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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Soll
Country: Austria
Domain: Ski Welt
Author: Mountain Mad
Date: Mar 12 - Mar 19
Our holiday: Have skied for 5 years, but decided to try the darkside on this holiday - so report based on a beginner viewpoint...
Basics : Biggest linked area in Austria
Lift system : Seemed excellent - but as beginner only actually used about 5 lifts - a gondola and 4 chairs!
The terrain : Nursery slopes at the bottom of the gondola, but snowboarders start their lessons at the midstation as you need a bit more of a slope to start on. At mid station there was 1 blue and a few reds - but the reds weren't severe - steep but wide - just how I like them!
The snow : Arrived after day of snowing - first few days were excellent - nice crunchy snow. Sun didn't stop shining so by the end of the week though it started turning to slush. Comments from locals was that its been the best season in years - and they haven't had to use their snowmaking. (Apparently in previous years they've had to rely on the snow making around mid station to ensure the resort is viable)
Off-piste : No idea - but expect it was excellent!
The resort : Reiterate Johnboys comments - its a fab place. Got a village atmosphere - cute looking church in the middle surrounded by pretty austrian style hotels, shops and houses. Great pubs - Johnboy mentioned the main 2 but we also liked Rossinis. No doorstep skiing - gondola is a short walk out of town. Skibus takes you there but we would use the walk as a way of warming up the leg muscles. Rental place just before the gondola has a garage service so don't need to do the walk in boots or carrying gear - which makes it easier. The rental place was huge and although we only hired beginner snowboards, the quality looked excellent and a massive choice. (Although a bit of a scrum on the first morning if you need to rent all your gear - give yourself lots of time if you need to make it to a 10.00 am lesson)
Food : On a half-board basis so didn't eat in the town. Mountain food was excellent - based on previous trips to French mega resorts it was cheaper and better quality. Fantastic hamburgers and roast chickens...
Accommodation : Stayed at Hotel Tyrol. On arrival we were 'upgraded' from the annexe and ended up with an excellent large room, balcony and big bathroom. Owner and receptionist were grumpy sods and not particularly accomodating for people around us that had kids - although we had no complaints. The waiter and waitress on the other hand were lovely
Costs: €3.40 for large beers. Lunch and drinks for 2 people was usually about €15-$17 on mountain.
Conclusion: Loved it... would like to go back to Ski Welt - although would only book last minute if I knew the snow conditions were good. Fantastic snowboard instructors at the ski school... made learning fun even though we were all in pain!

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