Snowboarding in Soll
Posted on - Wed 4th April 2012
I have always remembered a story my brother told me about his holiday to Soll that, after hitting the apres ski so hard, he once managed to sleep the night in full ski attire, including ski boots. My colleague Jimbo, having done a season in Westendorf, also waxed lyrically about the Ski Welt area in general, and for these reasons I had high expectations for my 'lads' snowboarding holiday to Soll in March, and I wasn't let down.
The brochures cited the area as being "an intermediate heaven" which, despite having done a good 30 weeks of snowboarding and therefore possibly being classified as an advanced snowboarder, suited me just fine. Give me a wide open blue or red run and I'll happily cruise down all day... Why anyone wants to spend all day skiing/boarding down icy and moguly black runs is beyond me.
So the terrain in Soll and the surrounding Ski Welt area was vast, with plenty of areas to explore. Some awesome long runs down to Hopfgarten, Brixem, Itter and Scheffau, and empty pistes over in Ellmau and Going. We saved the best until last though, and did Westendorf on the last day, complete with a fresh 4 inches of fine, powdery white stuff. In Westendorf we found a whole load of off piste between the trees and more wide blues and red runs, along with a very good terrain park. We also had a day in the legendary resort of Kitzbuhel (You can ski pretty much all the way there, or, ski just half way and get the bus from Brixem which is free and takes about 20 minutes).
As for the resort itself, it's a pretty place, lots of Austrian charm with the traditional looking Postwirt and Feldwebel Hotels catching the eye in the very resort centre, and the obligatory Village Church's steeple providing a picturesque backdrop. The main gondola is accessed from the resort centre by the frequent buses which were no hassle at all (you can walk up to the gondola in about 10 minutes from the resort centre).
And best of all it's very cheap too. A pint of beer cost just 3 euros 20; traditional food dishes costing 7 or 8 Euros for a hearty portion, and up the mountain there's no need to look any further than a good bowl of Goulash Soup, for around 3 Euros 50. Bargain!
The apres and nightlife was decent too. The nightlife is hidden away quite well, leaving the resort centre a peaceful place to walk around at night. As for apres ski, there's 3 decent bars between the bottom of the slopes and the town centre, which test even those with the greatest resolve on the way past! But, after my brothers story, I guess I was expecting slightly more. Maybe a couple of apres ski bars have re-emerged as restaurants since he was there.... Or maybe my brother is just a lightweight.