1. In Mayrhofen there are a LOT of English people, you won’t struggle with the language at all. Most of the people living there during the winter are Dutch, German, Swedish etc and all speak amazing English (it really does make you feel ashamed that the British are so lazy at learning other languages)
2. Don’t worry if you can’t find a job straight away, save up enough money to stay there for a few weeks and you will find a job while you are there. People get injured, start to miss home, run out of money etc which means there will be jobs popping up around the resort and the employers will want someone to work for the ASAP. Just keep in the loop with the people that already have jobs and ask them to keep an eye out for you. I even got a job shaping the park and was 1 of only 3 girls working for Qparks that winter. It’s hard work but totally possible, if you want to do something don’t let anyone stop you.
3. Penken Park is awesome, I worked there for a season and had so much fun. Penken is where the main snow park in Mayrhofen is but if you get bored there are plenty of other places to ride in the valley. You can even use the train for free with your lift pass so that makes it super easy to spend the day in another resort like Zillertal Arena which even has it’s own free airbag for you to use. Kaltenbach is a bit further down the valley but is well worth the visit if you like Kickers, they build them really nice and beginner friendly and also have nice pro line jumps too.
4. Buy a Tirol Card instead of just a Mayrhofen season pass. It’s only about 70 euros more but it means you can ride at 86 resorts in Austria. That way when you friends decide to do a road trip you only have to chip in for fuel then. It also works for the glacier Hintertux which means you can do plenty of pre and end of season riding when the other resorts are closed. Even if your not doing a season in Mayrhofen always look for a season pass that covers more than one area, the extra money is worth it if you want to ride at more than 1 resort for the winter.
5. Don’t bother packing heels for nights out! Seriously you will end up with your feet slashed to pieces. Pretty much every bar/club in town has a massive layer of broken glass on the floor. Get used to wearing a beanie, trainers and an xl hoody to go out in.
6. You will meet some of the soundest people on the planet and you will always have a connection with them. Even when you leave and go home you will remember them because those powder days where your with 6 of your girl mates and do nothing but bail in powder and laugh for hours are never forgotten.
7. Being skint in a ski resort TOTALLY beats being skint in rainy england. who cares if you only have 10 euros a week to live off.. that can still buy you 7 budget brand pizzas, & 15 cans of terrible beer and still have a bit of change left over. Seriously though waking up to the most beautiful view of snowy mountains beats waking up and seeing nothing but drizzly rain and miserable people everywhere.
8. Unlike girls at high school/college/university pretty much 99% of girls living in a resort are the sweetest girls ever. I think there is this mutual understanding that we are outnumbered and we all just stick together so we know there’s always someone to have our back. Shredding with guys is great and you learn a lot from them but it’s not the same feeling as riding with like minded girls that just want to have fun on the mountain and not put pressure on each other. Yeah there is always going to be the odd group of super intimidating girls that are waaaay too cool to be riding with a punter like you but nobody cares! You can just jealously observe as they hit the pro line jumps and then use it as motivation to progress.
9. Don’t be scared of the park, the worst thing I have done during winter seasons is let the pressure get to me. Yes, the chairlift goes directly over the park. Yes, everyone can see you if you fall over but NOBODY CARES. Just laugh it off, brush the snow out of your pants and try it again. People will start to admire you for sticking at it and when your practice pays off and you can finally shred a line with the lads they will respect you loads (even if they might not show it)
10. Remember to pack summery clothes for the end of season. It’s weird packing shorts and bikini tops when your going away for a winter season but as soon as it gets to march/april you will be melting! Mayrhofen gets super hot really quickly during spring and you will spend a lot of your afternoons sunbathing in the park. The park in town is really nice, there is a skate bowl, basketball courts, volleyball courts and a huge football field.
End of season BBQ’s at the caves are a lot of fun too, this awesome little spot has a river running through it and a big beach. Nobody bothers you there so you can make the biggest bonfire ever and just take in the epic view of the caves.
If your not sure about doing a winter season I would say just go for it! The worst that could happen is you run out of money and end up back at home but at least you tried it and found out if it’s the right thing for you. Persuade your best mate to go with you, even if you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding before go for some lessons and give it your best shot. You will at least have hours of laughing at each other catching edges whilst trying to master the art of turning.
I hope this has helped give a little bit of an insight into winter seasons!