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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@tatmanstours, yes, I think we’ll do that. Our hotel is right next to the Streuboden lift, so we could easily be on the first lift if we wanted to.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@tatmanstours or other knowledgeable Saalbach people, having failed to get in my first visit there last year I'm looking again for this season.

Last season we were a bit too late as half the area was closing / closed by the time of our trip. Fairly late again this year, flying out to Munich on 28th March but this time round i can't spot the dates for the various lifts closing on the website. Probably me being dense but can anyone point me at the lift dates on the website or know when things start winding down this season please?

Thanks!
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@Rowlski, it looks like the last day of the planned season is 13th April, which is Easter Monday - see https://www.saalbach.com/en/winter/skitickets/end-of-season

As always, some lifts serving the south-facing slopes are likely to close several weeks before this as the slopes turn into a slushfest and then green pasture, while those on the other side of the valley may have good conditions up to and beyond the closing date though the higher air temperatures may soften the slopes up in the afternoon. Worst case is that it will all be man-made and slushy, but the average seems to be for it to be still reasonable well into the latter half of April.
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Thanks @ousekjarr, last season they listed which lifts were closing when. I had hoped that, slush fest or not, we might get there when the lifts were all still officially open.
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@Rowlski, "all open" is highly weather dependent. From mid March onwards the odds start to build against you, but in compensation you get light early evenings and more sunny days on the mountain. No amount of snow making is worth it in early April, especially if the air temperature is 10 degrees or above, so slopes close when they can no longer be sustained (or when the workers go back to their farms or building jobs when their fixed-term contract comes to an end). Sometimes this is in late March, sometimes in April, sometimes in early May. It's the same in almost all resorts, glaciers included.

In some years, there is still 2m of snow across the upper slopes and 50+cm on the lower slopes but they still shut, because there are no staff to operate the lifts, some building work is scheduled to start the day after the lift closes, and in reality anyone who wants to ski that late in the spring will go to a glacier instead so there are no visitors either.

Individual lift closure dates will be posted from about mid-March onwards based on the snow base and the projected demand.
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@Rowlski, They usually close the south-facing side of the main valley for the last week of the season. Last year was exceptional, in that the closing date was earlier than expected and they also started the gradual closing down process a little earlier - at the beginning of April. However they seemed keen to crack on with the demolition and reconstruction of the Zwölferkogelbahn, so that may have influenced their decision-making.
This season has no major work going on, as far as I’m aware, and the closing date is more or less when you would expect.
My expectation is that the south-facing side of the valley may close on 5th April. No doubt more information will be announced in due course.
I would be surprised if you find your skiing options limited for the 28th March week (which we have available, incidentally, in case you’re looking for accommodation). However, even in a worse case scenario, I fully expect most of the ski area to be open for that week - Schattberg, Zwölferkogel, Leogang, Schönleiten; also of course the glacier at Kaprun, which is covered by the Saalbach lift pass this season and is only 25 minutes drive away.
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@ousekjarr, The closing date is usually around the middle of April, and the south-facing side usually closes for the last week. I am normally in Saalbach until the season end and over the years have had some great skiing there in early April.
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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!
Thanks @tatmanstours, that's what I was after Toofy Grin

I thought last year was early, we actually went to Alpbach which still had lifts open and (slushmungus) skiing down to the valley at what is about the same height as Saalbach. I'll PM you re apartment as yes we're looking about at the moment!

@ousekjarr, we've been skiing that week or thereabouts for years and only occasionally at a glacier resort. Lots of resorts still going then like Kitzbuhel, Schladming, Bad Hofgastein etc. Yes it can be slushy but tend to get good skiing higher up and as you say the benefit of longer days which we like!
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@tatmanstours, agreed, as I said earlier
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Quote:

went to Alpbach which still had lifts open and (slushmungus) skiing down to the valley

Many people in this forum are very sniffy about the inevitable slushy conditions that one encounters in most resorts, especially on sunny afternoons, in late season spring weather.
However, as long as the snow doesn’t get sticky, throwing you off balance, I can’t say that soft, slushy conditions bother me unduly. It’s all part of skiing, and it’s an opportunity to practise technique in that kind of snow - and all the more satisfying when you realise that you’re handling it better than the day before, or the previous season, or whatever.
I also agree that there are compensations, including the long, sunny days, cool beers on mountain terraces, and the acquisition of a mahogany sun tan.
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hi all, my wife an I will be coming to Saalbach for 18-25 Jan, for what will be our third visit.

Previously we have stated in Saalbach (Alpinresort Sport & Spa Hotel) and Hinterglemm (Unterschwarzach) which we both enjoyed. This year however, we've decided to stay in Leogang to be closer to our favourite restaurants and change the scenery a little bit. Currently we have the option of staying in Salzburger Hof or Das Rivus in Leogang? Has anyone stayed here and what did you think?

As it will be just the two of us, we are quite happy for a quieter village feel in the evening.

Has anyone stayed in Leogang and did you enjoy it as opposed to Saalbach or Hinterglemm?

Thanks in advance, let's hope for another snowy season!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@tatmanstours, We (Four of us) are looking at Saalbach either 2nd or 3rd week in January this year. Undecided whether to look at a package or go down the DIY route. 3 of us will come from Manchester, Leeds Bradford and one from Heathrow.


I'd be grateful for any tips and the guide you referred to earlier in the thread. Cheers
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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
@facedown,
Quote:

Undecided whether to look at a package or go down the DIY route.

Boils down to personal preference, although much depends on what packages and what flights and accommodation are available for your dates.
However there has been a trend towards DIY, because it is so easy to do and gives you a real feeling of control over the various elements of your trip.
My guide (PM me your email address and I’ll send it to you) covers most aspects, but it really boils down to using Skyscanner or another on-line tool for researching flights (preferably to Salzburg), and (assuming that you can coordinate your arrivals reasonably) booking one of the taxi firms that offer a private transfer to Saalbach for 4-8 passengers for EUR 159.
(You could save around EUR 100 between you by catching the public bus, if the times work out - see www.oebb.at - but most people opt for the speed and convenience of a private taxi transfer).
Regarding accommodation, either ask me to put a message round to our British ex pat friends who have apartments to rent, or use the Saalbach website search engine.
One point worth underlining is that Saalbach is a resort that lends itself to self-catering, rather than hotel or other catered accommodation. It has numerous good, reasonably priced restaurants, takeaways and pub grub, as well as a couple of decent supermarkets. Also the s/c can give you more flexibility and get you out and about in the village more, and of course it can save you money. On the other hand, some people like to have the facilities of a big hotel, although, in some cases, the wellness suites are available to non-residents - so you can have the best of both worlds.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@facedown,
we have usually driven to saalbach in march or done a flight transfer diy .This year we are going similar time to yourself and have booked hotel 1/2 board with t/o ex manchester .Reasons being didnt fancy driving in the dark in mid jan and taking time to get across the n.sea either hull or dover. So that left diy, which I couldnt get the flights to salzburg and transfer to work so that we gained an extra1/2 days skiing without an overnight hotel en route so that left us looking at t/o . Im happy with what weve ended up with, good hotel and relatively well costed, if flights are on time should gain at least one extra 1/2 day skiing and works out well below driving £ pp even with 3 or 4 in the vehicle . Having booked a while ago just looked and the price of doing diy is now considerably more than it was then .However if you are thinking self catering you may be able to sort something with tatman who has helped my family in the past , I find that the holiday aspect of not being away from the household chores negated any benefit and eating out didnt help the budget . As others point out it all depends on personal preference weve found saalbach to be a full on experience and dont want to waste time housekeeping , mrs ski for fun has put her foot down and wont consider s/c and im all for an easy life these days
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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@ski for fun,
Quote:

mrs ski for fun has put her foot down and wont consider s/c and im all for an easy life these days

People who stay with us for a week generally eat at a different restaurant every night and have a whale of a time not doing any housekeeping or household chores - really no different from having an unusually spacious hotel bedroom that happens to be equipped with facilities for making a morning cuppa and a boiled egg or bowl of cereal, or whatever your morning partiality may be - and of course a Smart internet-ready TV and DVD player for those occasional days when even a dog wouldn’t venture out. I’ve never really understood this idea that s/c involves onerous and unavoidable chores.
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ah, but you dont live with mrs ski for fun , ho ho
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@ski for fun, I take it you mean that her intuition makes her fearful Puzzled that she might feel driven to do unnecessary chores (like washing a cup or two), if she were in her own home from home, rather than a hotel bedroom. Puzzled
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Hi - there are some interesting TO deals to Kaprun in mid-Jan. 4 travelers (2 intermediate adults, a 15 yr old, 2nd year snowboarder that will be in lessons, and a cautious 13 yr old 3rd year skiier that will also be in lessons. Would Kaprun (and Zell) be a decent choice? We would be staying close to Kaprun I guess for the ski school lunchtime meetings with the teens in lessons.
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Kaprun can be extremely bleak, especially in January (-20C whiteout anyone?), and is not especially good for beginners/early intermediates. It doesn't have much charm and the skiing is not especially close to Kaprun town itself. The new Maiskogel lift will have improved things, as it is a nice little area but too small for more than a day. Kaprun is cheap for a reason....

Zell is better, but is still not a great beginners resort as there are a lot of blacks and fairly steep reds. Consequently, the blues are normally busy.

Maria Alm is a better bet, so is Saalbach and Skiwelt.
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@tatmanstours, @ski for fun, Thanks for your replies. I suppose we are looking for simplicity but we've done s/c a couple of times in Charbel before and eaten out at night but it is a bit of a pain.

Last few times we've gone catered chalet or HB and for obvious reasons enjoyed that. None of us have been to the area before 3 very good skiiers and I'm just bang average.
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@facedown, FWIW my advice to anyone going to France or Switzerland would be to book a catered chalet, or at least a HB deal. The same might be said for some expensive Austrian and Italian resorts. However, in a resort that has plenty of good, reasonably priced eateries, my preference would be for s/c. But it’s a very subjective thing.
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@tatmanstours, I've pm'd you for the guide. Could you also send details of your place please we are looking at 11-18 Jan or possibly. but less likely, 18-25 Jan
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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!
Looks like 10-20cm of snow down to the valley in the next few days and some cold temperatures.
I suppose the snow cannons will be working flat out over the weekend.
https://www.bergfex.com/saalbach-hinterglemm-leogang/wetter/prognose/
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News from Saalbach:
DEAR SKICIRCUS GUEST!

The time has come! The following areas will be open from Friday 29 November 2019: Zwölferkogel (Hinterglemm), Schönleiten (Saalbach) and Asitz (Leogang).
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Yay
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I have just looked at the webcams for Saalbach and there doesn't look like much snow. Thinking about early January for our trip - is it safe enough to book for then or is it best to hold out till nearer the time (and risk the flights being booked up)?
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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.
It’s still November!
There’s a little bit on its way in the next few days.
I’m going in 3 weeks though, it would be nice to get a good dump before then.
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@skilass, Wondering about conditions in January, when it’s only late November, is a bit like wondering about conditions in April when it’s only late February - only the other way round, if you get my snowdrift wink
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You know it makes sense.
Skied today from Leogang over to the middle station of the Schönleiten gondola. Conditions were pretty good, though there is still no depth of cover. Snow firm to start with but softening later on the south facing slopes in the Glemmtal. In Leogang the valley runs weren't open, so we had to take the gondola all the way down. VERY quiet Very Happy There was some sun in the morning but it clouded over and started snowing lightly around 13:00. Sadly, and frustratingly, I can't post any more photos, my contingent being exhausted.
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@skilass, I've been taking a college group to Saalbach for more than a decade - always 2nd or 3rd week of January, and we have never had conditions that were less than A1.

Also the snowmaking is first class.

*Note to self: stop recommending Saalbach to people!!!!


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 29-11-19 21:25; edited 1 time in total
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[@tatmanstours. So it's worth taking the risk?
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Great. Thanks. I guess I just need to take the plunge and book it.
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@skilass, look at the history for the area:



You can find forecasts and current snow depths on the same site, at https://www.j2ski.com/ski_resorts/Austria/Saalbach_Hinterglemm.html
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That makes it more encouraging. Thanks.
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@skilass,
Quote:

[@tatmanstours. So it's worth taking the risk?

Nothing in life can ever be absolutely guaranteed, but, if it were me, I would take the small risk of it being an extremely unusual season. Mrs TT and I are about to spend our 14th consecutive Christmas in Saalbach, and, whilst there have been two Christmases when conditions were barely adequate, we have never suffered from lack of snow in early January.
In those seasons when the snow arrived later than usual, it affected the whole area, if not the whole of the Alps. Weeks of clear, cloudless skies, which at least provided plenty of sub-zero nocturnal temperatures and allowed the snow cannons to do their job.
The norm however is for an obliging dump to come along any time between mid-November and mid-December. Perhaps we should get Dominic Cummings to take back control of the weather.
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@skilass,
Quote:

[@tatmanstours. So it's worth taking the risk?

Nothing in life can ever be absolutely guaranteed, but, if it were me, I would take the small risk of it being an extremely unusual season. Mrs TT and I are about to spend our 14th consecutive Christmas in Saalbach, and, whilst there have been two Christmases when conditions were barely adequate, we have never suffered from lack of snow in early January.
In those seasons when the snow arrived later than usual, it affected the whole area, if not the whole of the Alps. Weeks of clear, cloudless skies, which at least provided plenty of sub-zero nocturnal temperatures and allowed the snow cannons to do their job.
The norm however is for an obliging dump to come along any time between mid-November and mid-December. Perhaps we should get Dominic Cummings to take back control of the weather.
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Thanks. I think we have been convinced.
Just need to choose the final choice of hotel. The Saalbacherhof or the Bauer in Saalbach or the HOTEL ALPEN-KARAWANSERAI in Hinterglemm.
Any thoughts anybody?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@skilass, The Saalbacherhof and the Bauer are both very plush hotels, and also centrally located for the lifts and village amenities. The Karawanserai is not as well located for the lifts in Hinterglemm. Also the Saalbach v Hinterglemm debate is a well-trodden path; whilst I wouldn't dissuade anyone from staying in either village, IMHO FWIW Saalbach has the edge.
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https://www.foto-webcam.eu/webcam/zellamsee/

This webcam in Zell (just around the corner from SH) shows pictures and temperatures from every minute of every day back to 2012 and is easy to scan back. It will give you a good idea of what it has been like over the years!
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Even better is the Große Asitz cam in the resort itself, above Leogang https://www.foto-webcam.eu/webcam/asitz/2019/11/29/1010
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