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Aussies Do Europe - Live trip report.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
munich_irish wrote:
The forecasts suggest heavy snow for the north eastern alps, the heavy snow concentrated east of the Zillertal and north of the main ridge (there are a number of forecast sites, I think this one has the clearest info but others will have their own favourite https://wepowder.com/en ). How the wind might affect the lifts is a bit of an unknown. If I had to choose somewhere then perhaps either Ski Amade or Saalbach-Hinterglemm maybe with a bias to the first area as there is a lot of skiing below the tree line. I would steer clear of Kitzbühel as the lifts there seem especially sensitive to the wind. The downside might be too much snow, some places might get nearly 2 metres of snow over the next few days which will bring big avalanche risks.

The forecast for Kitzbuhel isn't particularly windy. I don't think there'd be lift closures.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sbooker, I've sent you a PM. snowHead
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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?
@Drammeister, https://wepowder.com/en/pass-thurn#resterhohe . Beaufort 7 = moderate gale. The Fleckalmbahn seems to close with the slightest breeze (I know the plan is to replace it with a modern less wind sensitive version). I have been stuck in the Pass Thurn area when they closed the long drag back towards Jochberg because of wind! Having to rely on the hourly bus back to town is not good.
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Wow! Any place getting 2 metres of snow is unlikely to have any lifts open!
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munich_irish wrote:
@Drammeister, https://wepowder.com/en/pass-thurn#resterhohe . Beaufort 7 = moderate gale. The Fleckalmbahn seems to close with the slightest breeze (I know the plan is to replace it with a modern less wind sensitive version). I have been stuck in the Pass Thurn area when they closed the long drag back towards Jochberg because of wind! Having to rely on the hourly bus back to town is not good.


That's only first thing on Sunday morning, after that it looks fine.
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@sbooker, the problem is that the part of Austria that is easily accessed from Milan is the Zillertal. After that, I'd say that St Anton should be doable in less that 5 hours
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sugardaddy,

Really? Via which route? Puzzled
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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!
Still loving the thread. Glad you had a great day in France.
I think you're right to be thinking about the weather. As you saw in France, weather makes all the difference.
I think you should be generally ok in Dollies with regard to wind. Most of skiing is sell below the peaks that tower above you. IF you head over to Alta Badia from Arabba, there's a lot of sheltered stuff. Marmolada might be quite windswept...
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Looking at the frorecast there's a lot heavy snow forecast over Austria but whether you'll have decent visibility is another thing. Lots of sunshine over the Dollies forecast. I'd stick with Arabba
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@sbooker, switching to Austria could be epic, but high risk. Potentially you could end up with closed lifts and runs due to snow, avalanche risk or wind... and no skiing would be worse than wind-affected skiing in the Dolomites (where I doubt the wind will affect more than the most exposed lifts). Even if the runs are open, visibility is likely to be poor if you go somewhere with the most snow forecast - will your whole family enjoy that?

On top of that you might have trouble actually driving to your resort in Austria given the amount of fresh snow which will have fallen on the roads. And Italian hire cars are not usually equipped with winter tyres (though yours might be). Add in the significant extra travel time, and the faff (and cost?) of canceling anything already booked.

You've already skied fresh powder in Austria on this trip. Sunshine and good visibility in the dramatic Dolomites will be another dimension to your holiday. There is at least some snow off the pistes high up, so it won't be "white ribbons" everywhere (though there will be some!). You probably didn't book this part of the Alps for off-piste anyway - people go to the Dolomites for the scenery, food and size of the skiing area. None of this should really be affected by the weather!

I think, in your situation, you should stick with Italy.

If you weren't going until a week later (i.e. after the storms have probably settled down) or hadn't experienced Austria yet, that would shift the balance slightly.

Looking forward to you updates whatever you decide!
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@denfinella, What you say makes sense to me
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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.
For a very comprehensive weather forecast and where to go to get the best conditions see https://wepowder.com/en/forum/topic/262758, Morris explains the weather forecast without resorting to a lot of technical blah.

I have some sympathy for the view that road conditions in the Austrian alps might be difficult for the next 48 hours. Maybe better to be in a resort with some closed lifts but blue skies rather than being completely snowed in.
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@Bergmeister,
Don't take my word for it:

https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Routes?departure=Milano%2C%20Italy&arrival=6580%20Sankt%20Anton%20am%20Arlberg%2C%20Austria&index=0&vehicle=0&type=0&distance=km&currency=EUR&highway=false&toll=false&vignette=false&orc=false&crossing=true&caravan=false&shouldUseTraffic=false&withBreaks=false&break_frequency=7200&coffee_duration=1200&lunch_duration=3600&diner_duration=3600&night_duration=32400&car=hatchback&fuel=petrol&fuelCost=1.477&allowance=0&corridor=&departureDate=&arrivalDate=&fuelConsumption=

I find viamichelin timings much more realistic than google maps
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Stick to the Dolomites for all the reasons mentioned by @denfinella.

I was worried the piste skiing wouldnt be great after the lack of snow but it shouldn't have been a worry as its been good.

The wind made it unpleasant two days ago with lift closures higher up but it has slackened off and back to sunny skies.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Deep powder in the trees or scrapey artificial pistes... No brainer really.

Head to a small family resort in Austria with the majority of skiing below the treeline, and not directly in the centre of the storm. Seefeld, the resorts around Achensee, Bergeralm/Steinach am Brenner, Hoch Ötz, etc etc.
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I'd agree with @clarky999 on this one. From what I'm reading these are exceptional times in that area and it will be a hoot lapping some pistes or tame off piste. Italy can wait!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Stick to the Dolomites for all the reasons mentioned by @denfinella.

I was worried the piste skiing wouldnt be great after the lack of snow but it shouldn't have been a worry as its been good.

The wind made it unpleasant two days ago with lift closures higher up but it has slackened off and back to sunny skies!

Also if you are craving Twisties, they are called Fonzies in Italy.
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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?
Thanks to all for the advice. We’re sticking with the Dolomites. We have a couple of nights on Innsbruck in the way back to Munich before our flight out so I’ll likely jump on a bus or train to one of the hills there. Apparently St Anton is an hour on the train so as it’s iconic I might check that out.
The last few days have been great. Wednesday we drove through the tunnel to Chamonix. The scenery impressed me. The snow wasn’t great but that’s what you get with any activity that relies on the weather. The town was interesting. Lots of people walking around that seem to be there for the vibe (not skiers or mountaineering types). Kids bought Chamonix T shirts.
Thursday we left Aosta (sadly as we loved the place) early morning and took the easy 2 and a bit hour drive to Lake Como. Stunning place and must be mobbed with tourists in summer. The gelato was good but didn’t top the Aosta one which is still in top place.
Today we took the short drive to have a day sight seeing (and spend the night in) Milan. All the usual suspects - Duomo, Vittorio Emanuel shopping mall (Kylie bought a Prada handbag from “the first Prada store”. Gulp at the price! And it was a cheap model), Sforza Castle, expensive gelato that couldn’t match the much cheaper Aosta one etc etc. A very glitzy place that doesn’t exactly fit with the family of suburban dwelling Australians. Still nice for a quick visit.
Looking forward to being on skis again on Sunday! It will be our first ‘half board’ experience at the Portavescovo Hotel. As a person who genuinely prefers healthy options (plenty of veg and lean protein) I’m struggling a little with the tasty but very bread, cheese and ham diet of northern Italy I hope they have an option of something green on the dinner menu. I will say I’m the only one in the family who is questioning the food options here. My son Tom is loving eating so much pizza.
I’m just having an ale in a faux English pub at the moment while waiting for Kylie and the kids. I’m pushing hard for Thai for dinner but I reckon I may be overruled.
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@sbooker, Really great reports, thanks for sharing with us. Glad it has worked out so well.
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@sbooker, The Portavescovo Hotel has a great help yourself salad buffet every night, so you'll be able to get plenty of veg (and seafood which meets your lean protein criterion). Very Happy

Also the Hotel bar has some very good beers on tap! Try the reddish/copper coloured one (sorry can't remember the name). Madeye-Smiley
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@Alastair Pink, Schmucker bock? if so that's actually a (kinda) local one to me. It's part of the same group that owns Fürstenberg, which is the one most people drink there.
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andy wrote:
@Alastair Pink, Schmucker bock? if so that's actually a (kinda) local one to me. It's part of the same group that owns Fürstenberg, which is the one most people drink there.


I don't think so. Not sure but it might be Paulaner Salvator from Munich?
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@sbooker, I think dinner in the Portavescovo is excellent. You could eat reasonably healthily but I doubt many do! You’ll be burning (most) of it off anyway.

The beer in their bar is fine but I prefer the Moretti, on tap in the hotel dining room. Once it’s warmed up a bit, of course wink
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@Alastair Pink, don't remember seeing that one on tap anywhere (but it is a good one and rather "warming" Smile ). saying that, I've not seen it in bottles anywhere recently either.
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Staying at.the Portavescovo. A true Snowhead.
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@sbooker, good choice re sticking with Arabba, good recommendation @PeakyB re hotel dining room and Moretti tap, will be trying both very soon!
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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.
sugardaddy,

It was the Zillertal (being the easiest access from Milan) that had me confused.

I still don't get it Puzzled
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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
On the bus to Arabba.
I’ll see whether I can get this Imgur thing to work with the photos.
https://i.imgur.com/G6jITGo.jpg
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Above is me at the Augustiner beer hall. We don’t get the beer that large in Oz.
https://i.imgur.com/hYgEUrp.jpg
Kylie at the Hofbrauhaus.
https://i.imgur.com/YYJcGyl.jpg
Fresh snow for our fist day skiing in Europe.
https://i.imgur.com/XF5jknT.jpg
Emily and Tom on Christmas Eve at the Hotel Hochzillertal.
https://i.imgur.com/rMBJVRe.jpg
That’s Emily (and Tom buried) after a crash in Hochfügen.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
A few more while I’ve got the time. Hopefully they’re working ok. I’m a tech clutz.
https://i.imgur.com/lAMIB2u.jpg
A nice day in Mayfhofen.
https://i.imgur.com/Mpav3Yl.jpg
Beautiful view in Gerlos on Boxing Day.
https://i.imgur.com/iVNylTp.jpg
My crew on a cold day in Venice.
https://i.imgur.com/gnwWZcf.jpg
Juliet’s fake balcony in Verona.
https://i.imgur.com/vyJXtFZ.jpg
Under the Matterhorn from the wrong side.
https://i.imgur.com/HkPU7TE.jpg
Great views in La Thuile/La Rosiere.
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Poster: A snowHead
https://i.imgur.com/Vi0FBkW.jpg
Monti Bianco from La Thiule.
https://i.imgur.com/4xT5WPZ.jpg
Which way to go - Italy or France?
https://i.imgur.com/hu1tE1S.jpg
Kylie just after a purchase.
https://i.imgur.com/XLkzpiX.jpg
At the Duomo/Vittoria shopping mall.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sbooker, I think you need to add [img] in front of each url and [/img] at the end of it. At least that's what's worked for me.

Thank you for keeping this thread updated, it's really enjoyable reading - even if I don't drink beer snowHead
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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?
Fantastic pictures!
Enjoy Arabba.
I did some reviews on the areas around on YouTube - the Great Ski Guide.
It may give you ideas of where to ski.
The ski Panorama through Val Fe Fassa and the Great War ring are two of the most scenic ski routes in the world.
Do check out which restaurants on thae Mountain are partaking in the Alta Badia gastro scheme too.
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sbooker wrote - "On the bus to Arabba.
I’ll see whether I can get this Imgur thing to work with the photos..."

to get your imgur photos appear in a post

select the image you want, then at the bottom of the page is a section 'Sizes', click on the one you are going to use, then go to "BBCode (message boards & forums)"
copy the link and paste into post :: you may have to experiment with which size to use (try 'large thumbnail' then preview post to see what it looks like..)




e.g. This is a large thumbnail



and a medium....
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Fantastic pictures!
Enjoy Arabba.
I did some reviews on the areas around on YouTube - the Great Ski Guide.
It may give you ideas of where to ski.
The ski Panorama through Val Fe Fassa and the Great War ring are two of the most scenic ski routes in the world.
Do check out which restaurants on thae Mountain are partaking in the Alta Badia gastro scheme too.


I’ve seen your guides. Very informative!
So you can click on the link and see the picture?
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albob wrote:
sbooker wrote - "On the bus to Arabba.
I’ll see whether I can get this Imgur thing to work with the photos..."

to get your imgur photos appear in a post

select the image you want, then at the bottom of the page is a section 'Sizes', click on the one you are going to use, then go to "BBCode (message boards & forums)"
copy the link and paste into post :: you may have to experiment with which size to use (try 'large thumbnail' then preview post to see what it looks like..)




e.g. This is a large thumbnail



and a medium....


Ok. I’ll try that.
You can open the link though?
I confess to being a info tech retard.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Great pics; great trip.

And thanks to whoever has suggested this imgur jobby - I'd previously never heard of it.
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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!
@sbooker, Great pictures. Smile Hope your bus transfer to Arabba went OK and you enjoyed the scenery en route from Verona. Enjoy your evening meal in the Hotel Portavescovo!
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@sbooker, Yes, your links are working just fine - great pics..
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@Alastair Pink,
The bus was fine. Got in earlier than I expected. There was some confusion due to a breakdown in communication. The driver thought we were going to Madonna DC but when he insisted we alight at Trento we discovered another small bus was waiting for us - and Mario the driver who was a lovely chap from Canazei knew exactly where we were headed. He is giving us a lift over Pordoi Pass on the day we leave.

The evening meal was fab. Love the salad/vegetable bar but will be sure to get there later this evening to avoid the scrum. Very Happy The food was fantastic. My group of four opted to order two starters and three mains because we could see how generous the portions were. Excuse my inner greenie but wanton waste really gets under my skin. The amount of food being taken away from tables (presumably to be dumped) was astounding. Rant over. Laughing
Today we arranged ski rental early. Great quick service at the joint about 50 metres from the hotel (affiliated with the ski school). Arranged ski passes. Expensive for Europe standards but the cost was justified later in the day when we experienced the benefits of obviously millions spent on snow making and piste management.
We headed up the local Portavescovo cable car and headed in the clockwise direction of the Sella Ronda. We diverted to do the Sasslong slope (quick stop for coffee, tea and strudel)and Seceda run and continued clockwise around to Colfosco where we did the run up the Edelwisse valley. From there we discovered some of the links from valley to valley (the ones we had already done) we closed due to windy conditions so we scooted back to Arabba only stopping for 4 euro massive pizza slices at Bec de Roces hut.
For the rest of the day we lapped the Portavescovo cable car. There is a cracking prodominately black run that which offers nearly 900 metres of vertical.
The scenery is gobsmacking in real life - more so than pictures deliver. The snowmaking and piste management (particularly considering the terrible recent snow record) is astounding.
The tight back bottom in me is very impressed with the cost of on mountain eating. One euro for a cappuccino??
Some pics.
https://i.imgur.com/9sJS1zn.jpg
My lot posing.
https://i.imgur.com/F6xeKc3.jpg
Tom near Colfosco.
https://i.imgur.com/qOn97vB.jpg
Kylie finishing the Sasslong.
https://i.imgur.com/iAQb8r0.jpg
The crew after strudel.
https://i.imgur.com/SGZhHTf.jpg
Views were pretty good. Cool
https://i.imgur.com/7G2adVj.jpg
More nice scenery.
We’re thinking we might head down the hidden valley tomorrow and come back around the anti clockwise way tomorrow.
Thanks to all for the recommendations!
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