Trip Report Austria 2019

Kletterer

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The shortcut back to your digs is of piste # 2 b - turn right immediately before Jausernalm Hutte. If you are lucky enough to have snow still on side of Lohnersbachweg you might be able to ski down to bus stop from front door.
 
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Heinz

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After a bus, train, train, bus & taxi now in a nice little pension in Maria Alm sitting on my balcony looking up to Natrun hill. In my planning I allowed the option to ski the afternoon here, but after 8 days I was feeling fairly tired so having a relaxing afternoon instead. Had a wander around the village. Lovely afternoon, it is very much spring weather now.

Maria Alm is actually the first place I ever skied in Austria back in 1975. My Uncle had a place up on Natrun the slope I am looking out at now. Back then I remember there was just a little single chair lift. The road up to his place was under snow then, so we had to take our gear up on the little chairlift and walk down to the house. Back then we just skied Natrun. Went back in later years and we drove around to Aberg.

Now there is a gondola and in the last couple of years and extra couple of gondolas have been installed to connect Natrun to Aberg and the Hochkönig region so no longer need to take the bus. It will be interesting going back up to Natrun after 44 years.
 
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Heinz

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The view from my balcony in Landeck.
162_Landeck.jpg
 

Heinz

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Landeck could be a good base to explore several areas. eg. Kappl, Ischgl, Fiss-Serfaus, Fendels, Kaunertal, St Anton have free ski buses which leave from the bus terminal in the town centre or the railway station. Landeck also has it's own ski area. You could save a fair bit on accommodation costs. Just have to be happy travelling up to an hour so not for someone that wants ski in/out.
 
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Heinz

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Ischgl 3

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The chaos of Idalp at the top of the Silvretta bahn.
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Now this is a gondola - capacity 28! Was a bit of a luxury to ride one on my own in the afternoon.
No outside ski racks like the old style rather hang them from the ceiling.
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Heinz

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Ischgl 4

Sign posts around the world.
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The end of the talabfahrt. The Apres ski bars start just a few meters away.
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The Kuhstall - one of the long time famous Apres ski bars in Ischgl.
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A great finish to a great day.
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Kletterer

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:thumbs: Fond memories of Spring 1980 at Maria Alm- Saalfelden. The new gondola link into the Konigstour circuit ---
new-lifts-hochkoenig-ski-area_83264.jpg
 

Kletterer

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You're covering some territory this trip Heinz! Have you stayed/skied Kaprun?
Its realy good. A fair bit of it is not actualy on top of the Glacier- so its quite varied and some killer off piste og magnitude that you generaly dont get at other glacial resorts. My fave pistes would be the blacks at Maurerlift.
 
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Whiteman

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But, it's not great in flat light, which we had on both visits, but we did have one good, sunny day, and it was busy. Also, limited places on the slopes for eating and drinking compared to say somewhere like Saalbach Hinterglemm. Having said that, this place was good, on our sunny day.

IMG_1638.JPG
 
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PMG

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But, it's not great in flat light, which we had on both visits, but we did have one good, sunny day, and it was busy. Also, limited places on the slopes for eating and drinking compared to say somewhere like Saalbach Hinterglemm. Having said that, this place was good, on our sunny day.

IMG_1638.JPG
I thought visibility could be an issue. Great vertical but not a lot of trees.
Looking at accommodation there as well as a few other places.
 

Kletterer

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Restaurant at the top is always busy but no worse than Friday Flat bistro. Alpincentre is ok but not amazing although it is the best spot to sit outside on those glorious days.
 

Heinz

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Saturday March 23 - Maria Alm / Hochkönig

Very warm today. A short walk to the new Natrun gondola, up then ski down to the Aberg lift - which previously required a bus trip. Up another couple of lifts then meet up with my friend Josef who has come up from his place in Hinterthal. We then continued on heading east on the Königstour. Met up with a couple of friends and continued on to Mühlbach the other end of the Königstour or as the one of others referred to as "die Ende des Welts". Real spring conditions, really soft in places but holding up well in others.

Then started back the other way and met up at a very nice hut and a genuine gemütlicher old style hut, not one of the huge modern complexes. Nice lunch of knödels then continued return journey. Josef maintains a fast pace so I had to work to stay anywhere close. He headed back to Hinterthal, I then continued at a more relaxed pace to Natrun and Maria Alm.

I tried to pick out where my uncles old place was on Natrun but things have changed so much in recent years with the new developments with other huts, the lifts and new runs I could only guess where it might be.

A fun day though.

 
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Heinz

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Maria Alm / Hochkönig

Starting off from Maria Alm
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On our way
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lunch stop
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heading back
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Views of Natrun with the new connection & run, trying to spot where my uncles hut may be.
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Skied this run again for the first time in 44 years.
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then of course
256_Maria_Alm.jpg
 

Rabid K9

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Love the long 'journeys' you go in the Euro ski areas - great fun covering lots of mountain terrain & big areas, rather than endlessly repeating the same runs.
 
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Heinz

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Sunday March 24 - Maria Alm / Hochkönig

Another really nice day, but so warm. 13C, crazy! On days like this you could get really lazy, except skiing with Josef this was not likely.

Started with a run on Natrun on fresh corduroy then headed over to Aberg and up to Steinbockalm to meet up with Josef and friends. We did a few runs on Hochmais which was skiing very nicely. Then continued on the tour through to Mühlbach. The run down to Mühlbach was a bit heavier than yesterday so we didn't repeat it. Went back and skied several laps on Schneeberg which was in really good shape.

Eventually stopped off for lunch in the Dienten area at another of Josefs favourite huts, then had a few more runs on Burgalm where there was some racing in the morning and was still in really good shape in the shade of the forest. Then it was time to continue the return journey before the lifts closed and I made my way back to Maria Alm.

skiline stats for the day: 13,633 vert.m., 63km downhill distance, 27 lifts, 438 minutes fun
Probably why I'm feeling a little tired now.

 
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Heinz

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Monday March 25 - Maria Alm / Hochkönig

Quite a big change today. Morning was overcast and quite a bit cooler but still a mild 5C. Skiing in the morning was excellent, snow was in really good condition and the pistes were almost empty so the skiing was great. There was a thick fog up high so almost no vis but once through the very top section it was all good. Josef back at work today, so skied at a slightly more relaxed pace. Did the full Königstour again through to Mühlbach, just not as many runs in between as yesterday although I did an extra couple of laps on Aberg.

Around 1pm on my way back I was intending to stop off for lunch at one of the huts, but then there was another change in the weather, winds increased, temperature dropped quite a bit and there was a mix of snow/sleet/rain so not that pleasant. Didn't want to ride the slow double chair at Dienten twice so continued my way back. Certainly no one was sitting outside the huts today and conditions weren't getting better so decided to just call it a day around 2:30pm.

Skiline stats still not too bad though:
11,527 vert.m., 56km downhill distance, 22 lifts, 351 minutes fun
 

Heinz

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I did like the beer glass I had at lunch yesterday. When I finished I could see on the bottom of the glass the phrase "Oina gehts no" = "Einer geht es noch" which basically means "another one is possible". I still had a fair bit of skiing to do though so declined the opportunity.
 
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Heinz

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Tuesday March 26 - Maria Alm / Hochkönig

Was around 10cm of new snow overnight. Around 2C in the morning, cloudy but quite a few fine breaks. Opted not to do the full circuit today. As a matter of interest I did look up the distance between Maria Alm & Mühlbach and it is 24km by road which gives an idea of the size of the ski area. It took me a bit over 3 hours yesterday to get from one end to the other although that included a few repeat runs. If you did it without repeat runs it would still be over 2 hours.

Today though I spent a bit more time on Natrun & Aberg in the morning then Hochmais in Hintherthal and a bit around Dienten. A few more people around today but still pretty quiet. Found a few nice powder lines in the morning. Then tried one of the ski routes on Aberg which ended up not being as good as it looked. A bit tricky getting through the top section near the waterfall, then found that the base under the new snow was quite variable and crunchy. The new snow though did freshen up some of the pistes.

Stopped off for lunch at Almhäusl, another one of the smaller traditional style huts that I recalled fondly from my previous visit 4 years ago.

A few more runs on Hochmais which was skiing really well, then slowly worked my way back again. Knee was troubling me a bit.

Skiline stats today: 11,299 vert.m., 52km downhill distance, 23 lifts, 400 minutes fun
 
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Heinz

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Not many people around it seems.
Der Berg ist nur fűr Dich da!
Looking good.
2500 km towards noth there are a few more people.
Am Skiroute hab ich zwei Schitourer getroffen. Auf die Pisten waren schon einige mehr aber nicht viel.
 
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Hermannator

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@Heinz Really enjoying living life in the Austrian Alps vicariously through you.
Great commitment in posting the pics and words.
Der Deutcshes uben auch!
 
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bluestick

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Great trip report as usual Heinz. Makes me want to go skiing in Austria. I really appreciate the time, effort, detail and thoroughness you put into your reports. Thanks.
 
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Kletterer

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:thumbs: Nice work @Heinz. Is that bobsled course still there ? For some reason i have a hankering for some Speckknoedel - frittatensuppe.
 
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Zimbooo

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Mayz well go back to the start...................... See any good bands in Austria? :)
 

Heinz

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Heute wars schon etwas Winterlich. Leichter Schneefall am anfang, -3C, etwas Nebel oben aber unten ok. Aber wichtiges, das Schnee war in ganz gute Zustand. Die neue Schnee obwohl etwas nass hat die Pisten erfrischend. So das schifoan wars guat und wars voll Spass.

Hab kein Plan gehabt, bin nur gemütlich gefahren, keine grosse Runde gemacht. Hab zum Schluss eine Saalbach-Hinterglemm Runde gemacht von 10:45 bis zum 15:15. Irgendwie aber hab ich die Mittagspause verpasst.
 

Heinz

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Vielen Dank @Kletterer für die Tip an die Pension und die Jausern Abfahrt. Die Pension gefällt mit. Die Zimmer ist a bisserl Eng (fast wie Japan) aber muss ma nur richtig organsieren. Die 2a Abfahrt geht nicht ganz direct zum Haustür aber mit nur 100m zum gehen ka ma nichts ärgen.
 
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