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Serfaus

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We have a possible opportunity to go to Serfaus 20-27 January. We are standard intermediates who are over the crazy stage and now like long motorway stuff, a few pints and nice food. We have one non skier in the group. Would really appreciate any advice about Serfaus please.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Serfaus is a great area, large quantity of high snowsure slopes, good mountain restaurants / huts and a bit though not massive Austrian apres. Most slopes suitable for intermediates although there are a few more challenging pistes. Perhaps not ideal for very early intermediates.

There are lots of threads talking about or mentioning Serfaus, have a go of the search. Would definitely recommend although note it's not the cheapest Austrian resort, but well worth a trip.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@timmythedog, Serfaus is great, but I'm not sure that a non skier is going to find a lot to keep busy. What does (s)he plan on doing?
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@timmythedog, As @Rowlski says. Here is my trip report from Feb this year

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3021357&highlight=#3021357

My wife who is a non skier, found a few well marked walks, but other than other activities such as tobogganing or zip wire rides there may not be much for a non skier to do. Mrs KK was happy reading and chilling in apartment.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Serfaus is a fabulous resort (along with Fiss & Ladis). There are plenty of blues/reds to keep you busy for a week or longer. The mountain restaurants are fabulous too. Not the cheapest resort in the world but it does have a more upmarket feel and the lift & snowmaking infrastructure is excellent. Apres is a little muted but there are some nice places to eat in town. It's a family resort - not a hard party resort. We loved it.
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+1,000,000 to the above.

We stayed in Fiss.
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@timmythedog, sorry totally overlooked the non skier bit. Not huge amounts to do though as there are quite a few gondolas non skiers can get to a few spots up the mountain. Also to you can do a trip on a piste basher which is pretty cool, we did it when we were there and all enjoyed it, kids and adults alike! If you look at the map it takes u from the Komperdell to the Masnerhutte.

I think you can go by bus fairly easily between Serfaus and Fiss too. It's not brimming with lots of shops and cafés like some places so depends on what your non skier is like, if they're active I suspect there'd be enough to do as the zip wire is also very good fun, a few walls as mentioned and you may be able to go snow shoeing too. But for the non skier I would definitely say go for it, with them I'm not sure.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Day trip to Innsbruck easily done.
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Thanks for all your help everyone. So we're going to Serfaus. To be honest I'd never heard of it but having done some research can't believe how little known it appears to be for a fairly significant area. Any further tips - especially re apres ( we know it's quietish) or places for non skiers to get to on the mountain for food gratefully received!
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"We have a possible opportunity to go to Serfaus 20-27 January. We are standard intermediates who are over the crazy stage and now like long motorway stuff, a few pints and nice food. We have one non skier in the group. Would really appreciate any advice about Serfaus please.

_________________
timmythedog"

i see you've booked serfaus. apart from some serious, serious, serious problems with (2/3) key lift bottlenecks, which really slow you down, it's good. however...there isn't lots of long motorway stuff, if you mean easy blues and easy reds, but not much. what there is is busy and snow suffers/gets mogulled accordingly...i hope you find it ok, but if it's not too late, you may/may not want to re-think. saalbach or cervinia (esp) perhaps if you do

It's generally quite a tough resort, ski-wise, with some (very) serious blacks and loads of proper reds and off piste. nord-seite (in part) and masner (in part) will suit you best, i surmise, lift bottlenecks to get there aside. i fear, tho', you might find quite a number of pistes and routes don't suit you, perhaps. food and on mountain restaurants v good; there's no apres really, tho' - it's familyville. hope you're in serfaus - easy access to mountain restaurants for non-skiers via gondola (komperdellbahn) - not so from fiss or ladis. an expensive resort, all in all.
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Thanks for the advice. Thankfully we can up our game to the Reds still and hope the bottlenecks won't be too bad! We will be in Serfaus itself so will hopefully find a bar or two and a couple of good restaurants!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@janny, that wasn't my experience at all (we've been twice to Serfaus). Yes, mornings can get a bit busy in the town (like 99% of the other places) and I've experienced a bit of waiting (under 5 mins) on the Pezid side. One great feature in Serfaus is that the slopes in the area right above Serfaus are in a wind protected bowl which can be quite handy esp in Jan. About the motorway stuff - it's not La plagne or Sella Ronda but it's not St Anton difficult nor Ski Welt with short pistes.
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I am afraid there will be more or less serious queues, and delays, on the following lifts: pezidbahn (key lift); masnerkopfbahn (key lift); scheidbahn (not key, just v useful lift); sattelbahn (not key, just v useful lift); schonjochbahn (key lift); almbahn; planseggbahn. pezid, scheid, sattel and schonjoch all esp. problematic, plansegg can be. Worst of all is Schonjoch: horrendous; pezid, scheid, sattel also v serious/serious. I have not been to SFL in high season. sfl is a very popular resort and, whilst the lifts are (mostly) fast, they are not of sufficient carrying capacity.

Getting up the mountain from lift base in serfaus is not actually the problem (although it will be busy).

If the wind blows hard (esp. foehn), 90% of the lift operation will shut down.

Unfortunately, Pezid and Schonjoch, with Plansegg, also key lifts to reach what little "motorway" there is. In terms of difficulty and on-piste (but not off-piste) challenge, St Anton is a good comparison to draw with SFL - concerning general piste "toughness" they are very similar areas.
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Quote:

St Anton is a good comparison to draw with SFL - concerning general piste "toughness" they are very similar areas

Really? I wouldn't say that was my experience. St anton also gets much more "moguled" (not a bad thing IMV).
Pezid vertical and the masner black are indeed very nice (and I really don't mind slower lifts in such areas as it keeps the pistes less crowded)
I also wouldn't say that schonjochbahn is a key lift for people skiing from Serfaus. I think i used once every 2 days? Maybe if staying in Fiss it's more of an issue?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
janny wrote:
I am afraid there will be more or less serious queues, and delays, on the following lifts: pezidbahn (key lift); masnerkopfbahn (key lift); scheidbahn (not key, just v useful lift); sattelbahn (not key, just v useful lift); schonjochbahn (key lift); almbahn; planseggbahn. pezid, scheid, sattel and schonjoch all esp. problematic, plansegg can be. Worst of all is Schonjoch: horrendous; pezid, scheid, sattel also v serious/serious. I have not been to SFL in high season. sfl is a very popular resort and, whilst the lifts are (mostly) fast, they are not of sufficient carrying capacity.

Getting up the mountain from lift base in serfaus is not actually the problem (although it will be busy).

If the wind blows hard (esp. foehn), 90% of the lift operation will shut down.

Unfortunately, Pezid and Schonjoch, with Plansegg, also key lifts to reach what little "motorway" there is. In terms of difficulty and on-piste (but not off-piste) challenge, St Anton is a good comparison to draw with SFL - concerning general piste "toughness" they are very similar areas.

Queues in January? In Serfaus? Really? The only mentionable one was the Schönjöchl draglift after 4pm in 2016 January. No other considerable queues in sight. Maybe I was just being lucky that week. Or that year.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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" Really? I wouldn't say that was my experience. St anton also gets much more "moguled" (not a bad thing IMV)." Yes, really. Perhaps your experience is lacking in some respect(s).

I wouldn't presume to say which resort "gets much more "moguled" (sic)" than which other resort(s), but what i can say is that sometimes st anton gets (in some/many parts) heavily mogulled and that sometimes sfl gets (in some/many parts) heavily mogulled.

"I also wouldn't say that schonjochbahn is a key lift for people skiing from Serfaus." the schonjochbahn is a key lift for anyone, wherever they are staying/skiing from, who wants to ski nordseite and some (possibly the best) bits of fiss which, together, make up - oh, just c. 20-25% of the whole area of sfl...: the schonjochbahn is the only lift access into nordseite and the only lift to those bits of fiss mentioned.

"(and I really don't mind slower lifts in such areas as it keeps the pistes less crowded)." As per a previous post: sfl is a very popular resort *and, whilst the lifts are (mostly) fast (not "slower")**, they are not of sufficient carrying capacity.

*which, of course, impacts on how busy the pistes are, whatever time of the season. ** laustalbahn and puinzbahn, though, are painfully slow.

"Queues in January? In Serfaus? Really?". See above and previous posts.

Good luck to the OP. Problems aside, sfl is a good resort.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@timmythedog, I've spent a couple of weeks in SFL and wouldn't recognise it from @janny's description. Pistes are usually well groomed and as you're going low season I wouldn't expect any major queues.
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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?
As @Valkyrie, says, I don't recognise Janny's descriptions. Feb half term this year and queuing was minimal. One queue of over 20 minutes on the Almbahn on the Ladis side due to the Schongampbahn being out of action. The main pinch point we found was the Familenbhan and Planseggbahn out of the bowl, but both can be got round by using other lifts. Maximum time queing at Manser or Pezid was about 5 minutes, but most of the time we had immediate access or has to wait for a couple of chairs or gondolas to go first.

You may however have to queue to get on the underground - either up to the lifts or returning in the evening, however once the ski school start and end timings were learnt, we avoided these queues.
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We've been last three years over New year, arguably the busiest time because there wasn't much open due to lack of snow so less dispersal of people but even then then the lift queues were never much more than 5 minutes in the busiest places.

For non skiers there is a special walkers lift pass which my wife buys every year so she can come up in the morning and meet us for lunch.

See Alm Hog is a great place to meet for skiers and non skiers to meet for lunch.

Serfaus is top notch, You'll have a great time
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Likewise don't recognise the busy comments. Went in March and barring short queue at the very bottom (Serfaus) experienced near zero queues. Grooming was really good and definitely don't agree on difficulty, lots to keep a blue n red run skier.
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Thought I would throw in my 2p...
We skied Serfaus last year 4-11 March.
I'd tend to agree with Janny about the pistes being surprisingly busy. For lower level intermediates who aren't adventurous, I would possibly recommend other resorts.

There were some points during the week that I found the skier density at near laughable / photo worthy levels. Areas of note - Schongampbahn area and the long red back to Fiss (#7) - pretty much at all times during the day; Masner - at one point, it appeared that literally every man and his dog were on these runs (literally, there was a dog on the run!)).

When I was skiing with my intermediate partners, I always had the feeling of people being around / the crowds. Never really felt isolated and free like I do in other resorts (and we did ski the majority of the hill)

I also found the home runs chopped and bumpy quite early in the day (partially due to the warmer temps though).

That being said, I did quite enjoy the resort - you just needed to move fast and pick your runs carefully (the freeride runs were amazing). Food on the mountain is also great. I just don't think that this would be the number 1 choice for "standard intermediates".
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@cwpski, You are spot on in what you say. Indeed, "standard intermediates" should best avoid SFL!
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