1st March 2016
Having previously spent the night in a Bailey Pegasus despite an exterior, cold chamber-induced temperature of -15, the time was right to give Alu-Tech construction a thorough, real-world workout with a trip to Austria.
Swapping from caravan to motorhome, the plan was to drive a Bailey Approach Advance 615 the 1000 or-so miles to Zell am Ziller where it would be used as accommodation, transport and general workhorse. It would be piled high with skis, snowboards and camera equipment and all four of its belted-seats would provide transport to hire shops, restaurants, and the all-important ski resorts.
I mentioned the trip to a friend and even though he’s a caravan-owning, skiing nut, he had no idea that pitching so close to the snow was an easy and relatively inexpensive thing to do. Campingdorf Hofer has been #BaileySnowSeason HQ since November when professional snowboarder Si Cudlip and his blogging partner Faye Young set up camp in a Pegasus Brindisi. Being the luckiest couple on the planet, they will continue to live the dream in Austria until the end of the 2015/16 season. However, as I’m 45 years-of-age with a wife, two children and a mortgage, my slice of dream-living was to be measured in days rather than months but we joined them at the site to see how a caravan or motorhome makes a perfect, if somewhat unexpected, snow-sports partner.
I’m no stranger to a caravan holiday and even though my trips see me towing a ‘van in excess of 10,000 miles per year through a variety of countries, this was to be the first time I’d stayed at a site that serves the snowboarding and skiing community throughout the winter months. I was glad to be in the familiar surroundings of a motorhome as, not having strapped skis or a snowboard to my feet until the weekend before, I was sure I’d need a warm space with a comfortable bed after a day on the slopes. There was also the superbly heated shower block to ease aching muscles and if the aches and pains remained the following morning, breakfast was also included in the 35-ish Euros per night. The accommodation was the easy part and, between you & I, my only concerns were with the snowboarding itself as I had a grand total of 75-minutes experience – 60 minutes on a dry slope in Dorset and 15 minutes watching a YouTube tutorial. In just a few short hours, I would be on the slopes with a Team DC UK snowboarder – what could possibly go wrong?