On the 25th January 2015, my best mate Steve Twist texted me and asked if I fancied joining him on a free
all expenses paid trip to Kuhtai, Austria? Silly question.Steve had won the trip by entering a competition with Coors Beer for an adventure filled weekend
So along with Paul Taylor and Dean Cattedra, the four of us make our plans for a weekend away.
The meet up.
February 26th arrives, the night before our flight. We plan to meet up at the Holiday Inn, Gatwick, I get there first and book us in before the others arrive, mistaking booking doubles beds I promptly ask the receptionist if that could be changed, phew close call, I mean I hadn’t even met Deano yet!!
Heading to the bar and sitting alone enjoying a Guinness, I’m surrounded by a convention of tattooed bikers from across the globe. I text Steve to let him know a few of his mates had also turned up.
The trio arrive after a four hour journey from Wales, looking shattered they join me and we spend a while getting acquainted over a few more beers.
The following morning after a good, single bedded nights sleep and skipping breakfast we hastily make our way to the airport and set out on our adventure.
Now by this time I’m all excited, I love flying and haven’t been on a plane for ages, well Steve would just call me a gay lord at this stage. So I check my pockets, so many pockets I keep forgetting where I put things…..passport? Check….boarding pass? Check…. E-Fags? Check.
After a smooth take off, the inflight meal consisting of cheese roll, coffee and a fruity flavoured cereal, thanks for yours too Dean and a trip to the loo I spend the rest of the fight with my nose to the window admiring the views. While Dean played with his camera on a stick. As above.
Where’s all the snow? I wondered as we descended into Innsbruck Airport, little did the others know I had actually flown this route on a flight-simulator. Yes boys that’s how I knew it was in a valley. Anyway back to the lack of snow….where was it I thought.
My lack of trust for the Austrian weather was short lived. We said auf widersehen to the stewardess and disembarked the plane before making our way by coach to Kuhtai, through the snow covered mountains.
Kuhtai. A place of beauty
Forty-five minutes later we arrive at Kuhtai, our home for the next two nights. On the way we had a welcome and a debrief from the Coors rep,who kindly handed me a waiver to sign my life away, yes Steve forgot to mention that this trip involved life threatening activities!!
Oh he also advised me that I had best don my snow boots as I wouldn’t want to slip over in my brogues. Well they were stored in the coaches belly, I had no choice but to take tentative steps so I didn’t do a face slam in the snow.
Safely retrieving my suitcase, I made my way into the hotel Alpenrose’s foyer and proceeded to unpack the boots.
They headed to the Ice-bar for a cold beer while I continued to get a masters degree in boot laces.
Finally, with boots on I drag my suitcase through a foot of snow and make to the bar only to find everyone now putting there snow clothes on. Off come the boots once again and I too dress to impress. One thermal top, one pair of long Johns, one fur lined hoody, one pair of jeans, one water proof golf trousers and a golf top and a beanie to boot. Talking of boots…… Half hour later I eventually grab a beer.
Wrapped up and preserving more body heat than I needed, we step from the Ice bar and I’m immediately blinded by the pristine white snow. Sliding my oakleys down to shield the glare, I automaticly feel I’m now dressed to impress, unlike poor old twisty who’s own twenty pound shades later start to fall apart.
The walk starts well, with at least thirty other fun loving adventurers trudging through the snow, but things soon get tough for the less than fit amongst us….didn’t I Steve. In fact I did surprisingly well, but poor old Steve struggled. The youngsters, Paul and Deano surged onwards, eager for beer no doubt. I held back a little not wanting to put them to shame, and kept an eye on Steve who was by this time, a quarter of a way up, slowly but surly lagging behind.