Saalbach/Hinterglemm mini trip report

XTREMO

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This was my first visit to this part of the Austrian Alps and it exceeded expectations. A world class region (and I say region rather than resort) by any standard. One of my best mates bought his wife, 7yo and 19 month old over from Aus. This was the first time I've ever done a ski trip with children in tow and....wow. I ended up spending good quality time with them but didn't do as much riding as I'd hoped. Ski school drop-offs, child minding drop-offs and then the respective pickups 5 hours later, eating dinner around 18:30..... So Yeah, very different to my typical boys trips. Anyway, new experience.

In my 3 day mission, I only got to sample a mere taster of the stuff in the immediate vicinity of Hinterglemm and Saalbach but would love to spend a week or three exploring next time round.

We had blue sky the first 2 days and yesterday morning it was flat light for most of the 3.5 hours I rode. Sun came out as I was finishing and I think the arvo would have been nice.

I stayed in Hinterglemm, near the Zwolfefkogl gondola station. Hotel Schachner. Highly recommend. Austrian accomodation standard (hotels) is superb and Schachner is yet another family run gem. The Austrians really have gotten this type of holiday lodging down to a fine art. You almost feel like part of the family, especially if you take the time to get to know your hosts and live vicariously through their mountain way of life.

The snow cover was good by January standards but they clearly had rain after the dumps and there's a very hard crust over everything that isn't groomed. Tried it briefly. Felt like someone was jackhammering my legs. In short, they need more snow. And its coming this week. Let's hope enough falls. I'd imagine it's gonna be high avy risk given the hard crusty layer upon which new snow will sit, so be safe @Kletterer and @DidSurfNowSki

The apres ski was superb, although I only got to sample it briefly (the kids etc...) Managed to check out Goaßtall, Schwips and Bauers Schi-Alm - all typical Austrian apres madness. Good fun. Drink pricing is excellent. Nice beers 4,50€, Jaegerbombs the same I think!

On the culinary front, I was disappointed. Tried a couple of Pinzgau specialties on the mountain: the speckknock'n and käseknock'n. Not quite my thing. And schnitzel; the veal schnitzel seems to be a dying breed. When in Austria I expect proper veal not schwein which is all we could find in Hinterglemm. Had one and tried some of mate's. Shocking. And served with French fries? A schnitty needs to be veal and served with either potato salad or bratkartoffeln (roast potatoes usually with bacon bits). Don't even get my started on chicken Schn......

Due to being with the kids, we ended up eating in a few of the more obvious tourist traps and the pizzas were awful (I know it's not Italy but its 2018 and making good pizza base isn't rocket science). Hinterglemm has sweet nothing in the way of quick takeaway options. It's restaurant or self catering. Saalbach seemed to have a couple of dodgy looking kebab places but still seemed to be mainly restaurants. The apres bars do acceptable burgers and wursts to satiate the stomach while drinking. Sauces on everything (pizzas burgers pastas) seemed to be straight out of cans/bottles. France definitely has the edge on Austria when it comes to eating. Affordable raclette burgers and crepes make cheap eating affordable and delicious. Restaurant dining (other than creperies) are probably 30% more pricy in France though.

Here are some pics....

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Kletterer

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This area is all about schwein shnitzel but you gotta know where the good huts are. A good one beats veal hands down imo.
 
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piolet

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Looks great

Ski trips with young kids, much lel

Mine last year was a disaster but my sister is up in Japan right now, slightly older kids, and it seems to be working out ok. Light at the end of the tunnel
 
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Kletterer

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Saalbach does well with kids. Fiss/Serfaus still holds the crown though.
 

XTREMO

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Looks great

Ski trips with young kids, much lel

Mine last year was a disaster but my sister is up in Japan right now, slightly older kids, and it seems to be working out ok. Light at the end of the tunnel

It aint my tunnel so I'm alright!! My mate's alreayd scheming to see how he can fit in on a boys trip next season.
 
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XTREMO

Old n' Crusty
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Saalbach does well with kids. Fiss/Serfaus still holds the crown though.

My friends weren't super impressed with the babysitting arrangements. Their hotel said they have minding, but turns out that was only in school holiday periods. The closest child minder was in Lengau. 40 EUR return taxi ride in morning, and then again in arvo, or getting car out and doing it that way. Not ideal.
 

Kletterer

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My friends weren't super impressed with the babysitting arrangements. Their hotel said they have minding, but turns out that was only in school holiday periods. The closest child minder was in Lengau. 40 EUR return taxi ride in morning, and then again in arvo, or getting car out and doing it that way. Not ideal.
Yeah Like all things in Europe you have to really suss things out and double check details. First timers often get caught out on little details.
 
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XTREMO

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It does seem pretty odd that neither Hintertglemm nor Saalbach have a single well promoted child minding facility. Seems like a pretty obvious business opportunity going begging...
 

Kletterer

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It does seem pretty odd that neither Hintertglemm nor Saalbach have a single well promoted child minding facility. Seems like a pretty obvious business opportunity going begging...
Certainly room for improvement. And the appoteke shutting for 90 minutes over lunch is a bit old fashioned.
 

XTREMO

Old n' Crusty
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Certainly room for improvement. And the appoteke shutting for 90 minutes over lunch is a bit old fashioned.

Even better - the fact that on Saurday its open in Saalbach from 08:30-14:00 and then Hinterglemm 14:00 'til 17:30. One staff member split over two stores?!?!

Another thing I found weird actually; the bus situation. The ski bus is great during the day and yes - I understand that a free ski bus isn't gonna be provided until all hours of the night, BUT when Saalbach is clearly the main town with the most lively stuff happening, SURELY one would expect that there'd be a paid bus that runs later than 19:52!!! The last bus back to Hinterglemm from Saalbach Schattenberg was at that time so we had to get a taxi. You'd think they'd want to help the tourists who can't afford or couldn't get accom in Saalbach itself, to be able to dine out and party (ie. spend money) in Saalbach if they want to......
 

Kletterer

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Avi forecast not looking too good with the current hard layer due to get plastered tonight and tomorow. Will hang around the fave treed areas and the safe Asitz rim if it lifts partialy.
 

XTREMO

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I'd highly recommend this train ride from Wörgl to Zell am See. Such a beautiful part of the world.





 
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Rabid K9

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Agree about the food. Is the main thing I don't look forward too going back to Austria each time (not to offend Kletterer or Heinz), as a general rule, find culinary fare a little stodgy & coffee, well let's not get started again. About one week is my max time I can run on long range food tanks, then have to duck back to Italy to fuel up.

Small price to pay for the Austrians doing everything else so well though.
 
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Telemark Phat

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I haven't spent much time in the Austrian Alps. I don't remember the coffee being especially good, but then again the only mountainous region I have had good coffee in is the Italian Alps and the Dolomites. But if you don't like the coffee in Vienna there is something wrong with you.
 

Rabid K9

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*Sorry for thread detour (but is good to promote some Euro trash talk).

I don't remember the coffee being especially good.

Very diplomatic of you.

Italian curing room not far from the trifecta border area.

Nearly was added to contents of cellar when I dared to ask for some vegetables. Also had to forgo my 'don't eat pig' status or starve.

Italian curing room.JPG
 

XTREMO

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Beats runny meat pies :D

You raise a good point. So I finished riding and had my bags ready at 13:15 yesterday and had an hour to grab some food before my bus to Zell am See. Thought it'd be a good opportunity to sample the bakeries. I would've given my left testicle for a cheese and bacon pie or something similar but honestly those two bakeries in Hinterglemm are soooo boring. Couldn't find anything appealing to eat there, except for some vanilla pfannkuchen thing that I grabbed to have on the road. Didn't have time for a restaurant meal. I ended up having a bowl of mass produced sloppy bolognese from Goaßtall. Filled the void but rather unimpressive.
 

Telemark Phat

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You raise a good point. So I finished riding and had my bags ready at 13:15 yesterday and had an hour to grab some food before my bus to Zell am See. Thought it'd be a good opportunity to sample the bakeries. I would've given my left testicle for a cheese and bacon pie or something similar but honestly those two bakeries in Hinterglemm are soooo boring. Couldn't find anything appealing to eat there, except for some vanilla pfannkuchen thing that I grabbed to have on the road. Didn't have time for a restaurant meal. I ended up having a bowl of mass produced sloppy bolognese from Goaßtall. Filled the void but rather unimpressive.
Should have had a quick liquid lunch instead.
 

XTREMO

Old n' Crusty
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Agree about the food. Is the main thing I don't look forward too going back to Austria each time (not to offend Kletterer or Heinz), as a general rule, find culinary fare a little stodgy & coffee, well let's not get started again. About one week is my max time I can run on long range food tanks, then have to duck back to Italy to fuel up.

Small price to pay for the Austrians doing everything else so well though.

There are many exceptions though. I've had some spectacular meals in Austria, including these memorable ribs @ Nederhutte, Obergurgl. Sölden also has some wicked little moutain huts that serve great local fare. I remember St Anton having some great little takeaway burger/pizza places from mz first trip there but that was about 10 years ago and I hadn't been in Europe very long so maybe I just had lower expectations!

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Rabid K9

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There are many exceptions though. I've had some spectacular meals in Austria, including these memorable ribs @ Nederhutte, Obergurgl. Sölden also has some wicked little moutain huts that serve great local fare. I remember St Anton having some great little takeaway burger/pizza places from mz first trip there but that was about 10 years ago and I hadn't been in Europe very long so maybe I just had lower expectations!

10945848_10152536359416266_1982328896723112077_o.jpg

Yep, you can pretty much throw an emergency bowl of pasta & some coffee grounds across the pass from Italy to the 'Gurgls & Solden.

Funny you should say that though, was just thinking have had some decent food on the mountain at Obergurgl & Lech.

And rarely starved in Innsbruck.
 
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