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Austria - Kitzbühel - Snow Report 2017/18

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Tuesday, 5th December, 2017

Its been snowing here for two days and there is about 15 to 20cm of new snow in the valley. Up on the mountain there is a fair bit more. My friends were all kind enough to send me videos of them shredding the powder while I spent a day in our office doing admin.

Tomorrow the forecast is sunny and blue skies with great visibility and the wind is supposed to die down a little meaning that a few lifts that were closed today will open tomorrow unveiling acres of untouched fresh snow.

Above the tree line the main avalanche danger is from wind blown snow and below the tree line the risk is for slab avalanches triggered by new snow sitting on top of surface hoar (a weak layer) created over the last few days between snow falls.

I can't promise that I'll get to updating this thread every day but, every so often at least, and with the most pertinent info, is my goal. I hope it is helpful and wish you all a snowy week ahead snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There is already thread running on Kitz 17/18

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=134048
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Sounds amazing. We're out over Xmas and New Year so don't use up all the snow before we get there! 🌧🌧.
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@JimboS, Ah yes, so there is. I will add to that from now on and leave this one to be deleted by Admin, or by me, we will see. Thanks for the heads up.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just a quick update to say that the 20 or 30 cm's which was forecast for Kitzbühel looks like its staying to the South and West of here, so Switzerland & Italy/Sud Tirol should be receiving the brunt of it, and probably makes for some really fine conditions in those resorts. Latest update is for about 10cm on Tuesday and Wednesday.

We have had pretty cold temperatures this last week, one day my car doors were frozen shut with -16,5'C. But today its much warmer, we are getting Firn-Winds and temperatures are forecast to be pretty high (+10'C) tomorrow before falling again deep into minus figures.

Snow conditions are at the moment still good, the warm winds make it a bit weird as you are not really cold up there and the winds have been pretty strong, closing quite a few lifts over the last couple of days. The offpiste is somewhat unstable given the prevalent weather conditions.

Thats it, more to come over the coming few days / weeks / months!

Have fun, stay safe! snowHead
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What a day! Blue skies and sunshine with a fresh dusting of 20cms plus, up top.

I spent all morning off piste skiing with an old friend on his snowboard and a ski instructor whom I have trained through to full Landeslehrer. The three of us had a whale of a time.

Avalanche level is 3, so we were naturally cautious, the specifics were the same as a few days ago, above 1800m (tree level) the danger was wind blown snow and below 2400m the main danger was slab snow avalanches.

We found the snowpack to be very stable, thankfully. The wind seems to have come from the south, judging by the massive amounts of snow on the northerly faces. Most likely the warm firn-winds from the south, so the northern facing slopes which here in Kitzbühel can sometimes be very wind swept were today the best.

However the southern facing slopes didn't look bad at all, in places they looked amazing, so its possible that last night there was very little wind and the snow is overall good. But we didn't test the theory properly, only skiing one south facing slope so its hard to definitively say. Unfortunately still no Hochsaukaser lift which is frustrating but if you have the energy to hike/tour out there you'll certainly be very well rewarded.

Lastly its worth mentioning that at times you could feel the firmer, slightly crusty layer underneath the new snow, on convex rollovers for example, but it was overall better than anticipated from the snow conditions and of course with good friends you can't have a bad time!

I hope all you snowheads are out there enjoying the freshies!

snowHead snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Why are you posting twice? It’s obvious there’s two threads been set up in error. Eventually one will die if it’s just ignored
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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!
Its been puking snow for hours in Kitzbühel and the surrounding area. Visibility was shocking however when I went up to the top of Ellmau earlier today and it was a bit windy. A mate of mine was on top of the Hahnenkamm and reported much the same.

Snow is forecast for the next 6 days straight with temperatures between -3 and -8 not including wind chill. Wind forecast to be around 10kmh which is nothing so fantastic conditions and a white christmas to look forward to!!!

Avalanche danger level is still 3. Pistes are in such fantastic condition you can have mega fun on those and pick the best days to wander off into the offpiste, what a season so far!

snowHead
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I skied in Kitzbuhel yesterday. I was expecting New Year crowds but on the whole it was fine, just one lift queue at the 4-man Pengelstein chair, which is often a bit of a bottleneck.

Snow conditions were excellent. It had rained overnight so some of the piste preparation had clearly been hampered, but it was warm yesterday and the snow softened up nicely.
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Glad to hear conditions were excellent, but I am somewhat surprised given the lack of fresh snow and the warm temperature! Does it resemble spring skiing? We are arriving Kirchberg next weekend and seeing snow depth is only 25 base /100 summit it's a little worrying. Crying or Very sad
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@Hybrid713, I don't have any figures to hand, but 25 // 100 sounds reasonable for early January in Kitzbuhel. Where are you used to skiing?
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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.
@Hybrid713, every piste is open, every lift is running, there's snow in the valley. What's not to like?
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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
Sounds like I am just paranoid about the whole situation given it’s probably my one and only ski trip this year.

The last few Ski trips was in France Tignes/3V and St Anton which is higher up.

So what sort of numbers or what other info would start to worry you?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Hybrid713, I tend not to worry about anything. There's really nothing you can do about weather anyway. Last week some friends of mine were in Kitzbuhel for the entire week, a week when a lot of the western Alps were closed for 2 or 3 days due to storms, rain and severe avalanche risks. Kitzbuhel took the safety precaution of closing some upper lifts on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. The lower runs and lifts remained open. My point is that heading to a high altitude ski area did not yield the best conditions last week, staying low and among trees was infinitely better.

Eastern Austria has had a very good start to the season this season. Above average snowfall and below average temperatures have yielded good snow cover and excellent conditions. The weather has been a bit mixed over the last week with some high temperatures and a combination of rain and snow, but the on piste conditions remain great. The piste preparation teams know what they are doing and strive to provide the punters with what they want. The forecast for next week is for largely settled conditions but a return to lower temperatures. My advice is enjoy what are very good early January conditions and don't fret about the weather.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Hybrid713, Kitzbuhel's slopes are much grassier than the (generally) rockier slopes of places like Tignes & the 3V. For example you might need a metre of snow to provide enough cover for some of Val Thorens' pistes, but perhaps only 30-50cm for the majority of Kitz. Yes, 25cm is a low number, but that's only at the bottom. The majority of the pistes are higher up and most of the lower runs will be covered by snowmaking anyway. You only ski on the top 10cm! And I reckon the snow is nicely compacted at the moment and resistant to melting.

In (?) Feb 2014 I was in Soll, Austria for a week with snow depths of something like 20 // 40cm. I did worry a bit before going, but in the end almost every single piste was open with plenty of snow on.

Weather is currently warm (but nothing unusual) and forecast to get cooler. So no reason for you to worry for next week.

(Edit: I'm referring to on-piste obviously - can't comment on what off-piste is like)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well we are renting a car with the super ski card so it is possible to head for another resort, though not sure how much difference can 1 hr drive make. But I do take your point, and it's nowhere near panic station.

Good to get a bit of education about the relationship between snow coverage and geography. Actually I never understood how snow depth impact quality of skiing - apart from 0cm Smile

If we only ski the top 10 or so cm, then what matters is the quality of that layer (i.e soft/hard/ice) and not what's underneath? Vice versa it's possible to have a meter of that white stuff but it still makes for poor skiing surface Puzzled
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@Hybrid713, you may get hard pack, you may get slush, you may get a thin layer of fresh snow on top of packed pistes. My guess is you'll get a bit of everything. Enjoy it. There's plenty of snow.
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@Hybrid713, as has been said, there's a ton of snow in Kitz right now and Kitz only needs abot 20cm to give good skiing cos it's all alpine meadow. You'll be fine.
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@Hybrid713, in answer to your question, yes, it's entirely possible to have 400cm of snow depth and still be skiing hard-packed ice on piste. Snow depth figures are not a reliable guide to how your skiing is going to be. In fact, (some) resorts are notoriously bad at providing realistic snow depth figures anyway - I went to Sauze D'Oulx a few years back in a hot spring, and they were reporting 40cm on the lower slopes...which when we arrived we found were entirely snowless and totally shut!

You'll do better to just ask people what the piste condition is like on here. but as QB notes, you can't change it anyway, so relax and start doing leg stretch exercises instead of worrying.
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Just had a great day skiing the Kitzbühel Ski Safari. Our group met up at the top of the Hahnenkammbahn and there we were able to see the busy preparations for next week's Hahnenkamm Race - here at the Start House...



And a loudspeaker stand being installed, looking the other way down the Startschuss to the Mausefalle...



After a brief diversion down the Brunn piste 27b, we continued on the Safari, going over the 3S gondola but missing out Jochberg. Here's a view from the southern end of the Safari, looking from near the top of the Hanglalm lift towards the Resterhöhe...



Although the slopes were quite busy, we didn't queue for many lifts. Snow was generally good, softening somewhat in the sun but still with some hard, polished sections, e.g. on our return run on pistes 75 down from the Zweitausender and 62 from the Bärenbadkogel. Elsewhere there was sugary snow. This is a photo taken on the Talsen chairlift as we approached the 3S gondola on our way back to Kitzbühel.



Very enjoyable!
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@espri, it's always interesting to see the way the snow sticks to the valley in Kitz. I would have thought with all the Foehn wind we have had over the last few days it would be gone. Somehow in Kitz the snow survives!
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@espri,
thank you for the updates and lovely pictures,
we arrive on Saturday for 1 week skiing and staying in aurach, looking so forward to it. Very Happy Very Happy
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@moonshine, have fun! Skied the area again today but overcast. Still enjoyable. Seemed there were less people around.
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It turns out the snow and condition of the runs are decent - not to the surprise of anyone above. First day we skied in Brixen/Soll area and today we skied in Westendorf (hope I won't get told off since SkitWelt is Kitzbuhel's next door neighbour).

Day 1: Brixen/Soll - If there's such thing as skiing in heaven....


Day 2: Westendorf - Perfect sunny day (though runs leading into town was a little icy)


Will be heading to Kitz tomorrow, can't wait! We just got tickets to the Saturday downhill race, so will be checking out the preparation/training. Will def post Kitz pics, but I would Kitz to have similar condition to SkiWelt.
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Snow at last! Plenty of it in fact. Unfortunately it also meant high winds which got us stranded in Brixen for awhile with most of the lifts shut including the gondola back down to the village. We decided to drive over Gaisberg to try our luck given the lower elevation, after lifts re-opended for download. But after a few runs we decided to call it a day as the wind started to pick up. Should've watched what I wish for, snow is not always a good thing! Will be waking up early tomorrow to hit Jochberg first thing for the fresh powder. Fingers crossed the wind will die down as it has been snowing all day and expecting double digits tonight.

Brixen - Heavy wind / snowfall, skiers either stayed indoors or head for the button lift to keep themselves entertained


Gaisberg - The wind picked up in the valley shortly after - total whiteout
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As expected, the runs were amazing today, so much fresh powder. Surprised there wasn't a queue to get up the mountain first thing the morning, felt like we had the mountain to ourselves. I decided to dabble in a bit of powder, turned out to be a very bad idea consider I have got a pair of top notch front side ski (Atomic Rester S9) and little experience with powder!

Anyhow I have learnt that Google's snow summary is rubbish - incorrect forecast/last snowfall data. On the other hand snowforecast.com is pretty accurate, at least for the next few days. More snow expected the next couple of days!

Jochburg 63 ungroomed: My skis disappeared within seconds
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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.
Alright Guys, Headed to Westendorf for a weekend in Feb. I couldn't see a SkiWelt thread, so would this be the best place for tips/info etc?
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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
First day in Westendorf today. Skied over to Scheffau & Ellmau. Plenty of snow right down to the villages. Lower runs quite soft, upper slopes great. The odd icy patch to keep things interesting. No queues anywhere. Going over to Kits tomorrow.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Great conditions at Resterhohe & Barenbadkogel today.
Hard packed on Streif and quite icy on the blue down to Maierlbahn late on.
Should be sunny tomorrow. Snow maybe Thursday. 😀
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Started snowing around 11am, a bit wild on Pengelstein after lunch. 2 or 3 inches on upper slopes, not much down in Westendorf. Red 110 is better for a bit of fresh snow, it was getting a bit treacherous yesterday late on. Still snowing lightly and a little more forecast for tomorrow.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Arriving sunday for 3 weeks and cant wait Smile looks like cold weather next week so bring it on Smile
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Just back from a weekend visit. Took in Soll (I'd forgotten how much their sign system annoys me!) and Kits. Lots of hard packed icy pistes until late enough in the day. Not many people about. Good to see a bit of snow arrive today, it's needed. Lots of ice bumps on red and blue slopes as the snow melts each day and gets bumpy / moguled before freezing and getting bashed into bumps overnight. Same on blanks, but at least on blanks people are better able for it.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Light snow most of today. Nothing to show in the village but it's not done any harm higher up. Quite icy on the busier steeper reds and blues. Quite impressed with the area. Good lift system. No queues all week.
If you cover a lot of miles it's worth getting the SuperSkiCard so you have the choice of SkiWelt and Kitzbuhel. We found it best to get the bus from Westendorf into Kitz then ski back.
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Sailbad, thanks for the update. Headed to Westendorf in a couple of weeks time, so getting the bus to kitz May be a great shout for one of the days. Have you any tips for eating up the hill?
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B1g, If you're only going over to Kitz once you can buy a one day extension on the SkiWelt pass, I think it's 22 euros. If you're going to go twice, the Salzburg superskicard makes more sense as its 32.50 euros more for a six day pass which covers Kitz and SkiWelt.

Favorite restaurant - Jausenstation Frankalm, no.14, near the Filzboden chair above Brixen.

Best area - Resterhohe, top left of the Kitz piste map. Quickest to get the bus (from behind Hotel Post) to Kirchberg and use the Fleckalbahn gondala. If you want to spend all day there you can ski down to Pass Thurn and get the ski bus into Kitz, then the Post Bus back to Westendorf.

Favorite run - black 55 in Kitz. Good snow, not too steep, well pisted.
Mrs Sinner's favorite run - black 1 in Brixen. Un-pisted, deserted.

Hope the snow stays good, it was dumping at Salzburg Airport when we left Saturday morning.
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Why not ski both ways. The link bus from the bottom of Ki West is only 6 minutes and then you are into the Kitz System. We did it virtually everyday last year from Soll. A great ski despite poor/warm conditions. In current situation it must be brilliant!
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It's a nice ski over, especially the red under KiWest lift, but if you want to do justice to Resterhohe you have a lot more time if you jump on the bus.
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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!
Thanks guys, i only have 4 days skiing, so using whatever advise I can possibly get, to make the most of the smaller time-frame.
Really appreciate the advise on the passes Sinner, the other guys are there for a week, so upgrading their passes could be an option.

Looking forward to some good food when we are there, so will be checking out your recommendations for sure.

Any update on the current snow conditions?
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Conditions are very good on piste at the moment in the kitzbuhel area. There are some icy patches later in the day but all in all its great skiing conditions Very Happy
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Guys, could you give me another couple of bits of advice?
1. Where in Westendorf do I pick up ski passes?
2. Could you recommend a taxi company to get us to and from the train station?
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