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Dorfgastein / Grossarl ☆☆☆

11th January 2009 permanent link

Times visited:four
Last visited:today (January 2009)

Pleasant little ski area: the most gemütlich in the Gastein valley. It’s small, seems to be generally quieter than the other ski areas in the valley, and it’s a little lower, with trees almost to the top of the mountain. This is (a) pretty and (b) provides shelter from the wind, with the result that the best of the remaining pre-Christmas natural snow in the area is here, especially on the Großarl side. A pleasant contrast to Bad Gastein, which is only a couple of hundred metres higher but has bleak, treeless upper slopes where most of the natural snow has blown away and even the artificial snow on the pistes is thin.

The Dorfgastein side of the mountain faces west and Großarl on the other side of the mountain faces east, so it’s possible to stay in the sun for much of the day. Both sides are pleasant: a slight drawback is that the connection from Dorfgastein to Großarl is only possible via red runs or a short walk, so tricky for beginners & small children. Good snow down as far as the middle stations on both sides. Very little natural snow below: cold enough for there to be plenty of artificial snow on the pistes but it’s very hard and unpleasant going, and otherwise the west-facing slopes are bare below a thousand metres.

Several pleasant red runs through pretty forested mountain scenery. Only one blue run on the Dorfgastein side but it, too is long and interesting and my family loved it. One short and straightforward black run, which I am fond of as it is the scene of my only ever overtaking of a skier on a black run.

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