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Hi everyone,


I thought this would be a good place to ask this question since many of you are from Europe or have done extensive travelling there.


Next year for vacation I'm looking at hitting up Oktoberfest in Munich. If it is at all possible, I'd also like to head to Innsbruck or Chamonix (nice thread db) for some early season skiing. Is this possible at this time of year or would I be way too early?


I'm not trying to make my vacation a ski trip, but it would be a nice added benefit if I could put some turns down while I'm there. Most of all, I just feel like doing another backpack trip through some of the countries there, mostly the German speaking ones if possible (since I sort of speak the language).


Thanks for any help you can provide!


PS - just got back from a week and a half in Whistler. Can you say absolutely perfect timing? They were having their worst season since 1979 and our first day of skiing was in some pretty cruddy conditions. A couple days of heavy snowfall and we were hitting up chutes like this



(gun barrel chutes below Harmony Ridge on Whistler Mountain)


I've got a lot more pics if anyone is interested \:D


PPS - looks like I missed an epic winter in Japan. Glad you guys scored big this year. It's been a fantastic winter here in Alaska as well!

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I talked to some UK guys while out at a bar one night about skiing in Europe. They were pretty sure that the season didn't kick off until December or January which seems kind of late to me. They were also very inebriated, so I thought I'd pose the question here.


Toque, maybe this will bring back some memories. Had some fun playing in this area on Blackcomb. I went with CheeseRipper (not sure if he posts anymore here) and he was tearing these bowls up! Overall, I really liked the huge, open bowls on Whistler compared to the ones on Blackcomb. The terrain seemed a lot harrier too, especially in the Peak Chair region of Whistler. Wish I was still there......




I'll post some more pics up when I get some time. Unfortunately, they are mostly scenic shots like the one above. Getting a camera out of a pack while standing on a Whistler/Blackcomb black or double black run wasn't always easy. So much exposure on some runs it's ridiculous!

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You can get some snow on the glaciers.

There are some board camps that use,


Val Thoren,

It is all glacier stuff, but it is not impossible.

Nice picture of the chute,

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Hi Plucky,


below are the main resorts with summer skiing in France. The opening dates vary from year to year depending on the snow conditions, so you have to call the "office du tourisme" usually to get an update. If it is open by the time you are there, then be ready to wake up early as you can only ski in the morning 'til about lunch time.



2700M - 3500M

20KM of slopes

Usually opens 16Jun - 09Sep

7H30 - 13H00

Tignes Acceuil. Tél 04 79 40 04 40



Val D'isere:


9 slopes

30JUN - 15AUG

7H30 - 13H00

Office du tourisme 04 79 06 06 60



Les 2 Alpes:

3200M - 3600M

23JUN - 01SEP

7H15 - 15H00

Office du tourisme. Tél 04 76 79 22 00

Site www.les2alpes.com



2800m - 3100m

01jul - Mid Aug

Office du tourisme. Tél 04 79 00 08 08




????m - 3250m

01Jul - ????

7h45 - 15h15

Office du tourisme. Tél 04 79 09 79 79





No details on this one, but I think they are trying to set-up their summer skiing capabilities.


I have taken the above from this web site in french:




Seems to have been updated in March 2005, but some of the prices quoted there are still in Francs.... so cannot vouch for the accuracy.


Not sure about Austria, I think they have a couple glaciers with summer ski.


All in all, October might be a little bit difficult to get your fix, but never know.


Good luck.

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SerreChe - Thanks for the information! I appreciate you taking the time to do this. It looks like there may be some options available. This is a great start for a list of places to check out though!


Thanks again

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No problems Plucky.


I see you are from Alaska. Have you ever been to the Alyeska resort before? Wondering how it is. Not sure how far from Anchorage Salcha is.


Apparently MONTGENEVRE was opened end of october this season, only on week-ends. Saw a forum where somebody took a picture there beg of november:




So maybe early season opening rather than summer skiing is what you will be looking for.

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there's a glacier and summer camp at a place called garmisch in southern germany. i haven't actually been there but i drove past it a few months ago on the way from st anton to munich. its probably only 2 hours drive from munich.

not sure how extensive the off-season skiing is, but i have heard good things.

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SerreChe, I haven't skied Alyeska yet but am planning to the weekend after this. It's about a six hour drive for me or a 50 minute plane flight. A friend of mine from when I lived in Japan lives in Eagle River which is just outside Anchorage so I'll be going with him. From pictures he's sent me, it looks like a lot of fun. Tons of above tree line skiing, huge open faces and bowls and also good cruiser runs down below. I'm really looking forward to going! The 'resorts' around me aren't all that big but they do have some okay terrain. I'd compare them to Shimokura or Amihari resorts in Japan which were just so so in my opinion.


Thanks again for all of the information. I've saved it all and look forward to anything else anyone else has.


Spook - I've actually been to Garmisch before. Unfortunately, there are no glaciers nor summer skiing there that I am aware of. I hiked to the top with a friend one August on the back trail up the mountain. I saw my first mountain bike there and thought the guy was crazy for riding such a skinny, steep trail. Then I became addicted to it when I got back to the states :p This was about 12 years ago when I was 18. I'll have to check it out, but I didn't even think the Zugspitz (sp?) had glaciers on it. I was under the impression the Alps were too low in this part of Deutschland to harbor glaciers. I may have just been on the wrong part of the mountain though. That would be amazing if Garmisch did have summer skiing though. I absolutely love that part of the world - Munich/Garmisch/Mittenwald.


**Edit - Just did a search on Garmisch. It does seem the Zugspitze does have glacier skiing, but I didn't see any mention of summer/fall skiing. I'll keep searching though. http://www.skigermany.com/skiing/garmisch/zugspitze-skiing.php#

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Cool, was wondering when you go to Alyeska whether there is a way to put yourself on a waiting list to go heli skiing in the chugach at a relatively knock-off price on short notice if they have not filled their chopper with customers. Nice to dream. \:\) Let us know how it was when you come back.


By the way, for MONTGENEVRE the details are:



Tél. : 33 (0)


My hometown is between Les 2 Alpes and Montgenevre (about 30 mins for Montgenevre), so if you go to any of these two, drop me a line on the forum, never know if I may be around at that time!


One more thing I was thinking about, you could go ski touring at La Barre Des Ecrins (4102m) or around La Grave or Chamonix.


Plenty of possibilities...Gambatte.

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I noticed your posts in the referrals for the above-mentioned http://www.skigermany.com


A couple of comments.


First of all the glacier above Garmisch is only open for skiing from late autumn (fall) to late spring, although the lifts remain open in summer for walkers and sightseers.


In good conditions, the town of Garmisch is also a worthwhile ski destination with historic runs (it is a member of the Kandahar ski races) and a nice active centre (it would probably be seen as the "grande dame" of German ski resorts).


To return to the original question (skiing at Oktoberfest time), I would say that you are going to have to be lucky. Firstly, the Oktoberfest is at the end of September which means the end of summer.


Given recent warm summers in Austria, glacier skiing has been normally severely curtailed by that time and they don't really kick in again until the first heavy snowfalls (depending on the year September/October).


In that case I would keep an eye on the internet for snow conditions at the Stubaital (south of Innsbruck - quite extensive skiing); the glaciers above Sölden (where the European racing season normally starts, but more difficult to reach from Munich); the Hintertux glacier (near Mayrhofen); and the Kitzsteinhorn abover Kaprun (in the province of Salzburg).


If you have any further questions about skiing in Germany or Austria, please feel free to ask...

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I'll check on the heli skiing when I go to Alyeska. I actually just got off the phone with my friend down in Eagle River and it looks like it's set - I'm going down there to ski next Friday, Saturday and sunday clap.gif


Another place to check for heli skiing in AK would be Valdez. I still may try to do that in May but I need to get a little more info from a friend down there about it. I'll report what I find out.




Great information - thank you! Do you run that ski Germany site? That's a nice site with some good information on it. I was totally unaware that there was skiing around Mittenwald until I looked through everything. The mountains look amazing in that area, but I didn't see anything that looked like a ski resort when I took the train there.


So, it's sounding like I'm going to be a bit early for any skiing. I will keep an eye on things, just in case. Even if I don't ski, it will be a great time. I really want to check Innsbruck out and do some more exploring in Munich.


Thanks for the information and help guys. I may have some more questions when the time nears to put money down on anything.


take care

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Stubai and Hintertux are pretty good. Was in Hintertux in September 2 years ago and we could ski powder. But it is on the glacier so you really have to check before you go.

Solden is has very good skiing but you need to take a long toll road to the glacier everyday.


France is much further from Munich than Austria.

They normally have a great park in Les 2 Alpes. although it takes forever to get on the glacier.

Tignes has some steeper runs on the glacier but the glacier is getting nasty.


With some luck you might be there to enjoy the first snowfall of the season.

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Thanks for the nice words (yes, it is my site - when I get a moment I hope to put some information about the German ski racing team on there as well).


The skiing in Mittenwald is up on the less steep slopes on the other side of the valley from the cable car. It's not that exciting but bigger than you would think.


The run from the cable car top is (apparently) a difficult and unpisted out-of-bounds experience - for a while, a couple of years back, you weren't allowed to take skis up in the winter on the cable car and it was left to the ski tourers.


That time of year is normally nice in Innsbruck - it's cooler and clearer.

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I think Valdez Heli Skiing is owned by Doug Coombs who also has some steep skiing camps in La Grave (close to les 2 alpes). Should be a blast if you can get a few heli drops!

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