A week in Austria

Where Next?

After a mere 2 years of not being on a snowboard I decided to change that fact and went on a short holiday to the alps. Since my brother lives in, well, very close to Munich we went together. So I packed all my things last tuesday for a week of snow, sunshine and general winter-ness. The weather wasn’t that great so we ended up driving to Austria only 3 days of the past week.

The first day we had real luck. The weather was good, at least in Scheffau. Every other mountain around us was surrounded by dark clouds. At noon we went back to the car, so I could get my camera. At first, I was a little worried about taking the SLR up, but in the end everything worked out great. The big backpack takes a while to get used too, especially on the skilifts. Because we were almost alone on the slopes and therefore the lifts, it wasn’t a problem.

We spent the second day of our snowboard madness, friday, in Kirchberg. It didn’t make sense to take the camera, because the weather was grey in grey. This was also the day of my first – and only – crash. My neck still hurts a little but it’s getting better.

On sunday we decided to drive to Mayrhofen. Of course there was more action on the slopes on the weekend. Mayrhofen had prepared some parts of their snowboard park, so I took the camera again.

No Sunlight

I have to say that the 5-6 fps of my EOS 40D are barely enough to capture the larger jumps. I wish I had the D700 with a nice wide-angle lens during these days. Focussing didn’t prove to be a problem, because I always ended up shooting at f/10 or above. The 24-70L on a 1.6x crop wasn’t the ideal choice but it got the job done. Next time I’ll go with the 10-22 – if I still have my 40D the next time. Some of the photos of this trip can be found in this Flickr set.

While the weather was great on one side of the mountain, it changed drastically as we went to the other side. The sun was hiding behind the clouds. We ended up getting back at 2-3 pm, still giving us 5-6 hours riding the mountain.

While trying to geotag my photos from Mayrhofen I started to wonder if Google could offer detailed images of the alps during winter. It’s hard to figure out the exact locations, so some of the images aren’t really exact. I uploaded the KMZ file for Google Earth here. Be sure to enable the 3D terrain to get a better sense of up and down. I also plan on getting a GPS logger, so I get an idea of how far I actually travel during a usual day on the mountain.

Winter Landscape

Overall it proved to be a good idea to go south during the past week. Aside from the last day we had the slopes to ourselves. So great!