Category Archives: Winter

It´s cold outside …

After some milder Winters in the recent years, this year Jack Frost is having a unexpected comeback. Europe is currently suffering from a long period of coldness. In Feldkirch, where I live, we have -20 degree (Celsius) during nights and -10 during day-time (this translates into -4 to +14 degree Fahrenheit).

As it was way to cold for skiing and we still felt like getting out at least for some time, we made some hikes on the surrounding hills of Feldkirch. You can get some impressions from the pictures.

The pictures were taken on Saturday and Sunday – Saturday was rather cloudy, Sunday very sunny – but both days were equally cold. The deer-park is set up on Ardetzenberg and is one of the best recreational areas of the city (and its free, too).

Feldkirch is one of Vorarlbergs 5 cities – it was first mentioned 842, and was mentioned as a city 1218. The Schattenburg was the castle of the Montfort family, which ruled over Feldkirch until 1390 (and were also the Rulers of Bregenz (Vorarlbergs capital) and Tettnang in Southern Germany). Their coat of arms was later used as coat of arms of Vorarlberg. After 1390 the Habsburger ruled over Feldkirch – until the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918 (there was a brief spell as part of Bavaria, during the Napoleonic wars).

Feldkirch is home to 32.000 people, and is famous for its great medieval city center, the castle Schattenburg and for a lot of activities, that are spread over the year. From the annual wine festival, to the indie-music poolbar Festival, there is a huge span of events. So make sure to check out what events are scheduled, when you consider to visit Feldkirch.

UPDATE:
If you are looking for a good brochure (in English) to visit Feldkirch and its most “legendary” places – you will find it in another blog entry – “HISTORYcal.Feldkirch”

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Skiing resorts in Salzburg

Next week I will visit my parents in law in the Zell am See region – therefore I decided it might be helpful to add to my article
“Great skiing resorts in Tyrol and Vorarlberg” which can be read here by giving some information about Skiing resorts I know in Salzburg.

Most people know Salzburg as a city – but there is also a province with the same name, as its capital. Famous for “Sound of Music” and for being Mozarts birthplace, the region has a lot to offer. In Winter they have some really great skiing resorts.

And by great, I mean huge – Ski Amadé is a cooperation by a lot of Salzburg (and some Styrian) skiing resorts – 860km of pistes for all levels offer plenty of great skiing. 2013 there will be the Alpine Ski World Championship in Schladming, one of the resorts that belong to Amadé.

There are also a lot of smaller resorts, that are worth visiting. I personally like Rauris – it is a small resort in a beautiful valley, which has some great runs and very traditional huts to have some delicious food with breathtaking views. Rauris is promoting itself for family friendliness, but if you just want to have a day of skiing fun, it is a great location, too.

A lot bigger is the Europasportregion Zell am See/Kaprun. The area consists of a bigger skiing resort (Zell am See), a smaller one (Kaprun) and a glacier skiing resort above Kaprun. Therefore you can go skiing almost all year long. The view to picturesque Zeller Lake is wonderful and you can spot a lot of Austrias highest peaks in the “Hohe Tauern”, including Austrias highest peak – the Grossglockner (3797m).

Further down the Pinzgau you can find Mittersill. Mittersills skiing resort has been connected with the Kitzbühel skiing area for some years now, and this part of the skiing resort, might not be as famous as Kitzbühel, but it provides you with a lot of great skiing.

Just around the corner of Zell am See, there is another huge skiing arena – Saalbach/Hinterglemm – which can also be reached from Leogang. This area is one of my favorite spots in the Alpes, as you find a lot of great runs not only for beginners and intermediates, but also for good skiers, who want to give it all.

Salzburg is definitely a great spot for skiing and if you are considering to come to Austria in Winter, you should not miss out on it. After all this is where the hills are really alive.

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Great skiing resorts in Tyrol and Vorarlberg

A fellow blogger, Maia from “BoundforAdventure” , is currently staying in Stuttgart, Germany and asked for some tipps for good skiing or snow boarding.

I thought about it for some time and then came up with this list … I added the approx. driving time (as stated by ViaMichelin) from Stuttgart, to give some idea about the distances.

I only included Skiing resorts I have visited … some big ones of Tyrol (e.g. Zillertal, Sölden) or Switzerland are missing – although they are in reachable (up to 4 hours drive) distance from Stuttgart. Other ones – especially in Salzburg and eastwards have been excluded as they are too far away.

Tyrol:

Kitzbühel – one of the most prestigious skiing resorts in the Alpes. Some really great runs – it is not too high up the mountains, therefore it is not really a Spring destination. Rather expensive, but that is part of the deal. In the same valley there is also the “Skiwelt Wilder Kaiser” – which offers a huge area and is connected to a lot of villages in the region – so you can get great money for value.

Stuttgart – Kitzbühl – 3 hours 40 minutes

Ischgl – famous for wild parties, this skiing resort has a much more to offer. With lifts up to 2872 Meters it is ideal for spring skiing and it is also connected to Samnaun in Switzerland: you actually ski in Austria AND Switzerland. The runs are great – once you have left the partying crowds at the Idalp you have plenty of options for great skiing and boarding. Most people from the skiing resort I worked in, went there to ski after the season was over … that’s a real recommendation! If you want to avoid noisy Ischgl – stay in Galtür (the next village), but ski in Ischgl … it is great skiing.

Stuttgart – Ischgl: 3 hours 40 minutes

St. Anton am Arlberg – the cradle of skiing at the Arlberg: this is a hot spot for free-skiers and snow boarders who look for off-piste fun. It is also a hotspot to meet fellow english-speaking people: Good runs, great off-piste and a lot of party are guaranteed at St. Anton.

Stuttgart – St. Anton: 3 hours 15 minutes

Vorarlberg:

Zürs-Lech – the Vorarlberg part of the Arlberg skiing region is another hot spot for VIPs and the super rich. But it is also a fantastic skiing resort. Great pistes are guaranteed and going out might be a tad expensive, but it is also great fun. Here is the only place in Austria, where you can go Heli-Skiing. Moreover this year you might encounter Anthony Gourmleys “Horizon Field” – a art project on exactly 2.039 m above sea level.

Stuttgart – Lech: 3 hours 10 minutes

Sonnenkopf – this is a insider tipp for off-piste fans. Located in the Klostertal, this small resorts belong to the Bergbahnen St. Anton am Arlberg. The resort has now artificial snow at all, but they do not need it. They are blessed with loads of snow and a real power paradise. As only few people consider this resort, you might even get some “fresh” powder action, when the powder has vanished everywhere else.

Stuttgart – Klösterle: 2 hours 55 minutes

Montafon – this valley offers a lot of different skiing resorts. From the huge “Silvretta-Montafon”, over powder and spring skiing paradise Gargellen to the Golm, which is a nice family skiing resort … Great skiing, good party and good money for value.

Stuttgart – Montafon (Schruns): 2 hour 55 minutes

Brandnertal– this is the region I was responsible for for a couple of years. A rather small skiing resort, which has still got a lot to offer. It´s definitely a must go for families, but if you want to have some great skiing this might be a good choice, too. Especially during peak season – you might get stuck in a huge traffic jam heading towards the Arlberg or the Montafon and the Brandnertal has its own Autobahn exit, just where the jam usually starts. Great fun, very nice people, good pistes and great huts in the resort …

Stuttgart – Brand: 2 hours 45 minutes

Brandnertal

Finally some other good resorts that should be worth a visit and are in good distance from Stuttgart

SWITZERLAND:

Jungfrau-Region (about 3 hours 45 minutes) – one of the most fascinating alpine areas … breathtaking views and apparently good skiing, too

Laax (3 hours 25 minutes) – known for its Snowboarding and Free-Skier Scene

LIECHTENSTEIN

Malbun (3 hours 15 minutes) – rather small, but for the bragging rights

GERMANY

Garmisch-Partenkirchen (2 hours 50 minutes) – best choice in Germany

AUSTRIA

Riezlern (2 hours 30 minutes) – very close to Stuttgart, never heard any complaints about this one

Damüls-Mellau (2 hours 45minutes) – I really loved Damüls when it was a small insider skiing resort – since they connected it to Mellau it got way bigger – have not skied there since, but this should be really good (+ great food in the Bregenzer Wald)

… plus various resorts in Tyrol (Zillertal, Ötztal, Stubaital …)

Updates:

SALZBURG:
I added some skiing resorts in Salzburg in another post – you can read this here

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Wintertime – unfortunate developments

Weather is clearing up and some perfect skiing days await us – but unfortunately I managed to fall down during my nightly run and now I am sitting in front of my computer with a ligament of strains at my ankle. Therefore I am ruled out of skiing for the next 10 days 😦

This is especially unfortunate, as a group of my friends will enjoy 4 beautiful days of skiing in Warth. Look at this live cams – and you can see what I will miss.

One of the interesting things about the Arlberg region is, that it is the only region in Austria, where you can do heli-skiing. This will be done on Friday, with a famous Ski-Guide: Hubert Strolz, former Olympic Champion (Calgary 1988).

😦

On the other hand I am know free to do a lot of other stuff, for the setting up of my company, which would have had to wait otherwise.

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Wintertime …

After  a couple of years with only little snow, this year our skiing resorts have no reason to complain about the lack of supports from the clouds.

Zürs-Lech – one of Austrias most luxurious Skiing destinations is covered with up to 455 cm Snow – and while I am writing this posts skies opened again and there will be some more of it.

If you want to have a peak at the snow masses check out this link to the live cams in Zürs-Lech!

This weekend I will visit the area (its about an hour from my home/office) to check out the powder in the backcountries …

So just one short message to all fellow skiers: “Get your skis out and hit the Alpes!”

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