Although the best ski and snowboarding venues in Europe are located in Austria, Switzerland and France, there is a mountain near Kaiserslautern / Ramstein and Wiesbaden military communities that offer some great runs for a day or weekend of skiing, snowboarding and sledding.
Just an hours drive from Ramstein and an hour and half from Wiesbaden, this mountain gives you the chance to take off and enjoy a day of skiing without the expense or drive time involved with a weekend in the Alps.
Erbeskopf is the largest mountain in Southwest Germany with short runs that may not test the experienced skier or snowboarder, but is the perfect place to test your metal if you are a beginner or intermediate enthusiast.
Erbeskopf offers alpine skiing on three slopes with two lifts, two cross-country ski tracks (6.4 and 8km) and two sled runs (600 and 800 meters long) as well as ski rental, a ski school, a bistro and a restaurant.
The main slopes are 800 meters long with a difference in altitude of 160m, the third slope is 450 meters long. A training slope is available to those who need to practice before moving on to the larger slopes.
Two lifts run simultaneously to get you up the hills. Lift 1 runs from 11am – midnight, offering ‘Late Night Skiing’ to those who just can’t get enough of the white stuff during the day, while Lift 2 opens at noon.
Don’t worry if you do not have any snow gear – you can hire out everything from children’s to adult’s skis and snowboards at the Ski Verleih (Ski Rental).
To give you an example of ski rental prices: kids’ skis, boots and ski sticks cost €15 per day, the same gear for adults adds up to €20 per day. Be sure to bring your passport, drivers license or bank card as a safety deposit. You can also hire a sled for €5 for 2 hours. A small hill nearby is perfect for smaller children. Adult snowboard and shoes will set you back €25. For more information on pricing, please visit www.skiverleiherbeskopf.de/skiverleih-preise/index.html
The ski school (Skischule) is located in the same building as the Ski Verleih (Ski Rental) and offers ski and snowboarding courses for adults and children as well as cross-country skiing classes. Courses are held daily. If you would like to take part in a course, please call the ski school on 0049 163 8663540 to register in advance.
A 15-minute drive will take you to the town of Thalfang located at the foot of Erbeskopf. The relaxation and health center in Thalfang (Erholungs und Gesundheitszentrum) is the perfect place to stop in to soothe sore muscles. Comprising of a pool area, wellness and sauna area, solarium, children’s pool and bistro, the center is the perfect place to wind down after a busy day on the slopes.
Lift tickets are affordable and food on the hill and in the surrounding area doesn’t come close to breaking the bank (the way a day in the Alps can do) either so, really, you’re running out of excuses not to give it a shot.
Before you go:
Be sure to check out local weather conditions to ensure there is enough snow for a great day out. Keep in mind that the mountain can get pretty busy during a sunny, snow-filled day, but you’ll still be able to find your place.
Current weather and snow conditions can be found at www.erbeskopf.de/tourismus-kultur/wintersportzentrum-erbeskopf.html
On a busy day, ski rentals can get slim on the hill, so plan to bring your own equipment or rent from Outdoor Recreation on base before you go. Find your local Outdoor Rec by clicking on the Find It Guide military phone directory here.