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St anton to Alpe Rauz piste

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Possibly looking to go to St Anton again soon having last been there in 2014. Has the new link to lech/zurs changed much e.g. Are the pistes busier etc? The run down to Alpe Rauz and on to Stuben used to be fab (was it formerly piste 17 and now marked as 100 on piste map?), worry is the link will make that run ridiculously crowded.

Any info etc appreciated
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Gets very busy at peak times, best to go early and avoided at peak times imo, or stay in the off-piste at the sides wink In fresh powder first up Schindler and down there it cant be bettered though.
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@Markymark29, They also usually carve out a fairly narrow piste down the side of the main piste, which is almost always completely empty! Can't be seen from the main piste so not many know it's there. Yes, with fresh pow, or a nice layer of firn on ice the off piste run down to Alpe Rauz is wonderful.
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The narrow piste down the side is just a short stretch, at least it was when we were there.
For piste-skiers, the new connection turns out to be a bit of a disaster.
Especially piste nr. 100 becomes a mogul field before 10.00 am during season. Same for the piste from Trittkopf to Zürs.
And queues at Flexenbahn, Madlochbahn (Zürs) and Rüfikopf (Lech) and at return at Trittkopf (Zürs) to St.Anton. And at Valfagehr...
And last season the central Steissbachvalley was closed due to 'gleitschneelawines', making a detour via Tanzboden necessary... Last season was a season horribilis for St.Anton. Snow was plentyful, but obviously too much actually. Madeye-Smiley
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@Langerzug, it's the bottom half, which is the narrower / more crowded bit, so worth knowing about.
We were in St.A over Easter this year. Didn't really have any problems with crowds down at Alpe Rauz in the direction of Zürs or in the direction of Albona.
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@Steilhang, Yep that narrow piste is a good tip, but dont tell anyone! wink
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@Steilhang, If you are you referring to the ski route 101 from the top of the Valfagehrbahn chair lift it does involve a hike/poling at the start, but has few skiers.
Piste 100 to Rauz is busier now but it is a wide benign piste, I didn't experience overcrowding on it last winter, Jan and Feb. Worse for overcrowding is the less benign 52 Khandahar/Galzig in the afternoons, though last season many skiers were on it diverted from the closed Steissbachtal valley run, but in a normal season it is still very busy mid afternoon on.
The continuation of 100 down to Stuben from Rauz is a quite lonely experience by comparison! At Rauz most peel off for either Valfagehrbahn or Flexenbahn. Good, means a quiet civilised lunch in Stuben!
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It's pretty crazy that they've made Stuben almost a no go area for ski through visitors by taking out the Albona II lift meaning any uplift from the village you have to do slow chair then dull run back to Rauz for the Albona gondi.

100 is IMV more of a shitshow than before. Too many mixed abilities from the racing billies to the nervous traversers. Granted it's even worse when you put them all down Kandahar due to the top secret confidential petty squabbling that closed Happy Valley but that doesn't mean that 100 isn't worse than it was pre Flexenbahn.
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@davidthornton Saying nr 100 is a wide benign piste is not accurate anymore.
Blue and wide as it is, since Flexenbahn, in season, it turns into a mogul field as early as 10.00 am. From top to bottom that is. Which is quite long actually.
Indeed it used to be a lovely gentle piste. Nowadays shitshow is an accurate description.
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It's fine if you stay at the side and keep moving ime... start traversing and faffing and its bad news, all the teenage hooners straight lining it out of control.....best is to keep off the sides in the powder (or crud) imv, or better still get out quick and fly down early.
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@kb36, I am afraid you have reopened a long running argument here. In my recent experiences the Flexenbahn has significantly improved the place, much better than the buses. However I have not been there some of the peak weeks when it does sound as if there have been a few too many people, consequently long queues and overcrowded pistes but that is hardly a new issue. The problems with the Steissbachtal last year did not help things. There are some who think the lift should never have been built and nothing will ever persuade them otherwise.

Whether bigger = better is open to question but the Arlberg remains one of the best places to ski in the alps.
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@davidthornton, no I'm not referring to the ski route. I'm referring to a piste which forks off to the right from the main piste down to Alpe Rauz about half way down. It's not signposted and not visible from the main piste. Quite narrow, relatively steep and almost always empty.
The ski route is nice as well.
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@munich_irish, Oh no, you've started that FB debate again Laughing
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You know it makes sense.
Crikey appears i lit a blue touch paper, regardless it has persuaded me to book elsewhere
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@kb36, why? It’s one run of 100’s in the area. Every resort has a rat-run and this is no big deal, like I said above it is busy for about 2 hours a day, after that it’s fine.
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Steilhang wrote:
@davidthornton, no I'm not referring to the ski route. I'm referring to a piste which forks off to the right from the main piste down to Alpe Rauz about half way down. It's not signposted and not visible from the main piste. Quite narrow, relatively steep and almost always empty.
The ski route is nice as well.


That run is not much wider than one groomer track - most times it looks like the groomer made one pass. It comes off the piste about 2/3 of the way down, where the piste does a hard left and then hard right turn. It comes back in at the bottom of the last steep pitch, where the piste flattens out for the run into Rauz. It can be be great, and it can also be a handful: sometimes full of death cookies.

The ski route mentioned above is Pfannenköpfe, run 101. It is on the skier’s left of the piste, and starts with a traverse/climb around the dam, just below the Valfragehrbahn unload. It can be a bit of fun, but the groomers sometimes play with people’s minds... they will do the top half, and stop part way down. I have watched people on the steeper, second half having an “interesting” time - and, once in, bailing out is not that easy. Yes, you can drop down to the piste, but if you can ski the steep, ungroomed sidewalls, you can probably ski the ungroomed Pfannenköpfe.

IMHO, the hardest part of 100 is the last steep pitch after about 10 - 11am. By that time, moguls of scraped snow have formed, separated by fields of hard, often blue, ice. The less experienced/capable try to find safety by heading towards those moguls, only to hit their uphill flanks too fast, causing them to either fall or spear off uncontrollably. Now fill that section with crowds and you can imagine why it is not much fun! Best avoided by going early or skiing the side piste.
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Re the original question I happened to ask it to the pensione owner where we stayed in Oberlech. She said no real difference to number of people in each destination area since incomers from St Anton to Lech were cancelled out by out goers from Lech to St Anton.
Seems that all the carnage and bottle necks occur en route. I certainly recognise some of the run descriptions above.
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@kb36, Absolutely no need for that but I guess a few less folk on the slopes of the Arlberg, which can only be good for the rest of us Smile
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@suec,
Your pension owner in Oberlech is wrong (or in commercial denial). (as locals don't know that much either, we -flatlanders- always seem to forget that)
Already traditionally (before the connection) Lechers didn't go to St.Anton, and that is still largely the case. Your pension owner possibly is only referring to the Lech-Oberlech section, which indeed is not (much) affected.
But in Zürs it is impossible not to see things have changed....
We spoke about it with our hotel owner (Lech) this summer, and also with other people last winter: In Lech it is common knowledge that the current situation in Zürs is untenable, and bad for business, and that the whole thing is badly planned.
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On the wider question - the main problem is the Weiss Ring. Being one way it rather influences traffic patterns once you get to Zuers. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a couple of new lifts Zug- Madloch and back up to Rufikopf from the Zuers side BUT they would be major investments.

Lech-Zuers were idiots to sign on to the whole Flexenbahn thing. You only have to blame their own lift companies but presumably there also had to be some sort of local commune "planning permission". No doubt everyone looked at the revenues and didn't talk to many ordinary punters. So they reap what they sow. Most punters of course lap up the whole Weiss Ring and Run of Fame bollux.

I can sort of believe that the Flexenbahn encourages Lech-ites to spread their wings more, certainly over as far as Stuben. Seemed a steady am throughput through the Rauz station.
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The new link, Flexenbahn, has no doubt increased skier traffic from St. Anton into Zurs/Lech, the biggest problem now is the bottleneck at the Madloch 2 seater, old and slow. I have been informed by locals that the terrain there makes construction of a higher capacity lift very difficult.
A basic problem is that the "Weiss Ring", now the "Run of Fame", is a clockwise route, so all skiers going over to Zurs/Lech have to follow that, consequently, old lifts such as Madloch (above Zurs) create a bottleneck, with no alternative routing. Perhaps the planners of the St Anton/Zurs should have considered the increase of the flow of skiers across the network of lifts and potential problem areas, obviously!
Given the situation now I don't think the link as it is works, previously getting the Postbus from St. Anton to Zurs was no worse, though the Zurs/Lech skibus scramble at Rauz was, and there are no new pistes.
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No, it is Madloch ánd Valfagehr/Trittkopf (piste nr 100). Actually all of the narrow axis Alpe Rauz-Zürs has become problematic. Because that is the main thing: Arlberg is an 'eight shaped' area, with the wider Lech and St.Anton areas at both ends, and the narrow Alpe Rauz-Zürs bottleneck in the middle.
It is simply not acceptable that a long wide blue piste turns into a mogul field early in the morning, and whilst Madloch can be solved (but difficult), I can't see Valfagehr being solved. A connecting path/piste from Arlenmähder is thinkable, but from memory this is an extremely avalanche prone corner.

In Lech it is rumoured that the Flexenbahn was a St.Anton-Zürs thing. Zürs is in decline for quite some years, and they hoped to solve this with the connection. I'm afraid it is not really helpful up to now.
But we also need to realize that the Rendl-Kappl connection would help here, spreading the St.Anton crowds. Clearly the delay with this plan is causing headaches at Arlberg
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@Langerzug, I understand that Rendl-Kappl project has been shelved indefinitely.
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@davidthornton, last I heard was that it is still awaiting final approval from a court in Vienna. The issue being objections from the council and land owners in Pettnau, who "own" the valley which the pistes have to cross. Perhaps there is more up to date info but I dont believe the court case has come to a conclusion yet..

As to the rest, the world moves on and we dont always like the changes, but changes there will be. It is easy to look back and think things were better in the past, perhaps they were in some way but perhaps we also tend to forget the not so good bits.
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@davidthornton, the Lech-Warth connection had been waiting on the shelves for 40 years. Toofy Grin
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The link works quite well if you're based in Lech. By the time you get there in the morning there's no queues going towards St Anton, same in the afternoon heading home. To be fair I was there on a quiet week so no issues with the snow conditions either.
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@munich_irish, as an intermediate (and boarder to boot), ive had my fill of moguls recently, also been to st anton several times in the past so the potential (and accept its only potential) negative aspects of this area and the happy Valley were enough, along with a saving of £600 were enough to persuade me to try somewhere different next season
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@munich_irish, from what I've heard from St. Anton, the financial will and local enthusiasm is not particularly strong for the Kappl link from Rendl. If the project does get a nod from the courts it doesn't mean that the project will go ahead immediately, somebody has to find a shed load of Euros.
@Langerzug, as was the St. Anton-Zurs link. Glacial speeds for projects in the Alps, befitting!
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I’ve said it plenty times on here but the new Flexenbahn link works brilliantly if you get out early and avoid queues. I’d suggest most folks wanting to go over to Lech would want to be out early to make the most of their day but it appears people who hit queues at peak times having faffed about or got up late are then the ones to complain? Same thing with Rauz piste, it’s at its best at 9am especially after ankle deep dusting, or better overnight.

Regards Steissbachtal it’s an inconvenience but no more than that imo, if a person doesn’t feel happy with Kandahar moguls then Galzigbahn download to town awaits. Only people that have grounds for discontent are the business owners below who are missing passing punters who are passing them in gondola above their heads I’d suggest.
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@Markymark29, right. I also found that while Zammermoos was crowded in the afternoon cos the thing is covered in monster moguls, a couple of meters off piste to the left was completely empty and easier to ski as well! Really a non problem.
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@Steilhang, alternatively on Zammermoos keep it tight on the right! The far (skier's) right hand side either on the piste edge or just off it. Very Happy
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@davidthornton, yep. Either way is good and, above all, empty!
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Come on @Markymark29, you too can see that saying something as silly as that "Rauz piste, it’s at its best at 9am" is actually confirming that the current situation is not good.
Or you are in denial about Arlberg currently, or...?
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Exactly. Everything is fine in the Arlberg generally for those that know their way around and beat the traffic - though I'm not sure the convenience of the Flexenbahn beats having the Albona 2 lift still there for lapping NF Albona etc.

Average punters and those with holiday brain - well for supposed improvement for those staying in St Anton things have got worse. Happy Valley is the main problem of course but I can't imagine how many queues you'd be standing in on a peak week sunny day where you make a leisurely start then decide to go to "do" the Weiss Ring.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, good point on the Albona 2.
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Markymark29 wrote:
I’ve said it plenty times on here but the new Flexenbahn link works brilliantly if you get out early and avoid queues. I’d suggest most folks wanting to go over to Lech would want to be out early to make the most of their day but it appears people who hit queues at peak times having faffed about or got up late are then the ones to complain? Same thing with Rauz piste, it’s at its best at 9am especially after ankle deep dusting, or better overnight.

Regards Steissbachtal it’s an inconvenience but no more than that imo, if a person doesn’t feel happy with Kandahar moguls then Galzigbahn download to town awaits. Only people that have grounds for discontent are the business owners below who are missing passing punters who are passing them in gondola above their heads I’d suggest.


My experience too, if it is a busy week and you hang around in bed rather than get going you will not have the best skiing experience, nothing to do with new lifts or old pistes.
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@munich_irish, so you are suggesting that all St.Anton guests should have an early rise?
Because that’s what you are saying basically. Would love to see you standing with all of them queuing at Flexenbahn
And that a blue piste (in fact one of the very few cruisey-carvey pistes available) being completely moguled around 10 am is also perfectly normal?

Please!
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