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Trip to Austria! Is Innsbruck the right choice?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We are planning a group trip for our 40th birthdays. The trip will take place during the first week in March 2007 and we are considering Innsbruck. Our group consists of one non-rider, one intermediate skier, one intermediate snowboarder, two expert skiers. None of use have skied in Europe. A friend of a friend is recommending Innsbruck, Austria.

The expert skiers are concerned about snow cover in March and enough challanging terrain. The non rider needs cultural activities. Can anyone help give us more information? Are there any other areas we should consider and why?

Thank you
post #2 of 13

You nailed it

Innsbruck sounds about right to me. There's a lot of skiing in the area, including Kuhtai and the Stubai glacier, so snow should be relatively assured. As far as challenge, there are better regions, but Axamer Lizum has a lot of offpiste. As far as the non-skiers in your group are concerned, I can't think of a better resort anywhere (Europe or North America) for them. Innsbruck is a small city, not a ski town, and it has lots of shops, restaurants and museums/cultural attractions. It's a big university town (in the good, or European sense), so there is a lot of historical, cultural atmosphere.

The only alternative that springs to mind might be, say, Megeve, which would allow you to stay in Geneva (though why would you do that?) or visit it easily from the very attractive, traditional resort itself. But to come all the way from the States to see Geneva? I don't think so.

Or you could combine a trip to, say, Venice with skiing at an Italian resort, in your case probably Cortina would be best.

Yes, from the purely skiing point of view there are plenty of better options. And if you're interested in doing half a week of culture/half skiing, there are better combinations too. But for your needs, as a single destination, I'd say you nailed it with Innsbruck.
post #3 of 13
Here's another thread about Austria; you might find something useful here:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=44373
post #4 of 13
Salzburg is a mighty fine destination for a trip incorporating ski and non-ski activities, although a commute of 45-80 minutes is required to reach various fine ski areas. If you want someone else to do the driving for you note that the city's "Snowshuttle" might stop running by mid-March:
http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_a...mode=headlines
post #5 of 13

warm europe

oh crap! This does not bode well for my Feb vacation to bad gastein!
Alps experiencing warmest time in 1,300 years
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16052360/
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Keep it coming

I want to thank everyone for their speedy replies! I am amazed at the great community here at EpicSKi. We will be making our final plans in 10 days, so we are still open for any other suggestions.

Also can anyone suggest a hotel that is convenient for the skiers?
post #7 of 13
For your mixed group Innsbruck is a good choice if your expert skiers don't mind commuting 1-1.5 hrs. each way to places like St. Anton or Sölden.
Zürich on the Swiss side is an alternative as is Geneva. Commutes are pretty much the same everywhere.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by superlight View Post
Also can anyone suggest a hotel that is convenient for the skiers?

I've booked a couple nights in Innsbruck after Christmas (never been before). I found the prices atrocious, with absolutely nothing under $100, and even at the price the places were with a bathroom down the hall.

Then I stumbled across this place, which was listed in the Lonely Planet guide under 'splurge': http://www.weinhaus-happ.at/english/index.htm

There is another hotel across the street that also rates very highly but is a tad more expensive: http://www.weisseskreuz.at/

Obviously I haven't been yet, but it looks very nice, and is only a little more expensive than other places that look truly dire. And the location is in the middle of the historic town centre, and not far from the free ski bus.

Seems like a great deal, but again I haven't been yet.
post #9 of 13
Did you allready choose for Austria or will France be an option for you?
The big advantage of skiing in France is that most bigger resorts are at a higher altitude than those in Austria. When you go to places like Val Thorens, Tignes, Les Arcs, Val d' Isere you can walk to the slope (or even put on your skis right out the front door). There will definitely be enough challeging terain out there. The downside is that the big French resorts are not too interesting for a non-skier.

I have only been to Austria once (Schaldming), pretty ok but not enough snow.

At the moment there is a serious lack of snow in the alps so I would recommend to a place that has access to skiing in a glacier (whatever country)

Normally beginning of March is a very good time to go skiing, at that period there will probably be no school hollidays so the slopes will be not too crowded. I go to Val Thorens myself at the first week of March.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by asland View Post
oh crap! This does not bode well for my Feb vacation to bad gastein!
Alps experiencing warmest time in 1,300 years
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16052360/
Just curious, between Epicski and Snowheads, how many threads have you posted this exact message in? I think I've counted at least five today, but i'm sure I've missed a few.
post #11 of 13

Zwitzerland option

Just as another option, you could stay in Luzern Switzerland, and ski Engelberg. I've never been, but have read great things about it.

I'm off to Soelden in two weeks time...no snowfall at all yet. @ Jeroen: Schladming used to be my home mountain. This year they have 120cm snow, whilst no ons else has any!! Last year they had a great season as well....however over the years I did find that snow coverage was mediocre at best.
post #12 of 13
The previous post may be on to something with Lucerne/Engelberg, though Lucerne is probably more interesting in summer than winter. I've skied Engelberg and it's pretty cool. Not sure if I'd want to do a week there, but if you had a guide there'd be a lot of offpiste. It's pretty snow-sure too. You could go over and do Andermatt too from Lucerne. Nonskiers also seem to like St Moritz a lot, and the skiing is better than you might think. Gstaad would be another option in Switzerland, though I've never been. Still, I continue to think Innsbruck is a good bet for your group.
post #13 of 13

hotel

We stayed at Weisses Kreuz a couple of years ago. It's right in the center of town so great for those non-skiers. I remember it being quite affordable - though we did stay there right before Christmas and got a room with the shower down the hall (which was completely fine).
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