Its the beginning of April, which means there are several thousand millenials gearing up for a week long music festival paired with world class skiing and snowboarding in the Austrian Alps. Its Snowbombing season. And this year its taking place April 8-13, as usual in the town of Mayrhofen in the Zillertal Valley in Tyrol Austria. The internet tells me this is its 20th year, so its bound to be good.
A group of friends and I joined the mayhem- added to it, lets be honest- a handful of years back, when we were still young and fun. Ha, we’re still fun. Less young. I flew in to Vienna. Rendezvoused with my bf-now-hubby (who was halfway through an around-the-world adventure of his own) and another friend of ours. We spent a day and night exploring Vienna. Then took a train across the country and transferred via bus to another train that took us down the Valley to Mayrhofen, where the rest of our crew trickled in to meet up.
We spent five days doing essentially the same thing: waking up, snowboarding until lunch, enjoying a leisurely meal on the mountain (some of the best slopeside food I’ve had), snowboarding until the lifts closed, then aprés whilst pumping to Euro-techno and observing Euro-shenanigans on top of the mountain before taking the gondola down in to town, rallying, partying at the concerts that night, sleeping and starting all over the next day like you can only do when you have the benefit of youth.
If you’re looking for something fun to do next week, head to Austria with your friends and make some memories. Or, plan ahead for next year. A half-dozen tips to help make your experience the best it can be:
- While the music scene was cool, the Austrian Alps are stunning. Unlike most places I’ve skied in the States, you take the gondola up from town and ski on top of the mountain. Also, spring skiing temperatures can vary greatly. Bring a backpack and stash it in a locker at the lodge up top so you can stay out all day without having to waste your time going alllllllll the way back down and up again to ditch layers, obtain snacks, etc.
- You can book your accomodations, lift tickets, and concert passes all in one place through the Snowbombing website. You can even set up your transportation, transfers, or jump on a bus and road trip there. Check it out here.
- Wear sunscreen. No one looks good with a ski-goggle tan. Even after dark. Drink water. Its a long week, your body will thank you.
- Rent away from the gondola for better gear and better prices.
- Pack light. Its a hike in to Mayrhofen and you’re likely going to have to transfer several times. This was the first leg of a two week long adventure. I went from Snowbombing to Dublin to DC, where I was going to a black-tie fundraiser and literally had a ball gown in my bag. It just about broke me. Don’t do what I did.
- When your friend informs you that the Radlers you’ve been drinking contain less than 1% alcohol, play it cool and order a shot of vodka to give it the kick you were looking for