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Scheffau or St Johann?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and book for February next year. Crystal are saying they’ll move bookings if affected by Covid, so it seems fairly risk free. (I know there are better ways to book but this time the security of a TO feels good, and they’ve been fine in the past).
2 years ago we went to St Johann - it was the first time for my (will be almost 9) son and non-skiing husband. We really liked it although by the end of the week I’d definitely skied every run. Tempted to go back because the hotel was good, husband enjoyed it and I could this time use the ski bus to get to other resorts or the train to kitz (we know how easy that is now having gone back to Kitz for our summer holiday last year).

Or I’ve seen a similar priced option in Scheffau. The ski area looks bigger so better for me (on the upper end of intermediate, no off piste required!) Husband is tempted to try cross country skiing apparently- if not he will just walk up the mountains and get the lift down.

Alternatively there’s also Alpbach.

Can anyone please help me decide so I can just get on and book?!

Thanks v much Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Lozza1uk, I've never skied in St Johann, but if you are thinking SkiWelt (Scheffau) then IMO Westendorf is the best village and has the best skiing. I've only skied a few days in Alpbach, but I think for piste I prefer Westendorf (Alpbach definitely has the edge for off-piste).
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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?
SkiWelt of which Scheffau is one part is generally a good spot for beginners and intermediate skiers. It is a much bigger area than St Johann, should be enough to keep you amused for a week. The biggest downside (which applies to St Johann too) is that it pretty low so snow conditions are not always the best. I would however suggest that Brixen is better positioned, it is positioned centrally in the area and it is also easy to get to Kitzbühel (covered by the same skipass, the two areas are linked). I seem to remember that there is a cross country ski trail at the top station area above Brixen (might be wrong about that), HochBrixen is easily accessible to non skiers via the gondola lift. You might also look at Kirchberg, which is the next village along from Brixen and is part of the Kitzbühel ski area.
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Scheffau does offer a wider area, even over to the Kitzbühel slopes (with the more expensive ski pass). As you say, though, you could also ski Kitzbühel from St. Johann. Cross country skiing is available there (and in St. Johann). I enjoy the skiing in both areas but mostly just a day at a time, so the size of the ski area offers enough variety in both cases.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
February in the SkiWelt is pretty snow-sure, and its a good choice for those who like mileage and long runs - the valley runs in each of the resorts are very good if the conditions are suitable, with the exception of the run into Brixen which can be horrendous unless the snow is perfect all the way to valley level as it is south facing.

From Scheffau it is possible to ski to Kitzbuhel without a bus or car transfer, but it is a bit of a trek to get over to Brixen, ski down or download, get up the other side to Westendorf, and then down Ki West to the connection into the Kitz area. A good skier could get to Pass Thurn and back in a day, but it would be a challenge and you'd skip a lot in the rush to get back.

Personally I'd choose Scheffau - bigger area, more variety, many of the slopes are north-facing especially in the Scheffau and Ellmau sectors, and the swimming pool at Ellmau is a useful facility. The villages are a little strung out and the lifts are typically a bus ride away, but they're efficient and regular and you get a traditional village feel without a concrete monstrosity plus car parks plonked in the middle of it.
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I've been to Kirchberg last March. Cheaper for accommodation/rentals/food etc. compared to Kitz but the town didn't seem a fun place to me, especially for non skiers.
It's quite well connected in the mornings so you might enjoy some nice skiing for a few days but you should return by skis back to the village or be ready to wait for once an hour buses/taxis/trains and pay for some of them .
Good connections towards Kitz and also by bus towards Westendorf (for the Ki West gondola) but not easy to meet with non skiers in my opinion. To us it was perfect as a base to wander around by car/by skis.
OTH, mentioned by munich_irish , Brixen was more fun and better connected to nicer areas around. Plus you'll have the post Covid19 Heaven at Brixen Stadl daily from 16. Many young families spotted there with small kids despite the noise. Prepare to dance Smile
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@ousekjarr, how do you ski from Scheffau to Kitzbühel without a bus or car transfer?
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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!
ousekjarr wrote:
From Scheffau it is possible to ski to Kitzbuhel without a bus or car transfer, but it is a bit of a trek to get over to Brixen, ski down or download, get up the other side to Westendorf, and then down Ki West to the connection into the Kitz area. A good skier could get to Pass Thurn and back in a day, but it would be a challenge and you'd skip a lot in the rush to get back.

You do need to take the short bus trip from the bottom of the KiWest lift to the Pengelstein I gondola to reach the Kitzbühel area but the buses run frequently.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@sugarmoma666, as outlined above - take the lift up from Scheffau, ski to Hochbrixen, ski down to Brixen or download in the gondola if conditions are poor on the valley run, then up onto Choralp on the Westendorf side, down Ki West, and then there is a short shuttle bus to Pengelstein to access the slopes above Kirchberg. What I meant was that you didn't have to get a bus from Scheffau to Kitz, or drive round.

Having said that, there was a rumour of a lift linking Ki-West to Pengelstein, but it hasn't happened as yet. Kitzbuhel don't even show Ki-West on their piste map, so they're not exactly charging in that direction.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@ousekjarr, ah ok, I've done that route. I was confused when you said you could do it without a bus transfer.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Lozza1uk, Scheffau is part of the SkiWelt, which is a large, intermediate skier’s paradise. It is similar in size to the Kitzbuhel area but with generally less challenging skiing. There is also cross country skiing in the valleys (linking to the nearby village of Soll). I have had many happy holidays in this area and am still happy to return and cruise the intermediate pistes. Snow record can be a bit iffy but never had a bad holiday here!
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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.
Thanks all, I’ll probably end up going for Scheffau then on balance.
Thanks for the other suggestions but crystal don’t go to Brixen or Westendorf I don’t think and whilst any other year I’d be happy to DIY, I want the safety of a TO this time round and their refund policy looks pretty comprehensive. I’m currently going through the hassle of claiming a self arranged summer holiday that was cancelled due to Covid, and don’t want that again. It was much simpler when a TO refunded me in full for the half term failed break!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
It's a vacation, a ski vacation... a Ski vacation in Austria.
You'll have fun wherever you'll go Razz
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
True!!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Lozza1uk, we went on our first family trip to scheffau last Feb.

Can't fault the ski area at all, intermediates playground which I hardly scratched the surface of as was always tied to be back at ski school to pick up/ drop off the kids. The ski school was ideal for our 5 and 6 year olds first time and is located just at the top of the main gondola up from the village.



My wife who is a beginner and skied a couple of days, would have preferred a resort with a bit more going on for her none skiing days, but if your husband is happy to relax and go for walks then should be fine. Neighbouring Sol and Ellmau did seem to have a lot more going on and are easily accessed on the free bus.

If your Crystal deal is for the Hotel Alpin I can also highly recommend.

Have fun.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@brooky that’s great, thank you! And yes, it is that hotel! My husband will be happy with box sets on WiFi and a daily walk up the side of the slopes to meet us for lunch so doesn’t need much!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Lozza1uk, if you stand at the top of gondola facing ski school and look to your right you'll see a building approx 100 yards away.

1 of the rooms is full of ski lockers. I was amazed how few people bothered using them.
As I had to get the bus with 2 young children every morning followed by the gondola up, being able to leave our skis and boots up top was a real help.
Though you'd have to keep an eye on weather forecast toward the end of the week, we had a couple of bad snow days midweek so of course our gear was stuck up top with the lift shut, you wouldn't want that dilemma on your last day!
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