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Obergurgl - enough runs for a week?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are hoping to go skiing on 4 January for a week. It will be myself, husband and grown up daughter.

We have narrowed it down to Obergurgl due to the height of the resort and the increased certainty that there will be snow but a bit concerned if there will be enough variety to last us for a week.

We only go skiing every couple of years as we have been stuck with school holidays due to me being a teacher. We all like skiing reds and blues. In the past we have favoured France due to the number of runs available. However, the flights from Newcastle are full to France for this date so we are having to think alternatives - and higher resorts in Austria seem a possible solution.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Also, any thoughts on location or experience on hotels in Obergurgl. Thinking of Hotel Alpenland or Lohmann or Alpenaussicht.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Our alternative is Saalbach which has way more runs but lower and not as snow sure. Similar prices quotes for Hotel Saalbacherhof and Bauer.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@skilass, Given it's only a month away and the start to the season has been very snowy, I wouldn't be over concerned about lack of snow, particularly above 1500m. Obergurgl and Hochgurgl have plenty of variety as long as you're happy skiing the same run more than once. It's obviously not as extensive as some of the French mega resorts. You also get access to Soelden on the ski pass, which is a 20 minute bus journey away.

I've never heard any complaints about any of the Hotels in Obergurgl. We have stayed at the Lohmann and enjoyed it, but that is over 15 years ago.
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I know the area for the last 3 years. Obergurgl and Solden are snow sure from the end of November. Solden's glacier offers what you wrote from mid November. Obergurgl and Hochgurgl in January are perfect and 30 minutes away from Solden.
There is a precise timetable for frequent skibuses.
Check their stats on skiresort.info and compare.
I can't imagine any Austrian ski area that might suffer in January from lack of snow
I can recommend Hotel Austria (and the sister hotel Regina) in Obergurgl and Die Berge hotel in Solden. The first one was half board through Crystal. The last one was DIY with breakfast only
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Obergurgl is a lovely village but I found last year that it wasn't great out on the slopes. All seemed to be in shade longer than, eg, Hochgurgl, and were hard and quite icy with most of the top surface of snow having been windswept away. It was cold skiing there.
My first skiing holiday was to Obergurgl and I don't remember it being like this - I remember softy, softy snow on well-covered pistes not these things that reminded me of a wind-scoured, North East beach! The conditions certainly weren't due to lack of snowfall - this was in the weeks following the roads/airports closed weather of Jan. (Our friends arriving 5th Jan actually didn't get in resort til 6th Jan!). Conditions at Hochgurgl were bit better.
Also, OG and HG are very sensitive to high winds - there were quite a few days when the lifts were closed whilst Soelden remained open (although the Glacier access was closed).

We returned in March and I popped across hoping things had improved but they hadn't.

Obviously, things this season could be completely different....
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Hotels Alpenland and Alpenaussicht are both lovely - not much to choose between the 2. Our favourite tho, is the Sportive - we prefer the less formal atmosphere, don't mind that the menu isn't so full-on and, because you get to use the spa/wellness/pool facilities of it's expensive sister-hotel it outscores the others on that.
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We stayed in Obergurgl 2 years ago and found the area rather limited for a week’s skiing. The village is nice but consists mainly of hotels on a half board basis. As such, there are few independent restaurants or bars and this makes the village rather quiet on an evening.

As others have mentioned, I don’t think snow will be an issue this season
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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!
@skilass, Obergurgl is a perfectly nice though fairly small place, it will feel very small if you are used to 3V, Espace Killy or wherever. Given its height it can be good for early or late season and it is linked to Sölden for more skiing. However the weather in January is often stormy and then the Gurgls can be pretty bleak and not sure the bus link is ideal.

As has been said many places (though not all) have decent cover already, Ischgl is already about 70% open. Of course the weather can change but currently things look good for those places along the main ridge (like Obergurgl) and the Arlberg has a decent base and its snowing at the moment. Further east there has not been so much snow but I have seen reports of reasonable conditions in the Ski Amade area.

Saalbach should be fine but then so should most places. If you are concerned about snow conditions I would suggest looking at Ischgl, Serfaus / Fiss, the Arlberg and the Zillertal all of which have extensive reasonably high skiing. The downside of any of the high places is that they are not so good in storms for which the lower places with plenty of runs below the tree line are better, so Kitzbühel, Ski Amade, Saalbach, Skiwelt etc (that said I have been at Skiwelt when they closed most of the lifts due to a storm, though the valley runs were absolutely fine)
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Thanks for all your advice. I feel really torn now what to do.
My husband really doesn't like the icy, hard slopes that may result from very cold weather (I scarred him from an early trip up to Glenshee when he wasnt a very confident skier). So maybe we should risk the snow cover in Saalbach and hope conditions improve through December.
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skilass wrote:
Thanks for all your advice. I feel really torn now what to do.
My husband really doesn't like the icy, hard slopes that may result from very cold weather (I scarred him from an early trip up to Glenshee when he wasnt a very confident skier). So maybe we should risk the snow cover in Saalbach and hope conditions improve through December.


Saalbach in January isn't really 'risky' for snow cover - at that time of year going high and over the treeline is probably the greater risk of poor conditions (wind-scoured slopes if there isn't fresh snow or no visibility if there is).
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Think Saalbach is winning right now. Just need to convince the OH..
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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.
Have a look at Gerlos? It's another nice village, the slopes there are quite benign with a couple of nice reds down through the trees - it sort if reminded me of Les Arc. You can also ski in the adjoining resorts on the same pass.
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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
I think we are going to do a package and I dont think Gerlos is featured. We havent really got the time to do all the individual parts and a package through Crystal just seems easier this time. But thanks anyway.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You really shouldn't have to go high-altitude in Austria (or France for that matter) in January, given the snow so far. Sunshine on the slopes is such a great asset!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Newcastle is our local airport so I understand - it's so frustrating that it's pretty much Geneva or package!
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Poster: A snowHead
But if you're concerned, that could be a good week to wait for a last minute bargain.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@skilass, not sure you need to be too concerned about icy conditions. In general cold weather in January gives good piste conditions as the snow does not melt thus does not refreeze to ice. It is almost the colder the weather when it snows the better it will be. Ice is a much more common issue later in the season when you get a combination of warm sunny afternoons and cold clear nights. You can find ice if the snow cover is thin especially on steeper slopes and also if there have been high winds in exposed spots but generally it is not too difficult to spot and avoid. From my recollections of skiing in Glenshee (though it was a long time ago!) the conditions there and those found in most of the alps are very different.

If you are stuck with a package and the choice is Obergurgl or Saalbach then I would go with the later.
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Thanks. I think we are going for Saalbach. We last visited 15 years ago and always promised ourselves we would love to come back. We look back on that holiday with fond memories of amazing slopes, pretty restaurants and everything interlinked. Think it's about time we came back!
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You could easily ski every run in Obergurgl and Hochgurgl in a day without trying too hard -but most people would want to enjoy runs/repeat runs and it is not like a Kuhtai. If you want high mileage skiing then look elsewhere.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

I think we are going for Saalbach. We last visited 15 years ago and always promised ourselves we would love to come back. We look back on that holiday with fond memories of amazing slopes, pretty restaurants and everything interlinked. Think it's about time we came back!

@skilass, You will be amazed at how much has changed in those 15 years. New gondolas and high-speed, heated chair lifts, no T-bars (except the Seekar lift), new restaurants and bars - almost unrecognisable!
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@skilass, Obergurgl/hochgurgl isnt really enough for one week. 3 days would be fine unless you had small children then I would say it’s perfect.
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You could just book your flights and then get accomodation in whichever resort you choose closer to the time when you know snow conditions are better. Solden and Obergurgl provide a lot of skiing between them. But not connected like Saalbach and Fieberbrunn. My one experience of Obergurgl last Easter was a lot of hard slopes, but I loved Solden which held great snow even into the afternoon on very warm days. They are all great places to ski imo, you shouldn't go far wrong in any of them.
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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!
We also enjoyed ourselves more in Solden due to its conditions plus pistes. But that was in November and December which should always be safer there.
Obergurl and Hochgurgl have more pistes and variety. And I loved Nederhutte.
For January Saalbach should be perfect.
Even on a bike NehNeh

http://youtube.com/v/1CR0QmCaMTs
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Solden seems way more expensive than Obergurgl when looking at packages. Maybe it's because theres more going on.
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Quote:

Solden seems way more expensive than Obergurgl when looking at packages. Maybe it's because theres more going on.

I haven’t been to either, but maybe because Solden is a bigger and better ski resort? It certainly has a good reputation for its skiing; not so much for its aesthetic attractiveness as a ski village.
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As I mentioned, I've been to both because I looked for something snowsure for November and mid December in previous years. Obergurgl requires half board because there is nothing to do in the evenings. Being higher means winds/whiteouts/snowy days will affect you more
Solden is smaller but better IMHO. Every evening we ate in a different place for decent prices. It has everything. Shops, pubs, night life.
But once again, in January I feel that Saalbach should be a perfect choice
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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.
If you get two days in solden then its great area..oburgurgle is ok if all the pistes are open, and the spare ribs at davids hut are superb, ..there used to be the witchery bar at the hotel jenwin for the evenings..good fun and a great hotel...i stayed in solden last time...good night life there, and just did a day in oburgurgle..
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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
skilass wrote:
Solden seems way more expensive than Obergurgl when looking at packages. Maybe it's because theres more going on.


Surprised at that, but maybe that's the packages. I did DIY BnB and paid something absurdly cheap walking distance from lift and town centre.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I know we pay a premium for Newcastle flights and a decent hotel on HB basis. Next year I will hopefully have a bit more time to explore putting a package together ourselves.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@skilass, you will be skiing anyway, and in Austria. So you are gonna enjoy anywhere you'll go.
Next time choose the other option. Third time, return to the one you enjoyed most or try something else.
Anyway, have fun and dress warm. The food is awesome but you'll pay for the water at dinner time
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The paying for water bit is a real annoyance -you think "I'm paying £x a night , buying drinks at the bar and still you want €3 for a jug of tap water ."Why do they do it?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Beginners = yes.
Intermediates = maybe.
Advanced = no.

Obergurgl is cold, icy, windy and bleak in the peak of winter (January).

Better to head lower down the valleys, with trees.

Somewhere like Serre Chevalier (France).

Fly to Turin.
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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. We went to Serre Chevalier in 2015 and had a good time but just fancied somewhere different.
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Try Lech, in Austria.
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