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Mid December Austrian (or other?) resort?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are trying to decide on a resort for a week's skiing mid December with our 4 girls (age range 13-16). We have already got flights booked to Zurich with a view to going to Ischgl. I keep reading comments about its popularity with middle aged men ! Is it good for families too? Any other suggestions within a 3 hour radius of Zurich that's got a good reputation for having snow / being up and running mid December? Thanks a lot Very Happy
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's absolutely fine for families.
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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?
Lech is better for families. Similar snowsecurity, similar prices, prettier village, closer to Zürich.
But snow in december is always tricky
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I have been mid December to Obergurgl - they are reasonably snow sure early season though we flew into Innsbruck, not sure how far it is from Zurich?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ischgl is much better than Lech in mid December from a snow perspective. I love them both, but there is no choice in terms of snow as most of Ischgl is above 2000m.
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@Beegee, when I've been to Ischgl there have been plenty of younger folk about. I went in early December 3 years running in 2009/10/11 as a mid-late twenties female. I never noticed a preponderance of middle-aged males. Snow at that time was excellent, really didn't feel like early season at all. I think the village is pretty pretty. I think it's a great choice for a family.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Many places struggled with lack of snow in the early season last year, Ischgl was one of the places that did not did not Happy

Fine for families, if it wasn't there would not be the massive kinderland facilities.
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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!
Ischgl should be perfect. Snow should be good but there are also excellent snow making facilities. Fine for families.
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Last 2 years Ischgl has trumped Lech for snow in December but generally the region from Bregenzerwald just north of Lech, down to Stuben just south of Lech gets more snow than anywhere in the Alps.
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@mayr, - totally right, conditions in Ischgl were incredible compared to very many other locations in the Alps.
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Thanks so much for all your replies, that's very reassuring!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
It is true that Ischgl is slightly better for snow in december.
But last december was very poor in Ischgl as well. And although Ischgl had more pistes open, the village was brown. Lech had a white dusting, giving perfect Christmas atmosphere.
We found this difference in atmosphere to be very important. And although the skiing in Lech was limited, we had excellent sunshine, and in fact a lovely white pre-Christmasweek.
St.Anton also was brown.
Most important advice: don't book now, wait until early december.
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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
One thing about Ischgl that needs to be emphasized is that there is 3 or 4 pistes between 2100m and the village at 1400m. Nearly all of the pistes are 2100m or above and the village may well be brown but conditions will still be fantastic. Take a look on the Ischgl facebook page from last October/November...all pistes above 2100m were fully pisted.


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 Mon 21-09-15 12:07; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
End october 2014 both Lech and Ischgl had 70 cm of powder. In the valley.
End november everything was gone
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Langerzug, Valley conditions are largely irrelevant when it comes to Ischgl as there is approx 600-700 m in difference between there and the vast majority of the pistes at 2100m+
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Langerzug wrote:
It is true that Ischgl is slightly better for snow in december.
But last december was very poor in Ischgl as well. And although Ischgl had more pistes open, the village was brown. Lech had a white dusting...............
Most important advice: don't book now, wait until early december.


Great advice. There will be plenty availability in all resorts up to Christmas week so hold off on booking until very last minute. If going independently, by all means book flights and car hire but resort can wait until Day zero - 7 if needs be.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@AthersT: My posting about the snow in october was in reaction to your mentioning the facebook page from last Oct/Nov. There is no use in referring to snow in october. It happens almost every year, and it dissappears also almost every year before the season starts.
And actually, my earlier post was emphasizing that to me and to many people in fact during Christmas period, snow IS important in the valley. During Christmas, for many people the focus is not only about the number of open pistes. That's why I was mentioning the fact that Lech was white (thin, but white) in the week before Christmas 2014. Skiing was limited, but the atmosphere was "Christmassy", and we had a good time. Upon returning to the airport, we passed by St.Anton and saw the complete brown valley, which came as a depressing shock, but also made us realize how lucky we had been. And Ischgl-valley was brown as well that period.
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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?
@Langerzug,
So you actually were in Ischgl that week then......not?
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@Langerzug, I agree that looking white could make a christmas week special but, I was just making the point that skiing was not limited at Ischgl even though the valley was or wasn't brown.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Getting back to the topic while Ischgl tends to do well for early season snow - people were being bussed in every day from St Anton last year as Ischgl had snow and St Anton didn't - it isn't a massive family, or British resort.

If you're all good skiers that shouldn't be an issue and Mayr can correct me if I'm wrong but if your children are in lessons it's likely to be a mixed-nationality group rather than all Brits. Not always a bad thing but some children can feel isolated if everyone else is chatting away and making friends in a language they don't speak. You know your children better than anyone else and the instructor WILL speak very good English and you WON'T get 5-minutes of instruction in one language for the rest of the group followed by "bend ze knees" in English for yours!

In the evenings it's perfectly possible to go out for a quiet drink somewhere like the Kiwi bar, then to a nice restaurant for a quiet meal and either back to your hotel. You can also enjoy the apres scene as without too much concern - though the best places DO get busy so you'll want to grab and hold some space. The Kitzloch should be good for classic Austrian apres (and if you ask you may be able to reserve a table for apres another night to have a 'safe' space) and the girls will probably enjoy the Kuhstall and the crown and music is more their age.
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@Mjit,
Spot on! Some times even if only one person is an English speaker in a group much of the lesson is completed in English as commonly others in the group will speak it, this saves time rather than saying everything in each language.....it can vary from instructor to instructor and group to group I guess, but can only deal of my own experiences.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@Mjit, @mayr, sorry i have only just seen these last 2 very useful comments; the girls are good enough not to need lessons but may be a day for all of us with an instructor... As far as accommodation goes we are better off in an apartment rather than hotel as the older ones have exams to work for when we return rolling eyes I am nervous about waiting too long too book something in case we end up with nothing! Do you think safe to wait till last minute?
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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!
We went to Ischgl with a group of mixed ability skiers the week before Christmas some years back now. My lasting memories of the place was that you went up to Idalp from wherever you were in the valley and found yourself in a giant bowl of blue runs with fast covered chair lifts (some with heated seats Shocked). The run down to the resort at our end of town (1a I think) was red, but really rocky and icy when we were there (open though) and those who didn't fancy it came down in the gondola. Having said that, I'd second the comments above to wait until you are v close before committing yourself. You are still low season before 20 December so should have good choice Lech was v pricey when we went (but that was Jan so I cannot comment on the snow conditions) and not quite as fun for those younger folk amongst us as Ischgl.
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The area will be getting busier at the time you are wishing to go therefore if I was you I would be booking something sooner than later. If you want real peace and quiet and a less expensive apartments you can always arrange a place outside of Ischgl......in Mathon or Valzur. Both places are further up the valley so have less traffic and people trying to get to Ischgl in the morning. You won't be too far from any bus stop either. At peak times buses are almost none stop. If having a night in the town the buses stop around late evening so you would need to get a taxi (around 20 euro)
I do not think you will save anything by waiting to book. Even if the snow is late, the I'll still be amazing skiing and if some pistes are closed they will only be the valley runs, so you just leave skis in locker on mountain and take a gondola down.
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