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Saalbach for experts??

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am going next year as part of a family group.

However, from what I have read there doesn't appear to be much challenging stuff at this pretty village with good apres. Reuters guide doesn't think much of the few blacks there are and points out the low altitude and south facing nature of the slopes. Apols if this sounds like crude oversimplification if there are any 'Saalbachheads' out there.

So - Is there anyone out there who disagrees with this and has had great times off piste there. And, if so, is there good reason to get a guide to access back country routes, or is it a case of hikeable lines within bounds, so to speak.

Thanks for all your help. Oh, and while I remember we are staying at the Hotel Riegler - any opinions?

Cheers.

PS I have entered the same, er, entry at the Ski Club site, only the name is different? wink I'm off for the full belt-and-braces approach so, if you want to read this all over again by all means go to epic.ski.com!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've only skied a few days there but been lucky enough to get deep fresh snow 3 days, and found Saalbach great for the sort of off-piste that you can see from the lifts and get to easily, but maybe not so good for the high mountain climb up and ski into a new valley type off-piste that you may get in higher resorts like 3V, EK etc.

So you won't need a guide from the point of view of route-finding, but you may of course prefer to use a guide for avalanche safety reasons. There's virtually no cliffs, and not too much dense forest, streams etc so in good conditions you can ski anywhere and have a great time. I remember one genuine black into Hinterglem but unless it's very icy or mogulled the pistes won't push you too hard.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
musikski, I skied in Saalbach in January, with a group that involved some pretty good skiers/boarders; and we had a great time. It's true that other than the Zwolferkogel Nordfahrt, there are no hard blacks (although the black down the Schattberg is really good fun).

It depends what you get your kicks from. If you like skiing fast on nice (and fairly challenging) reds, with the odd black thrown in, then the resort is great. If you're not content unless you've hiked 10 miles to a 89 degree rocky couloir then you should look elsewhere. As a challenge, we tried (and just succeeded) to ski every red and black run (100km of piste ignoring lifts) in total in a single day.

In terms of of off-piste, there is a reasonable amount of off-piste opportunities between the runs on the Asitz mountain above leogang, and elsewhere. We didn't really go looking for (and there didn't appear to be) a lot of true back-country.

p.s. Would really recommend an evening trip to the Spielberghaus when you're there.
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Plake and kamikaze, Thanks. It could be Ok for the week as a 'top-up' fix from an earlier US trip. Cheers for the evening trip recommendation to the Spielberghaus. Counting the days.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
musikski wrote:
Plake and kamikaze, Thanks. It could be Ok for the week as a 'top-up' fix from an earlier US trip. Cheers for the evening trip recommendation to the Spielberghaus. Counting the days.


As long as you don't pay to toboggan back down to the town. I've done it, and it is slow, with lots of flat bits where you have to get off and walk. We also had a section where some people had to avoid a pistebasher that was coming up the narrow, enclosed track that is used.
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Thanks Peter B. Toboganning into pistebasher? That would hurt a tad!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
musikski

Would not call Saalbach great for experts by any stretch and would not say it had any off-piste to speal of. Sure, you can track just off the sides but it is a cruisers paradise and puts great store in the circuit. If you want off-piste or back contry look elsewhere, maybe Obergurgl for touring. Saalbach is very good for a few things, not apre-ski either unless you are straight off the mountain into the umbrella bars etc, but off-piste is not one of them, not even as a warm up. In very good conditions it may server as a starter. There a re plenty that cater better IMO.
Excellent for the family tho'
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
JT, We were a large group (24) of late-twenties/early thirties, and we thought the apres-ski was kicking. The thing to note in Saalbach, is the bars/discos all have to be completely sound-proofed. So you often walk past places with lights on that sound completely dead, until you work your way in.

musikski, One thing to remember is that part of Austria is filled with ski resorts. Zell am See/Kaprun being the closest, just a short bus ride away, and there are many other resorts near by.

Peter B, They put pading on the front of the piste basher .... we found that if you kept up enough speed that you could make it all the way down (4km+) without stopping. Perhaps because we were racing each other down in an alcohol-fueled way!

Whilst Saalbach isn't great for experts, there is a lot of good cruising with fast lifts. We went with a mixed group of all abilities, with some of the better skiers expecting to get board, however, possibly because the conditions were very good, everybody really enjoyed themselves both on and off the snow.
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South facing slopes aren't really a problem unless you go out of season (late season). If it gets a bit warm just ski the south side in the morning and the north in the afternoon. A few blacks but mainly reds, but the reds are mostly long with plenty of jumps and off piste routes to the side. I saw plenty of advanced skiers there making the most of the mileage available.

Apres ski is great. Lots of bars for the evening and plenty straight off the slopes.

We're going back for our second visit next year and it's the best resort I've been to in Austria in terms of all round skiing, apres ski etc. But that is based on piste skiing.
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Thanks again everybody - looks like we have the makings of a well rounded review of the area now.
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Have to agree with kamikaze, apres in Saalbach and Hinterglemm is pretty good. I wouldn't say it was the livliest resort in the Alps but if you're not looking for clubbing till 6am on a skiing holiday then it's perfect. Would also agree about it being an intermediate's resort, not much to challenge and not a great deal of off piste. Enjoyed my times there though.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Cheers for the info tough crowd
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