Ski it out: Tips from local pros, upcoming group trips


By Alisha Pabon
Special to The Stuttgart Citizen

During the winter sports season, skiing and snowboarding becomes significant once again. However, participating in these sports in Europe is a slightly different experience for beginners, and even advanced skiers or snowboarders.

Bruce Zabukovec, recreational specialist at the Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program, provided some insight of what one might expect on the slopes in Europe.

Ski resort in Ischgl, Austria. Photo courtesy of Patch Ski Club 

For Zabukovec, the most important thing for beginners is safety. Before getting on skis or snowboards, get educated, “study about it! Do your homework with websites like YouTube, or the ABCs of Snowboarding/Skiing, then it will be in your subliminal mind and you won’t be as anxious,” Zabukovec said.

Zabukovec recommends layering, no cotton (it does not dry quickly), and ski socks. “Socks are important because of how ski boots press on the foot. The better the sock, the less pressure you will get, and the more comfortable it will be,” he said.

The differences between U.S. ski slopes and those in Germany are often explained in terms of length and time. “The runs tend to be longer in Europe, but back in the U.S., there were more areas where you could board between the trees. Also the lines are lot shorter in Europe at the lifts,” said George Roos, Stuttgart High School teacher and avid skier/snowboarder.

Zubukovec advises all Outdoor Recreation participants to remember, that after a long day of skiing, it will be normal to feel tired. Do not push too hard if it is your first time in general, or the first time in the season.

In the event of taking the last run, Zabukovec also warns, “Be careful, you do not want to be stuck or get injured on the slopes. You are more fatigued which could cause injuries to occur, and the sun is going down.”

“To get better, you have to go as much as possible,” said Roos.

When asked where the best spot to ski or snowboard is, Roos says, “anyplace, so long as it is with friends. Boarding is more fun when you do it with a group.”

Ski resort in Arabba, Italy. Photo courtesy Patch Ski Club

With 88 different ski lifts and 305 routes, both Roose and Zabukovec recommend St Anton am Arlberg for fun yet sometimes “challenging” skiing. Another recommended and advanced ski area is a glacier in Sölden, Austria. Although smaller than St. Anton, there are more “red” slopes, also known as moderate difficulty.

When searching for easier terrain, a close alternative could be in Feldberg, Germany located in the Black Forest. In addition, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a ski and family friendly area. Enjoy a day on the Zugspitze and then retreat back to the military resort Edelweiss or an authentic bed and breakfast.

Whether skiing may be new to you or not, just remember to take it easy, stay safe, and no cotton.

See where to hit the slopes in Germany and upcoming ODR trips below:

Upcoming ODR Trips

Outdoor Recreation has trips to the slopes planned through March as well as rental gear available. Join ODR for a fun one day express trip to the Alps. Go skiing, snowboarding or in some cases snowshoeing and ice skating. There is an activity for everyone.

For all trips, equipment rental, lift tickets, meals and other recreational expenses are the responsibility of the participant. Participants who register at least one week prior can be fitted for equipment the week of the trip. Snowboard lessons with a certified instructor are available at $45 per person in addition to trip price.

Call to sign up at DSN: 431-2774/civ. 07031-15-2774.

Jan. 27: St. Anton, Austria

Trip includes round trip transportation and ODR guide. Cost is $99 for adults, $89 for youth (17 and under), and $49 for SWPC/ASAP (limited spaces available).

Feb. 3: Mellau, Austria

Trip includes round trip transportation and ODR guide. Cost is $99 for adults, $89 for youth (17 and under), and $49 for SWPC/ASAP (limited spaces available).

Feb. 16 – 19: Kronplatz Ski Region Dolomites, Italy

Trip includes roundtrip transportation, daily shuttle service to and from ski area, 3 overnights in 3 star hotel, ski and snowboard equipment package included, 3 breakfast buffet, 4 course dinner menu each night. $399 per person (double occupancy) and $499 for single room. Trip departs Panzer at 2 a.m. and returns 4 p.m. Jan. 19. Must be 18 or older to travel alone; 17 and under must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Mar. 3: Lermoos, Austria

Trip includes round trip transportation and ODR guide. Cost is $99 for adults, $89 for youth (17 and under), and $49 for SWPC/ASAP (limited spaces available).

Mar. 16 – 19: Verbier Switzerland

Trip includes roundtrip transportation, 3 overnights in a 3 star hotel, ski and snowboard equipment package, daily shuttle service to and from ski area, 3 breakfast buffets, 4 course dinner menu each night. $479 per person (double occupancy) and $579 for single room. Snowboard lessons with a certified instructor are available at $45 per person in addition to trip price. Trip departs Panzer at 2 a.m. and return 4 p.m. Mar. 19. Must be 18 or older to travel alone. 17 and under must travel be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Visit the ODR webpage

Local Clubs

Patch Ski Club
The Patch Ski Club offers many organized trips to get outdoors throughout the year for skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking, golfing, music festivals, wine tasting, river rafting, and more. The Patch Ski Club is a private, non-profit organization open to all U.S. ID cardholders regardless of ability level.

For more information about the club and upcoming trips, visit www.patchskiclub.com.

Skiing for teens
The Sitzmarkers Ski and Snowboard Club is a club for teens grades 7-12 in the greater Stuttgart military community offering trips to learn and develop skiing and snowboarding skills, learn safety, and leadership skills. Teens can register at the Sitzmarkers meetings held in the Religious Education Center, Building 2332, Patch Barracks.

For the schedule of meetings, registration and more information about Sitzmarkers, visit www.sitzmarkers.org.

Editor’s Note: Alisha Pabon is a senior at Stuttgart High School and is a part of the Career Practicum program for the garrison Public Affairs office. She is interested in majoring journalism and communications.

Originally posted 2018-01-04 07:41:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter