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Austria: Kitzbühel/Kirchberg 2016/17

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Last Saturday johnbarr and I went to the Kitzbühel area for our first skiing on non-glacier snow this winter. More lifts have been opened in Kitzbühel/Kirchberg now, so there was plenty of skiing for a day. Here's a photo of the board which can give some impression of what lifts and pistes were open...



However, my problem was the weather. When we reached the top of the Hahnenkamm gondola there was a thick mist. Here's a group of young skiers there, just starting out...



I imagine they did better than I did, for I had fallen three times before I reached the bottom of the Walde lift, not all that far away Embarassed

I did improve slightly as the day progressed, though with two more tumbles on occasions when I missed the edge of the prepared piste. In general, the snow was hard-packed and often rutted (mostly artificial despite our recent snowfalls, I think) though with a few more pleasant bits. Once the mists had been mastered (and the weather did improve slightly later, though it started snowing lightly in the afternoon), the runs were quite skiable. It was possible to ski over the Pengelstein to the Brunn lift and we did that several times, very enjoyable. Very quiet.

We also skied down the family Streif a couple of times. It was in good condition, though the Streif race course was still lacking snow in some places. Here's John at the top of the Alte Schneise which didn't have any cover...



And here's a view looking over to the bottom of the Streif out of the Hahnenkamm gondola (you could ski all the way down)...



All in all, a good day's skiing, though not the easiest, I found.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fingers crossed for a little more snow!! before my first trip out on the 12th
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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?
Still not much natural snow, jafa, but plenty of skiing. A friend and I skied the Kitzbühel/Kirchberg area yesterday, a real bluebird day. We were able to ski down the Family Streif to the bottom of the Hahnenkamm. Going back up the gondola we could see that work was in progress preparing the Traverse section of the Streif race course.


We spent a good deal of our time on the Pengelstein, skiing on the various pistes leading to the Brunn chairlift. The snow is virtually all artificial but generally good for skiing. I only had trouble on the steep Brunn black run 27c, where the piste was very hard and polished. I would hardly call it ice but it certainly felt like it and only on my third descent did I manage down without any real panic. The photo below is taken from near the top of the Brunn red piste 27b, showing the Ki-West piste in the Westendorf ski area on the other side of the valley; it wasn't open.


And this is a similar view looking over from the Brunn blue piste 27a towards the top of the Fleckalm gondola and the Ochsalm piste. The Fleckalm gondola was running but the piste down to Kirchberg wasn't open. Supposedly the whole area should open this coming weekend, so maybe it will be available then.


Although you might not think so, looking at the picture below (which shows a ski school group, maybe instructor candidates, going up the magic carpet beside the Streif starting house on the Hahnenkamm), the pistes were still very quiet. I doubt that will last much longer.


Another good day's skiing!
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thanks espri! Started the annual obsessive weather watch ahead of a trip to KB end of January. Any and all info gratefully received! snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
A foot of new snow on the Hahnenkamm today. Poor light and the odd scraped patch.
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I skied on Tuesday from Jochberg to Pass Thurn (Breitmoos) and back again, with perfect skiing weather: blue skies and sun but quite chilly. The pistes in general were very quiet, adding to the enjoyment. I started with a run by the Wagstätt gondola, shown in this photo (and I had more at the end of the day). The mists which at that time were hanging over Pass Thurn were gone by the time I reached there...



The second photo is of the piste by the Gauxjoch T-bar, with the Kleiner Rettenstein imposing in the background...



And here is a view of the T-bar itself on my return journey, going up to the Bärenbadkogel. There has been talk of this lift being replaced by a gondola but I don't know of any timescale for that development...



Although the recent snow had made some off-piste possible, I didn't try much of that. Lunch in the Toni Alm at the far end of my trip was good. An excellent day of skiing.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
For the last day of my ski season I went back to Kitzbühel yesterday, hoping that the snow we have had this week would mean reasonable conditions. I wasn't disappointed and had a good day's skiing. The area open was restricted...



I was surprised to see the Family Streif piste shown as open for what I had seen at the bottom obviously wasn't skiable (though I had seen two skiers on the piste). However, the answer was 'read the small print', for the little notice at the bottom of the board announced that the piste was only open to the bottom of the Walde chairlift, hardly any distance away.

I had a few runs on the Walde and then moved over to the Steinbergkogel which was really the only area open. Snow conditions were good, off piste too, though I found the deeper snow a bit heavy for my taste (or ability). However, skiing was fun. Here a view looking down into the Ehrenbacher Graben with the Kitzbüheler Horn in the background...



At the end of the day I downloaded on the Hahnenkamm gondola - how green is my valley...



And so comes a ski season to its end.
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