Question Austria Dec/Jan 2017/18

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Matt tickner, Sep 25, 2017.

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Solden or Mayrehofen

  1. Solden

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  2. Mayrehofen

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  1. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    Hi guys,

    27 year old planning my first trip to Austria from Dec 23 - 13th Jan!
    While I realise this isn't the best time to go, my office is closed during this time so it's my only window. I want to make sure I am going to get the most out of my trip, I am travelling solo and I want to stay in hostels, meet people, party a bit and of course, rip the Austrian Alps from first to last lift!

    the plan so far:

    -Fly into Innsbruck

    Week 1: -Innsbruck Olympia Ski World ( 9 resorts from what I read - any suggestions/ advice -xmas markets good apparently)
    Week 2: St Anton/ Ischgl - (want to party over new years - again - suggestions/ advice)
    Week 3: Solden or Mayrehofen - Can't decide?

    Fly out from Innsbruck

    -Can anyone spot any major flaws in this plan? will there be enough snow? I've read solden has lots of snowmaking facilities and a pretty good nightlife and terrain parks, but Mayrehofen is also getting good ratings too!

    -I'm into freeskiing and Park skiing, can anyone suggest a mountain that I have missed that is a must for someone like me?

    -Is there a ski pass that covers all of the resorts?

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    I think you will find more/better flight options flying into Munich rather than Innsbruck. Then it is just 2-3 hours on the train.
     
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  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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  4. hpsauce

    hpsauce Dedicated Member

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    agree with above.
    In/out Munich might give more options. even in/out Salzburg from the UK can be real cheap if going that way.
    The Tyrol tourism website has been an excellent one IMO. For accom also...of all types including farmstays, guesthouses, hostels etc.
    Also, in Innsbruck....it's not like you ski/ride back into town. So having a car would be real convenient for sampling all the hills round there. I haven't tested the convenience of buses.
    I guess early season can be a lottery. ....so have a look where the glaciers and high resorts are. Like Soelden has more elevation that mayerhofen. Hintertux has a glacier if real lean elsewhere.
     
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  5. Stick

    Stick Active Member

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    I spent Christmas in Innsbruck last year. Very depressing snow wise. We went to 2 resorts Stubai Glacier on Christmas day as they had a few runs open at the top, then spent boxing day at Patscherkofel which has some basic runs open.

    Christmas markets are great throughout Germany & Austria though.

    I would follow Heinz advice and fly into Munich, better city & options in my opinion.
     
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  6. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old And Crusty
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    @Matt tickner You've got a nice length trip. It'd be a shame to ruin in by locking yourself into specific resorts at such an un-snowsure time of year. If I were you, I'd keep it open ended and if possible stay open minded to doing France, Switz or Italy if the conditions happen to be better than Austria at the time. If you absolutely must lock in ahead, then Sölden is most snow sure in Austria.

    Finding accomodation for one person will not be difficult, even if you book last minute. Christmas week is the one exception though; you probably do need to have something reserved. Again - Sölden.
     
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  7. cin

    cin Part of the Furniture
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    Ischgl is great, I love the place
    would be a really really good spot to be for NYE if you want to party hard
    a lot of like minded individuals!

    Ischgl is very good also for being snow sure at that time of year
    they have snowmaking and alot of terrain at high altitude compared to much of Austria
    and a great lift system
     
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  8. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old And Crusty
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    Ischgl is a super fun resort and it has reputation for being quite snow sure but I would still be hesitant about locking it in. If you look at the past few seasons, they've had dismal conditions at Xmas time whereas Sölden's glaciers provided decent skiing.
     
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  9. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    Thanks so much guys, your advice is really helpful!
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Both Sölden & Mayrhofen are pretty safe bets. Sölden has the glaciers right there and Hintertux is just up the valley from Mayrhofen with a bus connection. In any case snowmaking in Austria is exceptional, so even in worst case there is very little natural snow as long as it has been cold enough there will be plenty of machine snow. Probably not what you are really after but skiing will still be reasonable.

    For Snow parks have a look here: https://www.bergfex.com/oesterreich/snow-parks/
    and of course elsewhere on that site for loads of info (get my usual plug in).
    For freeride if you are in the Zillertal head up to Hochfügen.

    Work out what areas you are most interested in and then see which of the ski passes (from the link i posted earlier) suits best. Then you can be pretty flexible, although you will want to lock in some accommodation for the Christmas-NY period. After that though you don't really have to worry.
     
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  11. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    Thanks!
     
  12. cin

    cin Part of the Furniture
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    From what I've heard (from some party maniacs in Ischgl one arvo après) Solden is a massive party town
     
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  13. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old And Crusty
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    They're both a bit unusual in that they have strip clubs. Not often found in Ski resorts. Not in my experience anyway.

    And Ischgl has Schatzi Bar which is like a strip club that's gone a bit mainstream. Afternoon apres with scantily clad (but not naked) girls dancing on tables. And none of them are Austrian. All Eastern.

     
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  14. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 Well-Known Member

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    Agree that Munich is a great place to head in numerous directions. Innsbruck is a great city; small enough to get around comfortably but big enough to have plenty of things to do. I stayed for a week and had an Innsbruck Ski Pass but mistakenly purchased the one that didn't include Stubai glacier which was a bad move, so be careful to check out the details. Buses picked you up from various hotels and locations around the city each morning, ferrying you to a carpark where different buses to different ski areas headed off. It was a great system, but I personally didn't like the relatively late arrival times (I like early tracks) but otherwise it was sensational value. Snow levels and quality can be an issue in the resorts near the city, but those at higher altitudes are pretty good. Have fun.
     
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  15. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    Thanks
     
  16. cin

    cin Part of the Furniture
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    That's where I met the crazy Germans that told me about Solden!
    I was there with the missus LOL
     
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  17. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old And Crusty
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    Ischgl actually has a proper Pacha (think Ibiza) franchise. And Soelden does have a few real clubby clubs but unless your age has a 1 or a 2 at the start of it, you will feel old!
     
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  18. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old And Crusty
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    IMO the most fun apres ski in both Soelden & Ischgl were the Dutch bars.

    Alm Rausch in Soelden.
    Trofana Alm in Ischgl

    They're not on mountain and they're both indoors.
     
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  19. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old And Crusty
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    And don't expect to meet that many English native speakers at either resort. Heavily marketed to the German/Dutch markets. Not so much to the Brits. This contrasts sharply with St anton, where every second person is British and a fair amont of Aussies too
     
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  20. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    I want to avoid Aussies haha, thanks very useful
     
  21. Whiteman

    Whiteman Addicted Member
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    Plus the train trip from Munich to the Tyrol is great and views are fantastic (*if it's clear). :thumbs:
     
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  22. Inclder

    Inclder New Member

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    If you're into park riding then Laax / Flimms is probably a good option
     
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  23. doddles

    doddles Active Member

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    Innsbruck was the first place my mate and I lobbed in Europe during a year off after Uni, right after Christmas. That was many many moons ago now. Snow wasn't great, but we skiied Axams, the resorts in the Stubai Valley (Fulpmes, Neustift) and the Stubai Glacier - all good and nice variety, but you are catching buses every day.

    Still, of all the great skiing I did, the one standout memory for me was us standing in a crowd of 25,000 shouting, singing and dancing people drinking gluiwein, eating wurst at the Innsbruck leg of the 4 Hills ski jumping competition. That was pretty amazing - you should do it if you get the chance.
     
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  24. Warnsie

    Warnsie Just Registered

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    Hi all

    When is the best time to go to Austria and snowboard for BEGINNERS? My wife and I spent 5 days in Falls Creek and we are now hooked. My wife has been pestering me to go to Europe for years, but I wasn't really fussed on going until now.
    So after doing some pretty intense research over the last couple of days, I have narrowed it down to three resorts that we would like to visit in 2018 for roughly 7 days each. This should give us plenty of time to enjoy snowboarding and have a look around each village. They are Zell Am See, Kitzbuhel, and Soldeon. We want to leave Solden last and hope to be more comfortable snowboarding by the time we get there. I have tried to choose Towns that are more touristy, scenic, and have other things to do besides skiing.
    I am open to everyone's ideas and thoughts as to whether these resorts are the go, or we should be looking at smaller results etc. At this time we are planning for mid February 2018.
     
  25. Sbooker

    Sbooker Active Member

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    I have no first hand experience of skiing in Europe (or even visiting Europe for that matter) but I am heavy in the research phase for a trip myself. If you have 3 weeks to burn you could try to pick different ski experiences and even countries. If you flew into Venice and then did a week in the Italian Dolomites (sounds perfect for beginners) and then headed north into Austria (Innsbruck for a few days) and then one of the Austrian resorts (St Anton, Ischgl or one of the ones you mentioned above) it may offer a little more variety?
    I'm sure what ever you choose you'll have a grand time.
     
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  26. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    If you are beginners and powder is not a top priority then consider going in Spring - March/ early April. Weather is better, it isn't as busy, so it is a much more relaxed atmosphere on and off mountain. You can sit outside at one of the many mountain huts for lunch with table service. Will also be better weather in the villages for after skiing or days off.
    That time of year you can also be reasonably flexible with accommodation. You don't need to lock in specific resorts. There are several multi-day, multi-area ski passes worth looking at.
     
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  27. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    I would choose Saalbach over Zell Am See. Much more beginner terrain and largest snowmaking set up in Austria. Kitzbuhel beginner areas still get very crowded.
     
  28. Warnsie

    Warnsie Just Registered

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    Hi Heinz
    Thanks for your advise. Going later in the season will be a lot cheaper too. Looking through the forum and gauging from your name, it seems you are quite familiar with Austria. Do you think Zell Em See, Kitzbuhel and Solden are good choices for a well rounded ski holiday. The first two sound like they have really good villages to explore, and Solden sounds pretty cool to experience the glacier and its lookouts. Thanks
     
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  29. Warnsie

    Warnsie Just Registered

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    How does Saalbach compare to Kitzbuhel "village wise"? Thanks for your help
     
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  30. Warnsie

    Warnsie Just Registered

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    I never thought of different countries. Now you have me thinking. Thanks for your imput
     
  31. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Kitz does have more charm than Saalbach as does Zell. Depends on your priorities. The mountain eateries/ huts are nicer at Saalbach IMO.
     
  32. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Dolomites for beginners- My obs were that the slopes at Alta Badia were wider and uncrowded compared to Val Gardena. Seiser Alm is also very good .
     
  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Consider Schladming as well. Very nice town, several ski areas all with super wide pistes.
     
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  34. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Possibly Flachau too ?
     
  35. Warnsie

    Warnsie Just Registered

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    Thanks for your imput guys. Please post any other comments if you think of them. We are now planning to go at the end of February/March
     
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Home of Hermann. Haven't been myself, but could be option.
    All under Ski Amade pass or Salzburger super pass.

    Also not too far from Salzburg town which would be a good option for a day or two in between.
     
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  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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  38. doddles

    doddles Active Member

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    Late February/early March is a great time for skiing - usually snow-sure (late March/early April quite dodgy for Italian and lower Austrian resorts. You might want to take a look at the EU school holiday calendars to work out where it is likely to be least busy during each week of your stay.

    For beginners looking for nice towns & alpine experience, I would endorse Dolomites, Zell/Kitz. For a "mega", high Alps experience, two other places stand out: Zermatt and Chamonix. Zermatt is very expensive but is, in my opinion, the ultimate alpine experience and also has good beginner/intermediate terrain. Chamonix has some of - probably the most dramatic alpine scenery in Europe, but options for beginner skiers are limited.
     
  39. Warnsie

    Warnsie Just Registered

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    Well after researching practically all day, I have narrowed it down to three. And I can't believe I spent so long youtubing to find that 'doddles' already mentioned them in the last post....
    Obviously the adventure part of boarding is very important, but we also want to experience epic scenery that we will never forget. So this is my pick:
    Fly to Munic, Germany
    - Zel Em See, Austria (do this first at the end of Feb to guarantee snow)
    - Zermatt, Switzerland
    - Chamonix, France

    So what do we think? Is this the right order to be travelling to? How do we travel to get these places (train,bus,car), and what other places should we visit on the way? We can't wait....
     
  40. tr+h

    tr+h Dedicated Member

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    Don't forget they filmed Spectre at Solden.

     
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  41. skinavy

    skinavy Dedicated Member

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    Train would work for all three, as all are on train lines. Having a car in Zell would be handy so you can mix up where you ski based on conditions etc. I've always thought of Zell as more of a base to then branch out to Saalbach, Kaprun, Schmitten, Leogang. Could even do Hallersbach to Kitzbuel and back from Zell (big day but worth it, did this to go the SuperG race as Kitz is rammed during race week)

    Get the Salzburger Ski Pass and then you can access every resort in Salzburgerland (plus a few in Tyrol)

    You won't need a car in Zermatt, as their not allowed. Only vehicles are little electric cars (kind of like golfcarts).

    A car would be useful in Chamonix as it is spread out along the valley (really it consists of about three separate villages/towns all of which have their own skifields) however they are connected by a free rail service. Make sure you get the pass that covers the whole Chamonix valley, inc Aiguille du Midi.

    The order works as minimal backtracking. (You will backtrack going in and out of Zermatt, as it is at the end of a valley).

    Fly into Munich and then fly out of Geneva. Did this last year on Emirates via Dubai. If you plan it well there are minimal waiting around in Dubai. Plenty of Chamonix -Geneva transfer options. Munich to Zell you could do by train, but I think there would be a couple of changes. Not sure on other transfers as we had a van ( I was over with the ADF Ski and Snowboard team)
     
  42. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Zermatt is very nice, but be prepared to pay - it is quite expensive (Switzerland is in general).
    Chamonix is legendary and is a good size town, but is not the best choice for beginners. Do a tourist trip up the Aiguille du Midi for sure and a couple of days shopping in town but maybe look elsewhere to ride.

    The order is ok. You will need to allow a day of travel in each case. A lot of choices and there is always the dilemma of the first trip. Hit all the big name places or concentrate on one region. No easy answer.

    Train in Europe is very good.
    Germany
    Austria
    Switzerland
    France
     
  43. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a great trip. I haven't figured out where I will go next year, but your timing and resorts look like a great start so I might look back at your plans come time to lock something in. I have been to Europe numerous times and the scenery and vastness of the resorts means you are often "ski touring' - checking out how to get from A to B to C and back home again, with villages and eateries in between. It has dawned on me that I don't ski too many runs twice, meaning the enjoyment of skiing isn't quite what I get back here at home (where runs are very familiar). For that reason, try not to board "everywhere you can" at the expense of getting to know a few runs/valleys and concentrating on your riding so you can rally enjoy it?
     
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  44. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old And Crusty
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    This seems to be a very British thing. It drives me nuts. When I'm riding with British mates, they're always obsessed wth doing every run in a resort, whereas I'm happy to find the gem areas and session them for a few hours at a time. You ride so much better when you know what terrain's coming up.
     
  45. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 Well-Known Member

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    I was an eldest child! Couldn't miss out on anything. Will take chill pills on next trip; afterall, there are only so many "spectacular" views of the Alps that one can actually remember.
     
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  46. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    Thanks heaps, you're not the first to mention Stubai and Axams, I have added them to my hit list
     
  47. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    yeah my aim is to lock in about 1 week at each mountain, so hopefully that will give me enough time to get to know the runs! It's much more fun burning down runs you know as fast as you can hahaha
     
  48. Karbon

    Karbon Active Member

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    I'm not an expert on Austria but I was there last Xmas / New Year. Given that's early in the season we planned our trip around resorts that had skiing above 2000m.....just in case...so we based ourselves in the Oztal valley. A short drive to Solden, Obergurgl and Kuhtai. Also relatively short drive to St.Anton if the snow was good (about 45 minutes). Turned out a good strategy as natural snow was really poor but up high held up ok.

    As many have said, Solden is a good bet at that time of year due to the altitude and the glaciers. Obergurgl is also a good bet - no glaciers but most of the skiing is above 2000m.

    The snow making at the mega resorts is excellent but can be very crowded at that time of the year. Try to picture the massive crowds that a place like St.Anton attracts all crammed onto strips of snow.
     
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  49. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    Thanks that's very helpful, I'm thinking of doing something similar, maybe ischgl now instead of St. anton.
     
  50. Matt tickner

    Matt tickner Just Registered

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    How was the nightlife in Otzel Valley? is it a big place? is there much to do at night?