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TR Waidring - Feb Half Term 2017

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Resort: Waidring
Country: Austria
Author: Drammeister

Date: 10th to 19th Feb 2017
Our holiday: A DIY family driving trip, 2 adults (one adventurous intermediate and one nervous), 2 kids 13 and 10 on their third trip. It included day trips to Leogang and St Johann IT
Basics : We set off from home at 4:30pm Friday and arrived at the Tunnel around 8:30pm. We had bought a Flexiplus ticket for the outward journey due to long delays last year. As luck would have it, everything seemed very smooth this year, and we got on around 9pm. From Calais, we drove an hour and a half in heavy snow to Gent where we stayed in the Holiday Inn Express 5 mins from the motorway. It has 24 hours check in, although the rooms are started to look a bit tired, it is comfortable enough. The staff were very helpful and started breakfast early for us in the morning as we wanted to leave early. Breakfast was a pretty basic continental buffet.
A straightforward journey through Belgium and Luxembourg, stopping to buy the cheapest petrol in western europe. Everything was going fine until we passed Augsburg, then after that the remaining time on the journey started to increase instead of decrease. Eventually the Google maps rerouted us cross country via Chiemsee and the times started falling again. We arrived in Waidring just before 6pm to meet the appartment owner.
Lift system : There is a nursery slope in the village which was the ski school meeting place on the first morning, we left the kids there to do there ski test and headed to the gondola station. Waidring has a gondola from the village at 800m up to the Steinplatte mountain, but there are no runs back, so you have to take it back down at the end of the day. The majority of the lifts on the mountain are fast modern chairs. The best being the Scheiblberg 6er; the most comfortable ski lift I have ever experienced! It's like sitting on a heated sofa. The only T-bar can be ignored as you can ski past it to the very bottom of the mountain where there is a fairly new gondola at Seegaterl up to the bottom of the chairs.
The terrain :There are 4 sections of the mountain. The highest has the steepest slopes which consist of a few reds and the only black run. The main plateau has some long and generally easy pistes, which do attract people who seem to ski faster than their ability warrants. On our trip this year, the slopes were pretty quiet so this was less of a problem. The third area is some short and fairly steep reds that drop off the plateau down to a fun blue run. There is one blue down to this too. Finally the lower part of the mountain which is actually in Germany. The top run through the trees is excellent with a steepish pitch at the start. It is red on some piste maps and blue on others. The rest of the runs here are blues, including a long one down to Seegaterl at 770m.
The snow : Virtually all the runs on the Steinplatte are north facing and even though the sun blazed down for 5 days the pistes were in excellent condition. One connecting run back into Austria from Germany is east facing and did get a bit slushy. On the final day we had around 15cm fresh.
Off-piste : I'm not much of an off-piste skiier, but there seemed to be quite a range of off piste opportunities and plenty of untracked snow even though there had been no snow for a week. On the last day in the fresh snow we skied through the trees.
The resort : Pretty Tirolean village, Zardini's bar by the gondola was liveliest in the evening with a free and fun tirolean evening. We also drove to St. Johann iT for the Panorama Badewelt, an indoor/outdoor pool with waterslides and there was an evening ski show on the nursery slope. There are a range of shops including a reasonably sized Spar, a couple of bakeries etc.
Food : The Stallenalm is very pretty, but does get busy at lunch time, so we just stopped there for morning coffee. The Mosenalm is cheap and cheerful self service, good if you want to get back on the slopes quickly. The Seegaterlalm in Germany was our favourite, very pretty wooden building with good food and service. The panorama bar at the top of the gondola is a good place to start the apres.
Accommodation : We had an apartment (Hausberg) in the centre of the village, which was just a bit too far to walk to the gondola in ski boots, but there are lockers for 4 sets of skis and boots at the gondola station for 2 euros a day. The apartment was okay, but one annoyance was the church bells ringing every morning at 6am!
Costs: The whole holiday cost £2600, inc travel, lift passes, 3 full days kids lessons, ski hire, accommodation and insurance.
Days out: We had a day at Leogang, but my OH who is nervous on slopes she doesn't know, didn't like it. It was quite busy and the long blue (92 I think) was fairly steep. The snow also seemed to be suffering in the traffic and the sun.
Another day was at St Johann iT which we have skied at plenty of times before, and I've never had such good snow conditions there before, even down to Max Pub at about 650m. The pistes were nearly empty. I skied the whole mountain except the black with my 10 year old daughter, while my OH and older daughter pottered around.
Conclusion: We had the best ski holiday so far. I think because of the excellent visibility, good snow conditions topped of with a day of fresh. Also the kids were old enough for them to stay up for a bit of Apres. I can't help thinking about going back at Easter... lots of snow forecast on Bergfex!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nice report, thanks for posting it.
ski holidays
 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?
Brought back some memories reading that. We've got a soft spot for Waidring as it's where our children learned to ski and somewhere we kept going back to. It does suffer from the lack of a home run and limited advanced options but is an excellent beginners/family resort and great value for money. The long run from the top of the Steinplatte in Austria down to Seegartel in Germany is a real hidden gem. And the kids have fond memories of apres pizzas and medal awards in Zardini's! Very Happy
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I somehow missed this report first time round and I must have just missed Drammeister too, for I skied on the Steinplatte on 13th-14th February, with my friend on his monoski. The report gives a good description of the skiing there, though I think I prefer taking the Kurvenlift T-bar to get back up the Winklmoosalm rather than the rather flat track down to Seegatterl.

Talking of T-bars, Drammeister will be probably glad to hear that I saw today on a report that the gondola to replace the Eichenhof T-bars in St. Johann is to be built this year. I haven't noticed any work there yet but will report when I do. One other thing I read about this project recently is that it is now planned that the upper sections of the lifts would be chairlifts rather than gondolas. That would probably be sensible and save you taking your skis off for repeat runs.

The report also mentions (amongst others) a new gondola on the Bärenbadkogel in the Kitzbühel area. I think this is probably a replacement for the long Gauxjoch T-bar.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks espri
I saw that article but my German wasn't quite good enough to pick up the chairlift bit.
We're going back to Waidring in Feb next year, but we intend to get around the area a bit so hopefully we'll be on that new gondola.
Do you know whether they have enough parking in Eichenhof as it will be easier to access that than parking in the middle of St Johann?
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As it happens I was in the Eichenhof car park yesterday as I had seen that there was something going on there. I had hoped that this might be the start of construction for the new gondola. But no... was "only" 11 new TechnoAlpin snow cannons (and other gubbins to go with them). But I suppose that should help the pistes, anyhow. The piles of earth alongside are seemingly just the results of nearby roadworks and nothing to do with the lifts.

The car park is pretty big (that is only a small part of it in the photo), though some is used now for the adjacent hotel. I imagine it will be quite busy once the new gondola is there.
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