I am making a trip to Munich end of January and have a Saturday open for skiing. Garmisch would be simplest but sounds not that interesting skiing-wise. I probably have enough time to drive to Austria Friday afternoon, ski Saturday, and get back to Munich by 3 PM Sunday for return flight (Innsbruck flights are less appealing as there are no nonstops). Is it worth it? And any thoughts on most accessible/interesting place to go for one day for a pretty good skier?
Garmisch or Austria - for one day
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Check out these old threads.
The ambitious stretch for world class terrain and conditions is St. Anton at 3-4 hrs each way from Munich, could involve weekend traffic hassles. A little closer would be: SkiWelt (Soll, Sheffau, Ellmau, Westendorf). All these areas are huge and could be overwhelming for the less than intrepid one-day visitor.
Other close candidates would be several of the less renowned ski areas surrounding Innsbruck. Smaller, but significant for a one day visit (2000'+ verticals, perhaps Axamer Lizum or high elevation Stubai Glacier if regional conditions are below average).
Good road/rail connection may make Garmisch even quicker to Munich. It's a long established summer resort town with numerous après-ski attractions. Garmisch is set at the foot of Germany's highest peak, the Zugspitze. There are ski slopes on several aspects of the mountain, including some terrain from near the summit. I've been atop the Zugspitze, but not to ski. Ski terrain is moderate in scope by Euro standards, but still hugely sufficient for one fascinating day. If it's clear you will observe mind-blowing scenery at the nearly 10,000' summit (restaurant up there), especially if you arrive via the cable car out of the Eibsee/Garmisch area, ~6400' vertical rise in one hairy lift!
Scout places like St. Anton, Soll, Garmisch (or hundreds of others) out at: http://www.wheretoskiandsnowboard.com/
And/or ask your question on www.snowheads.comfor a more Euro-centric ski forum.