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Austria: St. Johann Skiing

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St. Johann Skiing | Austria | Europe

[Visited: January 2008]

It was a quiet and dark Sunday morning when we drove from southern Germany in the direction of the Alps, in search of a place to ski. As darkness lifted and was replaced by early morning light, we realized that it was very cloudy. The first ski area we came across appeared too small, and we decided to continue to Austria. Still under a heavy cloudy sky we reached St. Johann, and decided that we ski there. Soon after we boarded the gondola, we entered a thick cloud: we wondered what the area looked like. We got a first glimpse when we suddenly got out of the cloud and we got a view over the Kaiser mountains. We would get a fuller picture during the rest of the day.

Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Snow-covered trees enveloped by clouds on the slopes of St. Johann

First, we were excited to close our ski boots and point our skis down. Since it was the first time to ski in this season, we had to get used a little bit, but the conditions were pretty good and we soon enjoyed racing down the slopes. At times, we entered a thick fog on the slopes, reducing our view and speed, but then we also got views of the surroundings of St. Johann through holes in the clouds. Those views were fantastic: small clouds drifting through the valleys below, the sun piercing through the holes it could find in the cloud cover, putting the snowy and jagged peaks of the Kaiser mountains in the spotlight. We almost could not stop enjoying the ever changing play between the clouds and the massive mountain range.

Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Kaiser mountains seen from the slopes of St. Johann

We soon decided to move to the western side of the area, where the slopes are a little more challenging. We stayed there for the rest of the day: the slopes were less crowded, we never had to wait for a ski lift, the slopes were a more fun to ski. Gradually, the clouds lifted and we were finally allowed a full view over the surrounding landscape. Small clouds still played around the foot of the mountains, sometimes enveloping the snow-covered trees while filtering through sunlight: an awesome sight. We continued to ski until the lifts closed and it was time to leave. We had had a fine day of skiing: St. Johann is just big enough for that.

Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): View from one of the slopes of St. Johann into the surrounding valleys
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Winter scene with skiers at St. Johann
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Skiers coming down a slope of St. Johann
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Small restaurant on the slopes of St. Johann
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Young skier coming down a slope of the St. Johann ski area
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Morning clouds around the Kaiser mountains
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Clouds over a snowy valley near St. Johann
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Chalet, trees and mountain covered in clouds
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Trees covered by snow and clouds at St. Johann
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Afternoon light on the Kaiser mountains
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Kaiser mountains in late afternoon sunlight
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): View of the Kaiser mountains from a slope of the St. Johann ski area
Picture of St. Johann Skiing (Austria): Looking west: clouds and sunlight

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