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Saalbach - Hinterglemm - Leogang - Fieberbrunn 2021/22 Official Unofficial Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Time I think to open this year’s new Ski Circus thread.

Last season was a bit “different” - fantastic for those of us who were fortunate enough to enjoy the empty pistes and perfect conditions. Not so good for those who were forced to forgo their annual skiing holiday(s), or for fans of moguls (conspicuously absent throughout the season), or après-ski (which was a somewhat DIY thing - on the positive side, cheaper beer, better music, quite relaxing, and occasionally in excellent company).

Unsurprisingly the scheduled lift upgrades (Limberg Lift, new Schönleiten gondola from Viehhofen) have seemingly been put on hold, although work has continued on new/extended reservoirs, and it’s been notable how much construction work has been going on this year - extensions and refurbishments to hotels, new apartment blocks, etc.

The summer tourist season has been exceptionally busy - at times it seemed as busy as the winter season, with the streets of Saalbach and Hinterglemm thronged with mountain bikers and walkers. Obviously very few tourists from the U.K. - possibly only those with holiday homes in Austria. This weekend the resort is as usual hosting the annual “World Games of Mountain Biking”.

The mid-summer has been variable, with a high preponderance of thunderstorms. Early September (and ongoing) has been gloriously hot, sunny weather.

There is an expectation that the winter season will be back to “business as usual”, with an emphasis on predictable pandemic measures: vaccination certificates, masks in enclosed public spaces, low-key après-ski (although local Saalbach-based entertainer, Spacey, has been allowed during the summer to do indoor gigs).

Sadly one of our favourite Saalbach venues, the Hungry Deer restaurant and its basement Crazy Deer bar, has closed - and is being advertised for new ownership. There are also rumours about the Hinterhag possibly not reopening, since the untimely death earlier this year of the owner’s son, Seppi Fersterer.

However other places are going strong, and the new kid on the block is the Bar/Pizzeria Napoli (formerly the Bar Alibi), which has recently generated a good atmosphere, with Spacey playing live, and some of the best pizzas you will find in Saalbach.

Recent good news on flights: British Airways will be offering budget flights at weekends from Southampton and London City Express airports.

Anyone who wants to delve into the wealth of information about the Ski Circus, Austria’s biggest interlinked (and arguably its best) ski area, will find plenty of reading in the previous editions of this annual thread. Just search for some of the key words and the year that you’re interested in.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Currently well pee-d off!

After over a decade of running an annual college ski trip so Saalbach, our usual youth hotel has gone up-market (and absolutely good for them - can't wait to visit as a civilian!), and I can't source an alternative.

Gonna miss the best ski resort in Europe!
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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?
Are there *any* flights from up North to Salzburg? Looked at google flights from Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle without any luck!
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@kitenski, there is a saturday LPL-SZG Easyjet flight from december to march which may have been added since you looked.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@tatmanstours, Thanks for keeping this thread alive year after year - it marks the start of the ski season! I have everything in place to start off my season with a trip on the 11th December, this way whilst I will have lost a season I will still be able to say I have visited every year since 2006 Very Happy

Looking forwards to reading all things Ski Circus related.
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That's really bad news on the Deer closure - and surprising, as they seemed to be doing everything right when we visited last. And while I've never been a fan of the Hinterhag, I'm sorry to hear of their loss.

@kitenski, try Skyscanner - this link should work, and shows flights from several places - https://www.skyscanner.net/transport/flights/uk/szg/220108/220115/?adults=1&adultsv2=1&cabinclass=economy&children=0&childrenv2=&destinationentityid=27547109&inboundaltsenabled=false&infants=0&originentityid=29475375&outboundaltsenabled=false&preferdirects=true&preferflexible=false&ref=home&rtn=1
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@toyah807, @ousekjarr - thanks, was looking Thurs or Fri for a long weekend, looks like only Saturday flights available Sad
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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!
@kitenski, that's become the pattern since Covid - much fewer flights, and really only the top 20% of profitable flights remain on the schedule. For a long weekend of Thu-Mon or similar, your only real hope is to fly to somewhere more in demand for business flights, e.g. Munich, or to change in Frankfurt or possibly Amsterdam.
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@ousekjarr, yeah but 3 hours drive from Munich isn't great for a weekend!!
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@kitenski, I didn't say it was easy... If I was looking for a short break in this coming season, I'd be flying into Munich and driving to the Skiwelt, or into Geneva, or Milan and trying to find somewhere within an hour from the airport. Or trying an overnight train each way. If demand picks up there could be more flights added to the schedules, but I doubt it.
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Quote:

@tatmanstours, Thanks for keeping this thread alive year after year - it marks the start of the ski season!

Well, the start of the “looking forward to the ski season” season, at least.
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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.
Quote:

That's really bad news on the Deer closure - and surprising, as they seemed to be doing everything right when we visited last.

Yes, the Crazy Deer had become one of Saalbach’s best bars, and possibly the most popular amongst many locals and Brits. Then Covid hit...
The Dutch owners, Derko and Gita say they have no regrets about giving it up - a weight off their minds and a much easier life. Derko is now working at the Hotel Auwirt.
It remains to be seen whether some entrepreneur will take it on; there are posters in the window advertising both the restaurant and bar.
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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
Was so sorry to hear that Seppi Fersterer, from the Hinterhag passed away in May from an illness Sad . I do hope both the Hinterhag Alm and the hotel can get back on their feet, and I feel for Evi, his mother.


Last edited by 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 on Sun 19-09-21 21:07; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
tatmanstours wrote:



There is an expectation that the winter season will be back to “business as usual”, with an emphasis on predictable pandemic measures: vaccination certificates, masks in enclosed public spaces, low-key après-ski (although local Saalbach-based entertainer, Spacey, has been allowed during the summer to do indoor gigs).
.


Define low key apres-ski
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Define low key apres-ski

Well, I’m guessing, but not a ceilidh with sporrans flying, or the Hinterhag, or perhaps any indoor musical entertainment. Who knows?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just figuring out whether we can go ahead and book for January
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
kb36 wrote:
Just figuring out whether we can go ahead and book for January


What are the parameters? We have booked for Jan and it's looking good so far.
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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?
@kb36, and @Klamm Franzer, yes, the booking season is pretty active. Better not leave it too late, unless you’re very flexible over dates and accommodation.
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Reservation for accommodation in place, just looking at flights, both fully vaccinated so hopefully allow us in and out
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Covid rules for the winter season in Austria now announced:

https://www.thelocal.at/20210920/explained-what-are-austrias-new-covid-rules-for-winter-sports-and-christmas-markets/
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tatmanstours wrote:
Covid rules for the winter season in Austria now announced:

https://www.thelocal.at/20210920/explained-what-are-austrias-new-covid-rules-for-winter-sports-and-christmas-markets/



Hmm, nothing about 'social distancing, or reduced capacity on lifts/gondolas/cablecars, so not much of a plan....
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Bob, If people have to be vaxxed, tested or recovering to be allowed on the lifts, they presumably don't require much more than spacing in queues.
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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!
tatmanstours wrote:
@Bob, If people have to be vaxxed, tested or recovering to be allowed on the lifts, they presumably don't require much more than spacing in queues.



good point.
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Great to see this thread open up again for another year. Looking to head out to Saalbach in February after last years enforced break so thanks for the updates. I had some great nights in Bar Alibi so hopefully Bar Napoli can recreate the atmosphere. Not quite sure how the Covid protocols will work in bars such as Schwips which get rammed but hopefully it doesnt suck the life out of the place.

Its not been mentioned yet but I'm really interested to try the new Ski connection from Bernkogel (slope 146) to A1+A2 Schattberg X-press, which along with the super-short 12er Express Gondola, is another great example of Saalbach's continuous modernisation as well as an attitude of "Well we could make you walk 200m but lets instead throw a lot of money and austrian engineering at the problem!". Very Happy It may push more people up the Schattberg side of the mountain in the afternoons too.
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@snorks, there’s another thread on travelling to Austria and the Covid19 restrictions.

I would anticipate that the Napoli is likely to be better than the Alibi. I know the guy who runs it and have every confidence.

That new connection from the Bernkogel to the Schattberg Xpress was new for last season and has not of course yet been used, except by a few, isolated ski tourers, as the Bernkogelbahn remained closed. We have yet to enjoy the spectacle of large numbers of semi-competent skiers and boarders negotiating its relatively tight confines (and piling up at the bottom wink )
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snorks wrote:


Its not been mentioned yet but I'm really interested to try the new Ski connection from Bernkogel (slope 146) to A1+A2 Schattberg X-press, which along with the super-short 12er Express Gondola, is another great example of Saalbach's continuous modernisation as well as an attitude of "Well we could make you walk 200m but lets instead throw a lot of money and austrian engineering at the problem!". Very Happy It may push more people up the Schattberg side of the mountain in the afternoons too.


Spot-on. The Bernkogel gets so mushy after lunch, that I'm often tempted to make my way down the street to the Schattberg — but I'm mainly too lazy to do it. So this new link will be a real help for sure. The Schattberg piste is wonderful, as it is north facing, so always remains pretty firm.
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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.
Quote:

The Bernkogel gets so mushy after lunch, that I'm often tempted to make my way down the street to the Schattberg

It’s very rare for me to be coming down the Bernkogel until late afternoon, and I’ve discovered that, if you wait until around 5.15pm, it’s at its best (freshly groomed wink )
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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
tatmanstours wrote:
There are also rumours about the Hinterhag possibly not reopening, since the untimely death earlier this year of the owner’s son, Seppi Fersterer.


Quite apart from the upsetting news for the family, that is a bit of a tragedy. It is such an awesome establishment. Probably not geared to CV times, but a legendary early apres venue. I hope someone finds a way to keep it going.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Cacciatore, rumours of its possible demise may be premature. I’ve recently heard conflicting rumours. It may be that Covid restrictions may force the outside space to be utilised - and of course other leading après venues in the area are primarily outside (e.g. the Spitzbub, the Soul House, the Goassstall, the Schwarzacher).
At least the Hinterhag has a large terrace, and the party has moved outside in previous seasons - in late season - so it could be done. They would no doubt have to invest in a few heaters though.
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