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Austria: Kitzbühel/Kirchberg 2018/19

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thank you @HutToHut
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
HutToHut wrote:
@Riccardo, Aschaber taxi is nextdoor to the Lift hotel, maybe worth an email. Centre of town is a ten minute walk for the other ski shops.


Thanks, l got a quote from them and it was €320, so double Andis taxis shuttle service. The same happened when we went to Saalbach where the taxi firm next door to our hotel wanted to charge one and a half times as much as the service we used despite not having to drive home from the drop off point, saving themselves a leg of the journey each way.

Thanks again @HutToHut
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It’s been snowing the last few days, there was 4-6 inches of powdery snow outside my apartment in St Johann on Tuesday morning. It snowed more last night by the looks of things so I’ve had a fantastic day off piste in Kitzbuhel today. Untracked lines all day with no skinning or hiking! Unbelievable.
The pistes are in great condition it’s just marvellous compared to last week when it was too warm really. For my tastes anyway!
Off piste today the snow stayed nice all day because it’s nice and cold. There was only one pitch we skied which was not so nice.
Anyhow I’ve had a fab day.
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Looking forward to making the most of the good snow this weekend. Presumably earlier the better as the sun is making the slush in the afternoon?

Any tips for one days skiing in Kitz on Saturday?
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@trolleyed, it’s not been soft in the afternoon today but yes usually this time of year get the gondola at 8am and make the most of it
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Quick question...

The bus timetables I've seen that take you between Aschau and Kirchberg go up to 17th March, are the buses still running? And is there a current timetable? (That's actually two questions)

I had come up with a loose plan to take 56 down to Aschau and then take the bus to Ki West and ski Westendorf, but it's not clear what 56 is. Is it a pisted black or unpisted itinery? (I know, that's another question rolling eyes )
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@Riccardo, the number of buses is reduced after from 18.03 see https://www.kitzski.at/de/skigebiet-tirol/info/busfahrplaene.html , look down the bottom of the page under the heading "Eingeschränkter Skibusfahrplan ab 18.03.19".

My experience of that run was that it was basically a piste but that was a couple of years ago, things might be different now especially after new snow later in the season. If the prospect of a long ski route concerns you best check with the lift company before setting out as maybe they only prepare it from time to time.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 15-03-19 15:43; edited 1 time in total
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@munich_irish, Thanks but unfortunately your link didn't work but I think i got where you were sending me

https://www.kitzski.at/en/skiarea-tyrol/info/bus-timetables.html

and there are still plenty of buses.


Yes I suppose it doesn't really matter whether it's a piste or a route, except possibly in respect of time taken to descend and the possibility of it lacking snow at the bottom. Fingers are crossed.
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@Riccardo, just edited the link so it will work (put the comma in at the end) its just the German version of your link. There is now lots of snow, if you are there next week should be good conditions.
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@Riccardo, just edited the link so it will work (put the comma in at the end) its just the German version of your link. There is now lots of snow, if you are there next week should be good conditions.
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@munich_irish, Arrive in two weeks time.
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@Riccardo, whenever I go to Ki West I get the bus from the Maierlbahn Talstation. There’s a nice restaurant just above the bus stop that I pop into and have a coffee or whatever if I have to wait for the bus.

Ski route 56 is pretty long and is definitely not pisted. It’s difficult to say what it will be like in 2 weeks time because I don’t know how warm it’s going to get but it has snowed a lot in the past couple of days alone on top of an already really decent base. Therefore I’d imagine there should be cover on it right down to the bottom. There will be quite deep snow on it just from today. It might not be very nice low down mind when you go to ski it, or it might be fab, anything could happen in 2 weeks it mainly depends on the temperature and how high the freezing level gets.
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@VolklAttivaS5, thanks, I was just planning a few options. I'm lucky enough to have managed two trips already this season and in both cases it wasnt just about the skiing so I was content to go with the flow. This trip with the extended ski pass is different with so much mileage available, it needs a bit of loose planning. Im not going to go mad but I'd like to get around the areas that are accessible.

So maybe a day in Westendorf, another above Soll and the rest exploring the various bits of Kitz. Any must dos?
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You know it makes sense.
Im sure the ski welte closes at the end of March this year so you will struggle to do westendorf, Soll etc.

edit,

Just checked, yep 30th is the last day
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@jafa, doh! Never occured to me.
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As I read this, the SkiWelt will be open till 8th April (though maybe not all runs).
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@espri, isn't that last season?
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Oops, you're right. Sorry, but it's what the SkiWelt website displayed under 'operating and system dates'. I didn't look closely enough. Here is the correct link for this season. It does only go to 31st March. Strange. I would ask the lift company if they are not planning extending the season, given the amount of snow there is.
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Actually, not having the SkiWelt open would open up other possibilities that a hire car would give us, such as WildKogel, Konigsleiten and maybe even Fieberbrunn that we didn't get to explore much on a recent trip to Saalbach.

What's St Johann like?
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I just love Kitz, if there is no snow ... there is always the Londoner Madeye-Smiley
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Quote:

What's St Johann like?

Set to close on the 31/3 according to bergfex. It's small and interesting with lots of huts, Penzing is nice run down.
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Steinplatte is worth a day trip, open till 7/4.
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@HutToHut, We'll pass Steinplatte on the way back to the airport. Evening flight too...

Edit, although now I come to think of it, my son will have had to return his rental boots. He could wait in the car I spose...
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OK, so now I've had time to put some thought into this and do a bit of research, I think it would be worthwhile using the car and extended pass to explore smaller '1 day' resorts that I wouldn't book a week at on the grounds that they don't offer enough skiing. But obviously as we're based in Kirchberg, it makes no sense to leave out some of the Kitzbuhel runs in order to drive somewhere else.

We've got 6.5 days skiing from the 31st and the areas of interest that I think will be open are Steinplatte (thanks @HutToHut), WildKogel, and Auffach (Ski Juwel, may be bigger than 1 day).

So, ignoring the fact that snow coverage might influence the decision by the time we get there, do we spend,

a) 3.5 days in Kitz and 1 in each of the others?
b) 4.5 days in Kitz and not one of the others? If so which one?
c) 5.5 days in Kitz and a day in one of the others? If so which?
d) Something else?
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a)

and buy junior some boots Very Happy
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I think you really need to wait to see what is open and what the conditions are like. The current forecasts suggest warm dry spring weather except for a cooler and damper interlude early next week. The forecast suggest nearly 20 degrees on the 31st, though as always how accurate forecasts that far out will be is open to question. Also note that some of the Kitzbühel lifts close on the 31st too, see https://www.kitzski.at/en/skiarea-tyrol/info/fahrplan-winter-bbag-kitz.html. That is not to say there will not be any skiing, more that you need to be flexible to go to the best spots. Fieberbrunn is almost certainly worth a visit. Might be worth a trip to Kaprun, could be an excellent time for glacier skiing. The Wildkogel area the other side of Pass Thurn will be open and has high skiing area (top lifts higher than Kitzbühel though the valley runs will almost certainly be closed). Further up the same valley at Königsleiten should also be potentially good. Places with lots of south facing slopes are probably best avoided. I would be dubious that Auffach would be worth the trip but given the amount of snow there is it might be. Same with Steinplatte, it has had a lot of snow this year but it is not high though north facing and will suffer in the warm temperatures. It also depends what you want out of the day and what sort of skiing you enjoy.
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Thanks for the link @munich_irish, l think the only closure that affects what we'd want to do is the Heislegg which is a bit of a shame to lose that corner. Königsleiten and Fieberbrunn were on the long list because they're somewhere I'd like to visit but really deserve more than a day; but l hadn't considered Kaprun, cheers for that idea.

What do I want out of it? Just to experience different places, types of resort. I'm not massively well travelled but it seems to me that resorts have their own vibe/character/personality/culture, however you want to term it, and that's interesting to explore. And I suppose much the same goes for skiing different conditions too.
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Arrived on Saturday night, hired boots for Sonny Jim this morning and caught the bus up to the Maierlbahn. Probably about 9:45 before we did any actual skiing. Conditions were quite icy, inconsistently so. Eg one side of the Pengelsteins was boilerplate, the other was perfect.

Messed around on that valley side for a while, a bit longer than intended really, navigational issues. Then across to Pass Thurn on the 3-S and played around in the slush there. Lunch in the PanoramaAlm was pricy and OK, a bit underwhelmed tbh. We'll have to do that side properly next time as the pistes that went from top to bottom of each lift were in great shape but we always seemed to be tracking across them.

First impressions are that the lift system is fantastic, I far prefer the fast 8s to gondolas and we didn't queue once at all. And the rest of the week is supposed to get quieter rolling eyes It did cause a bit of a problem in that the tough conditions and the absence of any standing around meant that we were pretty shattered well before making it back down to the car park.

Tomorrow we're going on a trip to either Steineplatte or Wildkogel via a trip to the pharmacy to pick up essentals like toothpaste, bonjela and most importantly after sun, because my face is fairly pink now. Intense sunshine all day, more of the same tomorrow. Cool
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@Riccardo, the Panorama Alm in Pass Thurn was awful when I went. Have only been once and won't be going back.
When in Pass Thurn you want to be going to the Sonnalm instead or the Hanglalm. Both of those were nice when I went which was more than once to both.

In Steinplatte the restaurant at the top of the 6 seater chair (think it's aptly named the Steinplatte chair) is called Panorama Tenne-the meal I had in the restaurant part (not the self serve) was delicious. It was the mixed grill followed by a piece of apple strudel. The restaurant is also non-smoking whereas the neighbouring restaurant I think allows smoking.
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Just for another viewpoint, I have never had any complaint about the Panorama Alm (though I haven't been there this winter). I like the Toni Alm in that area and also the Sonnseite at the middle station of the Panoramabahn gondola.

On the Steinplatte I like the Alpenblick restaurant which was rebuilt and expanded this year. I hadn't realised that the Panorama Tenne did main meals (or are you confusing the two buildings? The Tenne is in the building nearer the top of the 6-seat Kammerkör chairlift, the Alpenblick is in the building with the self service downstairs nearer the top of the 8-seat Steinplatte lift).
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@espri, yes you're right I'm thinking of the Alpenblick now you've said the name. Very nice it was too.
Is the Panorama Tenne the next place along (after the adjoining self service bit downstairs from the Alpenblick) where you can see people smoking through the windows?
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Yes the Toni Alm does nice food too.
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The Tenne is the building on the opposite side of the outside sitting area.
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The Pass Thurn area often has the best snow, it is higher than the rest of the Kitzbühel skiing and is north facing. Most of the runs are fairly short and not particularly challenging, the exception being the Zweitausender run. The top part is marked as black though not sure why, the lower part is marked as red though it can be fairly challenging, especially in less than good snow conditions. The ski route to the skiers right of the piste is usually a fairly wide mogul field which merges into the piste, easy to dip in and out. There are various off piste options under the Zweitausender chair and in the valley off to the left of the piste.

Weather forecast is more sunny warm weather but due to change on Thursday and Friday, should be snow higher up though probably rain in the valley.

Doubt it will be an issue this week but I have been stuck in the Pass Thurn area when they shut the drag lift back towards Jochberg because of "high winds", quite how that could be when all the chair lifts were running..... Meant a dash down to the Pass Thurn bus stop where luckily I was in time for a bus rather than having to wait for an hour.......
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Big thumbs up for Steinplatte. Young padawan thinks it's his #1 resort for a day's skiing. Scenery-wise really spectacular, lift system was great, pistes stayed in good condition all day, hard to fault really. Our top run(s) was 9 dropping onto 8 then back onto 9 (or endless combinations and variations of the same) all the way down to the rickety 4 man chair, which was fun to do first thing and still fun as the last laps of the day, despite another day of intense sun.

Strangely it was a bit busier than Kitzbuhel was yesterday, lots of OAPs and lots of learner school kids, so had our first and only lift queue of the week so far, when once we had to wait for the group in front to embark, roughly an 8 second delay.

Found the Alpenblick and I get the confusion as it too has Panorama Tenne written on the side, clearly the same organisation with shared seating between. We actually ended up with burgers from the grill counter on the back of the Alpenblick and very nice they were too.

We'll probably go to Wildkogel tomorrow as it seems sensible to do our driving to smaller resorts before the weather changes on Thursday.

@munich_irish, yes we did the run down from the Zweitausender a few times and enjoyed it except right at the bottom where it was mushy and hard work. Also dipped into the mogul field under the chair but soon dipped back out as it wasn't so much fun. Route 69 on the opposite side of the valley was much softer and more to our taste.
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So after 3 days of skiing elsewhere, (Steinplatte, Wildkogel, Ski Juwel) we turned up at the Maierlbahn this morning to find it was one of only 2 lifts working across the resort due to expected high winds. Checked Fieberbrunn but that was completely shut down. Checked Steinplatte and 12 out of 14 were running (although in reality it was 11).

So off we tootled feeling pretty smug at having hired a car. Conditions were incredibly slow but we still had a great time even on a 2nd day there.
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@Riccardo, exactly! Even without a car it's easy to get to these other places using the train or bus, most of the time for free too! God knows why people hang around Kitzbuhel all day waiting for lifts to open on windy days when they could have just gone somewhere else that morning.
I noticed during my 3 months in the area that when it's windy then Kitzbuhel are the first to have lifts closed and they often don't open again either. Understandable from a safety point of view but other areas are maybe more sheltered so don't get affected by the wind so much maybe. Who knows but it was something I noticed over the 3 months.
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@VolklAttivaS5, yes, although the reason for hiring the car was that a lot of connecting services scaled right down on the 31st March
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Kitzbühel does seem to have more wind problems than elsewhere. The Fleckalmbahn is very prone to closure, I believe it is due to be replaced in the near future. The 3S should be less affected by wind (that's the point of the two "running" cables) but guess not much point in running it if the other lifts are closed.
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@munich_irish, yes they are replacing the Fleckalmbahn. I think that was built in 1984 so I can understand why that one gets closed.
As for the others a lot of the time I was thinking Puzzled because I've been in far more foul weather in places like Zermatt and Tignes and they don't seem to have the same issues. It's not as if the lift system in Kitzbuhel isn't modern, most of the chairs have covers and the gondolas are all quite new.
I just thought maybe they very low threshold for closing, I just wonder whether each lift company has a different safety 'trigger' where they decide to close a lift. I am just referring to wind not avalanche control/clearing.
It was just as well I could go elsewhere every single time otherwise I think I'd have felt frustrated by it.
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