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Ski Club of Manchester Zell Am See Holiday — January 2024 — Including SCoM Search For Otzie's Brother

Reporter: Brian Allcock

We arrived safely at hotel after a change in transfer vehicle causing an unnecessary search for Chris's ski's. I think I can say that the general consensus was the hotel was a pleasant surprise with good size rooms with balcony. Andrew who I shared with commented the room was big enough to play squash fortunately this wasn't attempted during our stay.

Access to the slopes was just across the road with the option to ski down to the main gondola and buses to the nearby resort's on our liftpass, or the choice of two lifts into the local area. On the first day we joined the Ski Club GB rep and stayed local we covered most of Zell but on the advice of Nicky stayed off the black runs because of the icy conditions after hearing of other members adventures this proved to be Sage advice.

The second day we joined Nicky the Ski Club GB rep again, on a trip to Leogang part of the Saalbach area the snow conditions here were more skiable, firm but easy to cut up top, somewhat softer lower down.

The next few days we spent on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier (try saying that with your teeth in) led by Andrew and Brian we found conditions here much more favourable with some firm but do-able offpiste.

After spotting a post on U Tube about an ice cave on the glacier, the next day we decided to go in search of Otzies brother and check it out. The day lived up to promise with snow and mist creating quite an atmosphere. We skied a little way offpiste and found the gaping mouth to the glacier. Judiciously side slipping down into the tunnel we were relieved to see the exit about 3 hundred metres further down. After taking several pictures and testing the acoustics by yodelling we emerged on the glacier again. We didn't find Otzies brother he'd apparently moved on to The Alberg due global warming but did have an awe inspiring experience!

Otzie ‘The Iceman’ was 5000 years old and a Neolithic hunter

He was discovered in perfect condition in 1991 by Helmut Simon, an amateur climber, Otzie’s well preserved body having emerged from the Similaun Glacier in the Austrian Alps.

Simon visited Otzie several times a year with his wife. He affectionately called him ‘His Brother’.

In 2004 Helmut’s body was found in a stream, having fallen to his death near the spot where Otzie had been discovered.

Helmut was not accompanied by his wife on his last visit.

Sends shivers running down my spine!

Chris Fildes

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