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Austria: Kitzbühel/Kirchberg 2018/19

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yesterday, 13th October, was Ski Opening for the new season at Kitzbühel, though only on a very restricted area at Pass Thurn. I decided to start my season and, since the skiing available at the Kitzsteinhorn glacier is currently restricted to one T-bar, I thought I might as well see what Kitzbühel had to offer for a change. Going up the Panoramabahn gondola the conditions did seem more suitable to mountain biking than skiing...



However, when I reached the top there was some snow in sight, about 50 cm on the piste, I reckon (where it hadn't been scraped away). This wasn't a local snowfall but old snow for old fogeys, snow which had been preserved from last season over the summer...



I hadn't expected great conditions and, as it was about 11 o'clock before I reached the slopes with a blue cloudless sky, I thought the snow would be soft. What I hadn't reckoned on was that others had been skiing there for two or more hours. When I followed a group round to the left where the piste you use to return to Kitzbühel goes, this is what I found...



Moguls. Ouch. This isn't the corduroy slope I would have dreamed of for my first piste of the season! Looking the other way where the run flattened slightly it wasn't all quite so challenging (though I did have my only fall of the day on this run near the bottom of the Resterkogel chairlift)...



And here is the view from the bottom station of the Resterkogel lift, showing much of the two available pistes...



It was a strenuous first day's skiing - I kept going for about two and a half hours before my legs wilted. Here's the view looking down the main piste...



And one skier managing it well...



The moguls weren't all you had to watch out for. Sometimes there was crossing traffic (but it was quite slow)...



All in all, it was an enjoyable if challenging first day. I did ten runs before retiring, the target I had set myself. It looks now as though the real snow might start arriving in a couple of weeks time.
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Well done for having a go, and thanks for the great pics!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
After coming home from a day in the mountains, on foot not very far from Kitzbühel, it seems rather bizarre that anyone would think of skiing on a day like today. It was most definitely shorts and t shirts conditions, lots of folk sunbathing on the summits in perfect "Kaiserwetter". Not sure quite what the point is of the lift company going to all this effort just so they can claim the resort "opened" in mid October. The "pistes" are very quickly going to turn into a collection of sugary soft moguls apparent in the pictures. Much better to stick with walking, climbing or biking until there is some real snow or at least cold enough for any snow (whether from last year or a snow canon) not to melt in the 20 degree afternoon sun.

The warm dry autumn weather seems likely to continue for the next week or so, suggestions of cooler damper conditions the week after next.
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Booked Kitz for New Year. Very much appreciate anyone who lives/skis around the area to keep posting pics. even if they are of no snow.
Many thanks in advance. Smile
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dougie wrote:
Very much appreciate anyone who lives/skis around the area to keep posting pics. even if they are of no snow.


I gladly would but sadly have used all my allocated snowHeads disk space allowance. However, I can report that I had enjoyable if rather restricted skiing in the central Kitzbühel area today (the area opened yesterday for the first time this season). A couple of pistes are skiable, one running down from the Steinbergkogel to the Jufen chairlift and the other being at the Walde chairlift on the Hahnenkamm. The former was a good run with a couple of variants near the bottom but narrow in places. The Walde piste is rather short but quite steep on the direct descent. The snow is basically all artificial and was good but mostly hard. The lift company provided a shuttle service to get you from one area to the other, a new experience.

Summing up, the skiing is currently very restricted but what there is isn't bad. Not surprisingly the slopes weren't very busy. I trust the real snow will arrive before New Year (a little is forecast for this week).
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Hi @espri, I've been offered a fairly decent deal in Kirchberg for Christmas week and wondered if you have any experience of the recent seasons with minimal snow at that time of year? I know we can't predict the future but just wanted an idea of worse case.
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@Valluga, even in years when the snow proper didn't come till after Christmas (or even New Year), it was possible to get some skiing, though sometimes not all pistes were skiable. Last winter started well (snowwise), the two winters before that were poor. This winter is probably the poorest start I can remember, even on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, but I still trust that the snow will come. Some is forecast for the next few days - we shall see how much difference that makes.

P.S. you can also see that all areas are starting to make artificial snow.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Off out to St Johann for a couple of months from Jan 5th
I’m not worried about the snow as it’s not even December yet and they don’t need much around there on the grassy slopes to make it skiable.
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VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Off out to St Johann for a couple of months from Jan 5th
I’m not worried about the snow as it’s not even December yet and they don’t need much around there on the grassy slopes to make it skiable.


And they'll have near 100% snow cannon coverage.

I went to Kitz in the mid 80s...snow cannon were a new fangled thing. They had them on one south facing slope on the way over to Pass Thurn
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If you look at the skimap here https://map.kitzski.at/de/winter/ you can find a neat feature. If you click on the days in the bottom right hand corner you can see the pistes that they plan to open on which days. For this coming weekend in addition to pistes at Pas Thurn the plans suggest the runs in the bowls between the Hahnenkamm and Pengelstein will be open, a mixture of blues, reds and blacks. There is some more snow forecast over the next few days (could well fall as rain lower down). For those worrying about Christmas etc, the prospects look pretty reasonable for at least some snow. I can remember worse starts to the season (years when the Hahenkamm race has had to be shortened) and the snow making facilities are much better now. Some years (like last year) there is good skiing in December (I can even remember skiing all the way down to the valleys in November) but most years not.
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Anyone here going to watch the racing in Jan?
As I will be there anyway I thought I’d go and see.
Any tips? Worth buying a seated ticket or not?
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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.
Just bought a season pass (Superskicard)
I understand ski bus journeys are covered but how does it work on the trains? Would the train to Zell am See and Kitzbuhel be free with the pass or do you have to pay?
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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
I know the trains and regular buses up and down the Brixental are covered if you have a pass and are wearing ski kit. I believe transport (except actual ski buses between Fieberbrunn & Leogang ) between the Tirol & Salzburgerland is not covered

Quote:
Ski bus:
Free ski bus use with the Super Ski Card according to terms for the relevant ski region. No free ski bus available between the Super Ski Card ski regions from the Kitzbühel Alps to Salzburg State and the other federal states. Check bus + traintimetables at: www.oebb.at (Austrian Federal Railways)
Hint mobility: Free travel between the resorts of 4 Kitzbüheler Alpen-regions - click here
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@munich_irish, thanks
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The free trains are limited to "local journeys"... For example we often stay in St johann and use the train to ski in kitz... That's covered and free with a pass and ski kit... And they do check.

You would not be covered for journeys outside the Valley. I. E to zell am see

Only time that is included in during hannenkhamm week
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@enduroaid, oh yes? So if I go to Zell am See by train during Hahnenkamm week I don’t have to pay as long as I’m dressed in ski gear?
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Glued to webcams to see the streets of Kitz covered in the last few hours.
Www.kitz.net
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Conditions look glorious today. The piste and loft status show it is possible to ski across to Pass Thurn now. Can see that the Ki-West and the SkiWeltBahn are closed to the Westendorf area although Westendorf is open. Anyone any idea when they are likely to open please? Two weeks today, I will be there and enjoy the ski across to the SkiWelt. Thanks.
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@Dougie, It is still a bit early for Skiwelt, I have sometimes been skiing there in December but that is the exception rather than normal. Also bear in mind that it is still low season and there will not be that many people out skiing so the lift company often dont open lifts as there is simply not enough people to justify doing so. I know in conditions like today it seems crazy that more people are not taking advantage but many people have other things to do in the run up to Christmas (myself included unfortunately). Given how much snow has fallen and there is more forecast over the next couple of weeks I am sure you will find most of the runs open when you arrive in the Tirol.
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@munich_irish Thanks for that. I only get chance to look at webcams / weather / lift status 9 or 10 times every waking hour so naturally think I am going to miss something! Embarassed
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I like popping over to Westendorf as well I think the trees look so nice there.
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I am popping down to Kirchberg tonight with the family for the christmas period. Any decent pools for children around there like the Kaiserbad in Ellmau (too far from Kirchberg)?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
The pool in Kitzbuhel was nice but haven’t been in for 8 years or so.
Edit: Here is link. https://www.kitzbueheler-alpen.com/en/winter/aquarena-pool-wellness-spa-austria-tyrol.html
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For anyone interested, KiWest over to Westendorf is open today.
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Yay
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Glorious afternoon in Kitz. Bit cold and cloudy this morning but much more sun now. Over in Jochberg since it is quite busy now in direct Kitz area.
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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.
Is there a nice covering all over the mountain? Wondering whether to book for next weekend.
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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
@Jenniper, Kitz are reporting 57 / 58 lifts open. 62cm top / 42cm valley*. Snow on the way this weekend and probably during the week. I don't think you will be making any big mistakes if you book.

*Remember that Kitz is mostly alpine meadows with few rocks. You don't need a lot of snow to get decent skiing.
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There is nothing wrong with on-piste @Jenniper, and it snowed overnight. If you like to explore off-piste, then I really don’t have that sort of knowledge of what is good or not. Saw a few tracks when on 3S but certainly at town level, the covering is patchy at best. The posters are mostly all open. The red 22 to the town is closed as is the blue 20 but other than that, I can’t recall seeing any other closed pistes although we didn’t ski extensively. The word around town is about 20cms throughout the day today.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Thanks both. Went with Saalbach in the end but Kitz is very much next on the list!
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Skied Westendorf today. Found Penglestein closed first thing so went there instead. Cloudy and foggy particularly higher up but snow lovely and resort largely quiet. Got bus back to Kirchberg around 3pm with aim of doing a couple of runs to finish the day by skiing into Kitzbuhel but Fleckambahn shut.
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Jenniper wrote:
Thanks both. Went with Saalbach in the end but Kitz is very much next on the list!
Saalbach also a good choice. I tend towards Kitzbühel/Kirchberg more often just because it's closer for me, but in terms of the type and quantity of terrain they really don't have much to choose between them.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Is the blue 20 to town ever open? Doesnt have snowmaking but adds a nice kmage to resorts length of piste
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@countryman, that's a forrest road. It's open when there is snow. Don't think they have any snow making on it.
Not very interesting. There are better ways down.
Really don't think Kitz needs to up it's piste length numbers!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I like piste 20 for a change. And the Einsiedelei hut makes it worth the trip.
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Quote:

Went with Saalbach in the end

You won't regret it. Piste conditions have been excellent since I arrived on 10th December, and it's now dumping heavily. Both piste and off-piste conditions should be fabulous in Saalbach for the foreseeable future.
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I really can't wait! We went for Christmas in 2014 which was a bit disappointing so I'm really looking forward to seeing the whole mountain this time.
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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!
Has anyone here been up on the Horn so far?
I’m interested in the new lifts. I’m still not sure why they put in a state of the art 10 person gondola for a single red run at Raintal.
I’m guessing there won’t be a big queue for that one!
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@Jenniper, Let me know if you want/need anyone to show you around snowHead
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I enjoyed a fine day round the Horn (showing my age Laughing) on 20th December (I have rather given up reporting now that I cannot add more photos to my albums). Very quiet then and good snow (but only skiable to the middle station of the Hornbahn). The new lifts are fine but don't add a great deal to the area. The gondola may be planned with a future link to St. Johann in mind.
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