Alps – France, Italy or Austria?

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  • Alps – France, Italy or Austria?
  • Premier Icon Bushwacked
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    We’ve been going to the French Alps for the last couple of years and fancy a change so have been looking at Austria for a long weekend.

    However I’ve been a little underwhelmed by the options. Seems there are a range of small resorts with a few runs serviced by chairlifts.

    Is my perspective on Austria correct? Are we better off focusing on somewhere else in the Western Alps? Or are there some hidden gems in Austria?

    mikewsmith
    Member

    What for?
    Given the immense variety in the French alps there are loads of options out there but it really depends what your looking for

    Mbnut
    Member

    Pretty much all the resorts have a stack of great riding outside the bike park areas.

    Some research will show up some routes but a guide is worth every cent… just be clear about the kind of riding you want.

    jambalaya
    Member

    Switzerland
    Lenzerheide – fly to Zurich and then train or rent a car
    Verbier (or Chamonix) ditto

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
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    Good point…

    We’re after a mix of natural and bike park. Nothing too technical / screaming eagles downhill stylee – some flow and scenery is important. Most importantly lift assisted / minimal uphill as a couple of our group aren’t the fittest.

    We’d also ideally need to be self guided, unless there are some suggestions on the best trails which need a guide.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    Austria is more of a “get out and ride big mountains” than “lift served runs”. IMHO.
    Although there are bike parks, eg Leogang, Schladming, Nordkette,… if that’s your thing. Think I’ve seen something about one in Zell am Ziller too (next village from Mayrhofen), but I only go there in ski season, so no idea what it’s like.

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
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    Having just been riding there I can +1 for Aosta Valley and aosta valley freeride, nice guys and great trails. I was there for a day and only scratched the surface I think. Nice scenery too. You can easily head over to bike park type stuff in France if you want a mix, only 2hrs from there to Les Gets.

    Premier Icon colp
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    Leogang/Saalbach/Hinterglemm, everything you want.

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    Just had a reliable source suggest Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis or Solden.

    Apparently a lot of money is being put into Austria at the moment.

    The Leogang Saalbach area is well established for MTBing in summer and some of the other resorts are also trying to get in on the act. Zillertal has Mayrhofen and Zell am Ziller that have started to make some gravity assisted trails with up lift but nothing on the scale of the big resorts in France. IME you have to accept that you’ll be doing a lot of climbing on your bike in Austria.

    Solden is a lovely place for a long weekend with a few awesome trails serviced by two lifts. But it’s a long drive so a similar option would be La Thuile and the Aosta valley as previously mentioned, or Klosters/Davos for a Swiss flavour.

    hammerite
    Member

    Agree with colp.

    Love heading to Austria.

    Fancy Lake garda?

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    A mate had made it clear that he wants to go to Austria this time and I’ve heard some good info from a local yesterday – we just need to choose the right place now.

    jambalaya
    Member

    A mate Prima Donna had made it clear that he wants to go to Austria this time and I’ve heard some good info from a local yesterday – we just need to choose the right place

    FIFY 🙂

    Enjoy I am sure it will be great and if you drive you’ll save a good few €’s on tolls. Cheap fuel in Luxembourg if that suits the route. Let us kniw how it goes, always good for the info-bank

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
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    LOL, you’ve met him…

    Premier Icon flowmtbguy
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    Solden is ace… For a weekend the lift assisted stuff is enough – for a week, you’ll want to explore.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/fMsRvh]Untitled[/url] by Guy Bowden, on Flickr

    Premier Icon mccraque
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    Not Alps – but certainly some alpine riding. Would Torbole in Lake Garda be worth a shout? I loved it there.

    andykentos
    Member

    Lucky enough to live at the entrance to Oetztal, Solden has enough for 2 days but you would probably start to struggle a bit for longer. Serfaus is not so far away, maybe an hour, very much a bike park but good for all abilities. Possibilities for bits of natural stuff, you just have to know where to find it and be willing to put the effort in.

    Another option is to try and tie it in with the World Cup and head off down to Leogang for a party and maybe a day or two of riding down there after the WC.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/H4KPMY]IMG_2776[/url] by andykentos, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/H7GZk2]IMG_2021[/url] by andykentos, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/GGw4hw]IMG_0083[/url] by andykentos, on Flickr

    I’d agree with the others about the Austrian Alps. Personally I’d rather ride in Italy as I found the riding there amazing with Riviera Bike, but having guided in Austria I’d say it’s more catered and/or set-up for what you’re after. Another plug for Rob – if you’re near Kitzbühel he’ll be able to sort you out with some local riding. It’s worth spending a few days in the region though to get the most from the lift pass (if memory serves they cover quite an area, but one pass covers one direction the other covers – well – the other). He’s at http://www.mountainedge.co.uk

    Another option is to head for somewhere like Morzine/Les Gets again, but make a conscious effort to get away from the more obvious runs. There’s loads of riding in the region to cater for everyone from XC to straight line downhillers.

    While the lower Chamonix valley (such as the Petit Balcons) might also be right up your street, the higher stuff is all pure steep tech.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Saalbach is rad.

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