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Query re Alrberg off-piste routes

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

I am about to book 6 days skiing off-piste with a ski guide from pistetopowder.com in late February. I am obviously for reasonably good skiing weather for the 6 days. My main interest is to go off-piste as much as possible(roughly 1 day per arlberg ski resort), and I would like to do the more important, more famous, more scenic routes first, at least up to a point. Given that I haven't done much offpiste since my teenage years, I obviously am not interested in difficult, dangerous off-piste routes such as the Valluga-Zuers off-piste route. Anyone able to tell me which offpiste routes I should ask my guide to lead me on in the following ski-resorts?:- Lech/Zuers/Warth-Schroecken/St Cristoph/Stuben am Arlberg/ St Anton/Sonnenkopf. I also read a past post on this forum about illegally skiing on the top of the Fllexenpass from Zuers to Alpe Rauz, and am wondering how easy it is to do. Thanks!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
You could mention this request to Piste-to-Powder when booking but the guides meet early each day to decide routes based upon avalanche risk, snow conditions, weather etc so, best leave the decision to them. I've never skied the Zuers - Alpe Rauz route, it's best avoided if you don't know exactly where you're going. Piste-to-Powder won't take you there. Warth is a long way from St Anton and I've never been taken there by a Piste-to-Powder guide.
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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?
Your guide knows best (that's why you hired them!). So I agree with Kelskii - let them make the decisions where to ski. I'm sure you would rather get first tracks in pristine powder than ski a tracked out "more famous" route.
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Think again.
This season is not for taking risks (And not for overplanning, overambitiousness and overthinking holidays)
Even some important connecting pistes are closed due to avalanche danger, since Christmas that is.....
Currently St.Anton is switched off from the world. Not reachable by train nor car. And it looks this might last for some time.
Wait till you speak to your guide. Don't be disappointed if he's telling you nothing is going to happen....
The route Zürs-Alpe Rauz is not very interesting skiing-wise. Only for those who have seen everything around the Arlberg. Not for you. You'll need some 10 years.
Off piste in Warth from St.Anton? Only feasible if you take taxi to Lech first, not via the ski-connection from St.Anton.
Oh, and the groomed pistes around the Arlberg need some time too. Some.....
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I should perhaps have mentioned a few details. I have been skiing 1 or 2 weeks every year (except one) in the Arlberg since the age of 13. I have always been based in Lech, and pistetopowder, thankfully, has an option where one pays 30 euros extra a day and they will start in the Arlberg ski-region of your choice, so they can start in Lech, if I want to. Naturally, the Arlberg has different weather-regions, so that Lech/Zuers and the other side of St Anton might have excellent sunny conditions, but in Stuben and St Christoph it might be snowing - so, I would allow the guide to choose a different place, or different off-piste routes in the same region, if there is better weather elsewhere, or avalanche danger in certain parts.

The idea behind all this was to ski a few off-piste routes in a different one of the Arlberg ski-regions each day so that I would be able to ski off-piste on my own in future. Naturally, I would, in future, still want to hire a private ski-guide for 1 day every ski-trip so that I could eventually do the Valluga-Zuers run or some other difficult off-piste route. This year, I will ask the guide to choose the easier routes. The idea is to get a rough overview of the real off-piste routes, I don't want to just go a little off-piste and then back on the piste. Anyway, I have done and redone all the Arlberg pistes, including the Sonnenkopf, so many times, I am sick and tired of the pistes.

I could, of course, choose other ski-schools in Lech, but they have a worse reputation and are not value for money. I do not, for example, consider 1 day's skiing with a private ski-instructors to be just 4 hours. Pistetopowder, at least, allows 6.75 hours, roughly.

I have chosen late February/early March to ski in the Arlberg. I have looked at the ski-weather-charts going back to 2009 for Lech, and that period had, at most, 2 days filled with snow, usually just 1 or 0. Now, of course, anything is possible, but I always avoid January as it is too snowy.
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Quote:
The idea behind all this was to ski a few off-piste routes in a different one of the Arlberg ski-regions each day so that I would be able to ski off-piste on my own in future.


Perhaps its just the way you phrased it but that sounds a little concerning.
1. You might not want to ski off piste alone (there is a debate to be had but best practice is currently to go with a partner)
2. Just because your guide takes you somewhere that does absolutely not mean it is safe for you to ski in future years.

It sounds like an off-piste course to give you the knowledge combined with some guide books may be a better progression?
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I have skied off-piste in the past. I did a lot of it during my teenage-years, admittedly as part of a ski-group. Granted, I played safe, for foolish reasons, and only occasionally skiied off-piste from then on(alone), but I am quite capable.

The fact is that I loathe going in groups.If going in a group, one has to ensure similiar levels of ability etc., or the skiing becomes a pure hell. Going on one's own means one can rest when one wants to, choose exactly where to ski etc.My main reason for choosing a private ski-guide is that he can show me some basic off-piste routes in each ski-area, so that I can do them again in future years.

Also, currently, the only person I know able to ski at my level is away in Singapore and unavailable until 2021 or so.

Granted, I know, from past experience, that really good ski-teachers can take one into off-piste routes where an amateur should not go. I once went with a really tough ski-teacher who led his ski-group routinely into off-piste routes that had avalanche-danger 4 and 5 markers. However, I always play safe when on my own, only skiing way off-piste during sunny weather, and sometimes preferring to ski only when I see other skiers doing the same route.At the moment, I will only be asking the ski-guide to do the easier routes, preferably with lots of scenery.

Anyway, back to the original question:- can anyone tell me the names of the off-piste routes in the Arlberg that are of the most interest, especially as regards scenery etc.
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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!
@CromCruach,
sorry but you really are very very naive.
"only skiing way off piste during sunny weather" is about silliest thing I have ever heard. You are a danger to yourself and others.
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"sometimes preferring to ski only when I see other skiers doing the same route"

Is also not very sensible.
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@CromCruach, Are you for Real?

" I also read a past post on this forum about illegally skiing on the top of the Fllexenpass from Zuers to Alpe Rauz, and am wondering how easy it is to do"
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This is being somewhat judgmental. Also, even ski-guides can make mistakes and die during avalanches. Hmm, maybe it's an american thing. I found out some time ago, that american resorts have ski-police whose main job is to prevent anyone going off-piste in case anyone gets an accident and sues. Skiing with someone else should also, surely, be worse as two people are more likely to start a slide than just 1. Plus, I would not generally go down off-piste on untouched snow, I prefer to see the tracks of other skiers first. Besides, having had my previous ski-teachers arbitrarily skiing into avalanche-danger-listed off-piste zones, it is clear that some of the concerns re off-piste are way overblown. Well, I may even be able to persuade one other person to ski off-piste with me anyway next year, and this year I have the ski-teacher around, along with supplied off-piste gadgets-equipment.
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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.
@CromCruach,

1. I think you should have exactly this conversation with the guide as they will have better answers/ideas than anyone here
2. You should consider doing an avalanche course too as it sounds like you don't understand how to judge the risk, especially where you talk about following tracks and sunny weather. I can assure you that, even if it appeared arbitrary, your previous ski instructors will have certainly been making considered judgements and calculating risks before taking clients anywhere near avalanche terrain.
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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
Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
me thinks someone is taking the wee wee ....
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
limegreen1 wrote:
Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
me thinks someone is taking the wee wee ....


Yes, I think he is. Off-piste cannot possibly be that dangerous. Yes, I know, I read about idiot-beginners who ski into trees etc., but if one is careful(skiing fully off-piste in good weather only) and not a speed-freak, one has a 99.9999% chance of survival(c.100 (?) annual Alpine deaths among millions skiing?).On the slopes, I find that it is the beginners who are most likely to cause accidents etc.

Ah well, the private ski-teacher issue might turn out badly. There might be 6 days of snow(unlikely), or the guide might find my off-piste technique to be so bad that he refuses to take me on any decent off-piste route. I guess I will try the open-group 5-day offer on the beginner, maybe intermediate stage, and see how it goes. If there is enough fun, not just training but actual skiing of the well-known off-piste routes, I could hire a private ski-instructor for a day or two in subsequent years, and then do my own off-piste skiing for the rest of the time, if possible with someone else(or following total strangers!), or whatever.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@CromCruach, you are a credible candidate for the Darwin Awards.

I could recommend a great guide but, if you told him what you've typed above, he would probably break your legs and invite you to attend beginner lessons once the bones have repaired...

There have been some horrific events in St Anton in recent years, even under expert leadership. The thought of someone like you "cruising around" above, behind or anywhere near me is chilling.

Its one of those moments when I wish Data Protection Regulations didn't exist and we could whistleblow your name to the resort's schools and guides.

As @limegreen1 suggests, I do hope you're on a wind-up mission. Or perhaps your enquiry here is because PistetoPowder have told you where you can shove it!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
limegreen1 wrote:
Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
me thinks someone is taking the wee wee ....


it is not exactly funny is it?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@CromCruach Have fun and dont die.
Lot of folks here want to tell you what to do and you just asked simple question! Smile
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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?
Why don't you ask the guide these questions. Ask him where you could go back on your own and to bring you there. That's what you're paying him for. And he'll know a lot better than folks on this forum
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kedsky wrote:
@CromCruach Have fun and dont die.
Lot of folks here want to tell you what to do and you just asked simple question! Smile
Thanks for the support!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Like I said above, I've changed my mind. I will start with the cheaper 5-day open-group beginner(or intermediate?) off-piste ski course, and see if it's any good. I guess I will, in future years, try hiring a private ski-instructor for a day or two to show me the standard off-piste routes in the various Arlberg resorts that I haven't done yet, and then ski off-piste the rest of the week. Naturally, I won't do any off-piste that is difficult until I'm sure I can handle it easily. Some off-piste is, after all, as easily negotiable as a schuss-run, depending on gradient and snow conditions. It all depends on where/when etc. one goes. I was not exactly planning to ski off-piste through very deep snow below a snow-shelf overhang and skiing down as vertically as one sees on some ski-commercials.
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CromCruach wrote:
(or following total strangers!).


The guide we ski-ed with last week stopped several times to wave past single skiers who were following us. He gave several reasons - we were paying for his guidance so others shouldn't get it for free was one, but he was more concerned with safety - if you follow someone else (or their tracks) you will be above them which puts them at risk if you were to trigger an avalanche. The risk would be mitigated if the following skier is knowledgeable and properly equipped, but that can't be easily seen on mountain.

This is why your query caused the reaction it did. People do get killed by other's mistakes.

Out of interest CromCruach, do you carry beacon, shovel and probe, and know how to use them?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@CromCruach, you could also try posting on the TGR forum.

https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/

They're really helpful and will give you the advice you need to add to that you've received here.
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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!
@Kelskii, Twisted Evil
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@sproggski, only trying to be helpful. Blush
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Admittedly, I haven't a clue how to use the equipment, which is why I am choosing the open group option to get minimal instruction. On past occasions, I went down fairly easy off-piste routes, either ones where there was zero chance of lots of snow cascading around/behind me or where I knew the path already, having already done it once in a ski-group(Lech ski-school) years before.My brother's solution was to ski in April because a) the snow off-piste was generally so hard-packed, avalanche was somewhat unlikely and b) because he could then ski in Jeans etc.

Thanks for the tip, Kelskii,I'll check it out. I l find these days that the more one googles online(randomly or otherwise), the less likely one is to make terrible mistakes in the long run.

Re following others:- I was always careful never to follow a ski-teacher - since they all wore very noticeable uniforms, this wasn't too difficult. But I can see that following others is very bad etiquette while off-piste, and it has a point. Well, I hope the 5 days open day works out - another thread on this forum pointed out a caveat, that open group policies meant that delays were common as if people forgot their safety equipment home, everyone would have to wait, and people would have to be switched to other groups due to being too good or too bad in ability compared to the rest of the group. I was amused at the reported saying that one should, generally, demote the men to a lower ski-group 1 level less than they think is suited for them, and that the women should be promoted to a higher ski-group 1 level more than they think is right for them.Often true.
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Hey @CromCruach, Can you be sure to tell us exactly when you will be joining that piste to powder group?
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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.
This thread is now gaining quality! Maybe a bit leftfield, but I can't help being reminded of several scenes from the Borat Movie!
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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
I'm now fairly sure we're all being trolled! Well played @CromCruach!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
CromCruach wrote:
This is being somewhat judgmental. Also, even ski-guides can make mistakes and die during avalanches. Hmm, maybe it's an american thing. I found out some time ago, that american resorts have ski-police whose main job is to prevent anyone going off-piste in case anyone gets an accident and sues. Skiing with someone else should also, surely, be worse as two people are more likely to start a slide than just 1. Plus, I would not generally go down off-piste on untouched snow, I prefer to see the tracks of other skiers first. Besides, having had my previous ski-teachers arbitrarily skiing into avalanche-danger-listed off-piste zones, it is clear that some of the concerns re off-piste are way overblown. Well, I may even be able to persuade one other person to ski off-piste with me anyway next year, and this year I have the ski-teacher around, along with supplied off-piste gadgets-equipment.


If you aren't trolling I really don't understand what you are saying about American ski police - that sounds like utter bollox. (& yes I have skied a lot in N America).

You don't seem to have a good grasp on Avy mechanics, US state and federal law or equipment.

If you are for real I suggest you buy and read Bruce Tremper- Staying alive in avalanche terrain as a starting point.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mind you I'm pretty sure you're trolling the Cheney skis in jeans bit was just too perfect.

Lesson in trolling don't crash the punchline, let it build.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dave of the Marmottes, from what I hear, The Donald skis in jeans too.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Perhaps we should all have counter-trolled in the manner of Nigerian scam baiters , playing it straighter and straighter until we reached true absurdity.
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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?
Is unbelievable,as they say a little knowledge is dangerous its seems our correspondent has read a bit about this and that and formed an opinion believing what he wants to hear.Like Dave of the Marmottes, I have done considerable amount of skiing in the USA especially Utah,and Colorado and have American friends who are instructors and a ski patroller, They are almost paronoric about avalanches and with good reason, also lots of US resorts have opened up extreme terrain in resort that in Europe that would not be allowed.so they are not killjoys for the sake of it
The ski police enforce the law in slow skiing areas etc and stop people going off piste for good reason not to stop suiing but to stop putting others in danger who have to rescue people from dangerous situations.
Get yourself on an off piste course, also the comment on April being safe ,it is as long as the temperature is ok and the previous months snow has stabilisied if not wet snow avalanches regularly occur, people regularly skiing/boarding of piste in warm conditions do.say after midday on a west or south facing slope shows a serious lack of mountain judgement Its the height of stupidity to be caught in wet snow slide
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Kelskii wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, from what I hear, The Donald skis in jeans too.


Let me assure you there is no problem with his skiing whatsoever. It's great, it's better than great. Everyone says what a great job he is doing skiing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
World’s worst troll? I no longer even understand what he’s talking about.
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The irony was that I thought I was being trolled by , presumably, a bunch of ski-teachers/guides thoroughly annoyed at someone not willing to pay for the privilege of going off-piste(still think so!). My comment re my brother was not a gimmick, either. The guy previously trained as a ski-instructor near Aviemore, so I don't think he was taking any risks, what with the remaining snow in April being packed hard and no recent snowfall in Cervinia at the time. I guess it's a question of believing a real person or some anonymous guy online....

Anyway, I'm doing this 5-day course as others in real life seem to have a nervous breakdown if they so much as read about 1 Alpine ski-accident in the newspapers. After that, I'll have enough experience to do more off-piste skiing than before. And, anyway, in future years, I will likely have someone with me.Or not as the case may be....

Hmm, the thing that upsets me most in this thread is being considered as funny as the appallingly unfunny Sacha Baron-Cohen(aka Borat)..... Embarassed Confused
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As you are still pretending to be for real - do yourself a favour buy and read an Avy book and then come back to debate. You are are presenting as so naive it is pointless you trying to "learn routes" to be safe.

Or alternatively do what the feck you want - you might stay lucky a long time, just try not to take anyone else out with you when it does happen.

You are beyond being a credible poster, the only reason I'm still in this thread is so the next clueless joe jackson who comes along knows his ideas are flawed.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Don't chicken the Valluga.

Only the first ~100m is moderately steep, and most folk sideslip it.

After that, it's a decent ride to the bottom.
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Whitegold wrote:
Don't chicken the Valluga.

Only the first ~100m is moderately steep, and most folk sideslip it.

After that, it's a decent ride to the bottom.
I presume you don't mean the Valluga piste but the Valluga-Zuers off-piste route. I am aware how difficult the latter is judging from rumours and my having been up Vallugabahn 2 several times to have a look. I know one is forced to take a ski-guide with one in order to be allowed to ski, and wasn't planning to do it until some years later, once I've done the basic off-piste routes. I've already done the Hinterer Rendl and whatever the one to the "west" of the Steinmaehderbahn in Lech is called, and a few others here and there. However, those are the ones I did many years ago with the Schischule Lech, so I want to scout out as many new really off-piste routes as possible in future.So, I won't be doing any new off-piste without having had a guide show me the way first in previous years.Plus, the pistes seem to be getting easier and easier, these days, unfortunately. The Schindlerkar used to be a mogul-filled ski-route, years ago, and quite tough, for example, now it's much flatter.
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Titter. It’s either hilarious or tragic.
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