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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

From Skiing to Snowboarding & back: Kitzsteinhorn & Schmittenhöhe ski slopes in Austria live to tell the mountain tale ..!

Would you hand in your snowboard for a pair of ski? Never!, my proud snowboarding self has kept on saying for virtually all of my adult life. After an early snowboarding lesson at the age of fifteen had lured me away from skiing (I have been skiing all my life, since the age of three), I have happily been snowboarding ever since. To this day, I remember the joy I felt when my sports teacher pointed out my beautiful curves and perfect posture in the snow (carving .. snowboarding, that is. Of course. What where you thinking? 😀 ).

Da habt Ihr's. Noch vor knapp einem Jahr habe ich nicht einmal im Traum (bzw. hier in Finnland!) daran gedacht, wieder Ski zu fahren. Me & my board? Unzertrennlich. Auch im Ausland. Dachte ich. Eigentlich.

There you go. Not even a year ago, I would never have imagined renouncing my beautiful board .. Neither back home in Austria, nor abroad (as for instance here, in northern Finland). Well, never say never, I guess.

 

Because at the end of the day, we are all just human. Eventually, curiosity wins all of us over. The fragile balance tips …

… and actually, I must admit, I did keep thinking, I could give it another try for quite a while. Skiing, that is. Again. Now that everyone is talking about it, and getting back into it .. saying that the new, modern carving skis have become so easy to handle. That the twists and turns once only in the realm of the early snowboarders, are now just as well available to those on skis and .. oh .. well. It has made me curious, for sure … So … well, alright then. Let’s just give it another go, shall we!

It has really cost me some time, and effort, to “back out on” snowboarding after all this while ..!

Zell am See, at the heart of the Austrian Alps, provides the perfect backdrop for easing my transition. Easy slopes mixed with steeper ones, all of them well-known to me, and a glacier ski resort of a kind, are a definite go-to.

Schon im März 2016 blieb mir beim Anblick der traumhaften Gletscherabfahrten des Kitzsteinhorns fast das Herz vor (Schnee)Freude stehen ...

The glacier ski runs of the Kitzsteinhorn mountains have last seen me in the spring of 2016, in equally sunny splendour …

 

... und während mein lieber Reiseblogger-Freund Wolfgang neben mir noch mit Fotografie am Sessellift beschäftigt ist ...

… and while my dear friend & travel writing colleague Wolfgang is still busy capturing those shots on his phone …

 

... stellt mein Blick nach unten halb entsetzt, halb erwartungsvoll fest: Die beiden Ski gehören mir. Das Board Wolfgang. Aaaah! Was habe ich getan?

… my focus is down on my feet: What have I done?! Those two boards strapped to my ski boots are mine, and the board is Wolfgang’s. Aaaah!

 

Ist es nicht doch ein bisschen Hochverrat, nach so vielen stolzen Snowboarders sich den ... Skifahrern anzuschließen?!

While my friends pose for a beautiful skiers’ photograph, I am caught between thoughts of high snowboard treason and the early excitement of going back to skiing …

 

Es braucht schon ein bisschen mehr. Einen ganzen Vormittag, um genau zu sein. "With a little help from my friends." Skilehrer Wolfi hier, zum Beispiel ...

… and yes, it does cost me a little while to ease back into it all again. “With a little help from my friends”, that is. Such as ski instructor Wolfi here, who guides our group safely down the mountains …

 

... sowie das herrliche Pistenpanorama des Kitzsteinhorn auf knapp 3.000 Meter Seehöhe ...

… or the magical mountain vistas, awe-inspiring and soul-soaring from glancing up the glacier ski runs at 3.000 metres above sea level …

 

... und Buchteln. Zur nervlichen Beruhigung. Die gute österreichische Küche hat es eben in sich - auch & vor allem in luftigen Höhen.

… and “Buchteln”. Always “Buchteln”, please. A typical, yet super simple Austrian dessert traditionally served at mountain huts. Perfectly apt for both skiers and snowboarders alike, to be especially enjoyed in the lofty heights of the mountain top restaurant “Gipfelrestaurant Kitzsteinhorn”.

 

Besides skiing vs. snowboarding, Kitzsteinhorn does offer some fantastic alternatives for explorers, too. “Channelling” through the mountain to see the mountainous rooftop of Austria, for instance!

When you book your lift ticket, do not forget to ask for an admission to the mountain museum & viewing platform “Top of Salzburg“, located at precisely 3.029 metres above sea level. Back in the spring, I have already enjoyed its magical views, stretching across the horizon in an almost complete 360° panorama. Absolutely mesmerising, and among all the mighty peaks of well over 3.000 metres above sea level, I cannot take my eyes off the highest of all: Großglockner, Austria’s tallest mountain at 3.798 metres above sea level, looms in the distance and beckons us to climb it. One day!

Durch den Berg bahnt sich der rund 350 Meter lange Stollengang den Weg entlang des "Kristallschatz der Hohen Tauern", ein interessantes Bergmuseum ...

Right through the mountain, we are taken to explore the crystal gems of the Hohe Tauern mountains, Austria’s largest national park and mountain realm at the centre of the Eastern European Alps …

 

... auf dem Weg zur Aussichtsplattform ...

… and all of us, centre stage in this awe-inspiring natural attraction …

 

... mit Blick vom Dach Österreichs Richtung Nordwesten und über die gesamten Voralpen bis nach Deutschland ... ein Traum.

… with a view across the “rooftops” of Austria, stretching all the way northwest from here … Magical, don’t you think?

 

Kein Wunder, wer hier nicht geneigt ist, zum Bergsteiger / Skifahrer zu werden ...

You just have to fall in love with skiing, mountaineering, climbing, or else out here …

 

... und sich beim Anblick dieser Berge ...

… and the magic works on literally everyone around …

 

... den einen oder anderen stillen Moment der Ruhe und Kontemplation zu gönnen: Blick auf die höchste Spitze des Landes, den Großglockner von der Aussichtsplattform des Kitzsteinhorn aus.

… however small & still in front of a view like this: Come & greet the stunning panorama of Austria’s highest mountains, with the unpronounceably beautiful Großglocknerberg taking centre stage in this late afternoon photograph!

 

For yet another step up in this beautiful mountain game, all the slopes presented here are connected with the “Schmittenhöhe” ski slopes just across the valley, presenting ever more opportunities for alpine enthusiasts!

“Carving on my skis, I just looove it”, I squeal with delight reaching my group at the end of the second morning. Not even the sun could possibly beam any brighter than my happy, satisfied self in that moment. Carving with skis has become so different from my early memories way back: Now, the skis are actually 20cm shorter (my brand new Atomic ski being only 140cm long!), and I do not really mind the somewhat tighter ski boots all that much, either. It is so easy, really, and such a huge amount of fun, to ski again like this.

On the third and final day of exploring the ski resort Schmittenhöhe, I am so vested with my confidence & regained techniques, that I even decide to a) pose for a short, introductory video …

… and b) mount my brand new IceFox camera on my ski helmet in order to record some fun, 270° wide angle shots of me & my groups’ carving efforts (there’s a very funny twist there towards the end, so make sure you watch all of it) …

Vielen Dank, liebe Ursula Auer vom Hotel Restaurant Feinschmeck, für die Begleitung während dieses herrlichen Skitages auf der Schlittenhöhe ...

Thank you so much, dear Ursula Auer (Hotel Restaurant Feinschmeck), for looking after us so well on this ski day out on the Schmittenhöhe, high above your home town of Zell am See …

 

Vom Einkehrschwung auf der Areitalm Genuss-Alm ...

… high up here, where modern mountain huts open up panoramic views of the stunning scenery beyond …

 

... dem genussvollen Schlemmen auf der Eder Hütte ...

… as well as the food (always the food, out here in Austria!), a typical “Germknödel” sweet dumpling in this case, which is served in sugar & poppy-seed coating and stuffed with plum jam, at the traditional Eder Hütte mountain hut …

 

... dem "Abhängen" nebst historischen Bergkirchen wie der Elisabethkirche hier auf der Schmittenhöhe ...

… and “hanging out” at the Schmittenhöhe ski slopes, you will even find yourself an old little mountain chapel strewn into the views from time to time …

 

... sind uns Skigebiet, Menschen, Geschichten & Erlebnisse einfach ans Herz gewachsen ...

… no wonder this perfect combination of food, sports, history, and mountain culture, has really grown on us …

 

... nicht mal der Blick in die (engen, im Vergleich zum Snowboard!) Skischuhe, sowie das Anprobieren selbiger, kann dem etwas anhaben ...

… and I have easily overcome my “initial fear” of getting back into those notoriously tight ski boots, especially after years and years of proudly wearing wider snowboard boots …

 

... und auch (oder erst recht!) nicht das "Lampenfieber", unter Reisebloggern stets von irgendjemandem bei irgendetwas gefilmt zu werden ..!

… not really minding anything more in this perfect panorama – not even being filmed almost constantly in our group of excited bloggers, vloggers, and digital influencers of all kind ..!

 

Schmittenhöhe, Kitzsteinhorn, Zell am See: Wir kommen, wir eilen wieder !

Schmittenhöhe, Kitzsteinhorn, Zell am See: We will head back up there as soon as possible !

 

Why and how this is also due to lovely Toni, is another story I have shared with you here …! 😀

More winter fun fair from Zell am See – Kaprun:

 

And if you feel inspired to look on, my friends have shared the following about their trip:


Disclaimer: We have been supported on this trip by Casinos Austria as well as Zell am See – Kaprun tourism destination. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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