My colleagues told me Semmering was small. They said it would be okay for a short day trip since it's so close to Vienna, but it's not very exciting. I decided to check it out last weekend anyway. My hopes were high, but when I arrived it was to dirty green fields and a muddy parking lot. Not a snowflake in sight. Plenty of rain, though. Not quite what I'd had in mind, but oh well, I thought, I've skied in rain before.
I got my lift ticket and skis and hopped into the gondola. To my relief, snow appeared both on the ground and in the air before we'd reached the first drop-off point. At the top, I hopped off somewhat puzzled about what had happened in the last ten minutes of my life, because everything, as far as I could see, was covered in a heavy blanket of white.
Here's the thing. In my opinion, a ski resort can be characterised as small if it has several distinguishing features:
a) there is only one place to eat,
b) you take the chairlift up to the top and ski down to the bottom; you do not take the chairlift up and then take a second chairlift up higher and then ski partway down so that you can take a third chairlift up to the actual top,
c) the weather at the top is the same as the weather at the bottom.
It was great. And had I only carried on a bit longer, I'm sure I'd have been successful in disposing of my mother's nose.