We can’t let trip reports from our recent (early January) European travels fall through the seams of the Outdoor Retailer convention center carpet. Publish too many gear reviews — you could forget what the gear is actually used for! So here we go with another day of Austrian fun. (More OR gear stuff coming, trust us.)
Powder! I skied 3 weeks of cold smoke in Canada over Christmas and now I am in the Tirol floating through fluff. A dream? It’s so good it could be. Truth be told, the conditions in Austria this January aren’t quite as perfect as they were at Valhalla Mountain Touring, but I’m having tons of fun nonetheless. The reason must be the excellent equipment I’ve been using — the Dynafit One boot and the women’s Dynafit Manaslu. Game changers for me — I feel like I am on the top of my game, a sense of mastery that usually comes later in the season after I’ve had months of practice.
The Dynafit One (size 25) weighs in at 49 ounces per boot, putting them easily in the midweight class of AT boots. They are heavier than other boots I’ve used but stiffer and higher. The enhanced performance is well worth a few ounces. I’ve paired the One with women’s Dynafit Manaslu ski, length 171 (41 oz, 1164 g per ski) light enough to balance the load. The Manaslus worked well on Colorado corn last spring and I’ve looked forward to seeing how they’ll perform on more challenging snow. Something wider and more rockered might be good, but they sure go uphill nicely.
In the Dolomites, I found more challenging snow. We toured through wind affected snow — stuff I usually suffer through. While I still didn’t look like a World Cup racer, better control from my Dynafit One boots helped me cruise through the variable snow easier than ever. More importantly, at the end of the day my knees weren’t aching, a huge personal triumph since they’ve become sensitive with all the miles I’ve been racking up in the backcountry these past few years.
So, when our Tirolean friend, Erich, invited us on a tour, I was delighted to have another chance to ride my boards, regardless of what the conditions might be.
St. Johanner wurst or in Tirolean dialect, “Sainihånser,” are longer and thinner than Frankfurters. The sausages are prepared in boiling water and traditionally served with horse radish, mustard and bread. They are trumping pastries on this trip and are the perfect apres ski snack at the gasthaus. Lou still orders apfel strudel but the wurst is fast becoming a preference. A light Weissbier, a plate of Sainihanser mit brot, the sight of our ski tracks down to the deck, and all is bliss.
Google Map below has Kleiner Beil marked with icon, look north and northwest for Inneralpbach starting point.