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Skiing in Winterberg

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Posted

Hi all. My first post so please be gentle :)

I am arriving by ferry in Rotterdam on Boxing Day 2012 and want to go skiing for New Year.

I am a decent skier, but my son is 4 and this will be his first ski trip. So I'm looking for somewhere to travel to which has a nice nursery slope (ideally close to the accommodation or car park).

I see Winterberg and the area is only about 3 hours drive from Rotterdam which is great, but I also see that the snow is not guaranteed. Is there snow cannons which will be working normally at this time?

If not, where else should I drive to from Rotterdam which wouldn't be too far to travel?

Thanks in advance everyone.

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Posted

Never been there, but it looks more like 4 hours drive on a good day on google maps.. add the nightmarish Winter holiday traffic (funny enough everyone wants to head to the snow!)... so probably more than 6 hours each way. I hope you would plan on staying there at least a few days in any case.

My preference would be the train. Driving in Winter, during holidays especially when snowing is woeful. Not to mention dangerous. DB shows a 6.5 hour train trip from Rotterdam Centraal to Winterberg Bh at about €84 per person return (depending on time of travel), which in my books is the best option. Sit down relax, sip on a beer, chat about the skiing you're going to get up to.

Looks like a good beginners resort, from Snow Forecast an English visitor says of Winterberg "...is very small and it is a good place for beginners to learn and better than that if you live in the far south east of England it is closer to go to Winterberg rather than Scotland". Looks like you picked the right one!

I'd book accommodation, ski hire, lessons, etc quickly as it is a very busy period in any ski resort. PS don't forget travel/ski insurance!

Good luck and let us know how you went!

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Posted

Thanks for the info, I'll have my car on the ferry so the train is out of the question, plus we'll have all the kids stuff to carry which goes nicely in the boot. We've got 10 days before the return ferry so no problem with a bit of travelling.

Thanks again.

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Posted

I see Winterberg and the area is only about 3 hours drive from Rotterdam which is great, but I also see that the snow is not guaranteed.

I'd advise having an alternative program to hand in case there is no snow.

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Posted

Winterberg isn't bad at all. I used to ski Willingen (which is a smaller ski area, in the same region) every morning before going into the office. Remember though that these places are nothing like the alpine regions, so would suit beginners down to the ground.

The one thing I will say about Winterberg - if theres snow, then most of Holland will be there! You will need to book lessons, and any equipment requirements well in advance, and arrive early at the start of each day!

Cannons are used there, but as with any resort, only if the temperature makes it possible. Lifts at both resorts will remain open as long as there is some snow coverings still there! I've used both resorts when the bottom of the runs has been grass and mud!

An alternative, should there suddenly be a thaw, would be the snowdome on the A7 near Bispingen.

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Posted

Thanks very much for your replies. I've decided to go to Winterberg and risk the conditions, which I hope will be ok. If there's no snow, I might make the decision to drive further south in search of a higher resort. Does anyone know a resort which is higher and not too far from Winterberg?

It's just over 5 weeks now, and I'm getting excited!

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Posted

Again, Willingen. Winterberg and Willingen are the main ski resorts in the area - and they aren't particularly high at all. If you mean heading proper south - then St Anton in Austria is great, and easy to get too.

You say your a decent skier, so you will probably want to concentrate more on your sons lessons and practicing, as you probably wont find anything there very challenging.

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Posted

Yes I mean proper south, but not as far as Austria. I don't need a 'St Anton' or anything like it! I just need a gentle nursery slope which has guaranteed snow where I can teach him fairly cheaply.

Thanks again.

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Posted

Well thats me told.

I mentioned St Anton, or anywhere in Vor Arlberg for that matter, because not only is it good value, but its easy to get to from where your going should there be no snow! Get on the A7, stay on the A7 until it ends, and your there!

Anyway, enjoy your trip!

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Posted

Sorry MrAlfisti, I think you've mis understood me, I didn't mean to have a go, I was only saying that St Anton is an expensive resort which is far far greater than what I need to teach a 4 year old to ski. That's all.

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Posted

I think now the season will start in Winterberg!

http://www.wettercam-winterberg.de/core/

BTW, I think another place with almost-guaranteed snow cover is the Harz mountains, as well as the Taunus just above Frankfurt. They aren't far away at all.

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Posted

Hi all, I just thought I'd reply to end this topic as I've now got back from Winterberg having spent nearly 2 weeks over xmas and new year there.

The resort didn't have a lot of snow, and it hardly snowed whilst we were there. However they had managed to get most slopes open and they had done a great job with what they had. Yes there were queues some days but nothing like I've experienced elsewhere in Europe across peak season.

The slopes were mainly for beginners (which was what I wanted) and not very long (as an experienced skier I would have been fed up within an hour!) but my 4 year old had a great time. Most of the lifts were new and 6 main chair lifts which really surprised me, as they've spent a lot on the infrastructure of the resort with limited mountains. The centre of the resort was also very nice (bigger than I had expected) and although we were staying about 10km away, we eat in the resort a lot as they've some lovely restaurants/bars and plenty of shops for my wife!

Cheap lift passes too. €108 for 7 days is a bargain! And free for under 5's so my son was free!

All in all, a great place, although I wouldn't go again without booking it last minute (as someone said) due to the potential for no snow.

Thanks for all your advice before I went.

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Posted

Thanks audi for the information. I am thinking about making a trip there since it . You say then that Winterberg is a real small "city" with some life (I don't mean nightlife, just some restaurants)? Do you know if there are some cross-country trails available, aswell?

Many thanks in advance, Fabio

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