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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I have some questions regarding snowboarding in Austria. I am organizing a ski trip with some friends(well I'm organizing) to Austria. We are a group of 4 for now, as 2 still have to confirm. We want to go by the end of January, beginning of February, for 4 days. Is there someone who could recommend some nice places where we can hit the slopes with nice powder skiing? We would also require some ski rental shops suggestions, as we are flying from London and not everyone has equipment. Would love to report on the snow afterwards.

Cheers,
Niko
 

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I've boarded in Austria the past few seasons now, most places have had good coverage. Depending on the area your'e staying in there's some good choices (all have gear on site). If it's just powder you want, you'll want to be in the Alps most likely. You have many options for ungroomed areas.

  • If you're in Vienna, the Stuhleck resort is only an hour or so drive away and is large enough to occupy you for 2-3 days easily.
  • If you're around Salzburg, Skiamade's St Johann im Pongau is fantastic. Encompasses 3 different resorts all linked on the one pass. I've done this resort multiple seasons now. Snowspace Salzburg. If you're not very experienced, you could base yourself out of each of the resort towns to start every day so you dont lose a lot of time traversing terrain.
  • If you're around Innsbruck, the Nordkette can be reached from right in town via its train/gondala that runs from the centre of town. I found 2-3 days is plenty here. Its a fantastic view from the top and you can board almost all the way back to town if coverage is good enough!
  • If you're in the alps, well... you have everything.
I'll be in Innsbruck just after new year for a bit, and then off to Lech and St Anton am Arlberg for most of January. It has a fantastic network of interconnected resorts on the one ticket.
 

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Late January/early February has the best chances of good coverage in Austria. All resorts will have rental gear available. Do consider the elevation - some family-oriented resorts peak at 1.600 m or so, while others will go up to 2.400 and higher. Of course, more elevation means better chances of snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've boarded in Austria the past few seasons now, most places have had good coverage. Depending on the area your'e staying in there's some good choices (all have gear on site). If it's just powder you want, you'll want to be in the Alps most likely. You have many options for ungroomed areas.

  • If you're in Vienna, the Stuhleck resort is only an hour or so drive away and is large enough to occupy you for 2-3 days easily.
  • If you're around Salzburg, Skiamade's St Johann im Pongau is fantastic. Encompasses 3 different resorts all linked on the one pass. I've done this resort multiple seasons now. Snowspace Salzburg. If you're not very experienced, you could base yourself out of each of the resort towns to start every day so you dont lose a lot of time traversing terrain.
  • If you're around Innsbruck, the Nordkette can be reached from right in town via its train/gondala that runs from the centre of town. I found 2-3 days is plenty here. Its a fantastic view from the top and you can board almost all the way back to town if coverage is good enough!
  • If you're in the alps, well... you have everything.
I'll be in Innsbruck just after new year for a bit, and then off to Lech and St Anton am Arlberg for most of January. It has a fantastic network of interconnected resorts on the one ticket.
Thank you so much. I will definitely take a better look at those resorts. Which one is your favourite?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Late January/early February has the best chances of good coverage in Austria. All resorts will have rental gear available. Do consider the elevation - some family-oriented resorts peak at 1.600 m or so, while others will go up to 2.400 and higher. Of course, more elevation means better chances of snow.
Well I have already some experience snowboarding, but I will take that into consideration. Thank you for the advice
 

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I have some questions regarding snowboarding in Austria. [...] Is there someone who could recommend some nice places where we can hit the slopes with nice powder skiing?
While 4 days kinda is too short for it, I can recommend the Zillertal area. Its a valley with several big resorts, some connected by lifts/slopes, some by bus/train.
At the far end of the valloy is Hintertux with its glacier, likely not the best spot at that time, but worth a visit on a bluebird day.
If you rather want to party than to ride, Mayerhofen would be the spot for you. (No worries if you don't want to partoy, you can have a quiet stay there, too, but the main street is usually crowded).
In a side-valley you have Gerlos, which has a plateau of blue pistes that can be icy, and then Königsleiten with more reds and some blacks and a good amount of space next to them that ideally has powder and Hochkrimml, all connected by lift and slope.

From Grelos there is lift/slope connection (albeit a bit boring, mostly cat track) to Zell, a quiet town that is quite central in the main valley and has nice reds with some space between then for hitting the powder between the trees.
The central position allows you to take the train to Mayerhofen and reach Tux from there (either by bus only or lift/board half the distance and jump onto the bus for the rest) or go the other direction to Kaltenbach, or even take the bus to Gerlos, should the lift/slop connection be closed due to avalanche risk.

Kaltenbach has some nice reds and blacks as well as some nice routes, one going down to another small town in the valley from where a bus goes back to Kaltenbach every 15 minutes - very nice if there's fresh pow. :) You can also reach Hochfügen by lift/slope from there and on the way there's some nice routes for powder already as well as in the Hochfügen area itself. May be the nicest area for powder in the valley, at least for my taste.

We would also require some ski rental shops suggestions
I take it, you do mean snowboard rental shops... ;)
Not sure about ordinary rentals (and for me, the typical rental beginner board won't cut it),
but when it comes to extensive test rides before buying, I can wholeheartedly recommend HotZone in Gerlos. Huge selection of stuff and after having sortied things by phone from home (my old board not being usable anymore) before the trip, I got a Never Summer Cobra to test ride an the first day :cool:, then some Ride and LibTech ones (and ended up going with the LibTech T-Rice Pro :)).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You have to try Saint Anton and Ischgl are the biggest and they have parks !!
Will definitely consider both areas. Regarding the parks, I have never been to one, but I want to go there and go bananas. Do you think it's a good option for someone who never went to a ski park to try it there? Or should I definitely get the help of someone with more experience?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
While 4 days kinda is too short for it, I can recommend the Zillertal area. Its a valley with several big resorts, some connected by lifts/slopes, some by bus/train.
At the far end of the valloy is Hintertux with its glacier, likely not the best spot at that time, but worth a visit on a bluebird day.
If you rather want to party than to ride, Mayerhofen would be the spot for you. (No worries if you don't want to partoy, you can have a quiet stay there, too, but the main street is usually crowded).
In a side-valley you have Gerlos, which has a plateau of blue pistes that can be icy, and then Königsleiten with more reds and some blacks and a good amount of space next to them that ideally has powder and Hochkrimml, all connected by lift and slope.

From Grelos there is lift/slope connection (albeit a bit boring, mostly cat track) to Zell, a quiet town that is quite central in the main valley and has nice reds with some space between then for hitting the powder between the trees.
The central position allows you to take the train to Mayerhofen and reach Tux from there (either by bus only or lift/board half the distance and jump onto the bus for the rest) or go the other direction to Kaltenbach, or even take the bus to Gerlos, should the lift/slop connection be closed due to avalanche risk.

Kaltenbach has some nice reds and blacks as well as some nice routes, one going down to another small town in the valley from where a bus goes back to Kaltenbach every 15 minutes - very nice if there's fresh pow. :) You can also reach Hochfügen by lift/slope from there and on the way there's some nice routes for powder already as well as in the Hochfügen area itself. May be the nicest area for powder in the valley, at least for my taste.
Thank you for the extensive review on different locations. I heard about Mayrhofen, and it seems crazy. We are looking for a mix of partying and snowboarding, however we don´t want to rest hours and days with hangovers, so we will probably look to party one day and get the most out of the others. I also read that a good option is Innsbruck, as it easier to get there from London. Would you recommend this area? I know it is one of the most famous, but might also be full around that time
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I take it, you do mean snowboard rental shops... ;)
Not sure about ordinary rentals (and for me, the typical rental beginner board won't cut it),
but when it comes to extensive test rides before buying, I can wholeheartedly recommend HotZone in Gerlos. Huge selection of stuff and after having sortied things by phone from home (my old board not being usable anymore) before the trip, I got a Never Summer Cobra to test ride an the first day :cool:, then some Ride and LibTech ones (and ended up going with the LibTech T-Rice Pro :)).
Yeah snowboard rental shops. It is the force of habit, as the most ski rental shops also rent snowboards. The other day a friend of mine recommended me Sport 2000 Rent as a good place to find snowboards at a good price and that they have a lot of locations where you can find the equipment. Do you think they have similar snowboards to the ones you tested, as I was looking around their website and could not find detailed information about the boards?
 

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Thank you for the extensive review on different locations. I heard about Mayrhofen, and it seems crazy. We are looking for a mix of partying and snowboarding, however we don´t want to rest hours and days with hangovers, so we will probably look to party one day and get the most out of the others.
No problem there, as long as you got the discipline to pass by the big party-area on your way down the mountain. ;)

I also read that a good option is Innsbruck, as it easier to get there from London. Would you recommend this area? I know it is one of the most famous, but might also be full around that time
Its defenitely famous as a city, but as a ski resort? :unsure: I do remember having met some students from Innsbruck on a chair lift ride in the Zillertal area in the afternoon, that had been to a lecture in the morning and then came there - so can't be too difficult/time consuming to get there.

The other day a friend of mine recommended me Sport 2000 Rent as a good place to find snowboards at a good price and that they have a lot of locations where you can find the equipment. Do you think they have similar snowboards to the ones you tested, as I was looking around their website and could not find detailed information about the boards?
Not familiar with that, but looks rather like a portal working with individual small shops, so availability of boards depending on whatever the particular shop at the given location has to offer.

Given that Hotzone back then had among the biggest selection of boards (especially of those "hot" ones of that year :)) and was the only shop I found that would give (some) of those out for test rides that I found back then, I would be surprised, if an arbitrary shop you find using that search had a similar selection.

Its a diffirent thing after all. Most people looking for rental stuff are not picky and aro mostly beginners/lower level intermediate riders not yet willing to buy a board before knowing what direction their riding will go and the shops of course rather give out something cheap that primarily needs to be suitable for beginners and acceptable to intermediates.
A higher level intermediate or good rider wanting to test ride some board with a specific trait or one of the boards he read other riders rave about in a forum like this, is a completely different and much smaller in numbers beast.
 

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I'm heading out to Mayrhofen near the beginning of February. Not tried Austria before but it does look good and was surprisingly well priced. Hoping for some good snow but so far it's not looking bad out there.
 

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For proper snowboard rental S'No Control in St Anton and Greenroom in Mayrhofen (looks like they have Jones this year).

Both areas are pretty easy to get to from Innsbruck, we normally hire a car but I know you can get a train.

Both great areas but our group actually preferred Mayrhofen (ssshhh don't tell anyone).

Off to Innsbruck again in a few weeks weeks but we've actually decided to go to the Dolomites this time for a change of pace. Might catch a little local area on the way down.
 
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