, I shared pics from my first curling adventure. Earlier I took you on a trail run through the Austrian Alps. But most folks who head to St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria are there for some Alpine skiing.

I’m not a big skier, so I’ll let my husband, Phil, lead you on this particular tour. He shot this video on the slopes. It’s basically ski porn. As you’ll see, the Austrian Alps are truly gorgeous. Be sure to watch it in HD.

And the music? Well, you’ll probably be singing, “Hey! Das Geht Ab” by the end of the video. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since I first heard it at the apres ski bar called Mooserwirt pictured in the video. You’re welcome.

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Ski buddies! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Karla’s Alpine Skiing Adventure

As for me, I did spend one day skiing. I grew up downhill skiing on small hills in Wisconsin. But when I started having knee problems at the age of 14, my skiing days were over.

My friend, Cara, was a total ski newbie. She was the reason for my visit. She’d been transferred, along with another friend of mine, to Switzerland for work. So Phil and I cashed in some airline miles, flew into Zurich, and stayed with our friends there. Before long, a large group of us converged on St. Anton, about 2 hours away.

While the experts skied in the video above, Cara and I booked a 6-hour ski lesson. When you’re jet lagged and not really a skier, 6 hours is a long time!

We spent the morning on classic Nordic cross-country skis and hit the pristine trails around St. Anton.

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Nordic skiing in Austria!

Seriously, if I lived in a place that beautiful, I’d be on cross-country skis all the time. As it is, I’ve been cross-country skiing a few times in New England and the Catskills in New York. But I’ve never had a lesson before. It was really helpful, and I have a much better feel for the sport now.

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Goofing around on my Nordic skis as my ski instructor looks on. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

In the afternoon, we switched to downhill Alpine skiing and hit the bunny slopes.

It had been two decades since I’d been on a pair of downhill skis. But I was pleased to discover it was a bit like riding a bike. My body immediately remembered what to do. Sure, there was some snow plow involved. But before long, I was shushing down the beginner slopes confidently.

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Skiing through a course my instructor set up. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

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Feeling good on skis (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

By the end of the day, I’m sad to admit that my knees were sore. One has the remnants of a bone tumor (made of bone–cue circus music!) and the other has arthritis. Running has actually been great for both of them. I’m a “goldilocks” runner: not enough activity and they get stiff. Too much mileage and they get sore. But just the right amount of running keeps them humming along nicely.

The downhill skiing was tough on both of them. By the end of the second hour, I felt the familiar ache start to settle in. So I don’t think I’ll become a keen downhill skier again.

But our instructor was thoroughly impressed that we survived 6 hours under his tutelage. He said he’d never had anyone book a lesson that long. Everywhere we went in the village—on the slopes, in the ski shop, at lunch—he kept bragging about us. We didn’t know that it’s totally not normal to spend an entire day in lessons in two different ski styles. But it was our one day to hit the slopes, so we were all in. We even won a trophy for our efforts.

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We won a trophy! Not really. It’s just a prop. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

OK, that’s just a prop. But we had a lot of fun in the process.

Karla Bruning

About 

Karla Bruning is a regular contributor to SHAPE.com, the host of NYRR's On The Run web + TV show, and a race announcer at events like the TCS New York City Marathon. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now she freelances as a running reporter. She's run 7 marathons, 20 halves, 6 triathlons, sings in an '80s cover band, spoils her dog + travels compulsively.

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30

03 2014

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