World's Best XC region: Seefeld/Leutasch - Extensive review

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World's Best XC region: Seefeld/Leutasch - Extensive review

Postby Cloxxki » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:27 am

According to some pretty autoritive oranizations that go through the trouble of rating XC regions.

I just spent my 3rd week there, and have still not skied all trails.

If there is interest on here, I can make an elaborate review of the trails I know, and tips that should make your first week there as good as my third.
You CAN ski all the 266km in a week, but who will?

It's all pretty well organized, but knowing some details and tricks can make all the difference in making it a trouble-free maximum enjoyment experience.

Reply here if you consider going, and I'll write what I know and experienced.

Needless to say, I think it's a region well worth reviewing, to an adience that cares :-)

I can tell you how to easily get on the snow, Flying in on Innsbruck, for instance. I did that, with considerable ease (or luck?).
Last edited by Cloxxki on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jasper110 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:42 am

i'd like to hear all about it! i'm just back from Sjusjoen, Norway and i'm already planning for my next skiing holiday. i went to Seefeld in 1998 during the summer, but that was before i started skiing.

look forward to you reply.

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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:58 am

I'll have to do this in parts.

The region is a spread of Villages, some of which are connected by ski trails. Especially on Classic skis, you can really get around, if you're up to long treks.

Seefeld : Olympic XC village of the Innsbruck Games. Home to the Nordic Combined Worldcup and other race. New Biathlon range is built, anticipating Junior Worlds 2012.
Train station connected to Munich and Innsbruck.
Several Alpine descends scattered around the village.
Nice swimming pool.

Leutasch : home of many XC tracks, and the yearly Intl. Ganghofer Lauf, a ski marathon late Feb.
Nice swimming pool with outdoor bath along the XC night track.

The XC elevation is roughly between 1000 and 1350m, most being at 1200m. I had to get used to it the first day, living below sea level myself.
No high gletsjers, but the region is known for good snow odds.

The trail system is divided in blue, red and black track, indicating easy, average and difficult tracks.
In general, the red tracks seem to have significant vertical gains, just less dangerous for the descends. that's at least my impression. I found few "boring" red trails. If anything is lacking in the diversity, I'd name tracks with a spreak of longer flats and short hills. Uphills tend to be significant, or directly following a descend.
In general, road crossings and steep descends are indicated well. Do watch for gravel in the snow, even if there is snow on the road crossing. this is one of the few disadvantages I noticed this winter.

Get the €10 bus sticker to be had at the various tourist bureaus, it will be stuck on the Guest Card your lodging provider will give to you. The Guest card is your XC track admission card. The bus card makes all bus trips within the region for free. I saved like €20 this way, using the busses daily. Get the schedule, and fit your skiing schedule to it, they aren't like Metro that come every 3 minutes. You really get to distant tracks easily, though.[/quote]
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:01 am

This is where I'll try to go through the various tracks, their specifics, some sort of personal rating, and hope to offer some weblinks. www.seefeld.com is a great start though, to find lodging as well as track data. The Interactive Loipenkarte is awesome, although some tracks seem to be missed on it.

More later. Remind me if I forget.
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:04 pm

BLUE TRAILS, easy.

A1 Nachtloipe
Some days, they have night skiing here. Boring track, 2 little hills. Lots of folsk, so you're not going to be lonely. Starts from the local pride, Seekirchl, Lake Church.

A2 Lenerwiese, connects to B2 (which is classic only).
A lap of the local 9 hole I think. Saw it from the train. 2km, really easy. Didn't get to try it, as I usually cut my bus transits a bit too short to go for a lap. It's a bit isolated, but gives guests in that part of Seefeld a local trail to shuffle around on.

A3 Torfstich
Flat lap on the beautiful Wildmoos plane. There is a private bus service to get up there (1300m) from Seefeld center. Ever-crowded drinking locale, always blue of smoke. If you pass the theshold, the owner hands you a Schnaps filled from the fountain on the bar.

A4 Muggenmoos. Similar to above, on an adjecent high plane. Surrounded by trees. Very authentic tiny trailside resto.

A5 Obern
Connects The trail-dense NorthWest of the region with the wooded West. On the way North, you notice it's downhill, which explain why the other way was such hard work.

A6 Alpenbad
I end up here a lot, to get to other trails. On the way to the Start/Finish point (near the Alpenbad swimming pool by the ski school) I tend to take the B11 as it's so much more interesting. More on that later.

A7 Gasse
Encircles the widest part of the valley

A8 Lehner
Tiny classic track, probably for local guests

A9 Unterleutasch
Narrow part of the valley. For people who seek empty trails, for many kms.

A10 Weidach
Connects to to the shopping street of Weidach (2 ski stores, and some good resto's in the direction of Seefled). 100m from the trail head to the tourist bureau. Be there for snow info and regional bus sticker.

A11 Bodemalm
My bogest surprise last week. I went there to try something new. On the map, the trail looks utterly boring, being in a valley. In reality, it's a wonderful trail, at times splitting in skat and classic. Along creeks, looks for trees. Still, good view of the surrounding Alp giants. A11 and A12 get you to Scharnitz.

A12 Scharnitz.
I did part of this, as I had to get back to make a bus connection.
Beware, the bus stop is 200m South of Restaurant Ramona, on the big road. The bus driver pointed as he blasted by, and I got to run the 200m full-on on skate boots, carrying my gear and backpack. Driver was a good chap, checked his mirror and waited for me. Danke schoen.
Oh, the trail. It's mostly open valley, but it has a nice vibe to it. Nice transitions between field and forrest.
At times, they prep trails all the way to Mittenwald, German border.

A13 A classic detour for B12, direction Seefeld. Didn't see it.

A14 Baerenwirt
Top north of Region, didn't get to see it. For those to make the marathon even longer. You could do a silly long marathon through this valley, without ever having to V1 or diagonal.
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:29 pm

RED TRAILS, moderate.

B1 Moesern
Leads from Seefeld towards Moesern, but doesn't quite get there. Some nice small hill, some longer. A real step up from the blue trails. Better know how to snow plow or step turns at 60kph. Goes along the roadside, and the local alpine hill (not the downhill part, the finish and drinking part)

B2 Auland, classic only
Winding track, mosrtly through forest. Surprisingly silent, so close to downtown Seefeld. I was there when the snow was less than good. Don't make this error, there are better trails when the weather turns this way. The downhills get "interesting" when it ices up. Not feeling good on my rental classics, I walked bits.
It's going to be awesome for a good classic skier in good conditions. I bet you'll do it 2 or 3 times them. 6km each. NOT an easy trail. Be fast, or go slow.

B3 Lottensee
The skate part is only half the length.
Beautiful small fields, strongly flowing tracks. Especially the classic part is way nice (not when you have to double pole all of it, don't make my mistake and watch the signs.
Classic is 6000m, 155hm, I don't know how that qualifies for a red trail. Doable at the right pace, though. A must-do.

B4 Skating-Zentrum
An old name I suppose. Some spicey worldcup style hills. Makes a 1500m lap, can be classiced of course. Shares lower trails with the C10 which goes up to Muggenmoos. Wide open, prepare to work hard.

B5 Katzenloch, classic only.
Didn't do this one. Looks promising. Shares a big climb with C10. Don't do this part within an hour of a meal.

B6 Interalpen, classic only
Didn't see this one. Seems like a short-cut for C8 skiers.

B7 Panorama, classic only
2500m/40hm.
Classic only, but due to the layout, really it's OK on skating skis, you won't need to skate over the tracks. Beautiful view over the valley.

B8 Plaik
Closed when snowfall has been intense, for avalange danger. I skied it first time this winter, I got bad luck the other two times, too little or too much snow.
The starting hill is huge, doesn't really stop until 100m is gained. Map says 10300m/90hm. I don't believe it. Seem to remember trailside plates saying 130hm actually.

B9 Triendsaege, classic only, but can be skated from Birkenlifte!
A hidden treasure, for me.
Having studied the map well, I decided to give this a go on skate skis, and then do A11+A12. Good choice. B9 is SERIOUSLY downhill. A skater might get though it with only braking. I skated short bits between the 2 tracks, and descended most of it this way as well. Nothing "red" about it IMO, especially not if you go back up it. 3300m/116hm. The slope is not gradual at all, most of the altitude is lost/gained in little over a km, it seems. Beautiful scenery, if you can take your eyes off your ski tips.

B10 Discontinued [EDIT] : now replacing old C7, open for skating as well!

B11 Waldloipe
Youtube it, I made some vids of it a year ago. 3000m/50hm, but you end lower than you started. One way track.
Narrow, twisty, technical. Needs good snow cover, is heavily forrested. Be there shortly after grooming. Avoid on PMs with iffy weather.
Finishes on cross-section with A6, but just before, comes through the ski school area, and along the outdoor part of the Alpenbad pool.
I did the whole thing in 12m48, first attempt this year, and didn't match it the following days despite planning to take off minutes. Conditions are important.
Extremely nice track. Challenging. Some vertical uphills. Doable downs, but can be a challenge to even pro skiers at their pace. It winds.

B12 Mosern Ortszentrum. Classic only.
Takes you into the village's downtown. Didn't see.
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:56 pm

BLACK TRAILS, difficult

C1 Weltcup
Named after the Worldcup heritage of Seefeld.
Leads up the steep hill outside the jump stadium, and up the mountain, even some hairpins. Then shares a few flat tracks with the B1, and then with C2 on the hard climbs towards, but not to, Wildmoos. 8500m/130hm.

C2 Wildmoos
7500m/210hm.
Leads from Seefeld's valley, up the Wildmoos, and back down. The way down has some real uphills too, be prepared. You want slow skis, or good downhill skills. Big lungs or patience on the way up.
On the Wildmoos you get to choose from several beautiful trails. Worth the trip up. Consider the ski bus from Seefeld downtown, which does cost a few €. Brings you down as well if the DH is too much for you. I did that on my first ski days, which were on this exact place.

C3 Neuleutasch
Starts at the bus stop. Soon a non-stop uphill follows. I don't believe the 5000m/95hm for the full lap. The hill up feels like 100hm, and the way down has uphills. Last bit down is way steep, but wide. It will surprise you. Brake hard, there is a righthand corner at the end.
I hold pride in having skied this up non-stop twice in my life now. First attempt, I had to rest every few meters.
Trails is beautiful, leads to B3 on the Wildmoos, and there connects to the other trails. Narrow track. The classic tracks may be compromized a bit by skaters. They can't help it, but are glad at least this gem is open to them.

C4 Katzenkopf, classic only
2500m/75hm, go figure. Didn't see.
Take a turn off the C3, and goes up the mountain. Ends at the top station of an alpine center. Apparently, you can go down the bobsleigh track, or the alpine if you are so inclined. Bus stop awaits you down. Or return as you came.

C5 Kaserwald, classic only
Connests C4 and C6

C6 Variante Wildmoos, classic only
Seems like a nice detour for B3 classicers with lungs to spare. All forest, bound to be a beaut.

C7 Lottensee, clasic only [EDIT : replaced by new B10, also skating!)
Connects close to Moesern and to B3. 4200m round trip.

C8 Interalpen, now also open for skating, beautiful!
A real connector. It gets boring to read, but the scenery is great, heavy forested. Skating tours are now fully possible.

C9 Bichlwald
Also prone to avalanche danger closing, as B8.
Runs over a serious hill, albeit gradual, into a tiny valley and a creek. See it as a forest road the becomes a mountain road stuck to a slope. It's an out and back, you have little other options. Totally worth it. 6700m/160hm makes it black, but technical difficulty is more in line with the red trails of the region. Beware of counter traffic.

C10 Mundeknie.
From the foot of the Skating Zentrum B4, runs up to Muggenmoos. First half is all up, second all down. 3200m/78hm. Feels like a bit higher than that. Feels steep. Downhill is over quickly. You get to cross a road on the way up, and again down. You can skip the last 10-15hm or so and make it a quick lap. Scenery on the way up is so-so, it being a road dug out of the mountain.
I Youtubed the downhill of this one.

So, that's the trails we got to choose from! Too many to all see in a week, so take my guide to help you cherry pick!
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Postby Cloxxki » Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:39 pm

UPDATE:
I just read in a tiny message on the Seefelt page, that C7 will be skating.
Somehow involving/connection up to the formerly discontinued B10. Not sure what to think that, but it could be a nice addition, apart from huge skate impovement, having the C7. The C trails on the Wildmoos hill as just amazing.
I have a small dream that they managed to connect B10 on one side to C3 (meaning no forced return at the road Neuleutach or taking a bus), and understand (at least) on the other side to the start/finish point of Seefeld.

And, it seems they have the new skating trail connection I've been longing for year. No details given (other than "out and back"), but it sounds like they made a new trail connecting the Leutasch and Seefeld sub-regions over the Lottensee/Ferienheim. I am THINKING they used the available winterwalking paths. I skied some of them to try and make this very connection.
One option would be a new trail from A4 to the skating part of B3, but to get connected to C7 and the rest of the goodness, either B3 needs to be all-skating (yes please) or a new trail altogher.

If indeed this gets realized, skating the region will be bumped several notches.

http://www.seefeld-langlauf.at/loipe/langlaufen.htm
Click on the Mosern section of the map to navigate what I'm going on about.

I'm planning to go there 4th-11th Januari anyway, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for good improvements. These would greatly improve my daily scheduling. Less need to take bussen, just ski where I want to go. And a trailside pension/hotel will be all you need, thing could get connect splendidly, especially better for skaters.
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Postby Ami in Berlin » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:55 am

Nice. We'll be in Garmisch for four days over New Years, and will probably go to Seefeld for a day or two. The winter seems to be off to a good start, too.

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Postby Cloxxki » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:16 am

Ami in Berlin wrote:Nice. We'll be in Garmisch for four days over New Years, and will probably go to Seefeld for a day or two. The winter seems to be off to a good start, too.

Did Leutasch get ANY snow yet? I haven't had the heart to check the past days.
Finished skiing on the streets yesterday evening, Rotterdam (Netherlands) downtown. Rain washed it right away overnight. Amazing how little (incomplete) snowcover can offer splendid skating when the consistency is just right (albeit slow).
If any good snow materializes, I'll book for 4th-11th January.
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Postby Ami in Berlin » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:57 am

The webcams in Garmisch and Lermoos have snow in the valley, so I'd assume there's snow in Seefeld and Leutasch as well. That can all change, of course. In my numerous trips to that area, I've never actually seen enough snow to open up all the trails throughout the region. It would be nice to finally be able to ski from Mittenwald to Seefeld and from Ehrwald to Bichlbach via Lermoos. We might check on the Ettal-Linderhof-Oberammergau trails as well.

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Postby Cloxxki » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:54 pm

Ami in Berlin wrote:The webcams in Garmisch and Lermoos have snow in the valley, so I'd assume there's snow in Seefeld and Leutasch as well. That can all change, of course. In my numerous trips to that area, I've never actually seen enough snow to open up all the trails throughout the region. It would be nice to finally be able to ski from Mittenwald to Seefeld and from Ehrwald to Bichlbach via Lermoos. We might check on the Ettal-Linderhof-Oberammergau trails as well.

Last February, it was all open I think. Grooming capacity is also a factor, it's a lot of trails to groom.
Something there's too much snow (avalanche danger) which keeps some trails closed. I had that when I was there and we received a meter over maybe 2 days.
If you know easy to access neighbouring XC regions (like by train or bus), please do post such here. Garmisch for instance is an hour by train, I believe.
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Postby Ami in Berlin » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:15 pm

We usually stay in Garmisch 1. because it is closer to Munich so I can get a late flight after work and still get to the hotel at a decent hour, and 2. because it is in the middle of a lot of places to ski. However, the cross country skiing in Garmisch (and the downhill skiing, too) is not as good as the areas surrounding it. We stay in Garmisch because it is convenient, not because the skiing there is great.

As you say, Seefeld is about 1 h by train. Near Garmisch, the best trails are in Kaltenbrunn/Klais. As I mentioned before, if there is enough so it ought to be possible to ski from Mittenwald to Seefeld, but I've never seen that. Mittenwld is however a great village, and I think I would actually probably stay there instead of Seefeld (cheaper, more traditional village, and better access to downhill skiing which I also do). On the other side of Garmisch, the Tiroler Zugspitzearena (Ehrwald, Lermoos, Biberweir, Bichelbach) is all connected with trails. It suffers a bit from being low altitude, though, and the ground is largely moss, which holds warmth and ends up melting the snow. But if there is snow, it's really a great area, and the view of the Zugspitze is probably my favourite anywhere in the Alps. I think there is actually also a backcountry xc ski trail linking this area to Seefeld, but it would be a full day's trip and I imagine quite difficult. Finally, there are trails linking the Ettal monestary, the Linderhof castle, and Oberammergau. This is where the König Ludwig race is held. All of that is within 30-60 minutes of Garmisch by train or bus.

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Postby Cloxxki » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:53 am

http://www.seefeld.com/langlauf/_media/ ... ichtGR.pdf

Looks to be changed! B10 replaces C7, dual dirction, now also for skating.
C8 also skating now.

More skating routes as connections, you can now skate from Seefeld to Leutasch, and back. Fewer reasons to use the ski buses.
Last edited by Cloxxki on Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:18 pm

Video of the C9, shot today. First time I ever tried video editing, it's fun! It starts with a short bit from the middle, but otherwise the order is OK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jSKCu-NrKA
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