Club Holiday To St Christoph January 2016
Reporter: Nigel Koenen
Manchester Ski Club arrived at Manchester Airport at a very civilised time of 8.45am to catch a Austrian Airlines flight to Innsbruck, however we found ourselves in a long snaking queue, that disappeared into a rear booking hall, which took a considerable time; however this gave us the opportunity to meet several of the new members that we had not as yet come face to face with.
When we eventually got on the plane, our woes disappeared; as we were greeted by very friendly Austrian Airlines staff, all of who made our flight very pleasant, and also the surprise of a free cooked meal and alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, a welcome change to some of British carriers used in the past!!! The transfer to resort of St Christoph was very easy, as much of the trip is on motorway and dual carriageway; duration just under one and half hours.
The hotel was very good, comfy rooms with large bathrooms; all meals of high quality, with plenty to eat [afternoon tea included good soup, bakeries and cakes].
Evening meal was a 4 course including cheese and biscuits, the wine was of a high standard ie Chardonnay or Grenache white and Cabinet Sauvignon red, this was proceeded by aperitifs and nibbles and the bar served a lager and wheat draft beers.
The manager and all staff were very attentive; I blew a fuse on entering my room one evening, and having reported it, it was rectified within half an hour.
There was a good swimming pool and sauna which was a nice way of winding down after a long day on the slopes, unfortunately the pool developed a leak on day two and was shut down for 2 days for repair
We were very lucky that the previous week it had snowed much of the time so conditions were very near perfect and we had a settled week of weather-mostly blue skies all the time. In Austria there are many itinery routes [off- piste] but deemed part of the ski system and the snow cover made these very skiable. The Winstanley group [including the writer] skiing many of these during the week, especially one off the Valluga, route 15 branching off onto 15a where it became steeper and steeper [where most of us found it quite a challenge]. There is a new ski area [Warth] now connected to the rear of Lech by the Auenfeldjet large lift - very pleasant skiing with very few people - now making Lech and Zurs a large area in itself!!
Whilst St Christoph is small and quiet [not even a supermarket], St Anton itself has plenty of night life with much for “younger members” like the Crazy Kangaroo and Piccadilly bars with live music.
A note to remember; when returning to St Christoph, the last free ski bus is just after 7.00pm [this invariably seems to leave from the F stand at the bus station, which can be confusing because many other buses depart around this time to multiple destinations like Landeg and Innsbruck] after this time the night buses are sporadic and chargeable.
Some of the group had a very good meal in the Austrian restaurant in the Alberg Hotel [on Thursday night] highly recommended.
The only drawback was the very early departure time of 4.15am for our return flight at 9.30am [however the staff gave us a continental breakfast to send us on our way.
In summing up, it was a very good main club holiday with the new members being successfully welcomed and integrated with much hospitality!!