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Saalbach - Hinterglemm - Leogang - Fieberbrunn 2018/19 Official Unofficial Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Google says 13 minutes Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

don't get off at the Leogang Steinberge station but the main Leogang station further on (coming from Saalfelden).

@espri, It seems a little counter-intuitive that you don't get off at the Leogang Steinberge station for the Leogang Steinberg gondola Confused Shock Puzzled
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
That's true but I hadn't thought of it!
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A new water reservoir had been completed in Fieberbrun. More info and pictures in FB link below:

https://goo.gl/wtmo7X
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Here's a video, recorded in Bobby's Pub last April, showing two of Saalbach's finest bohemians, engaging in a bit of impromptu apres-ski entertainment:


http://youtube.com/v/CNX3F_ybWuU
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I've managed to get an extra week in SH pre christmas (15 - 22/12/1Cool. If anybody would like some company piste skiing let me know.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We'll be there - let's hope the snow's good! Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Anybody know of af nice mountain hut on the top were one can stay one night with evening meal and breakfast in winter? Most seem only to do that in summer.
(Matrazenlager is quite ok)

Found http://www.seidl-alm.com/ but not really what we look for and did not get answer on one night stand.

http://www.westgipfelhuette.com/ and http://www.hochhoerndlerhuette.at/ don't take overnight stay either it seems.


Any other ideas? Madeye-Smiley
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@Hyst, of the top of my head www.spielberghaus.at you have to go off piste to get to it, there are others, can't think at the moment, Tatmantours will know Very Happy
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Some more suggestions, www.ellmaualm.at and one of my favourite stops the Sonnhof www.alpenoase.at., if piste 68 is open the www.hecherhuette.at amazing food.I've stopped at all of these but never stayed
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Other than the Hecherhuette (an obvious choice), the one we keep thinking about staying in for a night is the Bergeralm. Some friends of ours stayed a night in the Panoramaalm last winter, to celebrate their anniversary. They seemed to enjoy it.
I would have thought that many of these mountain restaurants offer accommodation - another two that spring to mind are the Sonnhof and the Hintermaisalm.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@tatmanstours, I've been coming to SH every season since 2006 - usually 1st week in January & 1st week in March. Last year I did 2 weeks in January and one in March (I bought a SkiAlpin card with the early discount). As I was planning to do the same this year and having a week's leave booked just before Xmas I thought I would see what things are like early season. if the snow cover is poor then there is always Kitzsteinhorn or hire a bike Madeye-Smiley.

I usually use the holiday shuttle from Salzburg - but am thinking of using public transport - I know it takes longer, but it'll be a bit of an adventure. Any tips for getting from the airport and back?


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Fri 12-10-18 19:56; edited 1 time in total
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Yorksboy, I've never transferred from the airport in any way other than the shuttle, although I've often been in two minds about taking the public bus, which leaves from right outside the terminal and costs (from memory of last year's price) 14 euros. Other people have reported that it's easy and reliable, as well as cheap. What has always put me off a bit is the extra hour or so that it takes, and the fact that it drops you (in my case) by the Schattberg Xpress, which would mean (for me) an uphill slog with the luggage, or a taxi. Minor objections, I know, considering that it's so much cheaper than the shuttle (which costs over 40 euros each, and there are two of us), and that I'm not usually in a break-neck hurry (since I'm there for the whole season). I suppose it boils down to habit, and "better the devil you know", which are both stupid ways of looking at it. I've just about convinced myself to use the bus next time.

It's been reported on here that the change of buses in Maishofen (the bus from Salzburg goes off to Zell am See, so you swap to the Saalbach-bound bus) is very slickly coordinated, with the bus drivers communicating with each other, and one waiting for the other to arrive.

The return transfer is a different proposition, in view of the usual necessity to leave early in order to get to the airport in good time for the flight. It may well make sense to get the bus for the incoming transfer and the shuttle for the one on departure.

I haven't ever contemplated getting the train, in view of the faff involved in getting from the airport to Salzburg Railway Station (admittedly only a couple of euros on a regular shuttle bus service), and then from Zell Station to Saalbach by bus or taxi. The door to door convenience of the shuttle has always seduced me - although I'm sure many people would disagree that it's the clearcut preferable option. I may even disagree with myself (that'll be a first).

As ever, transfers by public transport can be researched on "Scotty", the English language version of www.oebb.at
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We have used both bus and train regularly for the last 6 years. The kids/youngsters love it. It is easy by train to Saalbach and cheap if booked in advance and get the special group prices (for 5 people less than 10€ each!!) using the Einfach Raus ticket:

https://www.oebb.at/en/tickets-kundenkarten/schueler-gruppen/einfach-raus-ticket.html

It also means that all you have to do at the airport is jump on a no2 bus to the main station and then onto the train just waving the online booking printout (or use the app) and no extra cost except the 680 bus (about 3€) from Zell am See station (right outside) to Saalbach. We have found this the cheapest way to get there and fairly quick.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@JWillsnowhead, How long does it normally take? Also there was an occasion when we flew to Munich and got the train to Zell. As we emerged from the station (we didn't delay), the bus drove off, leaving us with the impression that the driver must be in cahoots with the local taxi drivers. Rather than wait for an hour or two for the next bus, we shared a taxi with someone. Have you had that kind of problem?
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Yes the shuttle is so convenient. I may do as @tatmanstours suggests and use public transport for the trip in and take the shuttle on departure day????
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@radar, @tatmanstours,
Thank you very much, will have a look around.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 14-10-18 19:30; edited 1 time in total
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
ousekjarr wrote:
@PeteMan,

When the Kaprun lift developments are completed to link the glacier to the Maiskogel area, I suspect they will look again at the abandoned plan to link Kaprun directly to Zell with a P2P gondola, at which point it all becomes an even bigger lift-linked area.


So - could you ski from Hinterglemm or Fiberbrunn to Kaprun and back in a day...? Guess it would be quite possible?
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I am considering a solo visit to Saalbach and have time booked off weeks of 5th Jan and 16th March. I suspect the Jan week is likely to see the best conditions (accepting that cannot ever be definitive) but does the January week catch the back end of peak season, meaning it will be much busier? Thanks for any local knowledge
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@toyah807, Hi
The week of 5th January will be classed as peak season when buying the lift pass. However, it isn't the most busy period - I've been going that week every year since 2006 and have always had plenty of skiing and uncrowded pistes. The 16th March is classed as off peak.
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@toyah807, The week after New Year week is obviously a lot quieter, as the public holidays are over - except for the Russian Christmas, but I can’t say I noticed many Russians in the last couple of seasons.
FWIW I remember saying towards the end of last season that, from the point of view of general skiing conditions, the most enjoyable times for me had been the middle of December, the middle of January, the middle of March, and early April. That is obviously no guide to the coming season, but my perception over many seasons has been that early January has shown a particular tendency to be snowy, and that there is invariably a cold snap with a sizeable dump some time in late March.
Last season was of course particularly good. The ideal is for the weather periodically to close in late in the day, for it to snow heavily overnight, and to wake up to blue sky in the morning, and that is how I picture last season throughout much of January and March. I really must start keeping a diary, so that I can be more specific.
From the point of view of crowds, both are pretty good times to visit Saalbach. I would be surprised if you encounter any crowded pistes or lift queues. Obviously there is a big difference in terms of the length of the days and normal air temperatures. The 16th March week is more likely to be sunny and mild. The condition of the pistes could be great throughout the day, like last season, or becoming springlike - good in the mornings/soft and choppy/mogully in the afternoons.
One attraction of skiing in Saalbach during the second half of March is “White Pearl Mountain Days”, which was launched a couple of seasons ago and has been a big success. Its formula of having mountain-top parties at a different restaurant/hut each day, with live bands and solo musicians, good food and freely-flowing prosecco goes with the image of laid-back, relaxed conviviality that the resort is keen to convey.
I was initially sceptical, but I’ve certainly enjoyed having somewhere to aim for and enjoy the company of friends in the mid-afternoon. And the ski down afterwards has always been good fun too.
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@tatmanstours, @Yorksboy, thanks both, very helpful. It angles me towards January......the potential for colder temperatures and snow of Jan probably shade the partying with potential for snow of March! Seems fairly equal on queues and peak vs cheaper lift pass price doesn't really worry me. It is the opportunity to zap round and about the circuit that tempts.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@toyah807, Let’s hope that early January doesn’t disappoint. It’s usually pretty good.
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News of the new Kohlmaisbahn gondola has appeared on Facebook today, alongside a picture of an unveiled, brand new, gleaming, red gondola (glad they chose red as a nod to the iconic, old "coke cans"):

"Forget red carpets - we've got red cabins! The brand new Kohlmais 10 seated gondola by Doppelmayr is similar to Schönleiten, but it's the first lift worldwide to be equiped with the new Omega V gondolas by CWA. Operating as of December 2018!"

For those eager to discover what "Omega V gondolas are", see: https://liftblog.com/2018/10/10/cwa-and-doppelmayr-introduce-omega-v/
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Interesting to read about the new cabin design but I'm not sure about individual seats (if that's what they are going with). On the plus side they will encourage full cabins since manspreading will be reduced, but on the other hand there's sometimes nothing nicer than lounging around when it's a quiet time of day and you can lean back for a wee sleepie.
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@honved, After having to stand up, often packed in like sardines, since time immemorial, these new cabins will be absolute luxury. Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
tatmanstours wrote:
@honved, After having to stand up, often packed in like sardines, since time immemorial, these new cabins will be absolute luxury. Very Happy


We used to call the Schoenleitenbahn "the sickie gondola" as a result of the sardines, now thankfully eliminated there. We don't go on the Kohlmaisbahn that much but perhaps that will change this season. I'm looking forward to getting to know some of the runs in that area a little bit better since one of the off putting aspects was the less-than-perfect uplift.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@honved, Since the Kohlmaisbahn is across the road from our apartments we and our guests use it most days, so it will enhance our lives considerably.
It will soon be hard to imagine that we once had stand-up lifts, T-bars and cranky old, slow chair lifts. There has been a massive amount of investment in the lift system, no doubt encouraged by the award that was won by Saalbach in 2009/10 (presented by “Where To Ski and Snowboard”) for “Best European Development”, when it was noted that the Ski Circus had the highest proportion of fast lifts of any resort in the world. Presumably they wanted to maintain their number one position.
I note that last years “International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism”, (published annually by Laurent Vanat and the winter sports tourist industry’s reference guide) notes that Saalbach has the highest number of gondola cable cars of all resorts worldwide (18 in total, by my reckoning). The new Zell am See Express from Viehhofen, to be constructed next summer, and the new gondola from Viehhofen to Saalbach’s Wildenkarkogel, projected to be added in four years’ time, will of course push the total up to 20.
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You know it makes sense.
So, that's flights and accommodation booked for 9th - 16th March 2019 Very Happy

Just left with transfer (Holiday Shuttle), ski hire and passes, which I plan to do a little nearer the time, unless anyone knows of any 'early bird' discounts I might miss out on by doing so?

Have wanting to ski in Saalbach for a while, so very much looking forward to it.

tatmanstours, very much like the look of the 'White Pearl Mountain Days' and certainly worth considering if booking again for a trip in March. How are the conditions generally that late, 2nd week in March on wards? They don't look to bad in the White Pearl Mountain videos.
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Hi All, I'm looking for accommodation in Saalbach for 8/9 people between 9th -16th March 2019. Budget around £2500, if you know of anything please let me know. TIA Ed
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@AnotherAndrew,
Quote:

Just left with transfer (Holiday Shuttle), ski hire and passes, which I plan to do a little nearer the time, unless anyone knows of any 'early bird' discounts I might miss out on by doing so?

I don't know of any advantage to be gained by doing it in advance. As regards ski/boot hire, I know that our friend, Hansi (who runs "Hansi's Best-Price") strives to live up to the name of his business and greatly prefers his customers to deal directly with him on arrival, rather than using an on-line agency - hardly surprising of course. He assures me that anyone I refer to him will be eligible for the extra-special "Tatman discount", which should be worth an extra 5-10% off the usual "best price".

Quote:

How are the conditions generally that late, 2nd week in March on wards? They don't look to bad in the White Pearl Mountain videos.

As you would expect in any ski resort, late March can be mild and spring-like, but usually with cold snaps and fresh snow. The sun is higher in the sky by then and has acquired some strength, which is good for the sun-worshippers and those who like to ski in a tee-shirt, but not so good for maintaining south-facing slopes in good condition. The norm (if there is such a thing any more) is for pistes to freeze hard overnight, so that the mornings offer some great skiing - often starting off icy, then going through a state of perfection around mid-morning, and beginning (in the case of the pistes that have been exposed to the full force of the sun) to become soft by late morning or lunch time. In the afternoons the south-facing pistes, particularly the lower sections can get chopped up and mogully, but much depends on how much traffic they have. When the air temperatures stay cool enough, like last season, even the south-facing pistes remain in surprisingly good nick throughout the day.

I think that some people make too much of Saalbach's preponderance of south-facing slopes and their supposed vulnerability to the sun during the late season. All it means, in my experience is that, unlike the early or mid-season, it is advisable, when the weather is warm and sunny, to give some thought to the orientation of slopes and to plan itineraries that make the most of the north and west-facing slopes during the afternoons. It's the same in any ski resort (and I've known some extremely slushy conditions in the likes of Courchevel, Verbier, Val d-Isere, St Anton, etc.) There are 270km of piste in the Ski Circus, and I would estimate that about half of the pistes are relatively sheltered from the damaging effects of the sun - for example most of the Zwoelferkogel, the best runs on Schattberg, most of Leogang and much of Fieberbrunn. We often ski the south-facing side of the valley in the mornings (and conditions are usually good to excellent), then cross the valley to find the best snow on sheltered slopes during the afternoons. The skiing over at Leogang and Fieberbrunn can also be excellent during late season warm weather.

I suppose that I should make it clear that there is always enough snow to last until the end of the season (which is for some reason earlier than usual next year). They generally keep everything running until after Easter, and then the resort closes through lack of holiday-makers (not many plan to go skiing in mid-April), rather than lack of snow. We invariably stay until the end of the season, and we've had some great skiing in Saalbach as late as the first week or so of April. The glacier at Kaprun is only half an hour away, but generally our guests are happy enough with what is available in Saalbach and don't bother going to the glacier.

A final word in defence of slushy, soft, mogully snow, which is often to be found low down on the south-facing slopes during the afternoons. There are people who enjoy tackling it, on the basis that it's still part of skiing and makes for good practice - position and technique become more important (anyone can enjoy skiing on perfectly groomed pistes), and once you get the hang of it, it can be immensely satisfying. There are others who find it too much like hard work, often because they are are inexperienced or unfit or skiing badly. However it's really unnecessary for anyone to take on the challenge if they don't want to; the Ski Circus has so many gondolas in all of its sectors that it's very easy to take the gondola down from mid-station and meet the other members of the party at the bottom. (From experience there's often not much difference time-wise, although the skiers may have to wait for a few minutes for the gondola-riders to arrive).

To focus on your point about "White Pearl Mountain Days", these mountain-top parties have become a big attraction during the second half of March. Despite my initial scepticism, we've found them very enjoyable and a focal point for planning the day's skiing. We've even discovered mountain restaurants that we might not have otherwise frequented, but which have been added to our list of favourites. Lunch time can be quite an entertaining event, and also mid-afternoon on a sunny day in late March isn't a bad time to head for one of these parties, have a couple of drinks, do some hob-nobbing and enjoy the music and the atmosphere, before skiing down just as the air is getting cooler and the snow is beginning to firm up a bit.

Last season I particularly enjoyed the White Pearl Mountain Days parties at the Panoramaalm, Mama Thresl's Hendl Fischerei, the Forsthofalm (never used to go there but now one of my favourites), and the Hochhorndlhuette (ditto). As you say, videos are available to watch on Youtube (wonder if I'm in any of them Laughing )


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 17-10-18 19:00; edited 3 times in total
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Sheddy,
Quote:

Hi All, I'm looking for accommodation in Saalbach for 8/9 people between 9th -16th March 2019. Budget around £2500, if you know of anything please let me know. TIA Ed

A week later I might have been able to help for at least some of the group.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@tatmanstours, thanks once again for the time you've taken in replying and the information, very much appreciated!

Regarding ski hire, it had always been my intention to use Hansi, following seeing your recommendations on the forum, and I'll be sure to advise him of it. What I wasn't aware of was that he prefers customers direct upon arrival. Now noted, and I'll wait until I'm in the resort.
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Looking forward to showing my kids what lift infrastructure looks like. They have both been doing 30 days + a season for 14 years, and have never been in a gondola.

A chairlift with footrests is a novelty for them Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tatmanstours wrote:
@honved, After having to stand up, often packed in like sardines, since time immemorial, these new cabins will be absolute luxury. Very Happy


I like the idea of the built in bike rack. The coke cans were amusing when topping and tailing with 5 strangers and their bikes. Nothing like 10 mins in a lift with someone’s handlebar jabbing you in the jaw.
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@Sheddy, hotel or self catering?
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Good Afternoon All,

It could just be me, I'm very sure it is! Razz , but I can't seem to see on the Saalbach website confirmation on where to purchase or collect ski passes from. Confused

Am I correct in thinking it would be the Tourism Service Center?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@AnotherAndrew, You just go the counter of any of the lift stations and buy one over the counter - takes seconds, and no photo required unless it's for 8 or more days. If buying for children, produce the passport as evidence of age.
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