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The Arlberg Snow Report 2017/2018 (Mud Season May/June))

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Never believe the prophets of doom......

The weather oracle suggested cloud, snow and little to no sunshine, Zürs & Lech were sunny & warm until the snow turned up around 14:00.

Apparently the whole place is overrun, huge lift queues and the post buses are bursting at the seams.... I got the 08:40 bus from St Anton to Zürs along with about 5 other folk plus a couple of ski instructors. Despite the driver seeming to spend an inordinate amount of time removing debris deposited at the side of the road by the previous evening's revellers from the Mooserwirt we still arrived in Zürs shortly after 09:10. After a couple of runs on well nigh perfect spring pistes I started down the Madloch run before 10:00. Good snow and not many other skiers. There were more people on the pistes above Lech and the pistes around Oberlech and Lech were shagged by 11:00 but no queues worthy of mention. Up to Rufikopf, good snow, few people all the way down to Zürs. Shock horror a 2 minute queue for the Zürserseebahn. More good snow and no queues (why is the run under the Muggengrat chair not an official "ski route"?). No problems getting back to St Anton on the Flexenbahn or Valgefahrbahn. The Kandahar piste did have too many people but the snow was still good. Piste 50 down to Mooserwirt was pretty crap, the Mooserwirt itself was packed and those who had drunk too many Jägerbombs were attempting to ski down, nothing new there.

So south facing slopes get soft in the sun, there are great pistes in Zürs, fabulous off piste and apres ski in St Anton, lots of folk like spending time relaxing in the Arlberg and the locals make lots of money from the whole thing. Pretty much the same as it always has been.
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^^
Blue skies and no lines all day. Flexenbahn up at 9, 1st run skid the off piste couloir behind zurs down to zug, 2nd run from back of lech down to schroeken, and last the back of warth down to lech. All with a great guide. Great north facing snow on the first 2 and perfect spring snow on the 3rd. The pistes at zurs were significantly better than the disaster that was lower st anton piste late in day Friday. Regardless, this is a special place that all who come to are lucky to experience. This new Yorker certainly will be back many times.

Snowing hard in stuben since about 3.
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@skiandgolfnut, @munich_irish,

Good stuff.....great to hear some good positive reviews from guys on the ground rather than the armchair doom merchants.
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Flat light today... Snowing..

Stay low or just go to the sauna
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We skied Zürs and Stuben yesterday. The pistes were perfect, especially over in Stuben where it was quiet too. There was a lot of traffic on the blue to Valfegehr and a couple of helicopter rescues late morning.
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@munich_irish,
This was a Saturday+ bad weather forecast=always a quiet day.
Oh and you used the bus instead of Flexenbahn....apparently you listened to the prophets after all... smart boy Toofy Grin
great you had a great day Very Happy
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Fairly large slide on the 202 ski route in Lech today. I’m surprised it hasn’t slid already this season as glide cracks have been visible for a long time near there.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Not sure the fresh snow overnight made any difference to conditions. Visibility was very poor most of the day (got some fleeting sunshine late on at Kapall) so perhaps difficult to tell. No great crowds either today.

@Langerzug the reason for the bus is simple logistics. Getting that bus means being in Zürs for shortly after 9, no matter how fast I might ski (not very these days) there is no way to be in Zürs for that time using the Flexenbahn, 09:30 might be just about possible if you are first in the Galzig lift queue, 09:45 is probably more realistic. I used it on the way back with not a queue in sight.

I do agree the Flexenbahn changes the nature of the whole Arlberg area but given the nature of the tourist business it is inevitable that the resorts will have to change and adapt. Some will not like the current changes but more will come. There will be pressure for expansion, none of Kapll, lift connection to Schröcken, Maiensee piste might ever happen but some other plans will come to fruition. The Arlberg has gone from a priest using skis to get between villages (supposedly) to a multl million Euro business, which needs bring in ever more hordes of money spending tourists.
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@munich_irish, the problem last season was that the Flexenbahn did not so much alter the nature of the Arlberg but altered the traffic flow of the lifts. In particular it increased the queues considerably around Zurs up to Madloch from about 1030 and also in Lech at Rufikopf from about 1430 as large numbers of people all tried to go in the same direction at the same time. The busses acted as a natural brake in a way the Flexenbahn doesn’t (except when it breaks down).

This season I’ve only been in the Arlberg in early December when it was a joy as there was almost no one there.

Obviously there are some advantages to the new system. But the appearance was that either those who had designed the lift we’re surprised by what it did to the traffic flow or did not care. Having skied all round Austria as well as parts of Switzerland and Italy this season I have not encountered anything close to the queuing problems I saw on several visits to the Arlberg last season.

But I’ll be there shortly and certainly hope the problem is not as bad as I remember it. Your solution of an early bus certainly seems like a sensible one.
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I suspect that the closure of Steissbachtal impacted traffic flows and hence queues. I think of it like a freeway closure in a big city... the effects are felt across big parts of the city, some a long distance from the actual closure. We certainly see it here in Melbourne.

I saw queues and crowds in places where they are usually not, eg Rendlbahn on first lifts and Kapall / Schöngraben. Assuming the Steissbachtal mess is sorted next year, it will be interesting to see how the traffic and crowds distribute themselves. The Flexenbahn will no longer be a novelty and, if you believe Langerzug 😝, Zürs will be will deserted, except for through traffic.
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Perhaps i dont understand the politics at play here but as i stayed in stuben i found flexenbahn to be a delight. Straight from stuben to either zurs or st anton quickly and efficiently. I think it is the most well positioned base from which to explore the area. Not much to do there but from a ski logistics perspective i found it flawless.
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@skiandgolfnut, I think you are right about Stuben, I've only stayed there once and it was 12 years ago and frankly at the time found it a bit boring but the idea of staying there again has been re-kindled since the new Flexenbahn opened, it opens up many more opportunities and a different perspective of the whole Arlberg area.

Albona l is actually one of my favourite lifts (albeit a bit cold first thing) and the idea of being at Flexenbahn by 9am is a good one. Did you come across any reasonably priced 3* Pension type places, i'm not into fancy hotels (well I am but not their prices) it's a realistic option if there's sensibly priced accommodation nowadays as the area opens up.
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Exactly, going up flexenbahn at 9 allowed us many nice runs in zurs before the crowds arrived maybe two hours earlier. Overall though i cant say i waited on a line longer than 5 minutes once in 5 days.

New snow yesterday but poo-poo light. Should be great once the sun returns.

I did see a few 3 star. I stayed at chalet mondschein which is a separate building than the 4 star hotel on the main street but with shared use of the spa. A single room was 80 euro a night and was a fantastic brand new modern room. Hard breakfast at the adjacent hotel huberstuhoff for 15 euro a day. All in all for me was a great value, couldn't find anything comparable at resorts in the Rockies.
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@skiandgolfnut, Sound great, i'll take a look. Cheers
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http://youtube.com/v/scOl-KYqZvk
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead

Wald am Arlberg en Drone from Yvideo
https://vimeo.com/259663023
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Official Weather

A north to north-easterly current, which will increasingly become colder, will determine the weather until Wednesday. It will bring further low-stratus and potential weak snowfalls. Sunny spells will be rare, the best chances for sunshine will be in the high mountain regions. Brighter weather will approach on Thursday, the peak of the current late winter cold wave will be overcome by then. However, a longer period of bright weather is not expected, as a trough will cross our regions on Friday afternoon. Changeable conditions with a mix of sunshine and clouds are expected at the weekend. Besides, the late winter cold temperatures will continue
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@stanton, Staying nice and cold until we arrive next Thursday for Easter weekend!
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@Markymark29, the guys at Glide and Slide stay here in Stuben https://www.arlberg-stuben.at/

You should check prices at Hubertushof though, especially if you factor in they often include a lift pass in their "package" prices .... Worked out cheaper than chalet holidays for us last time I compared, and bonus spa which everyone enjoyed for Apres ski or sometimes a nice alternative in bad weather (rain!!)
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@kitenski, will check it out, prefer smaller places though tbph. We have a season pass too.
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@Markymark29, ah yes forgot about that, try the place G&S stay at then!! Think they've been going back there for many a year...
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Arriving Thur lunchtime for a long weekend, looks like we will have great conditions. Where is it best to head for a couple of hours’ skiing in the afternoon - should be on the lifts by 2pm. Is Rendl good in the afternoon, or better to head up Gampen or Galzig?

And can anyone suggest somewhere good to watch Holland v England football on Friday night?
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At this time of year, you could probably take your pick. If I am on-piste, I usually go for Kapall / Schöngraben or Rendl. The former is usually pretty quiet, though the bottom half of the Schöngraben piste does crunch up quickly as the sun goes off it.

You will have more variety over at Rendl and it will be over in the sun. There were adverts saying Rendlbahn will staying open late and there will be a BBQ on some night. Not sure of the details, for i never back to Rendl after it started.

My favourite way of skiing out the day is however to head over to Bachseite, though this year you need to cut out before Steissbachtal - or ignore the closure signs. That would be silly at the best of times, but especially now.
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@MontyP, I would imagine Cuba will have it on or Jules.

As for afternoon slightly depends where you want to end up.

It’s easier for example to get to KKs and Moose from Gampen/Galzig.

You’d need to really straight line it down from Rendl and hit some sort of ramp (but a big ramp and like really fast) or else walk up up or get bus.
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@MontyP, best to ski in the afternoon would be from the lift closest to your accommodation in all honesty!!
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nozawaonsen wrote:
@MontyP, I would imagine Cuba will have it on or Jules.

As for afternoon slightly depends where you want to end up.

It’s easier for example to get to KKs and Moose from Gampen/Galzig.

You’d need to really straight line it down from Rendl and hit some sort of ramp (but a big ramp and like really fast) or else walk up up or get bus.


That would be some ramp you are suggesting! Perhaps something like:

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@ulmerhutte, precisely. I think if you put that at the bottom of the steep section coming into Bifang Alm, angled it right, maybe iced it up a bit. Well surely you’d sail over the valley and land nearly on a table outside the Mooserwirt! I’ll work up some calculations on the back of a beer mat this evening.
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Mountain Bars.

Fyi.. They make a decision in coming days many are thinking of now closing 1 week earlier on Easter Saturday.
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stanton wrote:
Mountain Bars.

Fyi.. They make a decision in coming days many are thinking of now closing 1 week earlier on Easter Saturday.


Do you know the closing date for the Heustadtl and Gunar in the Murmell this year ? I'll be in St Anton on Easter Saturday for a week.
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@jw83113, I'd have thought they'll all be open until at least 15th April, why wouldn't they be? Ignore him, they'll be open. wink
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Markymark29 wrote:
@jw83113, I'd have thought they'll all be open until at least 15th April, why wouldn't they be? Ignore him, they'll be open. wink


Ok thanks, I was there last year same time and saw Gunar on his last night, and the Heustadtl was only open on Friday/Saturday, however the snow was not as good as this year so seems surprising if they shutdown early. There was just a sad strip of snow in the middle of green fields by the Mooserwirt by the end of the 1st week of April last year.
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@jw83113, No problems this year with the snow, i'm heading out next Thursday for long Easter weekend and i'm looking forward to long ski days and looking at forecast potentially some fresh snow too. Might even sample a couple of biers! Enjoy it, don't know about Gunar but he's in Murrmel. Never been to Heustadl, always sounds a tad cheesy as we ski past, always busy though, nice terrace - prefer Griabli.
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Hi @Markymark29, managed to wangle a few days away and will be there from next Wednesday if you fancy skiing around a bit.
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@Kelskii, Be good, Dave of the Marmottes is there too I believe. We arrive mid/ late afternoon Thursday.
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@Markymark29, excellent, bit of a posse building up. Will be there first thing on Wednesday. Reckon Dave's Marmot friends may still be hibernating.
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@jw83113, gunar playing murmel. He’s recovering from chemotherapy so be prepared for a shock. Looks pretty ill. He has a girl playing at intervals for him and she’s really good too.
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boabski wrote:
@jw83113, gunar playing murmel. He’s recovering from chemotherapy so be prepared for a shock. Looks pretty ill. He has a girl playing at intervals for him and she’s really good too.


Yeah I saw the pictures of him on the Murmell website, and realized he had been ill, its very sad, hope he makes a full recovery. I've been seeing him there since my first visit to St Anton in 1990, I think that was his second season there. Now I go skiing with my son and he likes to listen to him too. He's one of the St Anton legends along with DJ Gerhard and the angry Austrialian woman who runs the Underground. Just looking forward to some great ski conditions now Happy
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Quote:

DJ Gerhard and the angry Austrialian woman who runs the Underground

@jw83113, Laughing MW not same anymore is it without him? Joan at UG proper angry eh - last time I was in there 2-3 years ago, had to cancel a table we'd booked for dinner a couple of days before we were due to go, might have been advisable to just go in hindsight! Laughing
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Markymark29 wrote:
Quote:

DJ Gerhard and the angry Austrialian woman who runs the Underground

@jw83113, Laughing MW not same anymore is it without him? Joan at UG proper angry eh - last time I was in there 2-3 years ago, had to cancel a table we'd booked for dinner a couple of days before we were due to go, might have been advisable to just go in hindsight! Laughing


Is Gerhard not at the MW this year ? Last year he was there but not everyday, there was a younger guy some days.
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Markymark29 wrote:
Quote:

DJ Gerhard and the angry Austrialian woman who runs the Underground

@jw83113, Laughing MW not same anymore is it without him? Joan at UG proper angry eh - last time I was in there 2-3 years ago, had to cancel a table we'd booked for dinner a couple of days before we were due to go, might have been advisable to just go in hindsight! Laughing


Was in the Underground in January and Joan still sits at the same table shuffling paper. I have a friend who was barred from the original Underground years ago and he's still barred - she never forgets!
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