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Saalbach - Hinterglemm - Leogang - Fieberbrunn 2019/20 Official Unofficial Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've been uncharacteristically quiet on this thread since my last post on 12/10/19, but only because the usual notifications of new comments stopped coming through. Anyway I've now woken up, so I've got a bit of catching up to do.

@kb36, Sorry I didn't respond, but I've now answered your question on Messenger. Yes, will send you the updated guide. Extra Mature cheddar please Very Happy

@Drammeister, and @espri, I suppose the inclusion of the short section of blue 155 at the top of the Kohlmais does reflect the piste layout and make sense for the novice skiers, who are likely to be encouraged to go all the way to the top in the knowledge that there are easily navigable blue pistes awaiting them. There may have been some work done on red piste 153 - in fact I know there has on the lower section - which is the World Cup run and likely to be used for future races.

@ousekjarr,
Quote:

@tatmanstours who is usually there for the season and can drag you kicking and screaming around all of the apres bars until 2am

That'll be an early night then Toofy Grin

@crudeFool, You need have no concerns about having no one to ski or apres-ski with. We Saalbach ex pats have a Facebook Messenger group going, called "Saalbach Skiers", and a message saying where you are at any given moment reaches about 30 people, some of them fellow-Snowheads. During the w/c 04/01/20 we have four Snowheads staying with us, but also a currently unbooked spare room, which may interest you.

@Klamm Franzer, Anyone in particular amongst those "lovely people"?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

We're looking at a half board hotel for the Christmas week and I have found the following on the Crystal website which fit our requirements and are within our price range. Hotel Panther, Sporthotel Berger, Das Neuhaus and Hotel Saalbacher Hof.

@teerev, All four of those hotels are good and well located in the village centre. The Berger Sport and the Saalbacherhof are in fact opposite each other in what most people would regard as the actual centre of the village, right by the village square, whilst the Neuhaus and the Panther are two or three hundred yards further up the main village street.
The only one that I have personally stayed in (also for Christmas week) was the Panther. That was in 2006. Mrs TT and I enjoyed our stay there, including the service, the meals, and the wellness facilities (which included a swimming pool that allows you to swim outside - the outdoor extension is actually on the roof of the Otzi Bar next door), but I have no reason to think that those facilities were any better than you would find in the other hotels on your list. It wouldn't surprise me if those in the Saalbacherhof and the Neuhaus are even better.
The Panther has a nice bar area, but I'm not aware of any in-house entertainment.
We particularly liked the location of the Panther, because it is very handy for the Bernkogel and Kohlmais gondola stations and return pistes (the sunnier and easier slopes). If minimising the amount of walking in ski boots is a high priority, then it would certainly score more highly than the other hotels, which all involve more slightly uphill walking, although I would stress that there is no great distance involved, and the other hotels are nearer to the other village centre gondola station, the Schattberg Xpress, which is an easy downhill walk - virtually a stone's throw from the Berger Sport and the Saalbacherhof (the Neuhaus being more equidistant between all three gondola stations). However the piste that leads homewards from the Schattberg side of the village is a north-facing black run (the upper section of which has an alternative but fairly challenging red option, and the lower section of which has a little-known or used blue snow trail (see earlier in this thread).
If the external appearance is anything to go by, I would expect that the most luxurious and "up-market" of them would be the Saalbacherhof and the Neuhaus.
Many Brits stay in Bergers Sport Hotel, including friends of mine, and I've never heard any complaints. It's a somewhat quirky, old-fashioned hotel - all red carpets, gilt-framed mirrors and chandeliers. We go in there quite often for the weekly Elvis/Tom Jones show, which features "Bobby", an elderly and very amiable and humble "impressionist" from Montenegro, who resembles what Elvis might have looked like if he'd survived until now and continued to abuse his body and neglect his physical health, but he has a pretty good voice and generally gets everyone jiving to Jailhouse Rock and Blue Suede Shoes, as well as singing along to Delilah and Green Green Grass Of Home (and of course all the other hits). Although our initial reaction was to avoid his shows like the plague, we began to realise that everyone seemed to be having loads of fun (you can't help but notice as you walk past the hotel's big, plate glass windows right next to the street), and now the consensus is that he's so bad he's good - a guilty pleasure for many people . Here's a youtube video, which will no doubt convey more than my attempt at a description can.

http://youtube.com/v/Ih0wkm-Q9ng

Another evening you might be treated to a Tirolean evening, with plenty of accordion music and thigh-slapping. There is a nice, cosy residents' lounge, which again has a window next to the busiest part of the village street.
I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this (except to give you an impression that Berger's is a fun, popular, fairly down to earth place), because non-residents are as welcome at these events as residents. Essentially it's a nice, warm and welcoming hotel, but you should ensure that you are are allocated rooms that do not overlook the street, especially if you like to retire early or are a light sleeper.

I don't know how much help this has been. Hopefully other Snowheads, who have actually stayed in these hotels, can give you some better feedback. I don't think you would be disappointed with any of them, subject to the food being up to scratch (can't really comment), and not getting a room at the front of the hotel, overlooking the street (Saalbach's nightlife is great, but not when you're woken by nocturnal revellers).
If you can get a good deal on the price of one, compared with the others, that may help you decide.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I realise that many folks seem to enjoy cheesey music that apres ski usually offers, but anyone know if there's actually any rock music in the area, especially by bands actually playing their own stuff?
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@Leonard Smalls, the cheese is usually served only at apres-ski time, 4.00-7.30pm. Even then there is plenty of rock music playing in various bars, such as Bauer’s and Spitzbub. There was a great band playing at the Soul House last season, and also regular live bands at Bauer’s.

Later in the evening you can hear live musicians playing rock in Underbar, Otzi Bar (some nights), Castello, Bobby’s Pub (some nights), and probably this season in the Crazy Deer.

Having said that, bands playing their own material is probably a tall order - and not really what most people are looking for. Bearing in mind that it’s a very cosmopolitan audience, the object is normally to play stuff that most people recognise.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sat 9-11-19 10:00; edited 1 time in total
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tatmanstours wrote:

@Klamm Franzer, Anyone in particular amongst those "lovely people"?


A special somebody, you mean? There are just too many....... wink
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tatmanstours wrote:


Having said that, bands playing their own material is probably a tall order - and not really what most people are looking for. Bearing in mind that it’s a very cosmopolitan audience, the object is normally to play stuff that most people recognise.


Indeed! As an ageing muso currently playing originals in both a rock band with a very funky dance edge, and a rather punky funk band I've lost count of the number of times we've been asked to play "Sex on Fire" (eek!) or "Mustang Sally" (???? Punkfunk? Dancerock?)...
As we're in Leogang for 2 weeks in January we'll probably have to make do with either traditional
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Quote:

"Mustang Sally" (???? Punkfunk? Dancerock?)...

@Leonard Smalls, I’m old enough to remember when it was called “soul music”.

One of the things that frequently gets commented on is of course the relatively narrow playlist of songs that you hear in ski resorts. It seems that bar owners generally like to play safe by playing only what their clientele expect to hear, whilst the clientele are often wondering why something different can’t be played. The apres-ski paradox!

Having said that, we’ve found that some of the bar staff are more than happy to play specific requests. I’ve occasionally asked for some of my favourites in the Spitzbub, the Otzi Bar and the Crazy Deer. One evening Bobby (of Bobby’s Pub) even played half an hour of back to back Barclay James Harvest songs, on discovering that we had a mutual liking for their music.

One particular mountain restaurant in which I have often had cause to congratulate them on their choice of music (good, old, nostalgic stuff that you rarely hear) is the Hecherhuette. It is also a revelation to hear what they play in the Bergeralm after the apres-ski crowd has drifted away from around 6.00pm onwards - a little like the host of a party waiting for the hoi polloi to leave before getting out “the good stuff”.

Without much doubt the place to head for if you want to have some influence over the music they play is the small inside bar of the Spitzbub.
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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!
Quote:

"Mustang Sally" (???? Punkfunk? Dancerock?)...

@Leonard Smalls, I’m old enough to remember when it was called “soul music”.

One of the things that frequently gets commented on is of course the relatively narrow playlist of songs that you hear in ski resorts. It seems that bar owners generally like to play safe by playing only what their clientele expect to hear, whilst the clientele are often wondering why something different can’t be played. The apres-ski paradox!

Having said that, we’ve found that some of the bar staff are more than happy to play specific requests. I’ve occasionally asked for some of my favourites in the Spitzbub, the Otzi Bar and the Crazy Deer. One evening Bobby (of Bobby’s Pub) even played half an hour of back to back Barclay James Harvest songs, on discovering that we had a mutual liking for their music.

One particular mountain restaurant in which I have often had cause to congratulate them on their choice of music (good, old, nostalgic stuff that you rarely hear) is the Hecherhuette. It is also a revelation to hear what they play in the Bergeralm after the apres-ski crowd has drifted away from around 6.00pm onwards - a little like the host of a party waiting for the hoi polloi to leave before getting out “the good stuff”.

Without much doubt the place to head for if you want to have some influence over the music they play is the small inside bar of the Spitzbub.
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Thanks very much for the comprehensive info tatmanstours, I think the Berger and the Saalbacherhof are the front runners for us at the moment, I like the Berger for the fun sounding vibe but my wife might like the slightly more luxury feel of the Saalbacherhof. We're heading off to Tobago for ten days tomorrow so I'll do a bit more internet research while we're away and let you know our decision, maybe we can meet up for a beer or two if we make it there.
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@teerev, most certainly! Smile
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Hi. We are visiting in early Feb for a week and really looking forward to it. Do you know of any horse sleigh rides that are local? The family and me are a bit mad on horses.

We are staying in Hotel Austria and I'm trying to work out the closest hire shop. Do you know as the google maps are a bit vague?

Thanks for your help
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@Pompeyc, You can get a horse-sleigh ride at the end of the valley to the Lindlingalm, where you get a meal. Friends of ours have done it more than once and enthuse about it.
The Hotel Austria is on the main road between Saalbach and Hinterglemm, so I expect you will be catching ski buses in one direction or the other. I have no idea which is the nearest hire shop to the hotel, but if you go to Hansi’s Best-Price, next door but one to Bobby’s Pub at Saalbach, Hansi will look after you well, undercut or price-match any competition, and give you an extra discount if you tell him that I recommended you to go to him.
PM me if you need any information.
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whilst we are on the subject of hotels in saalbach , anybody stayed at the hotel bauer, as this is where we are going this jan I know where it is as weve often stayed just up the road but that hotel wasnt available on the package dates we are using. Im assuming it is owned by the same family that own the schi alm . just looked on the webcam and the snow is making its way down the mountain , getting in the mood now
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You know it makes sense.
Was shooting with a friend last week, discovered he has a little ex Saalbach bubble in his garden. Bought it on ebay! http://www.binningfamily.plus.com/images/Rory-Saalbach.jpg
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Talking of music, ive just discovered there's a 3 day jazz festival in Saalfelden starting 17th January. Shall have to pack a black poloneck!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Leonard Smalls, Nice!



http://youtube.com/v/NdWJpHt1Xws
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yorksboy wrote:
@Leonard Smalls,

I'm hoping for completely free improv...

http://youtube.com/v/66MJ-KOFBFQ
Smile
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Regarding hotels, our party of 14 have stayed in Bergers sporthotel two years in a row. The service, food, location, spa area, bars are all good. Only negative is the rooms.
Its a complete lottery on wether you get a half decent room or not. On our second trip we ended up with a large really nice room at the back of the hotel. The rest of our party ended up with far inferior rooms.
So if a nice room is important to you, I would try and upgrade to a better room such as the comfort room
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First time in Saalbach last week of Feb next year and already getting excited . . .

Q - My baby sister will be working as a Ski Instructor in Zell - can this be skied to on a standard pass via Viehhofen or is it too long / a pain? Staying close to Schattberg Xpress lift . . would obvs like to meet up
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@Belch, The standard ski pass this season will include Zell am See and Kaprun, as well as all parts of the Ski Circus. It should be easy to get to Zell to meet your sister, by using the new Zell am See Xpress gondola from Viehhofen, which will take you to the top of the Schmittenhohe above Zell. To get to the Zell am See Xpress, you can either take the ski bus all the way from Saalbach (possibly swapping buses at the Schoenleitenbahn), or you could go up either the Kohlmaisbahn or the Schoenleitenbahn and ski across (subject to piste 168 down to Viehhofen being open).
Doing the journey by the quickest method - taking the ski bus - I would say that it should take about an hour to an hour and a half.
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@tatmanstours, Awesome! That's sounds like the pass is value for the areas covered. Assume the reverse trip from Zell is covered by buses as well . . .do they run late or in line with the lifts?
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On the return journey, you would take the Zell am See Xpress down to Viehhofen, or a ski route through the forest down to the valley road between Viehhofen and the Schoenleitenbahn. The ski buses run regularly till 5.00pm. After that it's the Nightliner service or a taxi. Information and timetables for the Nightliner are available here:
https://www.saalbach.com/en/service/info/skibus-nightliner

If it were me, I'd aim to get back in time to get the ski bus from Viehhofen at 3.50pm, which would get me to the Schoenleitenbahn for 3.58pm, in time to get the 4.00pm last gondola up to the Wildenkarkogel. From there its a 6km run down to Saalbach, calling at the Bergeralm for Happy Hour drinks on the way.
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First time visitor to Saalbach Hinterglemm on 8th Feb and after reading the posts on Snowheads we are really looking forward to it. Looking for advice on a Taxi transfer that accommodates 4 at a cheaper rate than 8 (if that exists) and any absolute must do's from those in the know?

Cheers
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Is the link to zell going to be any real benefit to those staying/ skiing in saalbach or hinterglem ?. as someone who went to zell years ago and havnt returned, in fact it put me off the area due to queing though im sure that must have improved now. I can see it will offer a day excursion and no doubt we will go , not so sure it will add greatly to the experience of a saalbach trip as logistically will need a fair bit of planning and clock watching albeit it will now be on the liftpass
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@ski for fun, It will just be another day excursion option, like Fieberbrunn tends to be. Not having been over there yet, I have an open mind about it. Time will tell.
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@alantherope, If you send me a personal message with your email address I will send you my comprehensive guide to Saalbach, which will answer most of your likely questions.
Welcome to Snowheads by the way (I see that it’s your first post).
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I haven't read all of this thread from the beginning mind but good news about the smoking ban.
Will be in Fieberbrunn 11th to 25th Jan as I'm just doing ordinary skiing holidays this year as opposed to a long stay of several months. Looking forward to trying out the link to Zell am See this season. If anyone wants to meet up during that fortnight in Jan then PM me.
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@tatmanstours Thanks for that, will PM with my details (thanks for the welcome too).
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Saalbach this morning snowHead we have 35cm outside our garage
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@tatmanstours, I'm off to Saalbach with my daughter and her partner on 28th December for a week. Our first time there, we've booked an apartment with Sunweb (free lift passes) Very Happy and sorted our flights from BHX so just need to get a transfer now. Lots of useful information on this website and really looking forward to it. Could I have your guide please? Also, I wonder if anyone would recommend buying new ski boots in resort rather than UK.
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@JohnOw, yes, PM me your email address, or send me a message via my website below.
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@JohnOw, you have picked a fantastic resort you will love it. Mr Tatman will give you loads of excellent details in his guide. I will add my thoughts on 2 points, for transfer I would get a private one, the shared holiday shuttle is great if there are up to 2 of you, but for 3 persons worth an extra €26 to get a quicker private service. Holiday shuttle €88 pp return and www.Austriatransfers.at do a return at €290. With regards boots I would buy in Uk, get them a custom fit, worn in and adjusted in advance of the trip, last thing you want is to spend time fitting as part of the holiday and finding they need adjusting when you can be on the slopes.
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@JohnOw, as @ribblevalleyblue has said if new boots need a tweak in resort, your options are to put up with any pain or discomfort until the end of the day and then hope you can get it done in the evening, or to cut short your skiing day to get them done. I've always bought in the UK, for this reason. As you're in Warks, you can get to Tamworth to try them out for comfort and allow for adjustments in advance. You're also less than 50 miles from CEM at solutions4feet.com who is the fitter of choice for many Snowheads (though I've never been a customer)
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Does anyone know if cheaper buying the lift pass online instead of in resort? Looks like you now have an option to buy online, which I wasn't aware of in previous years
TIA
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@boabski, no difference in cost either way. very easy in resort though, all the main gondola stations have ticket offices, and nearly all hotels offer ski tickets at the same price as the official office
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@summerseat, thanks. I received an email from the Tourist Office indicating it was cheaper to buy online.
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@boabski, As far as I know, the only incentive for buying online would be to take advantage of the pre-season discount on the Ski Alpin season pass, which saves you around 20% until early December (which reminds me - I must order ours!)
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@tatmanstours, ah ok. That probably makes sense
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Thankfully, we’re returning this year although it’ll be a flying visit. Due to all sorts of family goings ons, we can’t do our usual Christmas trip or go New Year week, so we’ve grabbed 5 days in the middle. We’re heading out on Boxing Day and returning home on New Year’s Eve. Due to this, it’s been a real task trying to find anywhere to stay a few days across two weeks that was not prohibitively expensive or miles away from anywhere (pretty much in the whole of Austria). Eventually, we stumbled across the Fontana Sport hotel in Fieberbrunn, so we’ll be staying there. We’ve skied Fieberbrunn, but never stayed there. It looks like the hotel couldn’t be in a better position to access the lift though.

I’m just now trying to work out how far we’ll be able to get each day. I think a visit to Zell might be a tad too ambitious!
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@hammerite, I reckon you could be up on the Schmittenhohe by 12.00, with a 9.00am start.
However you would probably have to think about setting off on the return journey at around 1.00pm, so as to ensure getting back to the TirolS gondola by 3.30pm, when it closes. Would be a bummer to get stuck in the wrong valley.
Might be worth looking at the bus times from Leogang to Fieberbrunn, as that would be a quicker route back.
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