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Saalbach and Zell am See connection

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@robboj, I don't think they'd get planning permission to extend westwards towards Schattberg, although I might be wrong. Even if the lift up to the Saalbach side doesn't happen (and it still might), I'm sure that Zell will stil market its skiing area as linked with Saalbach. (Puts me in mind of the St Anton/Stuben situation, as it used to be). As for the two relatively minor inconveniences that you allude to (the tricky piste and the ski bus), they might help to stem the potential swarms of migrant skiers coming over from Zell in search of a better existence. wink (incidentally it struck me today that the design of the Austrian flag appears to be inspired by the 'No Entry' sign?)
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tatmanstours wrote:
@robboj, I don't think they'd get planning permission to extend westwards towards Schattberg, although I might be wrong. Even if the lift up to the Saalbach side doesn't happen (and it still might), I'm sure that Zell will stil market its skiing area as linked with Saalbach. (Puts me in mind of the St Anton/Stuben situation, as it used to be). As for the two relatively minor inconveniences that you allude to (the tricky piste and the ski bus), they might help to stem the potential swarms of migrant skiers coming over from Zell in search of a better existence. wink (incidentally it struck me today that the design of the Austrian flag appears to be inspired by the 'No Entry' sign?)


Sorry, yes, Westwards rolling eyes

ZamS is a place that attracts return visitors year after year (I used to be one) because of what the town is as much as what the skiing is. I've probably had almost as many summer holidays there as skiing ones. It would certainly increase the flow into S/H for the better skiing although afaik Zell is pretty much full most weeks now anyway so would it probably just make the Schmittenhöhe a bit quieter from maybe the Tuesday of a typical week onwards once the competent skiers have covered it all. I wonder if the Kitzsteinhorn might be the bigger loser if the full link goes ahead. Early/late and poor seasons apart who really wants to take and hour or more from ski room to slope to freeze in a blizzard on bare slopes when you could nip over into the circus for more skiing than most could cover in a week?
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https://www.inthesnow.com/big-expansion-of-austrias-zell-am-see-ski-area-gets-green-light/amp/

Not seen this anywhere else
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@mbeaney, Yes, I saw this on Facebook earlier. It of course concerns the proposed expansion in the other direction towards Piesendorf. I hear that people are worried about the altitude of the south-facing slopes in that direction.
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Yes, should have bought that hotel in piesendorf that was on the market last year!
I used to have a copy of the plans from 2010 but can’t find them now but if I remember there was 3 new lifts and 4 new runs, which is more what the area needed I believe rather than the link run to Saalbach which will only be a transit route as far as I’m concerned, not bad to ski but maybe a little narrow and steep in places for some and not worth lapping round
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@mbeaney, If the Piesendorf project helps to alleviate pressure on the link to Saalbach and the Schoenleiten area, that will obviously be welcome. I was talking to our French neighbour a couple of days ago - she has lived in Munich for many years -, and she was very strongly of the view that large numbers of people will pour in from Zell am See, and that Saalbach will cop for the additional pressure, owing to its central location in the Ski Circus.
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mbeaney wrote:
https://www.inthesnow.com/big-expansion-of-austrias-zell-am-see-ski-area-gets-green-light/amp/

Not seen this anywhere else


I genuinely thought this was a dead duck years ago so surprised to see it. Still think what I thought then. A three month wonder in most winters that will be strictly mornings only by late Feb.
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@mbeaney, I'm assuming the new lifts are the ones listed here as planned (minus the zell-am-see-xpress I)?
https://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/schmittenhoehe-zell-am-see/ski-lifts/
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Tubaski wrote:
@mbeaney, I'm assuming the new lifts are the ones listed here as planned (minus the zell-am-see-xpress I)?
https://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/schmittenhoehe-zell-am-see/ski-lifts/


Seems to be the same as was published years ago then apparently but seemingly not actually shelved?

It mentions two gondolas and two new chairs one of which I reckon must be the link to the existing system. If it is the one called Kettingkopf then that presumably means its top station is around the Kettingalm hut which would seem a logical place. Might be the end of the skidoo tow back up from the Pinzgauerhütte though?
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@robboj, Yes I thought so too, I was guessing that the Kettingkopf would somehow link up there, either to meet the kappelbahn, or possibly the top of the Hahnkopf (?) drag. Unless they plan to replace the drag and meet another lift or piste at the top of that run. That would be a shame for me as I rather enjoy lapping that quiet shallow blue to practice things.
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tatmanstours wrote:
@mbeaney, If the Piesendorf project helps to alleviate pressure on the link to Saalbach and the Schoenleiten area, that will obviously be welcome. I was talking to our French neighbour a couple of days ago - she has lived in Munich for many years -, and she was very strongly of the view that large numbers of people will pour in from Zell am See, and that Saalbach will cop for the additional pressure, owing to its central location in the Ski Circus.


I don't see it being that bad TT and can't think that Saalbach itself will be much affected. I think it'll only be the competent to expert skiers that will want the extra terrain on a regular basis and they will ski as much of the circus as they can in a day then head back to Zell before the lifts shut. They are only likely to transit the Glemmtal villages and likely eat lunch up the mountain. Yes there might be a few who come to party but they still have to get back unless they want to pay for a taxi which isn't cheap or catch a bus which isn't included in the lift pass if they hang around after the lifts shut?

Also an interesting point in the link that mbeaney posted about how the Austrian Federal Court eventually ruled that economic concerns trumped environmental ones in the Piesendorf expansion plan. Suggests to me that if the allegedly last suitable site of the reservoir above Viehofen is geologically unsound then thats not necessarily the matter closed. One of the sites that were already rejected as environmentally unsuitable may then be approved, eventually, on that same basis.
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Tubaski wrote:
@robboj, Yes I thought so too, I was guessing that the Kettingkopf would somehow link up there, either to meet the kappelbahn, or possibly the top of the Hahnkopf (?) drag. Unless they plan to replace the drag and meet another lift or piste at the top of that run. That would be a shame for me as I rather enjoy lapping that quiet shallow blue to practice things.


Yes the Hahnkopf is another possible but I would think they would have to upgrade the drag lift for the return to cope with numbers. Funnily enough that's also where I head to do my drills and get back up to speed on the first day of a holiday in Zell, The drag can be a pain though, I reckon that about every second tow I have to pick up some tumbling urchin or beginner that can't stand for the length of it. Its a better bet on the Sunday/Monday of a week before the ski schools have progressed that far?

I have often wondered why they haven't done something with the drag lift but perhaps this announcement explains why as its quite possibly now going to be part of something much bigger?

The one that puzzles me most is the Hirschkogel Express up from Mittelstation. Literally the only bottleneck on the mountain outside of the busy weeks and for some reason still a 4 man chair and 20 years old which makes its positively vintage in Porsche AG tax write-off resort?
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So are we getting a link to Zell am See to Saalbach anytime soon or are they first expanding Zell am See south?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
südtirolistdeutsch wrote:
So are we getting a link to Zell am See to Saalbach anytime soon or are they first expanding Zell am See south?


Saalbach first, but for now only one way on skis.

From winter 2019/20 you will be able to ski from Saalbach using piste 68 then the newly completed two stage lift up to the Sonnkogel then down into Zell. The other direction will require you to catch a bus from Viehofen to Saalbach until such times as the issue of the location of the reservoir above Viehofen is resolved. As it stands S/H state that the gondola up from Viehofen on 'their' side would not be viable without artificial snowmaking on piste 68. If the environment vs economy argument goes to court it could be years away as was apparently the case with Piesendorf.

No apparent dates for the Piesendorf expansion as yet but maybe season 20/21 at best as I would expect they will need at least one summer to do the major engineering and landscaping, then another one to do the infrastructure and mechanical installations?
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Which ever of these projects goes ahead first I cannot think (when you combine with the K‑ONNECTION in project in Kaprun) of any other ski area world wide that is investing in infrastructure the way Salbaach, Hinterglem, Leogang, Fieberbrunn, Zell, Kaprun has over the last few years and the up coming ones. All available on the Ski Alpin Card for bargain price of 560 Eur (when compared to other areas).

I am out in Zell at the end of October for a bit of early season skiing on the Kitz and will try and find out any new info.
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mbeaney wrote:
Which ever of these projects goes ahead first I cannot think (when you combine with the K‑ONNECTION in project in Kaprun) of any other ski area world wide that is investing in infrastructure the way Salbaach, Hinterglem, Leogang, Fieberbrunn, Zell, Kaprun has over the last few years and the up coming ones. All available on the Ski Alpin Card for bargain price of 560 Eur (when compared to other areas).

I am out in Zell at the end of October for a bit of early season skiing on the Kitz and will try and find out any new info.


I agree and when you think of what is eventually possible if they did built a horizontal gondola across from The Schmittenhöhe to the Maiskogel then the sheer geographical distance from the Kitzsteinhorn to Fieberbrunn then fully linked would possibly be the biggest anywhere?
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Interestingly the straight line distance between top of Kitz to center of Fieberbrunn is 32.05km or about 55km using actual, planned or mystical transit lifts (between Maiskogel and Piesendorf) according to Google Maps. Would be a great days skiing and would make a great race!
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@mbeaney, It would indeed!
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robboj wrote:
südtirolistdeutsch wrote:
So are we getting a link to Zell am See to Saalbach anytime soon or are they first expanding Zell am See south?


Saalbach first, but for now only one way on skis.

From winter 2019/20 you will be able to ski from Saalbach using piste 68 then the newly completed two stage lift up to the Sonnkogel then down into Zell. The other direction will require you to catch a bus from Viehofen to Saalbach until such times as the issue of the location of the reservoir above Viehofen is resolved. As it stands S/H state that the gondola up from Viehofen on 'their' side would not be viable without artificial snowmaking on piste 68. If the environment vs economy argument goes to court it could be years away as was apparently the case with Piesendorf.

No apparent dates for the Piesendorf expansion as yet but maybe season 20/21 at best as I would expect they will need at least one summer to do the major engineering and landscaping, then another one to do the infrastructure and mechanical installations?

Ah thank you for the clarification
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https://www.schmitten.at/en/service/press/press-articles/the-hochsonnberg-project_p4015
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Piesendorf about 5 years away one last hurdle according to the link above
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JWillsnowhead wrote:
Piesendorf about 5 years away one last hurdle according to the link above


Thanks for the update. Long time to wait yet then. If Saalbach goes to plan it will be fully completed first by a couple of years at least.
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