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Zell am See advice please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi guys,

Am taking extended family to Zell for a long weekend from 30th March to 2nd April. We're a mix of intermediate and early intermediate skiers, complete beginners and non-skiers. Probably only get 2 days of skiiing - the trip is more about spending time in the mountains for the non-skiers and introducing the beginners to it all. We'll probably spend half a day in Salzburg in the morning before the return flight.

We'll be staying in a chalet/villa on Skiliftstraße, a stone's throw from the Ebenbergbahn lift. However, I think we're more likely to use the CityExpress to get up the mountain given the relative abilities of the group. Had a few specific questions for any experts on the area.

Firstly, I was thinking of getting 2 days of private lessons for the beginners (2 kids and their mothers). The mums will probably only try skiing on the first day. Any recommendation for ski-schools/instructors? Given the time of year that we're going, where are lessons likely to take place?

Secondly, where is a good place for ski rental given our location and where the lessons are likely to be. I'm presuming we'd need to go to either Schmittenhohebahn or out to Kaprun for the lessons, in which case it may be easier to rent at the base of the lifts if skis and boots can be stored there when off the slopes.

Thirdly, if the mums are only skiing for 1 day and may never try it again, I think it would be preferable to rent ski pants and jacket from the resort rather than buying it in the UK and bringing it over and back, never to use again. Is there somewhere that ski clothing can be hired from locally?

Fourthly, where are good spots that the skiers and non-skiers can meet on the mountain for lunch/hot chocolate etc. Looking at maps and walking trails etc, I thought top of Schmittenhohe and top of the glacier area may be good options. Any suggestions for particular mountain restaurants?

Lastly, any suggestions for places to eat in town? We'll be a group of 11 with two children (aged 9&10), so probably need somewhere quite large and family-friendly.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@suggul, The Ebenbergbahn is normally only used for the Ski Club to train on the piste it serves so it will be the City Express for you. There is an Intersport in the ground floor of the lift building that is a good place to rent and also has a ski depot and lockers for rent.

Both the main ski schools, Ski Schule Zell am See and Ski Schule Sport Alpin have offices there too, either are fine but email in advance to ensure you don't 'just' get who's available on the day.

Complete beginners will get lesson at the Mittelstation (top of city express)

Never heard of clothing rental? Thats maybe just me but try TK Maxx/Sports Direct for cheap stuff or borrow from where you can?

Getting to the top of the top of the glacier is maybe an hour and a half in time from leaving your hotel. Have a day there but its not practicable for every day.

Possible that not all of Zell will still be skiable that late, a lot depends on how well the masses of snow that fell in January holds up and whether it gets topped up?

The best mountain huts won't let small kids in so you'll be stuck with those that are. Plenty restaurants in town been discussed at length on here. Try the search function?
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Quote:

The best mountain huts won't let small kids in so you'll be stuck with those that are.


Which ones? Granted, the Ebenbergalm after about 5PM has an adult slant but I can't think of another where kids are excluded.

Also, the Ebenbergbahn is a normal lift, so you can use it but it is only really useful if you don't want to walk to the city express..... Or you want to go for a few drinks at the Ebenbergalm on night skiing nights!
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@Klamm Franzer, and @robboj, thank you so much for your responses.

Good to know that beginner lessons can be accessed from the City Express. That'll make life a lot easier. It's close enough to our accommodation that we shouldn't need to bother with the ski depot.

I had enquired about lessons with Outdo, but having read robboj's comments on them a few years back, was put off. I'll check with the other two.

I didn't realise it would take that long to get to the top of the glacier. Are the blues up there easy enough for the beginners after a second lesson, do you think?

Will check out the town restaurants.
@Klamm Franzer, any mountain restaurant recommendations?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Town restaurants - Steinerwirt is decent and apparently has a room out the back where the kids will be entertained for hours.

Caesar Pizza also very family friendly with good pizzas and a nice varied menu.
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Klamm Franzer wrote:
Quote:

The best mountain huts won't let small kids in so you'll be stuck with those that are.


Which ones? Granted, the Ebenbergalm after about 5PM has an adult slant but I can't think of another where kids are excluded.

Also, the Ebenbergbahn is a normal lift, so you can use it but it is only really useful if you don't want to walk to the city express..... Or you want to go for a few drinks at the Ebenbergalm on night skiing nights!


Hochzelleralm and Blaickners from actual experience, unfortunately probably the two best but then they are busy enough to be selective. I have not seen the Ebebergbahn operating unless they are training or for the night skiing in years?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
My apartment overlooks the Ebenbergbahn and it is most definitely open every day 0900 - 1630 (1500 on night ski days), we use it daily to access the Cityexpress, the quick blast down to the Cityexpress is often one of the best runs of the day, however the top section of piste down to City express is quite steep and will generally be quite firm first thing in the morning so I would not recommend for beginners.

I have been coming to Zell summer and winter for 5 years since we bought our apartment and cannot remember a single time when we have not felt welcome in any bar/restaurant with the kids and we have 3 boys 10, 9 and 5.

Would definitely recommend the Kupferkessel at the bottom of Skiliftstrase for a large group, would be best to reserve a table as very popular with locals as well as tourists.

The Steinwirt kids play room is only open during the summer I believe, however it is an excellent restaurant and has a nice chilled out area at the back for more genteel apre ski

I would not recommend taking beginners up to the Kitz, possibly try the Maiskogel area in Kaprun if you fancy a change of scene, it’s a great little area for beginners to improve on.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We will be in Zell next month. I've booked my ski hire through Snowbrainer which seemed to work out a lot cheaper. The shop I'm using is near the Cityexpress.

I'm with a non-skier and I'll be meeting him at the top of the gondolas for lunch, he'll get a pedestrian lift pass.
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If your non skiing guests like walking there is a lovely winter walk across the tops from the Schmittenhohebahn to the Sonnkogelbahn from which you can download by the chair and Sonnenalmbahn back to town
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If your non skiing guests like walking there is a lovely winter walk across the tops from the Schmittenhohebahn to the Sonnkogelbahn from which you can download by the chair and Sonnenalmbahn back to town
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Agree with comments about the Maiskogel, but for the last few years it has closed mid-March. Based on the last few years, the top of the Schmittenhohe will still be skiable and the Kitzsteinhorn will be open at the end of March. Kitz is fine for beginners if conditions are good.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I had lunch with the kids in the Sonnalm last Saturday and Oliver and Claudia at the Hochzelleralm are quite welcoming! The Sonnalm has the nicest terrace in my opinion! If you want a bit of an adventure, head to the pinzgauerhutte. You ski down a bit of a roadway to it, so not difficult, and they tow you back to the piste again on a Skidoo (waterskier-fashion in groups of Cool when you have finished. The Schmiedhofalm also has Madeye-Smiley good food and a nice terrace. It has a different, more modern, feel to some of the more traditional places. The Breiteckalm is very welcoming and good fun; the food is ok too.

In town, we have covered most of the pizza/pasta places with the kids. The P4 above Mosshammer Konditorei is good. The Adria down towards the lake is friendly and the 'suspicious restaurant' (could be Giuseppe?) has been fine too. The Steinerwirt is good, as is the feinschmeck.
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I'm off to Zell on Weds as part if a work trip (Weds,Thur,Fri,Sat). We are staying near the ArietXpress.

Does any one know if there are ski lockers there? Work have done a deal with a ski hire place a couple of streets away and I don't fancy lugging kit unnecessarily or walking through town in ski boots.

Also, what are the snow conditions like? I'm just back from a week in Tignes and the piste was superb, mainly because of the freeze thaw cycle , but the temp in Zell don't seem so low. Any local knowledge appreciated.

Also, best apres? Combo of music and beer/schnapps
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You know it makes sense.
We loved the umbrella bar at the bottom of the City Express for early apres.

Re: the kids room in the Steinerwirt - we have friends who have only been to Zell in the winter season and it was open for them.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks Jenniper.

Any ideas on whether there are lockers at the Arietxpress?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have a question.

If you go for a bit of apres with a non-skier at the Schnapps Hans Alm, what time is it open til? I presume we'd have to leave before 4.30 so they could get the last Schmittenhohe gondola down. Not a problem but thought I'd check.
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Hans will be open until long after 4.30, it might only just be getting going at that time. But still a good way to end a day.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
But how do you get down, especially without skis? Do they run the bubble until late? Is the apres party inside in poor weather?

Sorry for the questions, but we don't want to spend an unscheduled night up the mountain!!
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