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SCoM holiday to Kitzbühel 19th – 26th January 2019

Reporter: Derek Kennedy

For a nice change we had a late flight to Salzburg at 13:40 and about a dozen of us met in the Aspire Lounge at Manchester T2 between 10 and 11am which was great value at £18.70 as it not only included Beer and Wine etc but some managed to have both breakfast and lunch. Thanks to Tosh for organising such a good start to the trip!

The downside of course to the afternoon flight was arriving at the Hotel after 7pm and rushing to unpack before Dinner but give me later flights every time, if possible, as recovery time from an early start getting to the Airport is then unnecessary!

The hotel comfortably managed to cater for all 60 of us at one sitting then, after diner a number of us frequented the Pub attached to the hotel but quickly moved from the bar area to the small pool room as that was the only no smoking area. Apparently since I was last in Austria they have had their own referendum on whether to allow smoking and I bet it was as close as ours but the Smokers won! This was the last time we therefore frequented the said pub until Friday night 6 days later and that was another interesting night for all in attendance. United beat Arsenal in the FA Cup which did not go down too well with one of the bar staff!

The hotel had a large lounge area with a small bar (separate from the above mentioned pub), it appeared to be a no smoking area and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful which was a big plus. We also found that the Irish bar just a few hundred yards to be the place most frequented for après ski and a very entertaining duo performed there on Sunday night. Later in the week a number of us were joined by Graham Bell.

Thanks to Tony Shaw handing out all the lift passes on Saturday night, skiing started early on Sunday, the Hahnenkamm Gondola was a ten minute walk but in ski boots the ski bus was advisable. A number of our party left skis and boots in a locker at the bottom of the lift each day and there was also the option of leaving skis at the top of the Gondola for just 2 Euros, so plenty of options.

For January the weather was kind to us and full days skiing was possible ever day although at times visibility was restricted, however not significantly so. A large dump of snow occurred long enough before we arrived for access to the resort to be clear and pistes well-groomed so skiing was a joy.

The first day 7 of us explored the local area and crossed a large Valley on a telecabine to the Area around Jochburg and Pass Thurn returning the same way for a slightly early finish as City fans Tosh, Tony Shaw and Phil Jones were hopeful of seeing some of the game at Huddersfield. Alas it was not to be but at least panic over, they won 3-0.

On the 2nd day I found that Westendorf where I skied in January 2001 was now linked to the Kitzbühel area by a short bus journey from Skirast to Ki-west. Thanks to Dave Taylor for organising the day which also enabled us to ski some of the Brixen area.

Unfortunately there was 13 of us and inevitably we did manage to lose one before lunch. Fortunately Anup an experienced skier still managed to get in plenty of skiing and make his own way back with no recriminations!

This being only my 3rd club trip I’m still getting to know people and the next day Tony Carlyle arranged a trip to the Kizbuheler Horn (which is a much smaller area on the opposite side of the valley from the Hahnenkamm) with Joy Parsons and Rachel Talbot and we had a very pleasant morning skiing the wide uncrowded Blue and Red Pistes. We subsequently joined up with Paul Prentice and Liz Moore whilst we were having lunch outside a mountain hut which provided a great view of Kitzbühel and the Hahnenkamm to where we returned to ski in the afternoon. The 4th day saw another inspired away day with Dave Taylor when a large group of us got the train to Brixen, which was all included in the lift pass, and we skied some of the area missed out on day 2 and although there are numerous Mountain Huts and 60 in the Kitzbühel area alone we had lunch in the same restaurant as day 2 because the food was excellent. At the end of our last run a taxi rank was encountered and for less than 8 Euros each we were transported right back to the hotel.

Many thanks to Dave Hodgkinson for being the Guide for our small party of six round the Hahnenkamm area on day 5 and Val and Lorraine, who are always great company, for skiing with Tony Carlyle, Peter Brooks and myself on the last day, keeping us amused when many of the party went to watch the Men’s downhill, which was on Ski Sunday the day after we got home.

The hotel was excellent and the food plentiful and varied and members I heard discussing it seemed to consider it great value for money even though not everyone appeared to take advantage of the really good Hotel Pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam Room.

The lift pass also covered outlying areas, such as St Johann, Fieberbrun and Waidring Steinplatte, which I believe went unexplored by anyone as there was so much skiing linked to Kitzbühel. I have however skied all 3 of those resorts in the past, whilst staying in St Johann, and I can recommend them! So in my view a return to Kizbuhel and the Hotel Jagerwirt in the not too distant future would be well supported.

The committee did a great job in selecting Kitzbühel, the hotel and organising the trip but appear to have been let down somewhat by Crystal who did not provide a rep (or advice as far as I am aware) for our transfers which led to some members, myself included, going into the wrong terminal at Salzburg as there were two Manchester flights departing within 5 minutes of each other from different terminals. It’s just as well ours was a large party as the coach collecting us for the return journey was over an hour late which didn’t help and we had to queue with all our bags in chaotic circumstances just to drop of our skis then head into the Terminal to check in our cases and go straight to the Gate where the flight was apparently being held up waiting for us!

To summarise the Hotel Jagerwirt and Kitzbühel for £694 including ski carriage was great value for money, the Guinness only 1 Euro more than in Dublin and plenty more runs to do and areas to explore on another visit.

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