Traveling for the Pure Joy of Nordic Skiing
Lumi Experiences guests JoAnn Hanowski and Jim Fredricks from Greensboro, Vermont recall their self-guided skiing adventures in Seefeld, Austria and Seiser Alm, Italy last winter: “All we had to do was show up and ski.” You can read more about their adventures below. Also, if you’d prefer to ski in Austria & Italy with the support of our expert, local trip leaders, check out our guided group trip to Seefeld & Seiser Alm – there is still space available for this winter!
Did you hear that Lumi just launched a new trip to Iceland too? We’re offering a $300 early booking discount when you reserve your space by November 30. The trip is already filling quickly, reach out soon (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Article and photos by JoAnn Hanowski and Jim Fredericks (Greensboro, VT)
We have a few fall traditions to get us in the mood and ready for the ski season: getting out our roller-skis, doing more ski-oriented workouts and planning a winter ski trip. Last fall, looking for a change from our usual Silver Star trip in early December, we researched options for a trip to Europe. We knew that Lumi Experiences offered group trips to the classic loppet races, but we were hoping to travel in January and wanted the trip to be focused on the pure joy of skiing rather than enduring the hassles of preparing for a race.
We contacted Garrott, first by email and then after a few phone conversations, we took his advice to visit two of his favorite ski destinations of Seefeld, Austria and Seiser Alm, Italy. Garrott presented us with an itinerary for a self-guided trip and all we needed to do was get to Munich and back from Venice. We opted for the private transfer option since we felt the possibility of contacting Covid on our trip was lessened. This worked out great. Our driver and tour guide met us at the Munich airport for our drive to Seefeld. He was very knowledgeable and gave us a wonderful history lesson on the two- hour drive.
Unfortunately, after early season snow in Seefeld, the snowpack had diminished to less than ten kms of artificial snow, about half of which was on the World Cup courses. We were at first disappointed in the snow situation but made the most of the skiing on the flatter loops with some World Cup hills to spice it up. Seefeld was also the choice for the US Ski Team (USST) for the post Tour de Ski camp. We had a good time visiting with our friend and head USST coach Matt Whitcomb along with technicians Eli Brown and Jason Cork. We also had a personal tour of the USST’s impressive wax truck and listened to the inside scoop of the previous week’s Tour de Ski challenges with Covid stricken staff and athletes. We skied every day from the trail head across the street from our very nice hotel. Due to limited snow depth, we missed skiing from town to town, but were able to do some hikes up to the huts that served food and drinks.
The hotel accommodations and food were amazing, and the staff was super friendly and helpful. We arrived at our room and found fresh fruit, local liquor, chocolate, and supplies for Covid testing and Kleenex. We were able to meet with Garrott and his wife Catherine in Seefeld and had a nice apres-ski hot chocolate.
After five days, it was time to move to Seiser Alm. The drive to Italy was quick and although our driver was not fluent in English, we enjoyed the scenic drive before being deposited at the bottom of the gondola that would take us up to the village of Seiser Alm. After a hectic gondola boarding, with skis, bags and wax gear, the trip up was beautiful, and we arrived in snow within fifteen minutes.
After a short walk we checked into our hotel in this small resort village. Again, great accommodations within a three-minute walk to the trail head. The spa at our hotel was amazing, as were the views of the towering Dolomites from our room. We had seen beautiful pictures of Seiser Alm, but skiing there was among the best that we have experienced. Perfection was the name of the game for the superb Pisten Bully daily grooming throughout the 100 plus kilometers of trails. We skied close to 30 km on most days and the only reason for not skiing more was our energy level. The weather was sunny every day, the wax was blue and the trails were extensive enough that they were never crowded. There were options for skiing down into the next town and taking a short bus ride back to the top. The trail system accommodated terrain for every level of skiing ability and the scenery was eye candy wherever you skied. And all of our car transfers, ski and gondola passes were included in our package. All we had to do was show up.
The five days at Seiser Alm flew by and soon we were on our way down the gondola to meet our driver who would take us to Venice. We spent an afternoon and evening there, walking and sightseeing at a time of year when there are few tourists. With a wonderful pasta meal and gelato on board, it was time to head home.
We highly recommend a self-guided Lumi trip. Every detail was attended to and we had nothing to think about but skiing, relaxing and enjoying the experience. Thank you, Lumi Experiences, for seeing to every detail (including the complimentary bottles of wine) and creating a memorable trip for us.
For those skiers who wish to join us for the pure joy of skiing some of the most beautiful and fun trails in VT, check out the Tour de Greensboro. This event fills up fast so don't wait (only 18 spaces left as of Tuesday, October 24!): https://www.skireg.com/tour-de-greensboro-2024
JoAnn Hanowski and Jim Fredericks