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Galtur/Ischgl

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We have been to Saas Fee first week in April last two years but fancy a change next year. Don't want to do France but was thinking staying Galtur with option of skiing Ischgl.
We are two adults happy on blues and easy reds and 8 yr old who skis everything and boards and would go in ski school to whizz around.
Looking at diy.
Any advice from anyone with experience of the area much appreciated.
Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@lpsmc1,
The skiing sounds like it should suit you. The Galtur area is fairly small but pleasantly varied without much testing on the piste. Ischgl has skiing pretty much for all standards. The only problem that I see is that although the areas are fairly close and easy to get between if your son is in ski school he will be based in one area and it would be a bit of a pain going to the other one and then getting back to pick him up.
DIY is straight forward.
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Thanks for that. We might put him with a private for 3 days to satisfy his skiing and he would be happy to board our type of runs for the others. I am sure husband and I could pass the time in Ischgl. We enjoy our skiing but don't mind sitting with a coffee or beer whilst junior is skied out!
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@lpsmc1, If you were doing private it may be possible to get the instructor to go to the area of your choosing, I'm not sure, private instruction is not cheap there though.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have been working as a ski instructor for the Galtür ski school, I think it would suit perfectly to your needs.
1. Galtür is very quiet as it is located at the end of the valley so there is almost no traffic through the village which is pretty horrible if you stayed in See or Kappl which are both located in front of Ischgl.
2. The snowboard instructors are all very nice and it seems the snowboard kids have a lot of fun, they sometimes ride on snowbikes for an afternoon which is reallly nice. There is good off-piste terrain near the Breitspitzbahn so he will have a good time in his group
3. Although there is technically only one blue slope (and a "hiking track" which can be skied and which is even flatter than a blue), the reds and even some blacks are not too challenging (also for intermediates like you. Slopes you should avoid: 1 in the upper part), 6, 11, 12, 19 (this is actually quite steep and sometimes a bit narrow)
4. Ischgl is really nice for you as basically the whole swiss side is at maximum red and as long as you avoid the black slopes on the austrian side you will be fine.
5. The scenery is overwhelming as you have a panorama on all 3000 meter peaks of the Silvretta (more than 70 I think) and on could visibility days you can see from the Greitspitze (Ischgl) to the Ötztaler Alps including the Wildspitze (3768m). These high alpine views are much better than what you will get at Kitzbühel, Saalbach etc.
6. As it is quite high (1600m the village of Galtür) the air is very clean and the areas are very snow safe.
7. On wednesday, you can go night skiing which is a remarkable experience (particularly if there are clear skies - the stars are breathtaking).
8. If your son likes parks, he will be in heaven in Ischgl (seriously big park including a big airbag to try new jumps) however there is small fun park with some boxes and kickers in Galtür (enough for a 360) and there are some wave runs (several consecutive small hills) which are quite fun too.

I would suggest to ski in galtür for three days (son in ski school) and then go to Ischgl for the other days. To avoid crowds, take the Pardatschgrat 3S or the Fimbabahn and ski away from the Idalp as fast as possible, preferredly to the Swiss side. Food can be quite pricy in Ischgl, but the pizza in the Schwarzwand pizzeria is nice and for 11 euros it was just ok. Although the ski area looks really big and the map can be a bit confusing, the sign system is superb so you always know where you are going. The ski bus back is really crowded so make sure you exit the area via the 1a to Pardatschgratbahn valley station or just ride the pardatschgratbahn down and walk to the ski bus station called "Tunnel Prenner". It happened several times that, if you go down the main valley run and want to get on the bus at the "Silvrettabahn station" the bus just passed because it was already full. And it is true, the valley run from the Paznauner Taja is usually very crowded and there are a some drunk idiots, but if you use one of the other (the most uncrowded is the 7 which goes through a remote side valley and is beautiful) you will not have problems with drunk people, however they can be crowded if you go down at 4pm with all the others and this season in spring, the last middle steep part of the 1a called "Prennerhang" actually became a mogul field with big slush moguls (it was -2 to 0 degrees on the mountains but 15 degrees in the valley (which made the bus ride back feel like a sauna Very Happy ) so watch the conditions and rather decide to take a gondola down as it is usually not very enjoyable (and the gondola is much faster).

If you have any questions, just let me know. I could give you some lodging advice based on your budget and expectations. It is absolutely perfect for a family vacation!
P.S. sorry for bad english, I am from Germany Little Angel
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Thanks for all that info. Would galtur be suitable for Xmas or New year? Now looking to sort out next Xmas skiing and really fancy Austria. Otherwise probably up to Norway
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Being further east Austria tend to get the snow earlier than France, so you should be reasonably snow-sure for Christmas/New Year. Worst case you might have to jump on the free bus down the valley and ski in the Ischgl area which is a bit higher and has extensive snowmaking, but I wouldn't expect that to be necessary.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ive just been looking at the Ischgl piste map and run 80 looks like it is a really long run , is it good for snowboarders or are there flat bits .
Also is it quite easy to get back into the main Ischgl ski area and back into town from run 80 ?
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Its a great ski area but one word of warning, unless the conditions are really good I would not ski down to Ischgl towards the end of the day, it gets very busy and can get very icy on those runs at that time.
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@gwatts10, Yep, get the L1 (Big gondola) back to Alp Trida Sattel, drop down into Alp Trida, hop on the N1 to Viderjoch, head down blue 11 (widest piste EVER!) and yer back down in Ischgl...your choice is red 1 & red 1a home to the town...just be aware Red 80 is pretty flat at the end when you meet the river in Samnaun....but it's worth it.

@RichardB, It does get a bit moguly and busy but I find if you grab a beer in one of the bars and let it die down you can tip down in your own pace and not fret about the folk in front....also jump right back up the top of Pardatschgrat and take black 4 and join red 4 and connect with run home....it's not that steep and always quiet.
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gwatts10 wrote:
Ive just been looking at the Ischgl piste map and run 80 looks like it is a really long run , is it good for snowboarders or are there flat bits .
Also is it quite easy to get back into the main Ischgl ski area and back into town from run 80 ?


It's quite a long one, yes and most of it's got a slope to it. From memory it gets a little flat on the last part of the red to the top of Samnaun and it's a game of "guess the last hill and see how far you can get". Even then I think there's still enough slope to keep you moving, just not very fast. From the top of Samnaun it's a very flat blue to the lift station - but there's a free bus that I'd probably opt for on a board.

Oh, and I'd probably avoid runs 3 and 37 as routes home on the Ischgl side - quite nice runs but G2 is a very rippled, horizontal T-bar drag. Wouldn't be too bad if it was flat as you're meant to just hold the T-bar, not 'ride' it like a normal drag but just a pain as you're constantly overtaking the drag/getting yanked/overtaking the drag/...
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
gwatts10 wrote:
Ive just been looking at the Ischgl piste map and run 80 looks like it is a really long run , is it good for snowboarders or are there flat bits .
Also is it quite easy to get back into the main Ischgl ski area and back into town from run 80 ?


80 is a great run ("smugglers' run) and very beautiful, but the bottom part - blue on the map - is VERY flat - on skis you need to pole a lot, so snowboarding will be tough. It's a fair distance too.

Likewise run 60 is lovely, but you need a bus after a walk down a road (or taxi - free if you buy some duty free) from the bottom of it back to the cable cars. Takes a fair bit of time

I did both 2 years ago - going again in a week - not sure I will bother with either this time.

In Ischgl, 3 is a really nice quiet run (one of the only ones properly in trees), and the G2 drag on 37 isn't too much of a hassle in my opinion...
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