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The Arlberg Snow Report 2018/2019 (May 16th Perfect Conditions)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It was the combination of the 4 Germans that died in the Langerzug avalanche, the fact that one of them could not be found for several days due to another period of snow and roadclosures, and the subsequent locked-in German and Austrian TV-teams that made hysterical news-items for several days, making look Lech like a dangerous place to go skiing. It was in every news show in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland.....Lech's main target market
Also snowy weekends are bad for attracting short term weekend travellers, which are still important in low-season.
Apart from that all ski resorts are facing declining markets, also St.Anton.
St.Anton just had a 1%+ in season 17/18, but even that was disappointing given the huge investments in the Flexenbahn. Lech is reporting decline for some seasons already
(btw: new Madlochbahn is postponed...)
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@Langerzug, I’d forgotten about that avalanche that killed the 4 people - we did the same offpiste Langerzug route 8 days later off the back of the t bar and I asked the guide at the bottom where it was....he said 3 of the 4 were found just there.....sharp intake of breath time.....great run.

Ps - great news about MB postponement, wish same was true regards Schindlerbahn.
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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?
I suspect there is a general problem of skiing becoming more expensive. The lift passes go up every year. It is noticeable that the number of smaller, traditional, reasonably priced pensions are becoming fewer in number and there are more and more 4 and 5 star hotels appearing (the planned new hotel at the bottom of the Galzigbahn is just one more example). Whilst I can see the attraction from a business perspective of the more expensive spots (the potential profit being a lot higher in a 5 star than in a 3 star) but there must be a limit to the potential number of customers with sufficient disposable income to pay for such places. How many people can afford €500+ per night just for the accommodation? The Swiss resorts have been struggling for some time simply because they are so much more expensive than elsewhere. I know lots of folk, especially with families, who restrict their skiing trips simply because of the cost.

As I understand the numbers, in general, Austria has seen an overall increase in winter holiday numbers in the recent past but most other countries have seen declines. I suspect that has been largely driven by Austria being seen as being better value for money than elsewhere, not sure that applies to the Arlberg, Ischgl and Kitzbühel.

The Madlochbahn news is not unexpected, there did seem to be a lack of any actual preparation. Not so good for high season queues but better for a less crowded skiing experience.
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@Markymark29, both the Major and the boss of the Skilifte Lech were remarkably undiplomatic in their comments about the Germans that went on Langerzug (closed, and avalanche-stage 3/4). "Selbstmord" (suicide) they said.....
Think about the Bergrettung that went up there saturdaynignt, hiking up from the village, in darkness, and heavy snowfall, to search for bodies....
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Langerzug,
Quote:

Think about the Bergrettung that went up there saturdaynignt, hiking up from the village, in darkness, and heavy snowfall, to search for bodies....


Agree 100% the Bergrettung had a very hard job to do there, very dangerous conditions at the time.
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https://planetski.eu/news/11678 from last week. I'll be honest, despite the fact I absolutely love the Arlberg the cost is starting to put me off. €7 for a beer in the main apres venues, €14 for a gin and tonic in a restaurant we went to. Although I managed to get a room for €74 a night pp BnB, it was a struggle to get anything under €100 in town.
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@boabski, The main apres venues have always been expensive, and places in town like Murmel and Bobo's etc that are always busy will charge what they can get away with also I suggest. There's plenty of places to drink a couple of beers cheaper and be in quality surroundngs in my experience. It certainly wouldnt put me off going to Arlberg for skiing though, if I wanted to get beered up I could do that much cheaper the other 48 weeks of the year i'm not skiing. Its the skiing which is the attraction for us, and i'm happy to pay for a couple of drinks given the location, and dont really notice the pricing tbph, I can always walk away its my choice. 14€ (£12) G&T is the norm in most UK desirable locations/ trendy restaurants/ bars isnt it? Buy a bottle of gin in the supermarket, why pay it and moan, if you don't like the prices don't buy it, it's not that hard is it?

What personally annoys me is the 2 tier pricing in many of the bars regards seasonaires/ mates rates etc. I refuse to have a beer in those places, I dont see why I should subsidise others as a matter of principle.

Regards 4/5* places, thats just the hoteliers maximising their opportunity imo, plenty of 3* Pensions ime, we always find what we are looking for at sensible money. If I had a prime lump of land right next to the main lift i'd be building the optimum £/m2 solution based on the most that people will pay, it never ceases to amaze me that folks will pay top $ but thats up to them, if they ski 1-2x a year the will maybe pay, we want more weeks and are prepared to compromise to 3* Pensions for a clean bedroom with en suite and good breakfast in a prime location.
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The prices for food/beer in St Anton are no worse (possibly better) than other top ski resorts around Europe. I remember paying the equivalent of 5 Euros for a large beer in 3V in France back in the early 90's. They have a short season to make money so I don't mind paying a premium price for that, and often you are getting some kind of entertainment included, eg Gunar in the Murmell. It probably helps that I'm used to paying crazy prices for beer in London anyway though !

I do think that ski hire in St Anton is unusually expensive compared to other places and lift prices are very expensive too. A more flexible payment pay-as-you-use method for lift usage would be better, like the oyster pass on London transport for those familiar with it. I believe some French resorts are now using this type of payment.
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Quote:

lift prices are very expensive too

@jw83113,

Comparable with other major ski areas in Europe, 2018/19 6 day passes:-
Arlberg 289€, 4 Vallees 355CHF, 3 Vallees 306€, Val/ Tignes 265€

Given the amount of ongoing investment I am OK paying it. Take a look at the US prices sometime.
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Markymark29 wrote:
Quote:

lift prices are very expensive too

@jw83113,

Comparable with other major ski areas in Europe, 2018/19 6 day passes:-
Arlberg 289€, 4 Vallees 355CHF, 3 Vallees 306€, Val/ Tignes 265€

Given the amount of ongoing investment I am OK paying it. Take a look at the US prices sometime.


Agreed the US lift prices are scary and the Arlberg does seem in line with other top European resorts so maybe not so bad after all. It used to seem a lot cheaper in St Anton a few years back but maybe that's my mind beginning to play tricks with old age. I still think the pay-as-you-use method would be good though. It probably would not be cheaper for me as I use a lot of lifts but certainly would encourage people who have only done a week or two skiing and don't cover much distance, especially families who are paying for many lift passes.
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@boabski, I've stayed in a couple of decent hotels this year, one in Zug, and another in St Anton. Both 4*, B&B was about 100 Euro, DB&B was les than 150 Euro (per room and not per person), one virtually ski in/out, the other with on demand shuttle mini-van. Both pleasantly good standard and I'd return to either of them again. What was a BIG difference that I noted this year was the price of wine in the restaurants. The Krone in Lech still serves champagne-Aperols at 12.5 Euros, beers at 5 Euro, so I don't think much rise there in real terms. All in all the Arlberg is way better priced that EK/3V's/paradiski.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Sounds as if most folks here are only interested gourmet eating & not skiing ..

With the Price of lift tickets I am surprised people even stop to eat etc...

Whats wrong with just going to Billa supermarket .at 07:00 . Very Happy
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I agree that the Arlberg lift prices are similar to Ischgl & Kitzbühel (Kitzbühel might even be a bit more expensive) and no reason to doubt they are similar to other large resorts. However in all cases the costs do seem to be rising more than general inflation, sure there are lots of nice new lifts but they have to be paid for.

The general costs of visiting do seem to have been going up, I know these things are subjective and faulty memory can play a part. To give a small example, I have stayed at the Nassereinerhof a few times over the years, its nothing special but is convenient. I looked at it a couple of times this year but the room rates had shot up, €150 - €200 a night when previously it had been less than €100. Other places seem similar. Ski hire is definitely more expensive.

For all my visits this year I ended up in Pettneu, the costs did seem more reasonable both for accommodation and in the bars and restaurants. Beer in the Mooser is never going to be cheap but I doubt it is any more than the Kühstall, La Folie Douce or similar spots elsewhere.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Sounds as if most folks here are only interested gourmet eating & not skiing ..

@stanton, Not me! I dont mind a beer or 3 but prefer a clear head these days.... Laughing
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[quote="stanton"]Sounds as if most folks here are only interested gourmet eating & not skiing ..

I think the clue is in the name 'apres ski', people go skiing then afterwards go drinking, eating etc. The two activities are not mutually exclusive.

Having said that there does seem to be a lot of people in Lech and Zurs especially that seem to be wasting a lot of skiing time sat outside expensive hotels soaking up the sun. I prefer to get on with the skiing in the day with a quick lunch and maybe the occasional stop for a Radler or small beer in an outside bar like ulmerhutte and reserve the proper drinking activities for when the ski lifts are closed.
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Markymark29 wrote:
Quote:

lift prices are very expensive too

@jw83113,

Comparable with other major ski areas in Europe, 2018/19 6 day passes:-
Arlberg 289€, 4 Vallees 355CHF, 3 Vallees 306€, Val/ Tignes 265€

Given the amount of ongoing investment I am OK paying it. Take a look at the US prices sometime.



Lift ticket cost, in 2018 / 2019, per kilometer of patrolled trails...

3 Vallees = €0.51 per km.
4 Vallees = €0.76 per km.
Espace Killy = €0.88 per km.
Arlberg = €0.94 per km.
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Official Weather

Last Chance for Lift Served POWDER this last weekend of the season 27/28 April

On Friday a cold front will reach us from the west. The clouds will increase rapidly. Precipitation is generally expected, the snow line will sink towards 1500m until Saturday morning. Slightly calmer conditions are expected off the areas of north-westerly stau in the north of the Inn on Saturday. A further flush of cold air will approach from north-west on Sunday, snowfall will reach near 1000m.
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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?
Whitegold wrote:


Lift ticket cost, in 2018 / 2019, per kilometer of patrolled trails...

3 Vallees = €0.51 per km.
4 Vallees = €0.76 per km.
Espace Killy = €0.88 per km.
Arlberg = €0.94 per km.


snowiest spot in the alps = priceless Smile
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@munich_irish, Agreed, Arlberg has best snow record of all of those listed, thats surely a key factor - also who needs km of patrolled trails as a measure, anywhere can fill up their mountains with green and blue pistes and claim that one eg 3V, I'd rather there were fewer pistes and thus a higher €/km if necessary, but if €/ km patrolled is a key measure then so is volume uplift/ hr/ km?
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@Markymark29, Totally agree. I got fed up with the French big resorts, the over-hyped mileage, French/Seasonnaire indifference, and pound/Euro parity on basic items.
With the Arlberg being increasingly integrated (Flexenbahn/Auenfeldjet) it is relatively easy to stay ahead of the day crowds by choosing your start-point. That is the best way to enjoy the Lift Pass, choose when you go, where you start your ski day, and where you end up eating. And after some great skiing days Mrs Skimastaaah and myself had 2 very decent long-lunches at the Hospitz Alm last week, that did not cost that much, and included some rather tasty Gruner Weltleiner wine. Pleasures even God's own county is pushed to match!
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Some of you really need to see a bit more of the world
1. A glass of white wine at a top location at Lake Como is approx 20 euro (yes, per glass)
2. Stop raving about Hospiz Alm, it's a bit pathetic. What an overrated place. If that's the best you can get on piste in St.Anton/area....About every restaurant in Oberlech is better, at often more reasonable prices. Hospiz Alm is still trying to push their 2014 Grüner Veltliners......(worst GV year ever)
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@Langerzug, can't see anyone "raving" about the Hospiz Alm, just @skimastaaah, saying they had a decent lunch there?

Chill out a bit, no need to insult people telling them to "see a bit more of the world"
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@skimastaaah,

If you ever been in the kitchen at Hospiz Alm and see how they cook (warm up) turn out the food ...it is just an up scale Mc Donalds ...all comes out of giant tins and vacum packs and sold at RIP OFF prices
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Some of you folk need to relax, you can have a good time in most places, especially when the sun is shining. Oberlech can be lovely but can also feel over run with rich folk (if you want a stereotype, Bogner clad yummy mummies Very Happy ) it just depends when you go. The Arlberg is a great spot to ski and relax though sometimes there are just too many other people with the same idea.
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Some people like to have a leisurely start to the day, ski a few hours, and then enjoy a long lunch. At the other end of the scale, some will queue for the first lift, only eat whatever they are carrying, while they are sitting on the lift, and work the lift timings so they finish as late as possible. Both have (presumably) enjoyed their holiday. Who is to judge whether one is superior to the other??? It is a holiday; do whatever makes YOU happy, as opposed trying to conform to somebody else’s standard.

I actually like the former, ie those who ski only a few hours. They help fund the infrastructure, but leave the slopes a little quieter in the afternoon. Works for me. wink

BTW, I am not shocked by the prices, but then I come from Australia. An average beer, in an average pub, in the city, will set you back EUR5-7. On-slope food here is notoriously expensive and poor quality, eg a plate of chips will set you back around EUR10, or about the same for a paper container of soup & small roll.
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jw83113 wrote:
I still think the pay-as-you-use method would be good though. It probably would not be cheaper for me as I use a lot of lifts but certainly would encourage people who have only done a week or two skiing and don't cover much distance, especially families who are paying for many lift passes.


Enticing as this may seem I suspect we are all being subsidized by people with more money than actual ski desire who come out for their "ski trip" to an appropriately socially upwardly mobile resort, do three runs a day, if even, and then sit somewhere chic in their carefully selected and coordinated ski gear. Or pissheads who don't manage to get out of bed for more than 3 runs.

I've been on trips, to the Arlberg actually, where people really just used their pass to get to the moose early afternoon and join the fun. And more power to them. They weren't after the social cachet they just loved the ridiculous apres scene. These people subsidise the ski addicts like us on this forum.

For me some resorts are more expensive - but generally its about 6 euro extra per day in lift pass and ski hire, and maybe 15 euro extra per day in accommodation. In the context of a ski holiday it doesn't make a huge difference. But often in resorts like that you feel a bit more like the quarry than in other resorts.

Arlberg has exceptional snowfall, and exceptional off piste, but also a lot of traffic and competition for that snow. Look at this thread, pretty sure it gets more hits than any other resort thread on here. Somewhere on this forum I remember reading, if you're a European in America, or an American in Europe, in a resort you've heard of, then you're in the wrong place.

I think there's something in that. For me, I'd rather be somewhere quieter at this stage. Arlberg trading on its reputation, and its lift system, at least last time I was there (maybe six years ago) was poor by comparison to somewhere like Ischgl, though I gather its improved. Its still an exceptional place to ski off piste, or hit the apres hard though.
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stanton wrote:
@skimastaaah,

If you ever been in the kitchen at Hospiz Alm and see how they cook (warm up) turn out the food ...it is just an up scale Mc Donalds ...all comes out of giant tins and vacum packs and sold at RIP OFF prices


That's why I had the cold meats platter both days. Soaked up the sun, watched the considerable number of cosmopolitan plonkers, enjoying an Arlberg end of season reasonably priced week's skiing. And reflecting on a long and very snowy ski season.
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@8611, If you've not been to the Arlberg for "maybe six years ago", you'll find much better integrated infra-structure with upgraded lift system connecting virtually end-to-end (apart from Rendl). Greater skier focussed skiing - Run of Fame/Weisse Ring, not to mention better on mountain facilities. I find the Arlberg is at its best if I fly-drive into Innsbruck or Zurich, then I have the choice of where to stay at a much more reasonable level. Having stayed in hotels in St Anton, St Christoph, Stuben, Lech, Zug and Warth over the past few seasons and at differing times, I still believe entry into the system is best done at Zurs first thing. Better snow, queue free, and ahead of the crowds from either way. Price-wise the Arlberg is as good (if not better) value for the shrinking Pound than my most recent trips to EK/3V's, but nowhere nears as good value as Aosta Valley. But I don't go to the Arlberg thinking it's Aosta Valley prices, and I don't go to Aosta Valley thinking it's an Arlberg experience.
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Folks , an Easter Weekend report posted over on the German Forum (lots of Fotos)

https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=61687
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@stanton, Great photos, south facing clearly suffering in the heat, to be expected for late April though, pistes up high looked good.......it'll be greener though when we return in August to Lech for hiking, and hopefully whiter in December for St Anton next skiing!

It's interesting re above who likes what regards holidays and food/ drink etc, its a good job we dont all like the same......one of the great things about Arlberg for me is that there's enough room for everyone and their particular preferences. One thing though, just reflecting on an amazing season January to March, great powder skiing and snow, but I just wish people would behave after apres in St Anton and the idiots stopped urinating in the precinct area, that really does disappoint and doesnt do the town any favours, improved CCTV would surely help and a few people held to account wouldnt do any harm imo.
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@Markymark29,
Quote:
but I just wish people would behave after apres in St Anton and the idiots stopped urinating in the precinct area, that really does disappoint and doesnt do the town any favours, improved CCTV would surely help and a few people held to account wouldnt do any harm imo.
It's the reason I tend to avoid living in St.A any more. When I do ski the Arlberg I always either stay in Pettneu or in Lech, never St.Anton
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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munich_irish wrote:
Whitegold wrote:


Lift ticket cost, in 2018 / 2019, per kilometer of patrolled trails...

3 Vallees = €0.51 per km.
4 Vallees = €0.76 per km.
Espace Killy = €0.88 per km.
Arlberg = €0.94 per km.


snowiest spot in the alps = priceless Smile



Lift ticket cost, in 2018 / 2019, per centimeter of average longterm snowfall...

Arlberg = €0.41 per cm.
Espace Killy = €0.44 per cm.
3 Vallees = €0.56 per cm.
4 Vallees = €0.62 per cm.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Whitegold, I guess the beer is better and cheaper in the Moose than in La Folie Douce too...
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You can say what you want about whitegold's trolling - these are two very important posts.

Did you work that out yourself or is that available online?
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@Steilhang, @Whitegold, @Markymark29, @stanton, Looks like St Anton's finished then Toofy Grin
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@8611, https://www.onthesnow.co.uk/tyrol/st-anton-am-arlberg/ski-resort.html and a calculator
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@skimastaaah, Laughing
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Steilhang wrote:
@Markymark29,
Quote:
but I just wish people would behave after apres in St Anton and the idiots stopped urinating in the precinct area, that really does disappoint and doesnt do the town any favours, improved CCTV would surely help and a few people held to account wouldnt do any harm imo.
It's the reason I tend to avoid living in St.A any more. When I do ski the Arlberg I always either stay in Pettneu or in Lech, never St.Anton


There are plenty of quiet, nice areas of St Anton, including Nasserein, where I stay.

That said, the sort of behaviour that @Markymark29 describes does the town a huge disservice. It must put off people who are not into drunken stupidity from trying St Anton, which is sad, for it is an amazing and beautiful part of the world. Conversely, it probably encourages even more yobs and idiots to visit - the sort of feedback loop you don’t want.

BTW: interesting choice of places to stay: Lech or Pettneu. Two very different price points. Does the choice depends on whether or not your horse has won?
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Fatal accident yesterday 14.00 on piste, 47 year old German skier killed when he hit a tree on a blue piste on Fang area:-

Zu einem Skiunfall mit tödlichem Ausgang kam es am Donnerstag gegen 14 Uhr im Skigebiet von St. Anton am Arlberg.

Laut Polizei fuhr ein 47-jähriger Deutscher mit seinen Skiern auf der blauen Piste Nr. 31 talwärts und stürzte auf einer leichten Linkskurve aus derzeit nicht geklärter Ursache über den talseitigen Pistenrand hinaus. Er prallte gegen einen Baum und zog sich tödliche Verletzungen zu. Die Erhebungen zum Unfallhergang laufen noch. Bisher ist noch nicht bekannt, ob es Zeugen des Unfalls gibt. (TT.com)
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It happened just of the Stallmähder Fang (Blue Piste) crashed into a Tree .

https://www.tt.com/panorama/unfall/15580130/47-jaehriger-starb-bei-skiunfall-in-st-anton-am-arlberg
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