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Austrian ski weekend Dec 9-12?

My husband and I will be in Munich for a week but want to ski/snowboard nearby in Austria on the weekend of Dec 9-12. We do realize that we are taking a risk that there could be no or little snow at that time of the year. That's fine we can always find other things to do. We are advanced skiers and have the capability of on and off piste. Where in Austria would we most likely be able to have snow and a lot of skiable terrain and in a decent town? We are thinking St Anton, but do you have any other recommendations? We are planning on renting a car but is there and public transportation options from Munich airport to ski resort as an option?

Posted by
387 posts

Not been to Austria for a few years - must go back. Have been skiing in US the last few years. But from memory, skiing in December ....

I've been to Obergurgl a few times before Christmas and have always been lucky to have snow, its also near the Solden glacier where, if I remember correctly, you pay a small supplement to ski there. I like Obergurgl, mostly because its not as fancy (and expensive) as St Anton - its a bit of a throwback. But not good for advanced runs tho' there is some good off piste possibilities.
Edit: I should mention Hochgurgl, linked to Obergurgl, does have some more advanced runs.

I also like skiing at Ischgl, which is the resort known for opening early in the season and usually with a concert - but the apres-ski can be pretty hardcore, not a quiet resort - so off-putting for some of my friends. But I believe they have some new lifts opening this year and there have been some good improvements/more gondolas etc in recent years. It is a very large area and they do have some very good long runs, though not sure how good it is for advanced skiers - my impression is that some of the black runs are a bit over-graded.

Am not a fan of St Anton and haven't been there for more than 15 years so no recent information at all.

Edit; There are rail options from Munich to get to Austrian ski resorts - but I'm not an expert on trains, on ski holidays I'm not the person doing the organising, just go with the flow.

Katy

Posted by
16423 posts

St Anton has the best rail access, but still 3 hours and 20 minutes from Munich, and a decent chance of good snow higher up. Another would be the Hintertux glacier by Mayrhofen with a rail line from Jenbach connecting to the main line from Munich. Shortest time in the morning is 2 1/2 hours.

With a car, you have Igls, Soelden/Obergurgl with a glacier, and Pitztal glacier in the next valley west of the Oetztal where Soelden and Obergurgl are. With a top lift station at 11,300 ft, it is the highest glacier in the Tirol.
I haven't skied there, but it looks to be somewhat like A-Basin.
http://www.pitztaler-gletscher.at/en/skigebiet/wildspitzbahn

Posted by
12040 posts

If you want to raise your odds of good snow in the early season, raise your altitude. The summit pistes of the Zugspitze should be open by that time. You can reach it easily by rail. Not my favorite place to ski in the Alps, but if that's all that's open, I would go for it.

Both are a little further away in Austria, but Lech am Arlberg and Obertauern usually open a little earlier as well due to their higher base altitude. You would need a rental car to reach them, however.

Posted by
5774 posts

Late fall is more of a lack of snow than mid winter. That said, look at usual openings, pick higher base elevation resorts with snow making augmentation and be prepared to change plans. For a generic summary of Austrian resorts see:
https://www.j2ski.com/ski_resorts/Austria/

As an example Zell am See:

Usual opening - Late Nov.

760m Lowest Piste

760m Resort Altitude (Zell am See)

Zell am See Snow Making

Snowmaking :- Zell am See is able to augment natural snow, on 68km of
ski runs, with 60 Snow Cannons.

Then check climate statistics realizing that global climate change is with us. It takes cold air to make artificial snow. Using Zell am See Climate as an example:

Month - Mean Normal Temp - Mean High Temp - Mean Low Temp - Days with Precip:

November -8.3°C -6.0°C -10.3°C 15

December -10.4°C -8.2°C -12.7°C 16