Trip Report Austria 2017

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Heinz, Jan 21, 2017.

  1.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Time for another trip to Austria. Flying out tonight on Emirates to Vienna.

    My idea this time was to ski somewhere I haven't been before. Checking the map I have skied several areas through Steiermark, Salzburg, Tirol and a little in Vorarlberg and even Upper Austria. But so far never in Osttirol. I have passed through the eastern part of Tirol on the way to Italy but never stopped.

    The part of Tirol from St Anton to Kitzbühel is of course very well known. You rarely actually hear it referred to as North Tirol though - just Tirol. Südtirol (the part ceded to Italy after WWI) is also quite well known. But you tend not to hear so much about Osttirol, so had to do a little research.
     
  2.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    This is the region.
     
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  3.  
    Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Are those areas linked? It doesn't look like it to me, but I may be misreading the map.
     
  4.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    No they are not linked. Just all covered by the Osttirol pass.
     
  5.  
    Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    A lot of buses?
     
  6.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    A few. I'll be using different bases.
     
  7.  
    Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    One of the few areas i have not skied. Was thinking of Kals last january but a bit of a journey to Saalbach so chose Gasteinertal. Drove past Matrei in 2010- looked real good. Heard good things about Deffregental sidecountry . Wichtige abenteuer .
     
  8.  
    person s

    person s Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    looks great, of course
    this is my first winter trip to Austria and I'm seriously impressed
    off to the airport later today :(
     
  9.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    In Dubai now. As far as 13 hour flights go that one wasn't too bad. Listened to some Malian music, got a bit of sleep. Last hour or so did drag on though. Bus to terminal took a while as well.
     
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  10.  
    Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    Oh those rotten buses.
     
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  11.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Arrived in Vienna in time to watch the second run of the slalom from Kitzbuhel where Marcel Hirscher blitzed it to go from 9th to win!
     
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  12.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    WiFi at hotel wasn't working so at a cafe round the corner with WiFi with my Schnitzel and beer.
     
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  13.  
    tr+h

    tr+h Dedicated Member

    Can we get an estimate on cost of said beer and schnitzel?
     
  14.  
    SamArnold

    SamArnold Just Registered

    Just like being at the Payneham Sports Bar. Cheers !!
     
  15.  
    Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    Die wichtigsten sachen .:thumbs:
     
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  16.  
    Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Are you basing yourself in one of the villages and driving to a different resort each day?
     
  17.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Beer E3.90 Schnitzel E9.80
    So a little more than the Payneham sports bar.
     
  18.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Will be moving base each few days.
     
  19.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Genau.
     
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  20.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Overcast morning. Now on the first of 4 trains today.
     
  21.  
    Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    2 people one and only warning, next on is a ban from the thread. You know who you are, your posts have disappeared.
     
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  22.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Beautiful day now. On second train heading south from Salzburg approaching St Johan im Pongau.
    Train travel is 100 times more pleasant than planes especially with scenery like this.
     
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  23.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Good memories from Schwarzach-St.Veit from 2 years ago. Watched Hirscher and Fenninger win races on TV between trains. Anna's win won her the World Cup title that year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  24.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Now travelling through the Gasteinertal.
     
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  25.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    So after 4 trains, 7 hours, traversing 6 Austrian provinces, I am now in Sillian in Osttirol which is just before the border to Sudtirol (Italy).
     
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  26.  
    person s

    person s Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    I stayed in two hotels in Austria - Sankt Johann im Pongau and Vienna
    both had wifi issues
    the one in Vienna was the worst I've seen for a while - had to re-log-in several times an hour at one point
    hotel staff knew about the problem, so hotel management knew about the problem - a bit slack that they hadn't taken the obvious next step to have it fixed
    that didn't spoil Vienna for me, nor did the -10° daily temp - such a great city
    highlights were a Mozarthaus concert and a few galleries
    and I wish Sydney had trams like that
     
  27.  
    Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    My wifi in Gasteinertal was terrible too.Little pension in Saalbach was good .
     
  28.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Traumhaftes schönes Wetter, prepärierten Abfahrten laufen sehr gut, nur leider ausserhalb schaut es ziemlich traurig aus wie erwartet. Trotzdem eine schönen Tag.

    Jetzt aber muss ich die Nachtslalom von Schladming anshauen. Bis später.
     
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  29.  
    Hyst

    Hyst Active Member Season Pass Gold

    Dann müssen wir hoffen, dass es bald schneit.:whistle:
     
  30.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Schladming rennen war sehr spannend. Kristoffersen gewinnt knapp (0.09 sec) vor Hirscher.
    60,000 zuschauer dabei - wahnsin!
     
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  31.  
    person s

    person s Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    mein Deutsch ist schlecht
    bitte schreiben auf Englisch
     
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  32.  
    Hyst

    Hyst Active Member Season Pass Gold

    My english is bad, please write Danish.:clown:
     
  33.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    More blue skies and hard pistes here in Sillian.
     
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  34.  
    person s

    person s Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    I can't write danish but I have a picture of some danish

     
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  35.  
    BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Well-Known Member

    How does that compare with up north? Is the snow still absent in Italy?
     
  36.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Definitely more snow up north. Very little natural snow down here, it is completely reliant on machine made snow. But they have done an incredible job to make it as good as it is. Been skiing 1300 vertical metre runs here on very good pistes to the valley floor. Still able to ski 11-12,000 vm each day.
    Haven't had time to do a proper report and photobucket doesn't seem to be working properly either.
     
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  37.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Inversion layer today. Fog in the valley but.blue skies and corduroy heaven up here.
     
  38.  
    kaegee

    kaegee Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

     
  39.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Yes I am aware of that and may resort to that but normally use photobucket for this stuff.
    On the train to Lienz now after a nice day skiing. Was a bit colder today.
     
  40.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Jan 24-26 Sillian-Hochpustertal

    This is an area just a few kms from the border with Südtirol (Italy). The southern side of the Alps has been suffering from a lack of natural snowfall, so they have been completely reliant on snow guns making snow. It has at least been consistently cold to allow them to do so and they have done a brilliant job. Offpiste there is just the 10cms of snow they received a couple of weeks ago when on the north side of the Alps it was considerably more. It has remained cold - it has been a long cold spell in Austria, so that snow is still sitting there but on no base at all so not skiable. So that all looks pretty sad.

    The prepared pistes though with the machine made snow are in great shape top to bottom. The ski area is relatively small especially when limited to the pistes with the snow guns, but is still has 1300m of vertical which is pretty decent and with the cold conditions is consistently good top to bottom, so I did plenty of talabfahrts.

    Tuesday and Wednesday were both perfectly cold clear sunny days. Today there was fog in the Pustertal valley but it was just an inversion layer and most of the mountain was in the sun.

    The mornings were generally around -10C warming up a little through the day, except today. The fog remaining in the valley all day so it remained cold down there, it was maybe a couple of degrees warmer on the upper part of the mountain.
    Typically I would head over to the Villgratental side to the lower Ausservilgraten chair to start off. Very few people seemed to go down there so it was quite peaceful especially in the morning which I quite liked. The run there didn't go right to the valley so top to bottom was maybe 900vm.

    Seemed to be quite a few lower level ski school groups which based around the learner lifts near Gadein as well as the huge mountain hut there.

    Then I'd head back and do a few runs from the top (around 2400m) to the gondola base, so around 1300vm. Was a pretty nice run with a fair bit of variety, parts of it were winding mellow forest trails but then it would drop into some nice steep little sections, then emerge from the forest into an open field with good views of the town (when it wasn't under fog), then a short steepish finish. There were a few more people skiing that one than the Villgratental one but still not many. The main thing you had to look out for were all the people who were skinning up the trail, which I couldn't understand. They would presumably spend a good 2-3 hrs skinning up a hard steep slope only to ski back down it again as there was really no backcountry worth trying to ski.

    Today I tried a couple of quicker non stop runs from the top to bottom of the gondola and timed out of interest - still took around 6 1/2 minutes.

    So certainly not what I would call ideal conditions (that would need 30cms of powder on top) but you have to make the best of what there is and under the circumstances it was extremely good and plenty of fun. And according to the www.skiline.cc website I still averaged 13,000 vertical meters over the 3 days. I guess that is relatively easy if you are not trying to suss out the powder.
     
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  41.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    View of the Dolomites
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    Upper mountain - can see the machine made snow trails from the few cms of natural snow on ground.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  42.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Gondola talabfahrt
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    view of the town of Silllian
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  43.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Looking back up the gondola from the base - hard to imagine anything was skiable. Trail was off to the right of the pic.
    [​IMG]

    Looking down to Ausservilgraten
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    A couple more views of the area.
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    [​IMG]

    Germknodel (was looking forward to one of these for a while)
    [​IMG]
     
  44.  
    Stiffler

    Stiffler Active Member

  45.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    More of the same at Lienz Hochstein. Only a small resort so finished a bit early for a look around Lienz.
     
  46.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Keine veränderung hier in Lienz. Noch immer kalt, trocken, sonnig und harte kunstschnee Pisten. Aber da kann ma' noch ganz gemütlich schifahren und Spass haben. Inzwischen hab Ich zu mittag die Garmisch Abfahrt anshaut und es ist auch gut gelaufen. Bravo Hannes!

    English later.
     
  47.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Some more pics from the third day in Sillian.

    Inversion layer
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    [​IMG]

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    A nice spot for lunch. In retrospect though probably a bit too much on the cool side (-8C) to be having lunch outside.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  48.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Friday Jan 27 Lienz-Hochstein

    The town of Lienz has two ski areas directly accessible. Hochstein was a 10min walk or 2 stops on the local town bus away from the Gasthaus where I was staying so started with that. It has 3 main lifts but the top one did not have snowmaking so was closed.

    The bottom lift is one of those Chondolas that I hear is being planned for Cardrona. Confused me at first as I initially a gondola so assumed it was that, then saw chairs and thought I was on the wrong side. Only then realised that they alternated gondolas and chairs and that loading was done on opposite sides. Then caught me a little unawares as I saw the top station coming up while I was still doing up my boots, so it was much shorter than a normal gondola. I'm not sure I really see the point.

    Then there was a slow double chair which goes to 1500m which meant a vert of a bit over 800m. If the top lift was operating it would take you to around 2000m. Was pretty used to skiing machine made snow by now. Hochstein also hosts World cup races - Women's slalom and GS. Unfortunately part of that was closed also, so basically there was just one trail down. Was a reasonably long run, but I did eventually get bored with that and finished around 1pm and went for a wander around town.

    I had in previous years noticed quite a few ski tourers heading up the pistes, but this year there has been a huge increase. Today there were actually far more ski tourers than regular skiers on the mountain. I guess this is in large part this year to the poor snowfall so there is basically no backcountry at all - so they are reliant on the machine made snow. I almost felt guilty as I had the gear to do likewise, just not the desire. I'm basically lazy - if there are lifts I prefer to use them. Plus I had already purchased my Osttirol ski pass. They were pretty nearly all skinning straight up the piste which was steep in parts so were using the highest climbing setting so would have needed a bit of effort. After they reached the upper mountain hut (I'm guessing 2-3 hours) they stopped for lunch and/or a beer before skiing back down.

    Also being a city hill I noticed quite a few skiing a couple of runs, then hopping back in the car possibly going to work.

    Lienz is quite a nice little town as well, so was interesting to walk around, though it was still quite cold so eventually retreated back inside.
     
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  49.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Saturday Jan 28 Lienz-Zettersfeld

    On the other side of town is the ski area of Zettersfeld. This was 6 mins by bus from the same bus stop opposite side. Quite different from Hochstein. There is an access gondola which takes you to the area base at 1800m. There is no talabfahrt even in a normal snow year. There is also an access road that goes to the other side of the ski area at 1600m. Quite a few of the ski tourers were using that and thus avoiding the gondola.

    As mentioned earlier no change in weather and snow conditions. It remains cold, dry and sunny, the pistes are hard machine made snow and anything off that is basically unskiable.

    The ski area itself had 2 main chairlifts plus a couple of beginner tows. This meant there were more trail variations than Hochstein although the runs were shorter. Top elevation is around 2200m. So had a pretty cruisy sort of day switching between the two sides.

    In between stopped for lunch at one of the huts showing the World cup downhill from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Hannes Reichelt started first and set a very good time which no one else was able to match, so was quite happy with that.

    Again a large number of ski tourers on the mountain heading up the trails, but being a Saturday meant there were plenty of families as well so were probably just in the minority.
     
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  50.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Pics from Lienz Hochstein

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    It really is a town ski area
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    This is where the ski tourers hung out after skinning up the mountain
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    On the way down there is this chapel
    [​IMG]

    and from below
    [​IMG]
     
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