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Austria's alps from the top of Obergurgl, Solden's nextdoor neighbour.

Austria’s alps from the top of Obergurgl, Solden’s next door neighbour.

Salut from Sölden! Last March we explored this monstrous ski resort situated in the Ötztal Valley of the Austrian Tirol.

Back home in North America, we know it for the World Cup ski race it stages on its glacier every October. But Sölden is a lot more than just a glacier — it has more than 70 lifts and 186 miles of ski terrain.

This photo was snapped at the tip of Obergurgl, Solden’s next door neighbour, in the midst of the glorious Tirolean alps.

Our adventures in Sölden have been documented (by two 10 year olds) in the latest Winter edition of SNOW Magazine.

For more on exploring Solden, see www.Soelden.com

 

Lori Knowles

Lori Knowles

 

Lori Knowles is a ski and travel writer/editor based in Toronto, Canada. She is the editor of SNOW Magazine. See past work at LoriKnowles.com or follow Lori on Twitter @LoriExploring.

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I knew my seven-year-old son was having fun in his ski lesson when he refused to take a pee break. I know, because I would have done exactly the same thing at his age.  And I also know it usually ends badly. 

Despite a solid -18 on the slopes of Sun Peaks, and despite two hot chocolates demanding to be let out soon after they were let in, there was no way Emmett would agree to pee. I’ll let you know the ending… but first let me tell you the beginning: 

“How good a skier is he?” his private ski pro, Hamish-with-the-un-identifiable-accent, had asked at the start of the lesson. 

“Pretty good,” I’d said. “Great, actually.” Modesty is not a trait I boast on the ski hill. “He skis parallel. Loves trees.” 

Hamish-with-the-un-identifiable-accent pulled at his beard and looked at Emmett sideways. “I’ll be right back.”  

The ski pro clomped away, and returned moments later with a radical set of twin-tips.  “Whoa,” I said. “He’s got his park skis now.” 

Emmett and Hamish, Sun Peaks

 

Emmett, who hadn’t been looking forward to me ditching him on this ski lesson, instantly reconsidered. He checked out Hamish’s skis, then his face. He took in the beard, the bandana, the badass helmet. 

“See ya, mom!” And with that I was ordered to take a hike. Hamish was in the building. 

I can’t tell you much about the actual lesson. I used the time to explore Sun Peaks’ sidecountry with a pack of really good guys intent on trees and untracked powder.   

But I can tell you with some authority, that the lesson went extremely well, ’cause like I said, at several points during the lesson Emmett had refused to go in to go to the bathroom. 

“He’s had an accident,” Hamish-with-the-un-identifiable-accent said to me at pick-up. 

I looked down at Emmett’s limbs, which looked like they were still intact. No sign of tears, either. “What did ya hurt, bud?” 

Emmett didn’t speak, but vigorously shook his head. 

“Not that kind of accident,” Hamish said in his unidentifiable accent. “I asked him if he had to pee. Twice actually. But he said he didn’t.” Hamish was talking faster now. “Then we got half way down our last run and he… well, he…” 

“Let it rip?” I asked… knowingly. (Like I said, I’ve been there. Just not lately.) 

“Uh. Yeah,” Hamish said. “And I asked him if he was cold now and he said ‘No. Actually, it warmed me up!'” 

“I bet.” I said to Hamish. We smiled at each other. At least I think we did. It was so cold, both our mouths were covered by bandanas.  

“Better go, huh Emmett?” I asked my son. He nodded, again vigorously, and started to slide away on his skis. He was walking a little funny. 

“How’d the lesson go?” I asked as we headed for the Delta Sun Peaks’ laundry… though I already knew his answer. 

“Great!” Emmett said, waving his poles in the air to make a statement. “We skied the best trees EVER!” 

I believed him. I knew he had a good time… he peed his pants on the ski hill. 

www.sunpeaksresort.com

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