The sky is bright blue, the snow is sparkling in the sunshine – do you know what it’s like to really look forward to a day of skiing? Even getting up early is easy for me. Out of the ski bus, into the lift, onto the slopes! Today I’m taking you to monte popolo – the small, fine ski area in Eben im Pongau.
The two chairlifts Popolo I and Popolo II take us up to 1600 m above sea level. There, where our ski day can finally really begin. As we glide towards the top station, we can already see the wide slopes below us. The new piste ski touring route winds its way up along the forest, two backcountry skiers are already almost at their destination. “Some people are a bit more energetic,” I think to myself, sitting comfortably in the lift. At the top, the view of the majestic Bischofsmütze awaits us. Its rocky companions tower unmistakably along the Gosaukamm and the Dachstein massif.
After a short warm-up session to start with, we take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. First of all, I’ll show you the Popolo II a, my favourite downhill run on the monte popolo. A perfect wide slope for making generous turns in the snow. Carving enthusiasts will particularly appreciate this run. Two or three runs later, the first groups of skiers join us, but there is still enough room for everyone. On the next lift journey, I meet a good friend with her family. She challenges me to a race on the Andrea Fischbacher timed run – the former ski racer Andrea Fischbacher brought Olympic gold to Eben in 2010, amongst other things. Of course, I can’t say no to that. Arriving at the finish line, I wait anxiously for the result. She is 1.5 seconds ahead of me. Well, I’m not going to stand for that, and we agree to another race. If I lose again, the next drink at the Reitlehenalm is on me. Deal.
The second race is over (well… not won) and the winner has jetted off to the fun park with her family. We take it a bit easier now and soak up the sun on the deckchairs at the mountain station. After all, our vitamin D levels need to be topped up by the winter sun. But to earn our lunch, we have to do a few more runs. Before we start, we meet Monti, the mascot of monte popolo. Monti is always ready and willing for a snapshot, a selfie or a group photo. He is particularly popular with the kids – but that could also be due to the gummy bears he has with him 😉. But today he has some important information in his luggage besides gummy bears: on 6th March, the monte popolo family festival will take place – with bobsleigh racing, OKIDOKI in the snow and exciting game challenges. Hooray – make a note in your calendar right away!
We spend our lunch break at the Reitlehenalm, right next to the mountain station of the Popolo I. My friend and her family also decide to take a break. The little ones tell me enthusiastically about the talking forest animals at the adventure slope. “You have to go there too! Mum, can we show Angi the animals later? And we have to go to the fun park again too!” Only the grilled sausages with chips interrupt their train of thought. After a tasty snack, we all head off to the adventure slope and pay a visit to the forest animals before trying our hand at the fun park – where the kids are of course miles ahead of us when it comes to sliding.
Last but not least, we enjoy the downhill run with every single turn and are already looking forward to the next ski day. Maybe even at the monte popolo Family Festival!
Picture credits: O’MANS, TVB Eben im Pongau, Angelika Pfuner