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|Resort : Soll
Domain: Ski Welt
Date: 5/3/05 - 12/3/05
Our Holiday: My 10th week on the snow and my wife's 7th. First time to Austria
Basics: Flew from Belfast to Salsburg with Transavia Airlines (Through directski.com) 2hr 20min flight followed by 1.5 hr transfer. Would have been quicker but we had a lot of dropoffs in Ellmau and other neighbouring villages.
Lift System: I was well impressed. I'm sure there were over 80 with a modern gondola system from each of the villages to take you to the 1200m level. After that alot of pretty new high speed quads and a few T-Bars to connect runs. I found the system to be excellent and only had to que once for about 1 minute.
Terrain: Over 250km in total and there was plenty to keep me happy ski-ing 7 hrs per day. Easy reds and crusing blues. Perhaps limited for advanced but a massive amount to choose from. We were based in Soll, but I visited Schaffu, Ellmau, Going, Brixen, Hopfgarten and Itter. Didn't get a chance to visit Westendorf (It is on the Pass but not linked) Plenty of Mountain restaurants to choose from (Over 90) and I found this type of ski-ing very enjoyable, skiing from village, having a beer, stopping for lunch etc.
The Snow: My 10th trip and it is the best snow I have ever seen. I was worried about going to such a low (700m) resort in March. (We usually head above 1800m in January) We were extremely lucky with the snow.
On arrival there was 80cm at village and 180cm above 1200m. We had over 48 hrs of non stop snow and I'm sure over 1m was dumped in placed. Visability was a problem, but the sun came out on our last day. generally betreen -8 to -3 degrees but with the sun out I did notice the snow getting soft on our last day below 1000m on some south facing slopes.
Off Piste: I did't ski any extreme off piste, but there did appear to be a lovely stash of powder down from the Hove Salve (The highest point at 1800m). However there was loads of pow at the sides of the piste to play in safely.
The resort: Soll is quite small off the main road, 900m from the Gondola Station (there is a locker room at the station and I quite enjoyed the walk, although there was a bus, but it was always jammed) Great apes ski in the Whisk(e)y Muller, but my favoutite was the Salven Stad just below the nursery slope, Great craic betreen 4pm and 7pm. Equipped with outdoor heaters and BBQ. Hotel Austria was also good for a pint and a game of pool. there is also a swimming pool and outdoor hot tub, but we didn't get a chance to visit. Beware the Sauna is Au Natural
Food: We stayed in Hotel Eggerwirt 3* with pretty basic H/B (Be warned they are very fond of pork) We ate in Giovannis Italian 3 nights. Very friendly people and excellent value quality food. Pizza and pasta for less than 7 Euro.
Accommadation: Hotel Eggerwirt, Meduim sized family Hotel on the main street. Rooms were a bit small, but who cares I was there to ski. Owner (Claudia) is the grumpiest woman I have ever met. She didn't smile once all week, and on questioning other guests and folk who had stayed there before everyone was in aggreement that she was a grumpy old bat.
Costs: Booked through directski.com (Wasn't a late deal)
¬£330 Sterling H/B + lift pass.
Only spent ¬£230 on food and drink and I ate and drank very well . So was one of the best value trips ever. Beer was pretty cheap and pasta lunch for less than 6 Euro.
Conclusion: Had an excellent time. If opportunity arises we will go back. We had fantastic snow, but met a load of good people and the craic was mighty. If you like touring villages, eating and drinking, Soll is the place for you