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Saalbach - Hinterglemm - Leogang - Fieberbrunn 2016/17 Official Unofficial Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A bit earlier than last year, but why not?

Anyone looking for the guidance we've previously given on all things Ski Circus-related, please see last year's and the previous two years' threads,

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=121133#2928303
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=115193
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=104841&highlight=saalbach+2013

(all in all a veritable mine of information!)

There are also separate threads about the new links to Fieberbrunn and Zell am See (the former completed last year, and the latter projected - the first phase on the Zell am See side of the valley, between the mid-station and the top station of the Schmittenhoehe, having been constructed this summer).

I would just add two further comments:
(1) that this coming season's new lifts - the revamped Schoenleitenbahn and the new Express gondola linking the bottom of the Schattberg Westgipfel to the Zwoelferkogel - will be very welcome indeed. Yet more heavy investment in the lift system - reputedly the most up to date and efficient in the world.
(2) I assume that. with this year's new developments in the Arlberg, the Ski Circus has had to temporarily suspend its claim to being the largest, fully interlinked ski area in Austria, but will be able to reassert that claim as soon as the new link with Zell am See (already under construction) has been completed.
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Roll on the snow Very Happy Very Happy
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hi there,
I'm coming to saalbach on the 18th of march. I was wondering what the snow conditions are usually like around that time of year? What will the skiing be like? any info is welcome. many thanks
ryan
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@merch, Hi Ryan, impossible to predict - could be warm and spring-like, or cold and wintry. If it's any reassurance, before I retired and became free to spend the whole winter in Saalbach, Mrs TT and I used to have 2 weeks over Christmas/New Year and 2 weeks in the latter half of March, and we always used to enjoy the March holiday as much as the earlier one. You stand a good chance of being able to ski in a tee-shirt, but equally it could be cold and snowy, so prepare for anything. From past experience over more than 10 years, there will be ample snow, and you'll be able to ski down to the village on all of the main pistes.

If the weather is fine and the skies clear, the pistes will be excellent during the mornings (having frozen overnight) but those facing south may deteriorate under the increasingly hot sun from noon onwards. That doesn't mean they're not skiable, but it makes sense to plan your itineraries accordingly. The pistes at Leogang and on the south side of the valley tend to be better in the afternoons of the late season. Later in the afternoon, as the sun starts to lose its power, the pistes start to crisp up again, and we've had some excellent runs down the south-facing slopes at around 5.00pm.

Equally importantly ( Puzzled ) the apres-ski will still be at full throttle. There should also be some serious sun-bathing to be done.

Send me your e-mail address in a PM and I'll send you my comprehensive guide to Saalbach-Hinterglemm, which should answer most of your questions.
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@TatmansTours, I am looking forward to skiing with you and the Saalbach gang again, this time I may even get to the chicken man in time to get a chicken wink Wont be trying any more of the "speciality" local drinks though Wink
When are you and MrsTT out again?
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@Kooky,
Quote:

Wont be trying any more of the "speciality" local drinks though

Lightweight! Somewhere I think I have a photo of you sampling your first Bauerntequila. We'll be there from mid-December onwards. Looking forward to hooking up with you and any other snowheads visiting Saalbach this season.
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@Kooky, we're out for Christmas 20-27th if you decide to head over early season. Would be great to meet up with you and Scarpa again.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Can't wait to finally check out Saalbach. There for a week from 28 January Very Happy
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Delighted to find this thread, we are thinking of Saalbach this year, great to see the links posted, thanks a million for that.
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Flight booked for 27th January, is it snowing yet !!!!
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After a Jan trip last year and Mar the year before we decided to continue the rotation and go 11 Mar in 2017. Looking forward to some sun and great Apres ski. Will be returning to the Hotel Post which we are very fond of.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I went over to Fieberbrunn's Reckmoos Süd piste on Wednesday, to check out the work going on there. I believe that more snow-making is being installed, as needed on this south-facing slope. There was certainly work in progress, with 5 diggers and a bulldozer in action on the steepest part of the piste, though I couldn't tell exactly what was being done (I did see some pipework)...



Further down the piste, on the last drop before the bottom station of the Reckmoos Süd gondola, I had the impression that new drainage had been installed. There was also a wooden fence stretching across the slope, though I don't know whether that is just temporary or permanent (perhaps to build up snow below the snow cannon?). You can just see the fence beyond the first pylon in the photo below...



More interesting in that photo is perhaps the work going on on the other side of the valley, by the Vierstadlalm piste. There it looks as though the track which branches off from the Vierstadlalm piste (at the flatter linking track before turning down onto the final steeper section) has been widened. I think this probably means that you can get onto the easier zig-zag track which avoids the steeper sections at an earlier point. This alternative way down isn't shown on the piste plan. Here is a closer up shot...

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@espri, Nice to see that they're improving the pistes linking Fieberbrunn with Saalbach-Hinterglemm. The major developments, such as those I mentioned in the first post above, obviously take the headlines, and such other ongoing improvements and refinements are generally not known about (until you suddenly realise, as you ski down a piste, that it's been altered in some way). Both the extra snow-making on the exposed Reckmoos Sud and the improvement of the easier detour coming the other way (some people last season thought that the main piste was more of a black than a red) are well worth implementing.
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You know it makes sense.
@Tatman's Tours, yes, indeed. I also forgot to mention that work is being done on snow-making on the Doischberg piste. I haven't seen that myself but there is a report on the (German) alpinforum.com.
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Saalbach booked again after a cracking time last season! Is it snowing yet Very Happy
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I visited Saalbach yesterday, to see how the construction of the Schönleiten gondola is progressing. Very well, I would say. Here are some photos...

Bottom station


Enlarging the tunnel under the road (old tube on the right)


The new tunnel - less claustrophobic


Looking up the piste


After looking around in the valley I drove up to above the Eggerhof and then walked for around an hour to reach the middle station. Here's a view across the Glemmtal from the Schönleiten road with the Schattberg and piste 2b on the other side. The wooden pylon isn't from the new gondola but from the materials lift that goes up to the Seidlalm hut.

View across the Glemmtal


Work on the middle station is progressing well, though there is still some to be done. There was already a cabin hanging (and three more, also still wrapped up, sitting beside the Schönleiten 6er chairlift).

Schönleiten middle station




Schönleiten middle - west side


Schönleiten middle - the works


And here the view of the east side with solar panels on the garage wall, taken from beside the Hochwartalm - which I'm glad to say was selling Stiegl Smile

Schönleiten middle - east side


All looking good for December Very Happy
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Getting excited now, we fly out on xmas day and hoping for 9 days skiing Smile Am so glad the Schönleiten is being replaced as it was a real bottleneck outside of school hols so can only imagine what it would have been like during..!

Is there a new piste map anywhere which has the new Schattberg gondola on it as I'm not sure exactly where this is going to be?

Also - hoping we don't scar the kids for life when we introduce them to the Hinterhag Alm, has anyone else taken kids in there and if so are they still sane ?
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@p20pjd, the only other new gondola this year that I know of is the short 12er Express, linking from near the bottom of the Schattberg Westgipfelbahn over to the Zwölferkogel pistes. You should be able to see it on the piste plans on this page.
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just booking Saalbach/Hinterglemm - would you save £75 and stay in Hinterglemm over Saalbach? or is Saalbach worth the extra few quid (on like for like)?

Cheers!
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Disaster wrote:
just booking Saalbach/Hinterglemm - would you save £75 and stay in Hinterglemm over Saalbach? or is Saalbach worth the extra few quid (on like for like)?

Cheers!


@Disaster,

I would absolutely pay the extra. Saalbach is a dreamy charming little Austrian town nestled in the mountains, and has totally authentic watering-holes such as here: http://www.hinterhag.at/Alm.15.0.html?&L=1. Plus it has a town square with a church and sense of community.

Hinterglemm is a relatively new town sprawled along the main road, and lacks charm. But if you have a family and are on a tight budget, then it could be the place for you. Plus if the choice was between somewhere outside of Saalbach central along the valley road, and somewhere near a main lift in Hinterglemm, then one might be tempted to chose the latter.

Saying all that, there is no reason that Saalbach should necessarily be more expensive like-for-like.

What size/type of accommodation are you looking for? Maybe we can point you in the right direction.
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Thanks for the helpful reply. I think we've pretty much decided on Saalbach going on what you and others have mentioned, plus we're a bit closer to centre. I've booked an apartment, double bed, pull out bed, kitchenette etc. The only reason I looked elsewhere as I was peeved with the massive cleaning fee (they must have heard about my time in Soll a while back). Embarassed
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@Disaster, Don't forget to book the fantastic horse drawn sleigh ride at the end of the valley! This magical journey takes you through the forest in the early evening, then you stop for dinner at the Lindling Alm. There is a small farm for kids to pet animals, and when your finished, the sleigh will take you back.

http://tinyurl.com/zxgajm6
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I'd say there's definitely more going on in Saalbach and as above hinterglemm is a bit more stretched out without the charm of saalbach.

I'd advise staying as close to the centre as you can as if you're stuck between the resorts on the main road it can be a very long walk on an evening )though the buses are pretty good during the day when you have skis etc..

Heard about the horse drawn sled last year but didn't do it, where does it set of for from?
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The above being slightly true, Hinterglemm is still a nice place to stay. Certainly less going on, but it can still get lively. The links between the two are very good and it only takes a few minutes on the bus to get from one to the other. The nightliner bus runs in to the early hours too, so you can still partake and get carried away by Saalbach's apres!
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For £75 I would definitely stay in Saalbach. You won't regret it.
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Does anyone know what the likelihood of last minute deals to Saalbach/Hinterglemm are for 7th Jan? I usually always book 10 months or so in advance but I have a cheeky 5 days booked for St Anton in March with my eldest son. My youngest son will be away with school in Alpe d'Huez (yes, I know - how dare they) on 7th Jan for a week. So I would like to get a week in with my wife and daughter, who will be bringing along a friend for that week but tempted to wait and book a last minute deal in Dec. for the 7th Jan. Would be really keen to head back to S/H.
Thanks in advance
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@p20pjd, I assume that you must have been staying near the Schoenleitenbahn (?) and hitting it during the peak early morning rush (??), because I don't recall ever (in all my years of skiing of skiing throughout the winter in Saalbach) having queued for that lift.

Don't worry about taking your kids to the Hinterhagalm apres-ski party. It's family-friendly and some of our younger guests (i.e. even under the age of 10) love the place. Having said that, it depends on the individual child, as well probably as their nationality. At one end of the extreme, I remember the 10 year-old daughter of one family, who were staying with us, striking up a rapport with the band and being invited on to the stage to play air guitar and pose for photographs with them. At the other extreme, I've seen teenagers playing with their phones, rolling their eyes and looking mystified or nonplussed at the apres-ski antics of the adults around them, and asking to be allowed to ski down to their accommodation, because they'd rather continue to play with their phones in peace or watch TV, rather than suffer the indignity of being associated with their parents, who inexplicably want to sing and dance (on their seats, or even on the tables) to cheesy music that the younger ones just don't "get".

I think that the factors that predispose a child in favour of the Hinterhagalm are:
1) not being a teenager
2) ...or being old enough to drink a shandy or two
3) not having a smart phone
4) not having a Facebook account
5) having enough stamina to ski all day and then party for a couple of hours, i.e. not being tired
6) having a sense of fun
7) being educated in and able to appreciate the 'subtle' musical genre that is Austrian apres-ski music
Cool a high boredom threshold
9) being any nationality other than British or French (possibly also Belgian or Swiss)

Younger children will particularly enjoy sitting on their Dads' shoulders, trying to grab the goodies that cascade down from above (head bands, tee-shirts, hats, stickers, etc.) during the famous "Herzerltanz", which is the highlight of the party (at around 5.00 - 5.30pm) and has been going on every day of every Hinterhag winter season for the past 40 odd years. (See http://www.hinterhag.at/Herzerltanz.139.0.html?&L=1 )
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Tatman's Tours wrote:
@p20pjd,

I think that the factors that predispose a child in favour of the Hinterhagalm are:
1) not being a teenager
2) ...or being old enough to drink a shandy or two
3) not having a smart phone
4) not having a Facebook account
5) having enough stamina to ski all day and then party for a couple of hours, i.e. not being tired
6) having a sense of fun
7) being educated in and able to appreciate the 'subtle' musical genre that is Austrian apres-ski music
Cool a high boredom threshold
9) being any nationality other than British or French (possibly also Belgian or Swiss)



That list would cut out most kids/teens that I know!! In fact, 3), 6) and Cool on their own are enough to cut out most kids/teens that I know!! Very Happy Very Happy
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P.S. My son once (when in his mid-twenties) sagely observed that the Hinterhagalm is essentially "a rave for old people". Although there is perhaps an element of truth in this, there is quite a mix of ages, as well as nationalities, and it never fails to amaze me how other Europeans (especially) get so completely enthused and carried away (especially if they can do prescribed dance moves) by songs like, "YMCA" and "Wim o Weh", and "Do You Know The Way To Amarillo?" and " Hey Viva Espana". No doubt, it's for same reason that they, unlike the Brits, tend to take the Eurovision Song Contest seriously.
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Thanks for the info.

We'd tend to head up ten schattberg first thing and ski down the long 2b so it was essentially first thing. On est morning we even jumped back on the bus to saalbach as opposed to waiting for ages (although in fairness I expect the queue looked worse than it actually was).

Re the Hinterhagalm, I guess we just have to wait and see with the kids, I suspect they may also decide that it's a 'rave for old people' and they are too cool to partake.. they may actually be right but that's not going to stop us from belting out Sweet Caroline and getting all the words and actions to the German après songs badly wrong.. Smile can't wait..
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Thankfully Jnr meets 2, 5, 6 and 7. Although given his weight, height and boot size I'll be on his shoulders trying to grab any tat that is thrown out.
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We've only stayed in Hinterglemm in previous visits but are wondering about trying Saalbach this time as it would be more central from a skiing point of view. Are we likely to find it noisy at night because people are out on the streets or is it just a case of picking the right place to stay?
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@somborneski, Your reason for wondering about trying Saalbach tallies with one of my own reasons for preferring to be based in a strategically central location in the ski area. There are a host of other reasons why I prefer to be based in Saalbach, but I won't go into those unless you particularly want me to. I'm not knocking Hinterglemm, but on balance I feel that Saalbach has more going for it. You're unlikely to find it any more noisy than Hinterglemm. The bars and night spots are hidden away in subterranean cellars, so you won't hear them until you're passing through the entrance doors. You might get a few late-night drunks - hopefully not me or Mrs TT - walking up or down the main village thoroughfare (Dorfstrasse), but, unless you're a very light sleeper, I'd be surprised if that would trouble you. If you stay in a hotel on the main street, and your bedroom overlooks the street, I suppose that there would be an increased risk of being disturbed by late-night revellers, but we had no such problem when we stayed in the Hotel Panther years ago. Various friends of ours have also stayed in village-centre hotels and have never commented on or complained of such a problem. Most of the accommodation isn't located on the main street and/or likely to be affected by noise, so it's unlikely to be a matter of concern. By all means, ask me, or quinton, or any other snowheads familiar with Saalbach for our opinion on any accommodation that you might be considering.
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Thanks for the tips, will look at hotel options, probably going beginning of March.
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Taking my daughters (10 and 12) on their 2nd ski trip to saalbach on the 14th jan. Went sauze jan this year and while they enjoyed it it was harsh on them due to lack of snow so we are hoping for a bterr ski this time. We are staying in vorderglemm and not in saalbach itself. I have friends staying in saalbach and I'm wondering what the bus service and taxi services are like?
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@Kutocer, Busses run along the valley every 20 minutes until 17.00. From Vorderglemm you enter the Ski Circus using the brand new Schönleiten lift - turn left at the top and ski the circuit anticlockwise (Saalbach - Hinterglemm - Hochalm - Hinterglemm - Saalbach - Jausern/Vorderglemm) or turn right and spend the day in Leogang.

Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive and are available outside all of the main lifts and bars.
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@Kutocer, Here are the bus timetables - you'll see that there is also a Nightliner service after 5.00pm
http://www.saalbach.com/en/winter/skicircus/good-to-knowskibus/skibuspublic-bus.html
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Thanks for the feedback so as I thought no issue getting back late evening. Friends have been before but that was a few years ago before the new links so will be alot new to them just kneeling to the snow gods for a good season.
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I'll pray with you Kutocer
snowHead

I'm so excited about 2017. Visiting three resorts I've never been to before (including Saalbach) plus finally have my own skis. Just need the snow.
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Here's an article to get you even more excited: http://www.ski-buzz.co.uk/ski-blog/saalbach-best-ski-resort-world/?isalt=0
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