European Tour 2021

Austria 2021

Hello and welcome to the "Dream (ing) Page" for our and your next ski tour to Europe slated for January, 2021.  Just down the road or the rail tracks from the iconic Kitzbuhel lies more superb Austrian ski resorts; so many, they go on as far as the eye can see. 

 

And, this is where we are laser focused for the 2021 SST Ski Tour.  The first week will take us to the Saalbach/Hinterglemm Region followed up with a week in the famous Schladming/Dachstein Region.

You can get more details on itinerary and special Early Bird Pricing on the Landing Page by sending us an email and requesting the password for the page.  In the meantime, read all about our last trip to Europe in 2019 to whet your whistler; pun intended.

Perhaps it can sound like a worn out record when you read my reports that say that the current year's tour was the best ever.  Hard as that seems to be to accomplish, as we've been to some of the most iconic ski destinations on the planet over the past decade, in our minds at least, how sweet it was this January.

Weather is always the wild card on any ski tour and like Whistler, Kitzbuhel, The Legend, is situated at a relatively low elevation at about 800 m in the valley and just south of 2,000 m at the summits.  On a poor snow year, you would be relegated to the pistes only. Fortunately, 139 km of the 284 km of pistes are covered in snow making. 

The impressive number of pistes serviced by 90+ ski lifts of all descriptions, tells only a part of the story regarding the skiing terrain. 

Looking at the town of Kitzbuhel and the surrounding mountainsides from the top of the famous Hahnenkamm DH Race Course

From the picture above, you can see the Kitzbuheler Horn and tons of what look like "clear cuts" stretching from the top to the valley floor.  These are actually "Alms" or working alpine farm pastures that support livestock all summer long.  In winter though, once there's 100 cm of schnee on the fields or, enough snow that you can ski over the fencing, zee alms become the most perfect off-piste skiing domains that you can imagine.  What you can't see is the lift system that goes right to the top of the Horn over there and pretty much every horn there is in the Kitzbuhel Region.  This is like cat skiing or heli skiing but with lift access; yah vuhl!

So to say, that we had our fill of powder skiing that week, would be an understatement.

OK, but, what was it really like up there?

You have to have a guide which goes without saying and in our case we had Rainer who is not only a guide and a superb skier, but a farmer who milks 25 head of cows morning and night before and after he skied with us.  Little wonder he had such intimate knowledge of the terrain from the high alpine to all the alms in the region. 

Rainer in action checking the bus schedule in a gondola and...having a beer of course.

It would be cruel and unusual punishment to ski miles and miles off into the wilderness without sustenance; so, can anything be better than eating lunch at one of the more than 60 ski huts in the region?   Many, like the one's shown here are located in remote regions; often at the end of a Rodel or alpine sleighing road.  

Then, after kilometers of skiing down zee Rodel Road, up in the distance is another hamlet and access to a valley bus and the end to another amazing run.  Such renderings are but a taste of Kitzbuhel.

Not all of our skiers come on tour to ski the off piste.  In fact, some groups never do go off piste other than to ski powder that may be found close to the sides of the runs or that has fallen on the pistes.  And, what can be better than first tracks on groomers covered in fresh schnee?  That's where we pick up the story on this ski adventure when we start week 2 in the fabled ski town of St. Moritz, Switzerland.

St Moritz, Switzerland

And now on to something completely different, St Moritz.  About 4 hours by bus from Kitzbuhel and situated on the border of Switzerland and Italy and 1800m above sea level is the Engadin Valley and the town of St Moritz.  The ski area itself is made up of 4 main mountainsides, Corviglia, Diavolezza, Corvatsch and Piz Nair.

Wiling away some time on the bus transfer, Me and Chris yuck it up in the back of the bus trying on the Austrian fedora or Hutmacher Zapf and Louis wondering what all the fuss was about.

Although, still very much in the Alps, St Moritz is close enough to Italy to be known as the sunniest ski resort in Switzerland.  We did see a lot of sun but it did snow by weeks end and we left over 60 cm on the ground when we made our way home.  St Moritz is known to be a resort with a lot of high end properties and we were very fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to stay in the Suvretta House, a 5 Star hotel right on the mountain.  This is where you think you've been upgraded the moment you open the door to your room but no, this is just the way it is.  Built in the early 1900's, everything here is on a grand scale.

From the Boot Room to the Door Man and his vintage bus, this place is on point.

The Suvretta Haus from up close and from afar.

Men have to wear dark suits and women need to dress elegantly to eat in the Grand Restaurant.

Now, it's time to see what it looked like out on the slopes

Just miles and miles of groomed slopes where you can really let them hum.

Brigitte points out our hotel mid mountain and above the town of St Moritz seen here to the left of the town.  You can see the track for the funicular train that goes up the side of Corviglia in the alpine above town.

We sure burned up as many of the 350 km of pistes that we could in a week.  This is a resort where the skiing just keeps on keeping on.  Our guides, Diego & Brigitte showed us as much of it as we could take and then some.  Of course, we made time for a Braulio or two as well in the ski school's  Blue Lounge.

The view from inside zee yellow bubbles and Louis with some ski bunnies he befriended on Diavolezza.

Not all lifts are there to gain vertical.  How about this one that crosses the valley between Diavolezza and Piz Nair about a kilometer in length?

Finally, a skiing collage to celebrate the joy of two awesome weeks of skiing!  Sci heil und Auf Wiedersehen, until the next time

 

Interested in joining us on a future skiing adventure? Drop us a line.

Note:  All Ski Tours are based on minimum numbers of passengers and all quoted prices are based on reaching those numbers.  All tour pricing is based on 18 skiers unless otherwise noted.  SST Ski Tours reserves the right to cancel or offer an alternate tour with notice should a tour not attain the required number of people before the cutoff, usually 90 days from the departure date.  Full details outlined as a Term of Agreement in the Booking Form.

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