Innsbruck is a dream town for someone arriving in search of mountain adventures. The place possesses all the trappings of a city delivered in the quaint package of a ski village. Geographically, it rests in what feels like a big box canyon, ringed in by peaks on all sides. Socially, it feels like the inhabitants are content to be in their little Durango-esque paradise. Luckily for us, an American college kid can still afford to ski at one of the nearby resorts, like the one we encountered on the bus heading home, skis in hand and boots over her shoulder.
We arrived in Innsbruck from the Dolomites, where our time was spent between skiing and hiking, due to the dryness of the season. We were in search of snow, and we found it at Sölden, a resort that rests a reasonable 1.5 hour drive from Innsbruck.
The terrain at Sölden was fantastic. It is everything one thinks of when they think of European mountains: massive vertical, stunning scenery, and unbelievable access. I’d never skied a glacier before this day, and both this and our modest ventures off-piste proved more intimidating than I would have thought. It’s easy to feel small in a landscape that includes alpine glaciers. This was some of the most enjoyable skiing on the trip.
Back in Innsbruck we settled into the Marmota Hostel, an absolutely wonderful accommodation with nice rooms and kind staff. Like most hostels, there were travelers from myriad countries visiting the city, and we all traded stories in passing, as we co. Later we found a sweet climbing gym, where Cambo taught me to lead belay. During the entirety of our stay in Innsbruck we visited the Christmas market and stuffed our faces with various Austrian delectables, and enjoyed a Christmas parade that carried through the entire old town. We left feeling as though we had barely scratched the surface, but determined to carry on this crazy journey through the Alps.