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Where to do a full season in Europe (Austria)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey guys so i have done several seasons in North America but have never skied over this side of the globe.  I am looking to complete most of a season from Janurary to April this year and need advice on where to go. i am currently travelling Europe and asking most locals i know and they all push me in the direction of Austria. Here are my circumstances and any advice would be muchly appreciated.

I am 23 years old, and have a few seasons under my belt. With the exception of Corbets Colour there was no runs in Jackson Hole that caused me to hesitate so i want a mountain that is going to challenge me.


I am on a budget so money is an issue wrt. skiing, accomodation and apres.

I want a town with enough young people that i will be able to find a nice group of people and will be able to go to a packed bar when we feel like it.

I also got right into back/slack country so anywhere that offers great facilities for that would be awesome.

Also somewhere i should be able to find accomodation for myself and a friend if we come over that bit late.

Priorities go Skiing first.

Thanks all.

post #2 of 7

Forget Austria!!! Come to Les Arcs and base yourself in Bourg St Maurice. The Paradiski is one of the biggest ski areas in the world and Espace Killy and the Three Valleys are nearby. Also La Grave and Chamonix are within easy reach. You will have an amazing season. I had a friend over from the states last winter and he said it was brill. Most powder days we did 30,2000ft+ vertical everyday. Send me a pm if you need some help finding a place to stay or need more info.


Check out my facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter

post #3 of 7

I'd second snowcrazy's recommendation but I'd change the order to Chamonix first, Bourg second... but then I'm biased as I spend my time in a smallish ski station close to Chamonix :-)  If money weren't an issue I'd put Val d'Isere (part of Espace Killy) top of your list as it ticks the challenging pistes, great off piste (an understatement!) and really lively night life (it's a few years since I've been so this may have changed... but I doubt it). You used to come across many ski bums in Val but I'm not sure how they'd afford it these days. Worth checking out though...


Not sure what your plan is re lift passes... it may be the same in the North America but if not be aware that there are often Season pass deals if you buy some time before the season starts... a season pass for not much more than a 2 week pass keeps the costs manageable.

post #4 of 7

Firstly, it completely depends on what you want. I would say that if you are after the best aprés ski and party atmosphere and young people then it has to be France. I would recommend Tignes and like the others have done Chamonix. Or possibly Va' D'isere. 


However, if you want the genuine European ski experience then it has to be Austria / Switzerland although as you on a budget, Switzerland is probably far too expensive. Austria just has a that traditional alpine feel and the locals are very friendly. There's obviously one resort in Austria that really springs to mind and that is St Anton, although it is extremely popular so if you want that traditional alpine atmosphere, it's probably not the place. However St Anton definitely is the place for Aprés ski. I would say look at Kitzbühel, Mayrhofen / Hintertux or possibly Ischgl. 

post #5 of 7

I have skied in quite a few places and two particular spots come to my mind reading this post.


Dolomity Superski (Italy, Sudtirol) - One of the most beautiful places on the Earth, 1000km+ of pistes for one pass (traveling needed, some connected by buss), both grand downhill and off-piste from Marmolada, steep couloirs from Sellagruppe, the real Alpine environment, pistes from Sasslong Course (FIS downhill), and plenty more.


Zillertal Valley (Austria) (Zillertal Arena, Penken, Hochzillertal, Hintertux) in Austra - beautiful views, nice little villages, lots of apres ski, and Stephen Eberharter golden piste!


IMHO you wont regret any of these two, but I think there are greater possibility in Austria to buy one ticket and ski in 100s of different resorts.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice guys. Given me a good starting point.

Do you know the best way to go about finding cheap long term accomodation or share houses?

In america every day adds were posted on Gumtree or a local equivelant looking for people to sublet, but it does not seam as well structured in Europe. More than likley i am just looking in the wrong places too.


post #7 of 7

If you are on a budget then consider Austria and Italy first. On a long year average the northern Alps receive more snow than the southern part of it. The Innsbruck area is a nice overall experience with decent skiing around and a nice town vibe. Plus lodging and food is much more reasonably priced than up in any resort.


There's a fairly large Innsbruck crew of skiers frequenting the TGR forum, it's worth asking for more advice there.

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