On recommendation from friends that we really must ski in Saalbach and there’s only one place to stay we booked a week in January to stay at Pension Enzian. A particular highlight of the week enjoyed by our friends was the opportunity to ski with Enzian’s hosts, Kevin and Sarah. My husband likes to ski in a group and from the moment we arrived was asking about when the ski days were. I must admit, I am not the strongest skier and had my reservations about skiing with a group of strangers.

The evening before the ski day, Sarah came to speak to us and asked if we were interested in coming along. I expressed my concerns and reeled off a long list of reasons why not to come along; I am too slow, I lack confidence and I don’t want to slow the group down. Sarah was fantastic at easing my fears, explaining how it would be a great experience, that it was not a race and there would be no pressure on anybody. Despite my fears and much to my husband’s delight, I decided to take the plunge and join the group.

On arriving at the Schattberg lift station next morning to meet with the group Sarah came straight over to me and explained where we were heading, easing my nerves. The rest of the group whom I had seen around the pension all introduced themselves; a real mix of ages and abilities.

It was a crisp cold but beautiful day and part of me was truly excited to be skiing with someone who knew the vast ski area, no piste map arguments today. We all set off following Sarah and I soon realised that I wasn’t the only nervous skier which immediately put my anxiety at ease.  Sarah kept a close eye on us all, ensuring that we were all present and aware of the next direction. Mid-morning we stopped for a quick hot chocolate at the Ellmaualm and took in the wonderful views from the terrace. It was lovely to chat with other guests and exchange ski stories. Some were Enzian regulars and even though they knew the resort they loved the freedom of the ski days in Sarah´s company.

We weaved our way around the Hinterglemm slopes, covering kilometres eventually stopping for a well deserved late lunch at the beautiful rustic Rosswaldhutte. Sarah organised tables for us and made some recommendations on tasty traditional dishes. I opted for a hearty and delicious homemade Goulash. The afternoon was spent cruising the wide open slopes above Saalbach Hinterglemm, my early fears of the day, now only a distant memory. For our last run of the day we skied the Bernkogel at dusk. Truly memorable! As Sarah had done all day, she picked the best parts of the piste to ski, no people and no bumps. That’s the benefit of skiing with a local. We were all exhilarated upon reaching Saalbach and decided on a Gluhwein or two at Burgis where we recounted the days adventures and what will be remembered as ‘The Best Ski Day of my Life’.

I can’t recommend a day skiing with Sarah enough, it really gave me confidence for the rest of the week, much to my husband’s delight. I will take these special memories home with me along with some lovely new friendships.

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