The perfect birthday present
My nephew Clemens celebrated his thirteenth birthday in December. I thought long and hard about what to get him. What does he want that he doesn’t already have? Like so many children, he already has so much! So, I decided to give him TIME, a priceless gift! The plan is to enjoy a day skiing together on the peaceful Leisure Mount Ahorn. I do my research to find out what the Ahorn has to offer a young man of thirteen years, and was amazed at the range of possible activities. The Funslope, driving a piste basher, a tour in a snow limo, and time in between to “chill out”. It was going to be a fantastic day!
Up to Mount Ahorn
Austria’s largest cable car takes us from Mayrhofen to the top of the Ahorn. As we step out of the cable car at 2,000m, we are greeted by brilliant sunshine and gaze in wonder at the beautiful landscape, covered in deep snow. We clip into our skis, and off we go! We carve our way gleefully down the wide pistes to the Ebenwald chairlift. The snow conditions are incredible. Next, we race down the FUNSLOPE; the ultimate kick for both kids and grown-ups!
After two hours of skiing, we are ready for a break. We decide to take a closer look at the White Lounge, venture into the igloo and marvel at the wall art carved into the ice and snow. “It’s amazing what you can do with snow. I feel like I’m in a Star Wars movie Auntie, in that movie everything is also made of ice!” says Clemens enthusiastically. To warm his hands, Clemens drinks a hot chocolate as we relax in the deck chairs outside and enjoy the feel of the warm sun on our faces. Clemens quizzes the barman with questions about the White Lounge – How is it built? How does it hold its shape? How are the carvings in the wall made? Children have a natural curiosity and have to have the answers to what we adults merely wonder about…
Snow Limo Tour
“Those are strange looking contraptions, what are they for?” asks Clemens. A sign nearby advertises “Snow Limo Tours”. We approach and ask for more information. After a detailed explanation we decide to take a Snow Limo Tour of the Ahorn ourselves. With Robert as our skiing chauffeur, we wrap up snuggly in warm blankets in the limo. What luxury! Clemens instantly thinks of his Granny and Grandpa and what we can do the next time we have a family ski day. “We’ll send Granny and Grandpa down the Funslope in a Snow Limo and follow behind!” he says mischievously. I have to laugh out loud at the thought of it. “It’s like a rollercoaster” raves Clemens with that infectious enthusiasm, unique to children.
Driving a piste basher – the ultimate highlight
After a break at the new Ahornhütte, where we enjoy a lunch of baked potato and chips, I have one last surprise for Clemens. He is fascinated by piste bashers and, if you book in advance with the Mayrhofner Bergbahnen, it is possible to take a ride in one on the Ahorn! At 4pm, when the pistes are empty and ready to be groomed for the next day, Clemens has his ride in a piste basher. “You’re the best, Auntie!” he says afterwards, jumping down from the machine and giving me a huge hug.
Perfectly groomed Ahorn valley run
As we are both good skiers, we decide to ski the valley run back to Mayrhofen. At dusk, we ski the fresh snow on top of perfectly prepared pistes into the valley. My ski day with Clemens has been simply fantastic! If you want to know what the valley run of the Ahorn is like, click here for a video of former world cup skier Uli Spieß: