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The Arlberg Snow Report 2017/2018 (Last Week for lifts Sat 21st der weiŖe rausch )

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@munich_irish, Good points. I have a love/hate relationship I think. I love the terrain and the snow favoured location. Hate the piste crowds/pinch points who would in general be better served by other resorts. Now like mm29 says most of the time the latter doesn't bother me, I know enough to make respectable horde avoiding decisiosn.

But I've no doubt that for local businesses more is better, more "freeride image" = more aspiring punters attracted, more luxury 5*= more $from the same asset, more marketing of dubious "legends" = more punters= more $, more punters = more F&B spend etc etc. Sustainability or keeping what is special about the place seems to be a natural casualty.

Personally I think that anyone who wants a ski factory like the 3V or Paradiski, the Arlberg ain't it, whatever the stats say. Maybe it's closer to a Verbier 4V. I just fear it may be heading in a similar direction in price too.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It would be interesting to know by how much the number of beds in St Anton has increased in the last few years. There certainly seem to be more hotels, but IĎm not sure if that has translated to a substantial increase in the number of guests staying in resort or not.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Many more people especially apprehensive beginners, intermediates etc are going to the Top of Trittkopf.

The reason is and old illusion.

The Old Trittkopf Seilbahn climbed very steeply & gave the impression of expert steep slopes of the the Top (which some are) this deterrred alot of the beginners & intermediates.

The New Gondola climbs (vertical) at half or less the angle so the descent gradient does not look very difficult .......

But it is all the same hence the carnage on the upper slopes
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It's interesting the number of posters repeatedly dismissing EK, Paradiski etc as "ski factories". I assume die hard Arlberg heads who haven't been to France in donkeys years. As someone who regularly skis both St Anton and France, I can assure you many of these areas absolutely match Arlberg in terms of terrain, snow quality and reliability, diversity and challenge of pistes and ski routes (aka naturide runs), off piste and backcountry routes. They have some advantages including being very well connected, easy to move around very fast, arguably easier accessible backcountry (in case of EK). How this makes them "ski factories " is not clear
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@peanuthead, ^^ Better snow record in Arlberg/ Vorarlberg and far superior lift served freeride terrain, French resorts over-pisted and multiple greens and motorway blues ime at EK, 3V, PdS etc. Been to all you describe over many years and Arlberg they are not. Add into that poor restaurant service, basic food unless you pay a fortune, dirty toilets, surly staff in mountain huts, mediocre apres ski, lack of recent infrastructure investment (eg EK) and log-jammed access via funnelled roads into Tarentaise and that's why with respect most people on here I suggest have moved over to Austria rather than French resorts......oh and you don't need to pay road tolls to get there, and use Geneva airport. A few reasons there.
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@peanuthead, Nope been to France plenty and go to VT every year. But there's no doubting thay they have a lot more big appt blocks and cruisey blue motorways than the Arlberg. That's not to say there isn't challenging skiing of course there is. But Avoriaz ain't Stuben etc.

Blue run cruisers looking for the space to cruise and lift infrastructure to support their ambitions are better served in PdS I'd suggest.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Markymark29, much as I love the EK you are probably right. Was chatting to a French guy at my hotel about why he comes the Arlberg and not to the French resorts. He pretty much gave your list of reasons! Shame. I have not been back to Val D since my son was born in 2001. Will definitely try it again but have been warned.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Markymark29, I don't disagree with your post from line 6 or so down. I don't think there is much in it from a snow record point of view but arguably better snow preservation in EK due to altitude and more N facing. You simply can't ski off piste in Arlberg in November. Superior free ride terrain is obviously highly subjective. I agree Arlberg is special but so is the Haute Tarantaise (beyond any shadow of doubt). If you seriously believe Arlberg is "far" superior to EK you simply have not skied what's on offer there.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, have not been to Avoriaz or PDS, no idea what that is like
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Quote:

If you seriously believe Arlberg is "far" superior to EK you simply have not skied what's on offer there.

@peanuthead, Many times, sorry EK is not what it was imo, its a great ski area but suffers due to lack of investment, has poorer snow stats re snowfall per season, and really poor access - in my opinion Arlberg is far better on many levels than any of the following European ski regions i've skied at least 5 weeks each over last 30 years - Arlberg at 10/10 (I seriously can't fault it), EK 8/10, 4 Vallees 8.5/10, 3V 7/10, Chamonix/ Argentiere 8/10, PdS 5/10, Zermatt 7/10, Ischgl 7/10, La Plagne 5/10, Zermatt 6.5/10. I've skied EK at least 25 weeks and haven't been back for a few years. I don't ski in November but suggest you look at the stats for November last 2-3 seasons in Arlberg (you may find much better than EK), nor ski motorways by choice so France is not for me afraid anymore, it's fallen behind and is living in the past (best time was Alberville early 1990's era when they over-invested and are still paying the price due to lack of investment).....sorry but I guess we'll agree to disagree.
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It's like Tignes. Big blocks of appartments and a designed in the 70s vibe.

So Tignes has a glacier wahoo. I'm not saying the Arlberg is better than French places I'm saying the opposite that for many many piste based 1 week a year holiday makers the French ski factories provide more that meets their skiing needs - lots of mileage on not too challenging pistes with a good lift system.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
...of course other Austrian resorts can provide that but with more charming villages and a bit of flair and hospitality.....
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@Markymark29, as you know I love the Arlberg but you are being far too generalistic about the French resorts IMHO. There are places slightly off the main tourist areas with much better service than the big self service tourist areas. Itís all about finding those places. Iíve had great lunches, cheap decent sandwich and coffee and lovely restaurants in EK and 3V.

Iíve also had amazing off piste descents on 3V that rival the Arlberg inc a fantastic mountain hut for lunch that no punter would ever find.

I think if Iíd have got same priced flights to Munich as I got to Geneva Iíd be back in Stuben but I got a hugely cheaper deal to 3V and I also know where to lunch and ski in that area Smile

But letís be honest any day on snow is better than a day at work and pr@ck measuring one resort over another is a pretty meaningless discussion IMHO.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@kitenski, I wouldnít call it pr@ck measuring merely ranking them, snow record, Freeride quality, lift system, lack of motorways and resort accessibility are my main criteria. If 3V is your thing thatís fine obvs.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@kitenski, I don't do gnarly, but I can certainly endorse this
Quote:

Iíve had great lunches, cheap decent sandwich and coffee and lovely restaurants in EK and 3V
But the value for money is, honestly, not as consistent as in Italy. (I'm not that wild about Austrian food - or music! Skullie - which is one of the reasons I prefer Italy.)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Hurtle, donít go bringing Italy into this!! Best value drinks and food I agree! Think I paid 3 euro for a glass of Prosecco in resort!!

@Markymark29, just donít see any point in comparing resorts, so many factors change daily as to how ďgoodĒ A is over B
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@kitenski,
Quote:

donít go bringing Italy into this!!
Sorry!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
[quote="Markymark29"]
Quote:

it's fallen behind and is living in the past (best time was Alberville early 1990's era when they over-invested and are still paying the price due to lack of investment).....sorry but I guess we'll agree to disagree.


you can discuss what is the best ski area, has best off-piste, etcetera, that is subjective and everybody has different tastes. However you cannot say that French ski resorts (especially EK and 3V) are behind in infrastructure compared to Arlberg. If you'd said Ischgl, I'd maybe agree, but Arlberg is waaay behind Ischgl too and certainly not better than the French ones I named:-)
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@bart_bdv, in what way is Arlberg behind Ischgl infrastructure wise?
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I agree with all the benefits of arlberg pointed out above

But there are some striking negatives imo

- Pistes in anton itself are quite poor, zurs they're superb, but anton is not a good piste destination
- Infrastructure is quite poor - the comparison with ischgl is well made - streets ahead
- Powder competition very high in anton due to well developed off piste culture, I'm convinced you're best off hitting resorts the average english speaker has never heard of on powder days

Do agree the off piste is superb though, and it does seem to get hit with snow very regularly
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I actually agree with the above. The Arlberg is a crappy place. Donít bother with it. You will have a much better time, on better infrastructure, deeper powder, less crowded slopes at Ischgl and France. Book there next year...
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Arlberg is Tradition.

Home of Modern Skiing

Most major resorts in the US were founded by families from der Arlberg

Less lifts , Less grooming, lets keep it that way


http://youtube.com/v/KOH1Mvy0nfA
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@ulmerhutte, wink I've just cancelled all my planned trips next season to Arlberg and am going to Meribel, Risoul and La Rosiere next season, starting in November. I'll take my mountainbike too just in case.
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@Markymark29, Very Happy
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ulmerhutte wrote:
I actually agree with the above. The Arlberg is a crappy place. Donít bother with it. You will have a much better time, on better infrastructure, deeper powder, less crowded slopes at Ischgl and France. Book there next year...


You're turning it around here. Nobody said that the Arlberg is a crappy place, it was rather that some people stated here that resorts in France are crap, which is also not true.

And it is not because Ischgl has better infrastructure that this is necessarily a good thing. Indeed it attracts crowds who want modern lifts, and the lifts have such a great capacity that pistes are overcrowded. Personally I prefer slow lifts and empty slopes over the opposit:-)


Of course Arlberg is a great place to ski, especially if you know it well to avoid the crowds. I very well understand that people love it and prefer it over other resorts (which is in part subjective anyway)
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@bart_bdv, By the way please take me off your list if you think I said French resorts were "crap" your word not mine.......the places I mentioned in France are great if you like fast carving motorway skiing, don't mind inferior (to Austria) service and poor road/ rail access, a less reliable snow record, and in my experience recent under-investment in lifts infrastructure (compared with Arlberg) post Alberville Olympics. Its all subjective, yes La Grave and Chamonix etc offer great freeride terrain but they aren't huge ski circuses - I personally don't want to see Arlberg become one, and it potentially appears to be getting that tag.

I'd be perfectly happy to ski in EK, 3V, PdS etc if that's what I was after but i'm personally not, Ischgl is a great place, I've skied there, but Arlberg it is not.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Well I agree I may have exaggerated a bit, when I wrote that French resort are crap in our opinion Happy

If we would all like the same resort, it wouldn't be much fun neither...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@bart_bdv, the Arlberg has seen a huge amount of investment in new infrastructure over the last few years, so there really are only a few old slow lifts left which really cause a problem (and almost no drag lifts). On the St. Anton side the only 'slow' lift that really bothers me is the 3 man Schindler chair. OTOH if they put a modern six man chair in there it would just make the Schindler area more crowded. The Valuga gondola is also a bit of a problem. Other than that... not much springs to mind.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Steilhang, Agreed, the thought of new fast 6/8 person chair/ gondola up Schindler gives me the jitters thinking about all the additional traffic going down to Rauz. T Bars are a great thing, they stay open in all weathers.

One thing that does wind me up though, and I did see it more this season than ever - part filled lifts at Schindler, Gampen/ Kapall and Tanzboden at peak times. I know it maybe only makes 1-2 minutes overall difference but it does annoy me when the liftys are stood there watching. Also saw large groups/ families last weekend all hanging back to all get in gondolas together....Albona 2 and Galzigbahn - just get on with it.... aargh rolling eyes
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tricky bit is that as a resort increases the hotel spaces then that puts pressure on lifts, improve the capacity and speed of lifts and that puts pressure on pistes, increase the pistes and that puts pressure on off piste. And improving parts in one place and not others creates pinch points. If the overall number of guests hasnít changed dramatically then in time whatever changes you make to the system should have limited impact as the overall input hasnít changed. If however you have more people then you are either going to have more people in the lift queues or more people on the pistes (or more in the bars).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Arlberg (St Anton)

No more NEW LIFTS (only replacements & make them T Bars to reduce prices).

Do NOT build anymore (Malfontal).

Stop Grooming ..

Kandahar & Fang Gampberg
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
KK Closing Party This Saturday
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@stanton, Go easy, no drinking and driving that taxi.
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@Markymark29,
Quote:
Also saw large groups/ families last weekend all hanging back to all get in gondolas together
But how can Phoebe and Felicity discuss each others job importance and who is doing what to which Vice President if they are not sitting in the same chair Puzzled
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stanton wrote:
KK Closing Party This Saturday


I'm going out there this Saturday to St Anton, should arrive in time to see the last of the pissteheads nick each others skis! Toofy Grin

Just booked a late ski week, hopefully Strolz's sale will still be running (Mrs Skimastaaah needs some new Moncler kit!)

Snow looks wonderful. snowHead
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peanuthead wrote:
I don't think there is much in it from a snow record point of view but arguably better snow preservation in EK due to altitude and more N facing. You simply can't ski off piste in Arlberg in November.


It's pretty indisputable that the Arlberg is in a snowier part of the Alps, and on average gets more snow. You also certainly can ski offpiste there in November - I do every October and November.

I've never skied in the EK so no comments there, but I think this whole discussion has got sidetracked: it actually started from people saying the Arlberg is NOT a good choice for the typical holiday skier.
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Today DJ TiŽsto in ZŁrs.
Must admit I'm getting worried about their marketing-strategy....Talking about an identity-crisis..... Puzzled
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@clarky999, I have skied EK many times over 30 odd years skiing staying at least half a dozen times in both Val and Tignes. Undoubtedly there is magnificent world class skiing both on piste and off it, however, the lift infra-structure has way too many bottlenecks, far too many skiers are drawn to the resorts just by reputation, an excessive number of "seasonnaires" on the razz, silly prices for basics on the mountain (5 Euros for a small bottle of water), restaurant prices fishing for Oligarchs (last paid nearly 80 Euros at the Edelwiess restaurant in Le Fornet for lunch for two with shared starter, burgers, and a cheapy Savoyarde red wine), indifferent service from ill-mannered staff, ..... I could go on.....


Usually I stay in Lech, next week I'm in St Manton. I choose Austria (and Italy) for a better ski experience, and better value for money.

BTW........ Warth is officially the snowiest place in the Alps....... averages around 12-13 metres per year.
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Anyone mentioning (except this ref)

3V
EK
PdS

In Arlberg Reports should be shot !!

If you like it Carpet RunWays then got back there and stay Very Happy
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skimastaaah wrote:
@clarky999, the lift infra-structure has way too many bottlenecks, far too many skiers are drawn to the resorts just by reputation, an excessive number of "seasonnaires" on the razz, silly prices for basics on the mountain.


To be fair, you could say exactly same thing about St Anton!!
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