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Garmisch-Partenkirchen - anyone with info out there?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This Christmas my wife and I will be visiting our son in Germany. He lives north of Munich. He has promised to take us skiing at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Does anyone out there in "Bear Land" have any information that might be helpful to us as we explore the mountain.

It seems to be a big place. Any suggestions as to the best area to concentrate on? Any info on what the snow would be like? How would you characterize the skiing and mountain? Could you compare it to any resort in the US?

Any information would be helpful.

post #2 of 9
I was asking the same thing awhile back. Many people suggested Kitzbuhel.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Lisamarie -- Thanks for the comment. Did you get to either one? If so how did you like them?

If my information is right Garmish is at a higher elevation that Kitzbuhel so should have better early season conditions.

I am sure Garmish is not the most popular place to ski but I was hoping for maybe a few bears to have some inf0.
post #4 of 9
The skiing at Garmisch was pretty limited...I lived north of Munich for 4 years in the late 80's/early 90's and only skied there a couple of times. The Zugspitz has year-round skiing but it's flat and very limited vertical. Neat cable car ride, though. The other areas have only a couple of runs each...the base elevation in Garmisch is quite low and you can rarely ski to the base early in the season.

It's only about 90 minutes from Garmisch to the Arlberg region in Austria - St. Anton, Lech, Zurs, Steuben, St. Christoph. It's about the same to Ischgl. Head out of Garmisch toward Lermoos, Austria to the Autobahn and head west. If it's early and a marginal snow year, it's about 2 hours to Hintertux near Mayrhofen...best glacier skiing in Austria in my opinion. Head out of Garmisch toward Innsbruck and head east on the Austrian Autobahn to the Zillertal/Mayrhofen exit. Head south to Mayrhofen then up the Tuxertal to the end of the road.
post #5 of 9
We are actually going in March, so I will let you know.
A suggestion: Register for the forums at snowheads.com
It's a big Brit andEuro-crowd, and they were really knowledgeable about the European resorts.
post #6 of 9
Hi skugrud.

I asked nearly the exact same question in my first post here a couple months ago. This is the thread:


I also posted over at snowheads and did not really get any more information. They are certainly more Euro-centric, but I get the feeling most only ski in France, and Germany doesn't really seem to exist to them.

Anyway, I've done quite a lot of research on that area in advance of our Christmas trip and this is what I've come up with. Obviously, people who have been there can please correct any false assumptions:

GAP is separated into two unconnected areas: the Classic Area and Zugspitze. Zugspitze is on a glacier and seems pretty tame, although I guess they have tried to open up a little more challenging terrain recently. The Classic Area is lower down a closer to the village. It has a couple World Cup and Olympic runs that seem good, but the rest doesn't look all that interesting either. Honestly, unless I'm surprised, I don't see myself skiing more than one or two days there.

But nearby (with 40 minutes by frequent train):

Mittenwald: One small area really only for beginners but also the Karwendalbahn, which is a cable car that shoots up 4000 ft to the Dammkar run, which is a controlled "free-ride" run. No grooming, but they do avi control. For my taste, it sounds great.

Seefeld: Looks like an OK if smallish area for downhill, but it's probably the premier nordic resort in Europe. The village is also supposed to be one of hte most beautiful in Austria, but very, very posh.

Lermoos, Ehrwald, Berwang, Bichelbach: Just beyond GAP in Austria on the other side of the Zugspitze (there is also a cable car to the Zugspitze from Ehrwald). A string of small villages each with a ski area. Mostly intermediate, and I've been told Berwang is the best of the bunch.

I'm not expecting the skiing to be really great at any of these places, but the atmosphere sounds very nice and more to my taste than the mega Euro resorts where boozing and spending all night in the disco seems just as important as skiing. At the moment, though, it really needs to start snowing for any of this to matter. Otherwise we’ll be limited to the Zugspitze.
post #7 of 9
Lermoos was fun if not overly challenging. We spent a week there in 1988 and skied the 3 areas there, also Lech & Ischgl (easy drives from Lermoos). I thought Lermoos was better than the other 2 (Berwang, Ehrwald).
post #8 of 9
My husband was stationed north of Munich back in the early 90's; I assume that your son is in the vicinity. My advice is to not get into trying to find the best places to ski, but rather to enjoy your son's joy that you are coming to visit and let him take you to Garmisch. It is the military's ski base, and he is probably pleased that he can give it to you as a gift. Of course, this is my own take on it, and may not fit your own family's style.
Just another perspective; take it with a grain of salt.
P.S. Anyone else love Regensburg?
post #9 of 9
A weather update:

This whole discussion might be academic. The Zugspitze is getting dumped on at the moment (110 cm base now), but temps this week in the village are forecasted for the mid 60s with the freezing level going up to above 10,000 ft.

If things don't change soon, the only skiing may be on the Zugspitze, and even that might be somewhat limited.

Anyway, I've decided that while I'd prefer to be skiing, a week exploring the quaint villages in that region will also be enjoyable. Garmisch, Mittenwald, Seefeld, Ettal, Amgau, Lermoos, Fussen are all supposed to be great on their own right.
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