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Zell am See experts please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

I'm thinking of a day trip to Zell from our base in Maria Alm during Feb half term and was after some info please

- Is there only the one gondola/lift up the mountain and does it have plenty of parking? If there are multiple, which do you recommend and do they have parking. If they don't have parking where do you recommend I park for easy access up

- The skiers will be myself and my 2 teenage sons and we'll be happy on pretty much anything piste wise although would prefer to avoid hard blacks. Do you have a particular route you recommend?

- I've read on here about the Pitzgauer Hutte which seems an ideal spot for lunch. Is it possible to ski to, and away from? My, probably, non skiing wife and SIL may come along if it's a nice sunny day to do a bit of view watching, is it possible for them to get to and from the Pitzgauer? Any other spots that can be recommended for view watching?

- Should my wife (doesn't particularly like it) and SIL ( her first time but quite sporty) decide to ski, are there easy blues around to keep their attention between view watching?

As an FYI, I am already going to go to Leogang/Saalbach/Hinterglemm on 2 of the other days, so it's only Zell info I'm interested in please

Thanks in advance for any help
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@robandliza, There is a detailed piste map at www.schmitten.at which also shows all of the huts. Pinzgauer Hütte is accessed by ski from the top of Schmittenhöhe.

There are 4 gondolas up the mountain. The best parking is at Areitbahn, which is the other side of Zell from Maria Alm. Drive through the tunnel and follow the signs. Parking at the other gondolas is limited.

If you are skiing Maria Alm, Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang and Zell am See, buy a Salzburgerland Super Ski Card which covers all these resorts and costs little more than the local card. If you have less experienced / nervous skiers, then enter the Saalbach ski circus at Saalbach or Schönleiten outside of Saalbach or Leogang rather than at Fieberbrunn. The links to/from Fieberbrunn are challenging reds.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 11-01-17 21:54; edited 1 time in total
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Thanks Quinton

So non skiers would not be able to go to the Pinzaguer, right?

And already all over the Super ski Card as used it last year. I'll park in Leogang one day to ski the Saalbach end but was going to go to Saalbach to do the Hinterglemm end. Do you think it;s possible to get to Hinterglemm and back from Leogang in a day?
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3 lift stations (Schbutt, Zell am see and Schmittental) up Zell am See. All have car parks. I always thought Austria skiing resorts are car-friendly as I never had a problem to find a place and never had to pay.

For beginners best go to Scbuttdorf where there are two beginners runs at the bottom and a gondola that runs to the peak where there are some gentle blue runs available. You can check its piste map for details.

For easy car parking try to reach there early as Scbuttdorf car park is probably the largest.

Zell am See is significantly smaller than Leogang/Saalbach/Hinterglemm. Its ski pass covers Kaprun too which is a small but high glacier resort on it own at 3.8m from Schuttdorf station.

Maria Alm is about 14 miles from Schuttdorf which near the main road as you would pass the other two first which are off the main road.

Having a few more black runs down the mountains Zell am See is a lot harder (especially when there are icy areas) than Saalbach/Hinterglemm/Leogang but it does have easy blues at the top and mid levels.

Don't have comment on lunch places but never had any complaint either.
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My Zell am See piste map is pretty old but within the 3 lift stations Scmittental does have twin gondolas so 4 gondolas from 3 lift stations.

Pitzugauer Hutte is on the opposite downhill side of the peak and the lift is a chairlift which mean one must ski down the blue run No. 3 which may or may not be challenging to a beginner depending on one's ability to cope.

From own experience I normally find parking not a problem if I arrive say before 9:30am in an Austrian resort. But for Schbuttdorf I probably try at least 20 minutes earlier as traffic can build up pretty quickly because it is a junction point for several trunk roads.
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@robandliza, A reasonably fast skier can easily do this circuit in a day: Leogang - Saalbach - anticlockwise via Bernkogel around the circuit to Hinterglemm and Hochalm - up Zwölfer Nord - down to Hinterglemm - up Westgpifel - across to Schattberg and down 2b to Schönleiten then turn right and back to Leogang.

The Areitbahn is the lift located in Schuttdorf.
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Thanks again Quinton

Thanks Saikee
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saikee wrote:
3 lift stations (Schbutt, Zell am see and Schmittental) up Zell am See. All have car parks. I always thought Austria skiing resorts are car-friendly as I never had a problem to find a place and never had to pay.

For beginners best go to Scbuttdorf where there are two beginners runs at the bottom and a gondola that runs to the peak where there are some gentle blue runs available. You can check its piste map for details.

For easy car parking try to reach there early as Scbuttdorf car park is probably the largest.

Zell am See is significantly smaller than Leogang/Saalbach/Hinterglemm. Its ski pass covers Kaprun too which is a small but high glacier resort on it own at 3.8m from Schuttdorf station.

Maria Alm is about 14 miles from Schuttdorf which near the main road as you would pass the other two first which are off the main road.

Having a few more black runs down the mountains Zell am See is a lot harder (especially when there are icy areas) than Saalbach/Hinterglemm/Leogang but it does have easy blues at the top and mid levels.

Don't have comment on lunch places but never had any complaint either.


would echo that, not sure where the parking in Zell am see centre and the city express gondola is very busy. Areitbahn at Schuttdorf has a massive carpark, but also a fairly busy Gondola, but its straight upto the blue slopes up top and has the beginner runs too at the bottom. The quietest access point is the Smittenhoebahn lift and Trass express at Schmitten, - no queues as it slight out of toiwn and has two gondolas, but involves going through centre of Zell so you probably drive past both the other gondola's therefore negating your time saved on queueing, and the return runs down as both black - but you can gondola back to it in any event.
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I can recommend the areitalm restaurant for non skiers, easily accessed via the areitbahn lift. wife and friend spent a good few hours there people watching and enjoying the gluhwein! wink
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@robandliza, scrub what I said above, from the direction you are coming, you should park at Schmitten, its close and the queues are minimal, you can be at the top in 15 mins from pulling into car park rather than changing lifts a couple of times from other access points. There are two beginner T bars at the bottom which the non skiers could us if so desired and access via either Trass or Schmittenhoe gondola direct to the top blue slopes should they want something a little longer / more challenging, plus they can watch activities over a coffee from the bar there.

For a nice lunch up the mountain head up the Sonnalmbahn from same Schmitten base to Hotel Blaickners just at top of that gondola. its a proper hutte / lunch spot near a gondola, as opposed to at food service point in a gondola station. Lots of nice quiet cruisey reds up on that side for you and son, best skied in the morning as gets sunny and can hence a bit soft by pm. Don't be tempted to ski down from Blaickners, take the gondola, that run is horrible low down except early morning as it turns to mush in the sun - or work your away around to top of Schmittenhoe and take one of those gondola back to the car park.
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Great advice and recommendations all round

Thanks very much to everyone
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t44tomo wrote:
@robandliza, scrub what I said above, from the direction you are coming, you should park at Schmitten, its close and the queues are minimal, you can be at the top in 15 mins from pulling into car park rather than changing lifts a couple of times from other access points. There are two beginner T bars at the bottom which the non skiers could us if so desired and access via either Trass or Schmittenhoe gondola direct to the top blue slopes should they want something a little longer / more challenging, plus they can watch activities over a coffee from the bar there.

For a nice lunch up the mountain head up the Sonnalmbahn from same Schmitten base to Hotel Blaickners just at top of that gondola. its a proper hutte / lunch spot near a gondola, as opposed to at food service point in a gondola station. Lots of nice quiet cruisey reds up on that side for you and son, best skied in the morning as gets sunny and can hence a bit soft by pm. Don't be tempted to ski down from Blaickners, take the gondola, that run is horrible low down except early morning as it turns to mush in the sun - or work your away around to top of Schmittenhoe and take one of those gondola back to the car park.


Agree with all above but would say it doesn't matter which hutte you go to for lunch. I've eaten in most and they are all great. I doubt non skiers could get to the Pizgauer. You ski to it then get towed back to the piste behind a snowmobile. The food there is fab and the prices are reasonable too. There is also a new a new hutte at the top of the Hockmaisbahn which is superb too. The only one we struggled with was the new Eder Hutte because it was rammed but the Kettingalm is only 30 seconds away from that.

As far as skiing back down to the Scmitten is concerned, the black run 13, Standard Abfarht is not very difficult at all. My 7yo did it about 4 times just before xmas. There are only 1 or 2 steep sections and you can take the slope out of them by going around the edges. My OH who is not so confident also skied it 3 times.

Avoid Schuttdorf / Areitbahn first thing at half term, the queues can be quite bad by all accounts. Drive into town then hook a right up to the Schmitten. Loads of parking and you get the choice of the Tras Xpres Gondola (best option) or 2 cable cars.

Enjoy
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Thank you Kenny
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@robandliza, Yes @KennyEverett is probably right about non-skiers for the Pinzgauer Hutte but IMHO they could get to it but would likely have to walk from the top of the Trass Xpress down the side of blue 3 and then down the path from the bottom of the Kappellenbahn. They could probably blag a lift back up on the back of the snowmobile that tows the skiers then get the Kappellenbahn chair back up although I'm not sure I've ever seen a fußgänger on that chair as the upload access is a magic carpet. So, yes, it could be done but the individual would have to be pretty fit in case they had to walk all the way down and all the way back up again. Again my opinion but the highlight of the Pinzgauerhutte is the snowmobile tow back up rather than the food itself. Thats not to say its not good, it is and as others have said there's not a bad place on the mountain, even the big sheds that are owned by the mountain company are absolutely fine and good vfm.

If you can get parked at the Schmittenhöhe valley base station the the easiest access to a good restaurant would be using the Sonnenalmbahn cable car up to Blaickners Sonnalm or as an alternative take the main cable car to the top and it's a short walk along the top plateau to the north to my personal favourite which is the Hochzelleralm. Its all my opinion though and everyone's is different. Ask away if anything else?
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Agree with @t44tomo[/b], @KennyEverett, @robboj, apart from the pinzgauer hutte bit. For me the only reason to go there would be the view and maybe their KaiserSchmarren - it is beautiful but can obviously be seen from the piste... I find the rope tow a bit gimmicky and only worth doing once! Is needed as no piste away from the hut, so it's a tow or off piste and its not suitable for anyone with an arm/shoulder injury as it's quite long. That said I'm sure teenage boys would love it! Another nod for Blaickners - I love it there - it's very good for none skiers (I spent a week going there while injured and the family who run it are lovely). It is also possible to go to the top of the Sonnenalm via the Sonnkogelbahn chair lift. The view and beer up there is the best in Zell. It's just a short walk from Blaickners (and the cable car to the bottom where the car park is). The lifties there are very helpful and will slow the chair lift for those on foot. My rather immobile mother in law manages it... She can no longer ski but comes with us to soak up the views and "ride the lifts" she manages to get mostly everywhere... Confused The restaurants and views at the top of Schmittenhohe accessesd via the Trass express from the same car park at the Sonnenalm lift are also good for skiers and non skiers alike.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@frankEvb, the Hirtenspieß at Blaickners is amazing!
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This thread was worth reading!
Thanks guys I'm looking forward to going in a couple of weeks and we're going to graze our way all around those mountain Hutten.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@DrLawn, Are you there w/c 28 Jan?
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@robboj, Agreed - and they also do the best Kasnocken on the hill, although the Gruner Baum is hard to beat in town... How's your foot? No wait - wrong thread!
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@frankEvb, Seems fine....? Puzzled Shock Skullie
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@DrLawn, one thing no-one seems to have mentioned is the Tauern Spa in Kaprun which I've been told by a number of people is very nice (although I haven't tried it personally). There is also a decent public pool / lesure centre in Zell. IIRC you can pay a small supplement to add a weeks access to swimming at the Zell pool to your lift pass.

If the lake freezes over maybe you could even try this Wink https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=954074351392294&id=850955088370888

Enjoy your trip!
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@robboj, sorry wrong thread and wrong robboj!! Embarassed Its all in the 'b's'! (An easy mistake for a dyslexic to make... rolling eyes) I do still, however, sincerely hope that both your feet are ok! Blush
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Thanks guys, much appreciated
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