Garmisch Classic - Garmisch-Partenkirchen Reviews

Skier & Snowboarder-Submitted Reviews for Garmisch Classic - Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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Skier & Snowboarder-Submitted Reviews for Garmisch Classic - Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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B-MEYER
great views and the price isn't too bad either. if your a skier and have a family you'll love it, but if your just starting out I wouldn't recommend it as their really isn't anything here I would consider a bunny slope. The runs here are pretty long and will wear you out by the time you get to the bottom. biggest con is the popularity of this place as the slopes are pretty crowded and with groups generally blocking the pistes at merging points. ... Full Review
great for skiers , very long r...
hard for snowboarding, more st...
4 years ago
jswalden2005
I went with my wife (a non-skier) in mid January. The weather and snow condition improved throughout the week. By the final day it was possible to ski from top (2030m) to bottom at 720m. We stayed at a hotel 500m from the main gondola. So, by taking the first gondolas, I was able to be on the slopes by 8.45a. This worked well with the euro 28/day half day to 1p ticket. Then back to hotel for swim/sauna before an early dinner. Garmisch, which we preferred to the Partenkirchen half, is a very attractive town with large pedestrian area, lots of cafes, restaurants and shops. My wife found plenty to do and we noticed that the town attracts lots of non-skiers. Being in Germany, everything was well run but also very friendly. I should add that I am 70 but did chat with people of all ages and nationalities on and off the ski lifts. Finally, the 1936 Winter Olympics were help here. Its still possible to ski the downhill from then or go one better and try the currently World Cup course - Kandahar.... Full Review
Very well run and quiet during...
Busy at weekends
7 years ago
ryan
incredible lifts and gondolas from start to finish with the best views i've ever seen. the zugspitse overlooks the entire region at around 3000 meters high.. scattered around the entire mountain are bars pubs grills and small eateries .. where you can fill up on great local beer and foods. the trails are the best i've ever been on .. long and well groomed powder and packed powder.. great natural snowfall .. the only bad part i noticed was the 2 seperate lift tickets you needed to purchase for the classic valley and the zugspitse area.. i snowboarded on both areas numerous times and i kept coming back for the incredible views and the awesome ski trails. the town itself is cozy and alot of different lodging available. you need more than 1 day to experience all the zugspitse has to offer.. overall i give my days spent there 8.5 out of 10... Full Review
lifts, views, food, drinks, te...
2 seperate lift tickets, low a...
12 years ago
Martin
I went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for skiing in February 2010 and had a great time. There are two separate ski areas, Classic and Zugspitze. Classic is closest to town 8-10 minutes to most chair lifts and cable cars on the Zugspitze bahn. The lower couple of hundred meters on the Classic area is covered by snow cannon. Zugspitze is located on top of a mountain glacier at over 2400 metres. To get there you have to take the Zugspitze mountain railway and the journey takes 1 hour 15 minutes. The first train is at 8:15am and then at hourly intervals. To get in a good days skiing you really have to get on the 8:15 train. On my first day I turned up to buy my lift pass at 9:15 and had to then wait an hour for the next train, so it was 11:30 before I started skiing... lesson learned. If the weather is clear on Zugspitze it makes for an excellent days skiing. On mountain prices in both areas for food and drink are reasonable for ski resorts... 6-10€ for a main course and 3-4€ for a beer in cafeteria service places. Zugspitze also has an a la carte bar which is 10-20€ for main courses. Both ski areas are aimed squarely at intermediates. There's only 2 black runs, and they are both do-able for intermediates like myself. The skiing standard of other guests is not as high here as it is over the border on Austria so you won't feel like too much of a clown. If you buy the “Happy Ski Card” (99€ for 3 days but there are longer duration passes available) you can also ski in nearby resorts of Seefeld, Reith, Grainau, Ehrwald, Lermoos, Biberwier, Bichlbach, Berwang and Heiterwang; some of which can be reached by the “Schnee Express” train from the main station and is free for those staying at hotels, guesthouses and apartments in Garmisch-Patenkirchen. It's best for a short break than a main holiday. I managed to ski all the pistes of Classic and Zugspitze in 3 days. Garmisch Partenkirchen is a regular German town but with skiing nearby so you're not locked into skiing for your whole holiday if you feel like doing something else. It's very well connected to Munich and Innsbruck by train. Overall it was a great all round experience and good value and I'll definitely be back.... Full Review
Fair prices, good transport co...
Mostly Intermediate
12 years ago
jason
I liked garmisch allot. the snow is very good but in march the snow can be a bit slushy at the bottom. but garmisch is still one of the places to be if your in Europe. ... Full Review
good downhill terrain
the bottom elevation can get s...
13 years ago
I was passing through Germany on a business trip, and given that there was no additional charge for a layover – and that the skiing around Washinton DC sucked – I decided to visit Garmisch- Partenkirchen, the biggest of the German ski resorts. I considered other attractive alternatives, such as the Austrian and Swiss resorts that were reachable by train from Munich, but they were all a lot farther (ie, about 3-4 additional hours each way) and more expensive to reach than Garmisch (which cost about US$25 each way). Also, non-stop trains run to Garmisch from Munich’s central station every hour, whereas getting to any of the other resorts was not only longer, but the schedule was much less flexible. On-line reviews were pretty much unanimous in their opinions that Garmisch doesn’t hold a whole lot of interest for serious skiers -- little in the way of steeps and ungroomed. But I enjoy fast cruising on blue groomers as much as the next guy. So in the end, convenience won out, and Garmisch it was. I think the reports are pretty much right that there’s not anything here to give an adrenaline rush to anyone who regularly skis blacks in the US, with the exception of some sections of the Kandahar run, one of the 2 slopes called blacks here. The Kandahar was used for the downhill event of the Olympics held here, is used every year for some World Cup event, and will be used in 2011, when Garmisch hosts the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship. This run is groomed (as are all the trails, as far as I can tell), and so isn’t a huge challenge to just ski without wiping out, but if you like skiing steep groomed runs for speed, this one will let you get up a good head of steam. It’s 3200 m. in length, with a drop of over 900 m. and the record time is under 2 minutes. (That’s right at 60 MPH if you do the math.) Since there’s a section near the finish that’s got a double-black slope, I suspect they must give the racers a pretty long run-out! For those who like to go off-piste, there are some good areas, where one can see tracks in steeps, chutes, and trees. The tracks are few, however, and I saw almost no one actually skiing off-piste, leading me to think that this is probably a place where you could find untracked for a long time after a storm. But given the topography, unless you know where you’re going, I think there’s a chance you’d find yourself suddenly looking over the edge of a 300-foot cliff (or, worse, looking over your shoulder at the edge you just went over!) unless you knew the territory well or had a guide. My first day was close to perfect in terms of conditions. There had been around 8 inches of fresh snow over the last few days, with sub-freezing temps and cloudy weather to preserve the surface conditions. The day itself was a bluebird day to end all bluebird days, with sun, no wind, and very pleasant temps, which actually got close to unpleasantly hot in the afternoon for those of us who had dressed according to the forecast of continued sub-freezing temps. I enjoyed that fresh powder a lot. Unfortunately (from my selfish perspective) so did about half of Bavaria. The lift lines turned out to be, while not totally outrageous, still worse than what I’m accustomed to. Until they shrank late in the afternoon, I think I almost always waited in line 10- 15 minutes. Notwithstanding the sun and spring-like temps, the surface conditions remained great all day on the runs near the top, and some runs – including the top section of Kandahar – started mogulling up as a bonus. But by afternoon, the lower runs were starting to get soft, although they never reached that mashed potatoes consistency that seems to characterize spring conditions in my part of the world, around Washington DC. Still, I wondered what the next day would bring, following a sub-zero (C.) night to re-freeze that stuff. The next day was – contrary to the “cloudy” forecast -- another bluebird day, and apparently even warmer than the first. (At the end of the day, someone told me it had reached 13 C., although I had a hard time believing it was really THAT warm.) Surface conditions in the morning were – shall we say – highly variable, with some very hard and some quite soft stuff near the bottom. But I have to say that the groomers did a pretty good job considering what they had to work with, so most runs had a nice surface – no ice. A pleasant surprise was that the surface on the upper runs was still packed powder in the morning, and remained that way pretty much throughout the day, underscoring the value of altitude. So that’s where I spent pretty much all my time – skiing runs off the Hochalmbahn and Kreuzjochbahn. The one time in the afternoon that I skied to the bottom just to check out what it was like down there, I regretted it. Mashed potatoes, big time! I understand that low altitude is kind of an Achilles heel of many resorts in the Alps. In the “classic area” in Garmisch, you’re skiing between around 2050 and 700 meters. The Zugspitz is higher by maybe 500 meters -- still low by Western US standards. A word about getting around the mountain: The lift system seemed unusual to me in that it relies heavily on gondolas and surface lifts. There are only 4 chairlifts, and 3 of them are 2-seaters. The gondolas are pretty impressive, especially the 80-seater Alpspitzbahn, which takes you all the way to from bottom to top in one go. This one is not for those with acrophobia or agoraphobia, since you’re both WAY high and packed in like a sardine. But what a view! Don’t miss it. I don’t much like surface lifts, but you pretty much have to deal with them here at some time or another, although most of the best runs are serviced by gondolas or chairs. The other problem with this place is that they rely a lot on cat walks (ie, narrow, relatively flat trails that run across the mountain) to move people around. Some of these aren’t bad, but some are very narrow, littered with snow-plowing kids, and running along very nasty cliffs. So, skiing these is both boring and a bit nerve-wracking. And it requires a lot of poling. You know you’ve been poling too much when your triceps hurt more than your quads the next day. Mine did. The mountain has an impressive array of sit-down restaurants, bars and cafes scattered all over. I doubt that you’re ever more than 1 run from chow when hunger strikes. And it’s reasonably priced by American resort standards. The first day I wandered into a sit-down restaurant, and had a Hochalmhaus Curry Wurst. (This was about the only thing on the German menu I could understand, and since it had both the name of the restaurant and “curry” in the name, I figured I couldn’t go too far wrong.) I also had a half liter of beer (I think by law that’s the minimum quantity of beer sold in this part of the world , and the whole thing set me back about euro 10. The second day, I ended up eating outside at “Onkel Toms Hutte”, wondering how many of its patrons had any idea of the significance of the name, and watching some enterprising snowboarders build their own mini- park. I had a very satisfying and delicious bowl of goulash and a half-liter of beer for about euro 7. And while we’re on the economics: The price for a lift ticket was about euro 31 per day – quite a bargain by US standards. You can get lower multi-day rates. Rental gear was likewise a bargain – euro 52 for 2 days of K2 Apache Recon skis and Nordica One boots. They have 3 rental categories and this is the high end; the lowest was I think around 30% cheaper. They were very accommodating. I originally rented the equipment for only 1 day for euro 31, but liked it and extended the rental to 2 days, and they gave me the 2-day price. Getting to the slopes is cheap and easy. To get to the Hausberg lift, you can catch the skibus, which leaves from a point close to the train station and makes a few other stops in town, for free. From there, you take a gondola up, and from there can ski to the Kreuczek area of the mountain, where 2 other big gondolas are based. Together the Hausberg and Kreuscek areas are known as the “classic” area. Finally, I should mention the other mountain at Garmisch – the Zugspitz. This is a separate area, considerably higher, where you can ski on a glacier. There is a separate system to access the area (either a cog-wheel train that goes through a tunnel, or a very long gondola ride from the base), and it requires a separate lift ticket. The view is reputed to be fantastic (if there aren’t clouds), but the skiing is all intermediate level and almost all is accessible only on tow lifts. My one other experience skiing on a glacier was not all that much fun, and I liked the “classic area” my first day, so I ended up not going to Zugspitz. All said and done, Garmisch is a very nice place to do some cruising (in the skiing sense!) and enjoy the unforgettable scenery. Clearly, if one were in the US planning a ski vacation in Europe, this wouldn’t be the right choice for serious skiers. But if you’re in the neighborhood for a couple of days and the conditions are good, it’s a lot of fun. ... Full Review
great views
not a lot of variety
13 years ago
Rob
Garmisch is a real town, a very picturesque and truly authentic Bavarian locale. Garmish-Partenkirchen hosted the 1936 winter Olympics, and is still a regular stop for major events like the World Cup. The town has a nice vibe to it, like you'd expect from a major 4-season resort town. Easy to get to, only 100 km or so south of Munich, autobahn the whole way. However, the traffic in and out of the village can be horrendous at rush hour. And because Garmisch is so close to Munich and popular, you can expect pretty big crowds on weekends. I arrived a little after noontime on a Sunday, and had a hard time finding a place to park at the Hausberg lift station. Downhill terrain: good terrain for beginners and intermediates. Advanced skiers will find that there isn't much in the way of off-piste opportunity. A bowl underneath the cliifs to skier's right off the Alpenspitze lift station offers a challenge, but unfortunately the lift arrangement makes it impossible to do laps in this area....you have to ride 2 T-bars, then ski a long catwalk, and then ride a tram to get back to the top! Most of the pistes in this area are below the treeline. One of the big drawbacks of Garmisch is it's relatively low elevation....the base area is at about 750m. The lower slopes were very, very icy...a product of sunshine and softening snow in that day, and refreezing at night. Family friendly: I skied here with my family a few years ago, and I think it's a good area for young kids. There are beginner slopes in the Hausberg area, so even youngsters can get the thrill of riding the gondola up into the mountains where they can take in the views. This area has a nice new high-speed six pack, and there's even an enclosed rope tow, to give little tykes a break from the wind...how's that for pampering? The views of the Zugspitze (at 2900m, the highest peak in Germany) and surrounding mountains are certainly expansive and breathtaking. Bring your camera. I did not ski the actual Zugspitze area, but found the following comments on www.skigermany.com: "The Zugspitze is a "must-ski" for those taking a break in Garmisch - but only in the right conditions. As a high mountain area, the bowl can be extremely inhospitable in conditions of poor visibility or snow and wind. On a good day however, the spectacular scenery and normally excellent snow quality will make up for the long journey and sometimes crowded lifts."... Full Review
Easy to get to
Limited advanced terrain
14 years ago
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