Jan 2020 – In my previous post regarding Ehrwald, a place my friend Annie referred me to, I really really talked the place up in terms of my first ever impressions in 2019. That weekend I had been on my own as a parent as Kate (Mrs. Snowboarddadineurope) was in Poland. Having two kids and trying to get slope time seemed daunting; however, Ehrwald was more than equipped to save the day. I did what any sane parent who loves to get away from their kids did and consumed beer and tackled the slopes. I made a mental bookmark and guaranteed myself that I’d be taking the family back there. Please refer back to the previous page about Ehrwald if you’re curious about school costs, etc.
Since I knew how great Ehrwalder Alm was, we decided to take a 3-night weekend trip to the ski area during one of our American winter holidays. However, this trip we met up alongside two blogger friends of ours: TheMcCarthyFamilyAdventure and Suckers4Travel. This go around actually featured drinks with friends!
As always, and as mentioned on my Germany page, we stayed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen because that’s what Americans always do, apparently. The Ehrwald and Lermoos areas are always booked up and Garmisch is a bit bigger. Also, the drive from Garmisch to Ehrwald is barely even 20 minutes to the main lift’s parking area. Based strictly upon size and availability, staying in Garmisch could be a better choice.
Plan to get there 30 minutes or more before opening: the primary lot can fill up pretty quick and, if you’ve not already bought your lift ticket, the lines can be a little wild on the weekend. The walk from the parking area to the first lift isn’t very long and, for anyone who chooses to stay in Ehrwald, a dependable bus system makes multiple runs to the ski area’s lot every morning.
This trip was basically another dream thanks to Ehrwald’s kid-centric amenities and fantastic ski school: Skishule Total. Again, for anyone wanting slope time to themselves away from your kids, go to Ehrwald.
I knew, already, that Skischule Total’s instruction was great; however, this time I really gained an appreciation for how amazing this Austrian school is. If you read any of my other posts, it’s obvious our kids ski. Most of the time, we just love getting away from them, downing drinks, and (responsibly) getting them back to the hotel, but this trip I had the most fun watching our kids learn.
We started the day’s first half as a group and happily threw our kids into ski school: Karaline (6) for the full 4 hour block and Noah (4) only for the morning. His little legs get tired a bit quicker so, based on previous instructors’ advice, the little one is best suited for the short 2-hour course. Depending on your kids’ experience and endurance, take that for what it is.
He spent the rest of the afternoon in the awesome Tirolerhaus daycare while the rest of us continued with our slopetime and school. Daycare was about €14/hour: a much better rate than potentially paying for a day of school only to have him too tired to continue after 2 hours.
Little did I know while I was boarding my face off in beautiful Ehrwald Alm, my kids were receiving some of the best instruction I’ve come across in our Alpine experiences. Skischule Total is absolutely amazing. I cannot recommend this school enough, not only because their location is ridiculously convenient (center of the mountain base), but also because their instructors really know when to push a child to achieve more in terms of their skill. They are extremely safe, but they push the kids just a little bit harder than the Swiss schools (in my limited experience). Because of these experiences, I will always harbor a special place in my heart for Austrian Ski Schools.
She did the fun slope twice. And once all the way down! She was good!-Daughter’s skischule totale instructor
I didn’t fully understand this until, while boarding down a slope, I came upon my 6-year old girl following her instructor down the main blue piste towards the lower gondola. Previously I had only seen her tackling the baby/bunny hills throughout Sölden, Ehrwald, Malbun, and the Black Forest, but watching my little girl rock an entire 2.5 Kilometer run made me a very proud father.
The final note regarding Ehrwald I’ll include here is hard to miss once you’re near the Tirolerhaus is essentially a playground built into a snow castle. It makes for a perfect place to relax with a warm or cold beverage to take the edge off while your kids are getting out any energy reserves they’ve got left.
Reasonably priced Ehrwald will continue to be my favorite piste area to visit with my kids. The great amenities of a snow castle/playground, daycare, and ski schools are more than enough to keep them entertained and educated as well as giving us time to ourselves. Après ski usually occurs at the main lift area but there are a few amazingly quaint huts to visit like the Ganghoferhütte to grab a “Willie” and other Aperitifs to keep the nerves at bay.
If you can: visit Ehrwald. If you’ve got kids, it’s one of the best experiences on the snow you can give them.
If there’s anything you feel is missing or if you’ve got any questions, drop a comment below! I’ll get back to you!
Bis zum näschtes mal!-THe snowboard dad in europe