Tirol + Bayern skating

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Ken Roberts
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Tirol + Bayern skating

Postby Ken Roberts » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:29 am

I'm going to be around Rosenheim + Innsbruck + Garmisch in a few days, so I'm looking for some interesting or pretty skating trails to explore. I'll have car, so it doesn't have to be a large trail network for staying several days in one place -- I'm happy with high-quality skiing that will last me 2-3 hours for one day.

Like my favorite place on previous trips was Hochberg near Traunstein -- not large and no facilities, just great skiing with great views. Unfortunately I've heard it doesn't have snow right now (hope the luck changes soon).

By "interesting" skiing I mean lots of up-down-up-down and curves, and not the all-too-common up-up-up then down-down-down. Like the Bichlach loipe at Oberndorf / St Johann is "interesting" for me (too bad it's not connected with similar quality to make a longer outing). One that comes close is the Wald trail at Leutasch (unlike most of the other monotonous skating-permitted trails around Seefeld).

What about the biathlon center near Ruhpolding? That looked interesting from outside when I rode my bike last summer. Is there a way for the general public to get access to skiing on the biathlon trails on some days, or is it only for competition and team training?

What's the disadvantage of the trails at Garmisch? not really interesting? not long enough?

What about farther west toward Oberammergau + Linderhof. Any trails pretty or "interesting" there? Where would I park to access them?

Any experience skiing in Austria around Koessen or Kitzbuehel or St Ulrichen im Pillersee?

Thanks a lot for more ideas,

Ken

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Cloxxki
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Re: Tirol + Bayern skating

Postby Cloxxki » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:53 pm

I can't offer much help. Just here to say I love the Waldloipe at Leutasch as well. You need some luck to get good snow on that narrow winding trail, the trees dump a lot of brown on it over a day.
I even posted a Youtube vid on it for others to check it out, recentely added that vid some for viewability.
Skiing the boring valley, it's very easy to pass the trailhead and miss out on the pearl of the vast trail system.
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Kaiserwinkl - Kössen

Postby Ken Roberts » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:17 pm

Sharon + I visited Koessen for an hour or two this afternoon and had a good time. I skated and she skied classic striding. Looking forward to going back to explore more around the Kaiserwinkl.

I skied most of the Hochau loipe and the Ewigkeitswiese -- mostly rather gentle, but about as interesting as could be considering -- variety of scenery in and out of the woods, some houses, some curved and some straight sections. And it's hard to complain about lots of pleasant V2 without much extra work. The one steep hill on Ewigskeit actually had a shortcut to allow avoiding it.
Sharon felt the same about the short section of classic she tried.

Although the trails were gentle, the valley was surrounded by steep hills -- which seemed like lots of serparate hills, more interesting than the continuous ridge you see around some XC ski areas. It was overcast and snowing, so we could not tell how good the views are to the south toward the dramatic Kaisergebirge mountains - (of which I climbed the highest a couple of years ago, from Kufstein by a very long "klettersteig" route).

There's a nordic center and ski shop about lat/long (N47.6696 E12.3973)
We parked at about lat/long (N47.6615 E12.395)
Trail report + link to map

The guy in the shop said was no charge for skiing on the trails (? since about three years ago ?). And though there was a parking meter at our parking area, it said it was not accepting payments - (and indeed it would not accept coins) - at least that time on a Friday afternoon.

So the Kaiserwinkl area looks promising -- and for those with a car, it's not far off the Rosenheim - Innsbruck autobahn -- and not far from Reit im Winkl + Ruhpolding, not far from St Johann + Kitzbühel.

Ken

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Re: Tirol + Bayern skating

Postby Ken Roberts » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:17 pm

Tried a different section around Koessen: around the Hochkoessen lift for downhill skiing and the village of Schwendt. I tried the Kranebittau + Lucknerhof loops, and part of the Griesenau trail. Not as nice for my style as yesterday -- more like just ordinary Austria ski trails.

We parked at the base of the Hochkoessen lift because we saw there was a place definitely open to go indoors if one of us got back to the car much before the other. But actually closer to the cross-country ski trails was the Euro-Camp parking: lat-long approx (N47.6535 E12.417). From here we did not try the Hoermandl trails nearby -- instead we skied southwest toward Schwendt.

The Kranebittau loipe was freshly groomed and nice enough -- but later I noticed a sign which said Free technique Forbidden (like so many worthwhile trails in Austria). Anyway I skied the rest of it later anyway because it was the only way to get back to the parking.

Much of the Lucknerhof loipe was not groomed since morning or the day before -- so there was lots of fresh snow on it, since it's been snowing more or less continually for the last couple of days. Fortunately I've had lots of practice skating in ungroomed snow, but still it was hard work -- with much sustained up + up to the next village. I wasn't sure where I was, and I really wanted to find Schwendt, so I decided to try the Griesenau trail. Later for going back to the parking I finished the Lucknerhof loipe -- even more sustained up + up after the village. Typical Euro cross-country ski trail: up + up + up, then down + down + down. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you want, but for fun cross-country I prefer up + down + up + down: quicker reward for my uphill work. Anyway decent variety of scenery past houses and woods.

Griesenau trail started pretty interesting with some tight curves and variety in + out of woods, but then got into the usual monotone Euro stuff, mostly gentle, pleasant enough skating, but I got bored and turned around went back. (So I actually do not know how far it was to Griesenau: the signs + map said 15km, but is that one-way or round-trip?)
Anyway when I got back to that village I went off the ski trail to a street, turned around a saw a sign that said I was already in Schwendt (lat/long approx N47.6316 E12.391) before I ever started the Griesenau loipe. But only on one side of the sign: It had not occurred to them that someone might arrive in Schwendt by skiing to it -- and might wonder where they were.

Several more sectors in Kaiserwinkl yet to be explored - (perhaps on some day when it's not still snowing and snowing).

Ken

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Hochfilzen in the Pillersee area

Postby Ken Roberts » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:27 pm

Sharon and I drove to Hochfilzen, east of Fieberbrunn + St Johann in Tirol, had a fun time, looking forward to going back to explore more of the trails around there.

We found the obvious parking (lat/long approx N47.4695 E12.619) for Europaloipe. Started by skiing east about 5km to the "Leoganger" access point (N47.4526 E12.6706), where there was a gasthof. The trail was well-groomed for both skating and classic striding, Sharon skied classic and said she enjoyed it a lot. It was mostly retracing the same trail out-and-back, not much a distinct loop. But I enjoyed skated the scenery changes in and out of the woods and ups + downs, so it seemed enjoyable and each direction felt different. Sharon stopped at the gasthof and enjoyed a snack and drink while I kept skating back west toward Hochfilzen.

Then I continued past Hochfilzen west on the Europa trail, following the clockwise direction (which I noticed later was supposed to be incorrect, but seemed to make sense for skating, and I was not the only skater to do it in that direction). Lots of down + down, with interesting curves and changes, until I reached a connection with the Dandler loipe from Fieberbrunn. Then lots of up + up past houses back to Hochfilzer, total about 5km for the loop - (so this western loop of Europa was less suited for my favored style of trail design).

I also did a loop on the upper (western) section of the Dandler loipe, interesting but again more in the style of up + up + up then down + down + down.

Next time I might prefer to try the trail west from Hochfilzen to Fieberbrunn one-way in the downhill direction. There's a ski bus that goes between the two towns. Or perhaps make a longer tour by starting at the "Leoganger" access point - (? or even longer by starting in St Ulrich ? or even St Jakob ?). There are two obvious access points for finishing at Fieberbrunnen, the one that seemed to be closest to obvious parking and indoor snack + drink (and more likely snow-covered) is the Reither loipe (not checked by us) whose west end is at the base of the ski lifts (approx N47.4676 E12.552).

Dorf-loipe: We did not get to try it. Parking approx (N47.470 E12.622) perhaps other. Or 100-150 meters walking thru village from Europa trail.

Warming-loipe: We did not get to try it this time. Access approx (N47.4785 E12.613). Not clear where to park nearby, though there is a restaurant nearby. Or could walk about 100 meters from the Dorf-loipe trail.

Connect to St Ulrich am Pillersee: The map shows a ski trail connecting beween the Warming-loipe and the St Ulrich trail network, going roughly parallel to a summer road. We did not get to try it this time.

Biathlon center in Hochfilzen: Not mentioned on http://www.pillerseetal.at website as normally open to the public, and not obvious if or how the biathlon course might connect reasonably with public cross-country ski trails. (Stadium lat/long approx N47.475 E12.639).

altitude: much of Hochfilzen is around 1000 meters elevation, so it was snowing there while we were skiing, though it was raining at elevations below 800 meters.

GPS: I put some tracks around Hochfilzen and some other useful waypoints for the Pillersee area in this
GPX file

link: www.pillerseetal.at
Ken
Last edited by Ken Roberts on Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pillersee area - more places

Postby Ken Roberts » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:57 pm

Sharon + I drove around to some other villages + langlauf access points on our way back to the A12 after skiing.
We'd be glad to hear about some more experiences with these places, or others nearby - (which can also be reached from Salzburg).

St Ulrich am Pillersee: We found parking and access to some cross-country ski trails about 100-150 meters east from the village center (lat/long approx N47.528 E12.575). Map showed at least two loop trails, also a connection trail to Hochfilzen and a connection trail to St Jakob in Haus - (but no ski trail that goes alongside the Pillersee lake).

St Jakob in Haus: We found parking and access to the Sonnenloipe about 75 meters south off the main road (approx N47.500 E12.562) - (? perhaps might also be parking and langlauf access from the chairlift a ways east along the main road ?).
Altitude: both St Ulrich + St Jakob are more like 850 meters elevation, not as high as the trails around Hochfilzen).

Waidring: We found parking and access to cross-country trails (approx N47.588 E12.568) at the east end of the big parking lot for Steinplatte gondola lift. Map suggests ski trails in three directions. No ski trail connection to the other Pillersee area villages - (? but a hint of a one-way trail going farther WSW roughly parallel to the main road ?). Altitude around 800 meters.

We saw a ski bus with service between St Ulrich and Fieberbrunn and Hochfilzen. And we saw a train line that goes by Fieberbrunn and Hochfilzen.

GPS: I put some useful waypoints in this
GPX file

link: www.pillerseetal.at

Ken

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St Ulrich am Pillersee

Postby Ken Roberts » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:53 pm

Got back another day to skate most of the trails around Sankt Ulrich at the south end of the Pillersee lake. Pleasant pretty area. Main valley is fairly flat, surrounded by mountains. Most of the trails are rather gentle -- nice for skating lots of distance without working too hard. A couple of trails had some more up and down: the Panorama trail (tho not much more "panorama" than the pretty views from the main valley), and the short race loop (best started from its south end at the Hochfilzen connector trail). Did not ski most of the connector to St Jakob, but looked like it's fairly gentle. The connector to Hochfilzen as much as I tried from the St Ulrich end, was a long gentle climb, not much variety.

Parking: In addition to the one close to the main village (which uses a spur to access the main loop), another parking on the main loop is by the Strasserwirt hotel-restaurant (lat/long approx N47.512 E12.581). If planning to ski the connector trail between St Ulrich and St Jakob, then there's a large parking lot (approx N47.502 E12.572) at the base of the downhill lift.

Trail passes can be purchased at the base of the downhill lift (if driving from the south from Fieberbrunn) or at the St Ulrich tourist office on the main road just north of the ski access at St Ulrich village (if driving from the north from Waidring).

Ken

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Hochberg is groomed

Postby Ken Roberts » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:06 pm

Checked Hochberg and found that they had enough snow to groom, so I skated all around and had a very fun time (again). Enjoyed skating the variety of gentle-to-moderate hills and flat sections, views of open fields separated by woods, distant mountains, the little chapel. A few icy sections, not surprising given the recent variations in temperature at that altitude (around 620-650 meters).

Skating the whole perimeter, my GPS said was around 13.5 km. The whole thing is not actually a true loop (some sections are repeated in opposite directions). Could also do a couple of sub-loops around 5km each if knew the layout well. Groomed for classic striding as well as skating (and like 95% of it is very wide for both).

Ken

P.S. I heard that the biathlon center near Ruhpolding is normally not open for public skiing -- but there is a trail nearby that is open, often with lights in the evening three nights a week.

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Cloxxki
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Re: Hochberg is groomed

Postby Cloxxki » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:56 pm

Ken Roberts wrote:
P.S. I heard that the biathlon center near Ruhpolding is normally not open for public skiing -- but there is a trail nearby that is open, often with lights in the evening three nights a week.

I skied there illegally, partly unknowlingly. Before they changed the layout a bit for last year.
I skied maybe 2-3km of it, and was utterly impressed. SO steep. And not itty bitty steep uphills. Huge walls of snow. Must be so amazing to have the skill and strength to get around such courses on speed. Sigh...
National athletes can make appointments to go train there. It's all very elitist IMO.

Actually when there is enough snow, you can ski all the way from Reit im Winkl to Ruhpolding. Make sure to take your time for it. Classic skis or strong uphill doublepoling are required for the parts near Ruhpolding's outskirts.
I never got to ski the trails past the biathlon center towards the village.
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Re: Ruhpolding area

Postby Ken Roberts » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:00 pm

Cloxxki wrote:I skied there illegally, partly unknowlingly . . . maybe 2-3km of it . . . not itty bitty steep uphills. Huge walls of snow.

Yes I guess that's how new competition courses are nowadays. The older biathlon courses were kind of fun for me. Perhaps the new ones are just too much for me to be able to enjoy.

Cloxxki wrote:National athletes can make appointments to go train there.

Thanks for the info. Yes sounds elitist to me.

Cloxxki wrote:when there is enough snow, you can ski all the way from Reit im Winkl to Ruhpolding ...

I'd thought of that, and did some sections near the Reit im Winkl end -- seemed kind of boring.
Last summer I rode a bicycle on it from the lakes to the biathlon center (nice stop for kaffee + kuchen in summer) and then on something toward Ruhpolding -- also not very interesting -- not much of little ups and downs or sequences of curves.
And then the double-poling in the Classic-only section.
So I've pretty much lost interest in trying that.

Ken

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Kaiserwinkl - Kössen more

Postby Ken Roberts » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:27 pm

Got to ski lots more at Koessen today. It was pretty fun. Some quick notes ...

Kaiserwinkl trail (25km) was my main focus. Some climbs not too long, some fun curvy descents, lots of big views, much gentle or flat, some moderate uphills but nothing super-steep -- about the best 25km for my style of skating that I've found so far in Austria.
* seems designed for counter-clockwise direction (gives the most fun descents)
* too many crossings of roads: best soon after snowfall, so most of them might be "bridged" by snow - so not have to take skis on and off so many times.
* some of the uphills would be nicer with more curves.
* I parked on the main road in a pay-parking lot between Koessen and Walchsee (lat/long approx N47.659 E12.384)

Bruckwirt (3km) + Hoermandl (3km) trails. Gentle, pretty enough. Requires some walking to connect with other trails in the Kössen network. I parked at Euro-Camp / Kranebittau (approx N47.654 E12.418) near east of loops. Alternate is to park (pay) near west end of loops by Brennerwirt / Waidach (approx N47.6615 E12.395) and look carefully for start of trail along the way driving in from the main road.

Seeloipe (6km) around the Walchsee lake. Problem is that this requires substantial walking (carrying skis) in at least two sections. Flat and gentle, pretty. Next time I'd try to go around the Walchsee only if I thought it were frozen well enough to skate on the lake.

Note that the altitude of most of the trails in the Kaiserwinkl (www.kaiserwinkl.com) is not very high, so good to check on conditions before driving there.

Ken

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Re: Tirol + Bayern skating

Postby Ami in Berlin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 am

Lots of good info here, some new places I can try out.

Back to the original post, the disadvantage of Garmisch is that it is all completely flat, and it is at a pretty low altitude. The snow can really suffer.

Oberammergau is a bit higher and the snow holds up better. It's also pretty flat, but the route from the Ettal Monestary to Linderhof is quite good, and there is certainly a lot more to look at (especially if you are in to baroke churches and castles).

Kaltenbrün has the most snow sure trails (and snowmaking, I believe) in the Garmisch area, and a biathlon arena, but the skiing isn't that interesting either.

If you have a car in that area, really just drive to Seefeld.


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