The place rings with the wildest World Cup slalom, the Planai course and the atmosphere. But the Styrian resort of Schladming also offers relaxed skiing for the whole family on its mostly forested northern slopes. What are the conditions like this year?
Here's a basic card:
76 lifts and lifts, 185 kilometres of pistes at heights from 745 to 2 ,700 metres, 100% covered by artificial snow (part of the entire Ski amadé area with 760 km of pistes...).
A day ski pass here costs 53.50 euros adult/40 euros junior/27 euros child).
In addition, there are a hundred mountain huts and a total of thirty thousand places to stay. Not only because of the easy commute (from the South Bohemian crossing Dolní Dvořiště about three hours), Czechs are the third largest national contingent here.
"We offer a really wide range of activities and also pleasant relationships, because most of the capacities are private pensions, hotels and apartments with long-term family ties,"
says Sabrina Nagl from the marketing of the entire Schladming/Dachstein area. Indeed, despite the resounding name, even in the apres-ski bars the atmosphere remains mostly warm. From sight to sight...
A major attraction here is the opportunity to hear four (almost) two-thousand-foot hills. A sort of local version of the Dolomite Sella Ronda! With an early morning start and a half-hour lunch break, you'll make it through the day, though on the shortest days of the year it's a ride from sight to sight.
We set off at 9am straight from Schladming on the Planai I cable car and returned for the fourth time after the local World Cup black run. Seventeen trips up the mountain and around forty kilometres of skiing behind us. What a scratch! And now, in order of the map. Hauser Kaibling is the first area along the main road from Lienz (from the Czech Republic you usually pass Linz first, from there the motorway takes less than two hours to get here with one toll of 5.5 euros). It's not that busy, it's easier to park down in the Haus by the ski stadium.
It is here that you reach the highest point of 2015 meters with a transmitter, but most importantly a view in all directions and a perfect black slalom. From the top to the bottom of the Haus there is a very long excellent red run (marked 1 or 2 and 2a). The blue highway from the summit ridge then crosses the cauldron towards the Planai with the summit cross and the toilet with a view (throned and cooing through a one-sided transparent window...) to the top station of the Burgstallalmbahn at 1906 meters.
Here you'll find the most extensive and character-rich variety of runs, including a fun snowpark. From the bottom, you board either the Planai I lift (now a six-seater egg, with a ten-seater cabin coming next year, which you can test in the boarding hall now) or the West Planai chairlift, which takes you across the valley.
If you continue on to the third area , Hochwurzen (the summit with the mountain hut at 1850m), then you have to cross the last passage over the river Enzi and downhill right here on the cable car. This takes you to Rohrmoos, a vast slope with scenic blue runs. Two very decent red pistes wind up from the top, where you can also hop on the toboggan run.
Triple Gold, the only one in Europe
We head to Reiteralm via the transfer station in Pichl. From the top (1860 m), the World Cup course leads down a slope voted number one in the country in a poll of Austrian experts! Reiteralm has the prestigious Triple Gold level, the only one in Europe, so it's no wonder that the Austrian A team trains here a lot. Now you can try the public skicross track.
The most successful Czech downhill skier of all time , Šárka Zahrobská, holder of four slalom medals from the World Championships and one bronze from the Olympics, has found a second home here. If you come by car from the west of Salzburg and Munich, the village with the car park is called Gleiming. The sun was shining up there, we had lunch and coffee... But we had to head back from our pleasantly tired contemplation. Anyway, the vast majority of the trails are groomed smooth with no bumps. Be careful down in Rohrmoos, don't be fooled by the prospect of the shortest connection - red 43. It ends blindly in a fenced meadow.
But even a two-kilometre hike in buckles with skis over your shoulder through a gorgeous forest trail (for a summer run, surely...) can have its charms in the context of downhill exploration. With a detour, the trip home took nearly three hours, and we rode the connector from the West Planai top station to Schladming "by feel" in near-darkness. The challenging final hang to the stadium in town already remains lit up every day.
This year's holiday with electrifying crowds in the form of the evening Men's Slalom World Cup race on January 29, you'll still catch it. And maybe you'll not only see the billboard but also the beautiful Anna Veith (formerly Fenninger), Olympic super-G champion and three-time world champion, who owns the four-star hotel Arx Rohrmoos.
Ski town in Styria on the northern slopes of the Schladminger Tauern, approx. 7,000 locals, stars such as Olympic medallist Hans Knauss or the large Tritscher family offer come from here:
- 76 cable cars and lifts,
- 185 kilometres of pistes at heights from 745 to 2,700 metres (adult day pass €53.5),
- 435 km of cross-country skiing trails (the best place is Ramsau under the Dachstein)
Appartemens Augasse (apartment with kitchenette and garage parking 150 m from the lower station of the Planai, 200 m from the supermarket, 300 m to the swimming pool and 400 m from the centre) access from the Czech Republic: approx. 3 hours from the border crossing Dolní Dvořiště, mostly by motorway (1 tunnel with toll for 5.5 euros)