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Zell am See vs. Kitzbuhel

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hoping for some advice from those that have been there and know...I will be going to Germany to visit my daughter in late March and can squeeze one day of skiing in...we plan to visit some friends in Salzburg, then ski the following day. We will travel late in the day and arrive at the resort the night before, so we are in position to maximize the ski day. My daughter and I are accomplished skiers, my wife and mother in law are not. We are looking for a classic Alps experience with beautiful views while enjoying lunch mid mountain and intermediate type terrain we can all enjoy and maybe one or two nice steep runs for my daughter and myself. Also, I am concerned about snow cover the 1st week of April - please comment on this...


I would like to see either Kitzbuhel or Zell Am See - what would anyone recommend for a one day classic experience to remember? I am leaning toward Zell Am See for this special day. Any input would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks in advance.



post #2 of 10

Kitzbühel all the way just between these two. Saalbach/Hinterglemm is close by and better than Zell am See. Famous apres ski too.

Downside is both are low elevated and not secure on snow. The Kitzsteinhorn glacier close to Zell is a bank but overcrowded during low snow seasons.


Within the same amount of time you can reach Obertauern via the highway to Flachau in case the snow level is iffy. The Salzburg Amade area and Schladming are en route as well.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback! What do you think the snow will be like the last week of March? Can we expect bare spots on the lower slopes, closed trails, etc. or are we more likely to experience full snow conditions?


Also, we are going to have to rent equipment (never done that before)...any idea how long that process takes at these areas?


Which peaks at Kitzbuhel do you feel would be the best for our group consisting of some barely intermediate skiers?


Given we only have one day and have to go through the rentals process, which area will afford us the least waiting in lines, so that we can have a decent ski day?

post #4 of 10

Obertauern is the area I would consider late March as the others are pretty low elevated. Spring like conditions do mostly prevail at that time of the year.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

OK, I'll check that out - thanks...

post #6 of 10

Can only comment on Zell am See, certainly less renowned than Kitzbuhel, but still very scenic area with plenty of intermediate terrain from its summit including a run called The Schutt with a 4000' vertical drop that is intermediate pitch all the way, and the remarkably scenic mid-mountain lunch spot called Pinzgauer Hutte.  Here is a ten year old account of my ski trip to the Salzlburg region, including a few paragraphs on Zell: http://www.dcski.com/articles/446


Summit of Zell am See (~7000' elevation). Nearby Kitzsteinhorn glacier ski terrain is white expanse in the background, upper center of photo.


Al fresco dining at Pinzgauer Hutte.


View of Zell's eponymous lake:

By the way, here is link to current resort info on Zell (Schmittenhohe):  http://www.zellamsee-kaprun.com/en/region/zell-am-see .  They have upgraded this lift since my 2003 visit:  

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for that info and link, James...I think we are going to do Zell am See, as long as the snow is decent.

post #8 of 10

Obertauern is a good choice, but I'm not sure it's a classic type of Alps experience as it's a purpose built resort. I had in mind he wanted more of a historic setting to enjoy the ambiance as much as the skiing. Schladming is fairly close by. Zauchensee is about the same altitude as Obertauern but slightly prettier (and also purpose built).

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes, exactly...ambiance is very high on the list and after reviewing the various areas, I think Zell has everything we are looking for and it's a little more appealing to me personally, as I am a life long Porsche owner and the town has very close ties to the Porsche family...so unless it's in really bad shape, that's where where I have decided to go...


Thanks everyone for your input, I appreciate the advice and had fun looking at the various areas and their proximity to one another - very enlightening...

post #10 of 10

Hey hope you will read this:

I am going to Kitzbuhel every winter saison for skiing alone.Here is one hint.Being in Kitzbuhel its so so expensive during holidays and famous Kitzbuhel race.I always stay in villages outside Kitzbuhel (Westendorf,Brixen im Thale,Kirchberg in Tirol) which have standard price (for me alone 30-35 euros with breakfast) , All these villages are only 15 - 20 minutes away from Kitzbuhel by train , with car you need about 10 minutes.If you going with family all these villages have better hotel prices than in Kitzbuhel.No car needed only 1.10 Euros cost train ticket from all these villages to Kitz and return.Prices for ski pass are same.Its not important where you gonna buy it (in Kitzbuhel or Westendorf,Brix,Kirchberg) when you buy ski pass you can ski in radius of 100 km with that ski pass.So if you want you can go to other ski resorts too , but skiing in Kitz is special.For sure there is a lots a interesting stuff to see in Kitzbuhel,esspecialy by night (there is a lot of restaurants and night bars)...One hint more train prices in austria are kind expensive for non austrians.All austrians have some special train cards so for them prices are cheap.If you have kids whis are not older than 26 years old you can buy them Vorteilscard 26.That card reduces train ticket from 40 euros to 20.Its a big saving.


Kitzbuhel - Zell am See is one hour drive with train also amazing and special place but not so cheap too hehe.Train ticket cost around 12 euros in one way.

Hope this will help you for next time 


Here is a link from Kitzbuhel Alpen region and Austrian Federal Railways for Vortailscard 26:




(You can contact them always they are so kind)



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