Joined: Sep 2003
Last Visited: 06:43
18th Apr 2019
Date Posted: 13.07hrs on Mon 22 Feb 16
Just back from a week in Neuastenberg. It's Postwiese.de ski area is part of the Ski Karussell lift pass around Winterberg in the HochSaurland area of northern Germany. I got talking to a couple of people who ran it and it is an interesting. Tale of turnaround.
The hills are rolling, think Southern Uplands of South Downs. Highest point in 843m, 2,700ft. The high villages are around 700m. Weather is continental but with some effect from our maritime fronts coming in. With the extra height they can withstand some melts and can get enough sub -2c nights to run snow making.
The Postwiese area has eight lifts. One brand spanking new four man chairlift and a mix of t bars and buttons. The area is summer meadow field that are shallow at the top and steep at the bottom. The village and infrastructure is at the top!
They only need a base of a couple of centimetres to open pistes and the snowmaking runs when ever it can. Some of the blowers made a pile overnight about five feet high and 30 feet in diamEter. This is then ploughed about via the two piste bashers. I was lucky enough to get a ride in one when doing it. Life to,e ambition.
The staff are also superb, the lifties don't just hand you the t bar but help plac it. This was really helpful when etching my son to ride with me, we both board.
The new chair is a beauty, a Doppelmayr (old t-bars it replaces are still at the bottom of the hill if anyone wants them. The engines are still in buildings at the top.
He history is that in 1998 one of the locals with a background in tourism management did so,e plans for snowmaking to smooth out the thaws eating into opening. They invested 2m Euros, no public money, and it worked. It worked so well that Winterberg, the big weekend resort next door copies the idea. It now has 24 lifts, mostly big six and eight chairs and really good snow making. Indeed, the Neuastenberg people area loud as Winterberg has pistes cut throb the forest so the ground remains colder and helps preserve th made snow. The wide open meadows are nicer to look at by it means the made snow often blows away. Hey have low hedges and copses to help counter this now.
It's a small resort, and a expert can ski it all in half a morning but it was perfect for indoor beginners to get the feeling of a bigger hill and travelling a it. A lot of schools also turned up on Wednesday so it is a perfect confidence builder type of place
The village is growing, Dutch investors are building 22 piste-side villas. It's main clientele are from the Ruhr, 1-2 hours away, he Netherlands 2-4 hours and Denmarl too. I met two other British families, who had come on the night ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, only four hours from there to the slopes.
Lessons for Scotland. It's about the snowmaking and the customer experience. Yes it is tiny but it is well done. It made my kids feel they could conquer the slopes. And teach lifties to help boarders!