Slinging powder in German Alps

Capt. Phillip Ulmer
USAFE Public Affairs

***image1***GARMISCH, Germany – With summer swimming, picnics and barbecues in full swing it might be difficult to start thinking about a winter vacation. However, officials at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort say this is a perfect time to start planning for a winter holiday in the German Alps.

Our location and facilities provide a great environment for year round mountain recreation, said Leigh Plowman, director of leisure activities, daily tours and recreation programs.

However, Garmisch is more readily known for its winter activities. The city hosted the 1936 winter Olympics and draws crowds from around the globe during the Alpine Ski World Championships held here annually.
The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort offers two-, four- and five-day ski and snowboard packages beginning as early as Nov. 24.

“The five-day course is by far our most popular,” said Mr. Plowman. “We’re expecting about 3,000 people to sign up for this course along with the kids sports programs this season.”

The courses include everything needed to enjoy the slopes from skis, snowboards, boots and poles to helmets, ski pants, jackets and sleds.
“Across town we have a snow sports school, the Hausberg Sports Lodge, with 600 sets of skis and 300 sets of snowboards,” said Mr. Plowman. “You don’t have to bring any equipment with you. All you have to do is show up and we’ll take care of the rest.”

Fully trained and certified instructors provide daily lessons for skiing and snowboarding. Skiers and snowboarders are selected for groups and instructors based on their experience and abilities. This allows for those just learning to advance at a comfortable pace while enabling those who are more experienced the opportunity to sharpen their skills.

***image2***Officials here are quick to point out that this isn’t just an adult program, highlighting the fact that the family vacation is the focus here.
We offer lessons for youth in the regular classes, said Mr. Plowman. Then we have a special program for younger children called Just for Ski Kids.
The Just for Ski Kids ski program teaches children age 5 to 7 how to ski through encouragement and achievement in order to build a foundation for future growth. Certified instructors use a mix of fun and adventure in a structured program to keep the children active.

“The focus is on safety on the slope and having fun with the kids,” said Hubie Beckmann, a recreation assistant at the resort. “From there we build a foundation for future instruction and growth.”

Edelweiss Lodge and Resort also offers group, semi-private and private lessons upon request. However, advance booking is required.
Garmisch and the area has more than 70 miles of downhill skiing and snowboarding available for every level from novice to expert. The region also has 83 miles of trails for cross-country skiers and 62 miles of cleared alpine rails for winter hikers.

To book a winter vacation to remember, or for more information call 08821-9444142.