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|Well have eventually got round to it , but perhaps a good time to post such a thing
Resort: Radstadt - Altenmarkt
Domain: Ski Amade
Author: Frosty the Snowman
Date: 2-5th Feb 2008
Our holiday: A Family of 2 adults and boys aged 13 & 11. Parents fairly comfortable on all pistes, kids fairly comfortable on anything white. Took one other snowHead with us and meeting up with other snowHeads who had spent a week in Saalbach
Website : http://www.radstadt.com/ http://en.skiamade.com/
Basics : We flew http://www.thomsonfly.com/ from Manchester to Salzburg using an early morning flight and an evening flight home. This allowed us to do 3.5 days skiing with only 3 nights accommodation required. We had pre booked a taxi for 5 and this worked very well. I would suggest a link from whichever resort you choose to their local taxi companies. It was â‚¬20-25 pp per journey
Lift system : have a play around on this to see how big the Ski Amade is: http://www.skiamade.com/en/winter/skiresorts/slopepanorama/?region=ss
In general this area of the ski Amade is chock full of the most wonderful high speed lifts. 4,6 7 & 8 person detachable chairs (many with covers), and high-speed gondolas. The local hill (850m-1570m)has 2 sides to it: Radstadt and Altenmarkt. Radstadt 2 superb lifts: A stonking 8 man gondola from Radstadt, all the way to the top of the hill via a mid station, and a covered chair high speed quad from a separate area half way up the hill to the top. Altenmarkt side has similar high-speed quad from half way BUT an ancient 2 man chair from village to mid-station. This was the cause of our biggest queue of the week
The terrain : The Radstadt-Altenmarkt hill has two sides to it, each side running down to the respective towns. The Radstadt side has two ways down; red or blue. Both are lovely runs through the trees. The blue splits at the top with one going down to a nice hut and a covered chair. It has a free, timed slalom on the left hand side near the bottom which was huge funâ€¦â€¦â€¦.for the kids who whupped my, Mrs FtSâ€™, Jerryâ€™s and You Raangâ€™s respective butts. The run then rejoins and runs parallel to the red down to the bottom. The blues are not flat but confidence building for the nervous skier. The reds are not that steep but can be ripped by the better skier. One morning we were ripping the red near the bottom and I got a bit casual and was not getting enough edge in. Near the bottom it was very crisp due to the warm weather the previous afternoon and I had a most enjoyable 50-metre slide on my arus!. The Altenmarkt side is much the same but again has lovely variety. There is an easy blue route down which is huge fun and goes through gardens, over roads, across pasture and has rollers bends, the lot. The skiing is limited on this hill but it is good skiing, and we skied it for 2 full days and had HUGE amounts of fun doing so.
At Altenmarkt we crossed the road, hopped on a ski bus and within 10 minutes were in the resort of Zauchensee. Almost purpose built, this resort has about 60 km of skiing and was a massive surprise. Stunning lift system, both gentle and challenging pistes, and off piste potential thrown in. I was blown away by this place with its ski in (not many places are ski out) capability. Everything looked brand-new and the quality and variety of piste, coupled with an altitude between 1350m and 2100m, resulted in great snow for this super resort. To say 60 km is misleading as from the top of the Lackekcogel one can take red or blue down to Flachauwinkel. From there one can catch the ski bus down to Flachau or the Tractor tram for the short hop under the motorway to the main part of Flachauwinkle. Lovely runs, and an alledgedly great snowpark here, plus the ability to ski over the top and down to Kleinarl, with guess what?â€¦.loads more great skiing.
We caught the ski bus down to Flachau but being new to the area we got off at the wrong stop and had a long walk to the ski area. If doing this journey then get off at the stop next to the StarJet lift and save yourselves the walk. Flachau has a superb lift system. Very popular as it is 35 minutes drive from Salzburg and just off the motorway. We managed to visit Ski Amade bang in the middle of the busiest period of the year â€“ Fasching. Yes it was busy in places, but the lift system that good, and the pistes that wide, that it was never a problem. I have never seen such a lift system. The pistes at Flachau are mainly red/blue with some steeper stuff over the back towards Wagrain. Some may say the skiing is a bit â€śsameyâ€ť but hey, I have been to La Ros 4 times and so I know â€śsameyâ€ť
The snow : We had two powder mornings. Perhaps a 20 cm fall one day on top of freshly groomed slopes. This was a truly beautiful experience. The weather was unseasonably warm and by the afternoon on a couple of days it was getting a bit heavier below 1200m, but nothing bad. The slopes were superbly groomed, but everywhere got a bit chopped up my mid afternoon as we were skiing on the busiest weekend of the season. I enjoyed this variety as the snow was, in general, superb. Snow making seemed good, but was never needed.
Off-piste Not really my scene, but there did seem a lot of opportunities in Zauchensee. Waynos seems to speak highly of it. We tried a bit, and even got some in on the Radstadt hill, which was gentle and excellent. We also had an adventure on a path through the trees towards Altenmarkt. This was in 40 cm of fresh powder and was an absolute hoot. I have rarely laughed and hollered so much. I know that my fellow snowheads felt just the same. We really hadnâ€™t a clue where we were going but flangesax had said it was safe and we couldnâ€™t go wrong.
The resort : Radstadt is a pleasant, historic, walled town. We didnâ€™t do any sightseeing but enjoyed wandering its quite streets to and from our B&B. The restaurants were pleasant, serving wholesome, traditional, well cooked local fayre at very reasonable prices. The bars were fairly quiet, but friendly and again... CHEAP. The ski bus was very prompt, always running on time. It was about 10 minutes to the ski hill on the bus. It was livelier than usual due to Fasching. We saw some great sights as we wandered round; A blacked up Jamaican bobsleigh team with a bath as a bob and a bunch of authentically dressed cannibals with a blow up doll suspended from a carrying pole. Not for the mad aprĂ¨s crews, but a nice place to visit.
Flachau: More Apres, a real ski town, lots of ski shops, and the home of The Hermanator
Zauchensee: A total ski town with fabulous looking hotels, skiing on the door, and would be my pick for a luxury week away. An absolute gem and the home of Michael Walchofer.
Food In Radstadt we ate on or just off the main Square. One place we liked was in the left hand corner as you approach from the B&B. Smoking allowed but all the food was tasty and some places less smokey than others.
Accommodation http://www.austrian-adventures.com/ Chalet run by snowheads flangesax , Ben and Ange ( and now TWO children) We went B&B but they also now do a catered service as an option. Haus Suzanne is a 100m very easy walk from the ski bus stop. Their garage is a ski room with boot racks underneath the stairs/ there is a sauna (small extra cost) and a big walk in shower area on the garage level. The rooms were a good size and comfortable and ensuite. The whole place was clean and very serviceable. Obviously a work in progress, the haus is slightly dated but I am sure that this will change over the years. There were slight problems with hot water running out on a couple of occasions, and the hallways and landings were sometimes quite cool possibly due to the large areas of glass bricks on one outside wall. That said we the beds were comfy and the rooms massive compared to France. This is not intended as a criticism, but donâ€™t go expecting a 5 star boutique chalet. We went out to eat every night and so cannot report on the communal areas, a small lounge, and a dining room.
What set this place apart for me, was the obliging nature of our hosts. Ange was well into her 2nd pregnancy and Ben had knackered his back whilst trying to do a rail, but nothing was too much trouble. On the first morning they took all those requiring gear to a great hire shop in Altenmarkt, and then dropped us at the slopes. Similarly on the last day they took all the gear back so that we could maximise our ski time. They arranged taxis, gave local advice, and on the last day they allowed us to leave all our gear there and to come back, shower and change, before the taxis picked us up to take us to the airport. All of this was a huge help and bonus to us all. Sadly Benâ€™s back meant that he could not ski with us. They even let some of us watch the Engalnd v Wales rugby match in their private section of the Haus on a satellite TV. Sadly this was in Welsh, and we lost!.
Costs: Lift pass - http://www.skiurlaub.travel/liftpreise/liftpreise.htm I cannot see anyone needing a larger area pass than this.
http://www.thomsonfly.com/ were about ÂŁ125 pp, I have just booked 8th â€“13th March for ÂŁ110 pp
Taxis were about â‚¬25-30 pp each way from the airport
Taxi back from Flachau to Radstadt after the Apres was â‚¬20 (about â‚¬4 each for us)
Large beer on the mountain â‚¬2.50
Main course on the mountain â‚¬4-8
Same prices in the towns
A wonderful change to France. I thought it was HALF the price of Tignes
The B&B worked out at ÂŁ18 pp per night, although we did take up a bunk room for the kids and have 3 in a room which kept down the price. I believe that the adult price this year is 28.50 pp per night
Conclusion: Totally blown away by the experience. We had a great time both on and off the mountain. It is fantastic value, has great snow, the worlds best lift systems, and fairly quiet on the piste. If you want gnarly skiing then it may be a bit tame, but if you want an experience far removed from a French Mega resort then fill yer boots. Any good for kids? Well my two loved it.
The ski and Post Bus idea works well but if there for a week then consider a hire car. A short drive gets you to Falchau, Schladming, Dachstein, Rohrmoos, Filzmoos and a bit longer gets you to the Gasteins, and the further reaches of the Ski Amade. Radstadt is bang in the middle and makes for an excellent base.
A huge recommendation from me and the family.
Some bits on You Tube taken by snowHeads.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Z64c3iKSnHo Watch how the man walking up flashes by at 1.45. Listen to the comments at the bottom; Charlatanefc â€“ â€śfantasticâ€ť, Fenlandskier â€“ â€śoh yesâ€ť Ripping an empty slope like that is just sooo much fun
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qZDKtkwKHlk Not so quiet in Radstadt
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XtIKcUzSBl0 My youngest at the Altenmarkt mid sation
Also have a look at other Radstadt videos on there.
Happy times Oh I have booked to go back again next year
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Last edited by A snowHead on Tue 6-01-09 19:23; edited 1 time in total