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Lech/St. Anton/Flexenbahn ?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hiya
Im debating heading to the Arlberg first week of March. Had a pretty crappy time in St. Anton a while ago (terrible conditions) and wanna give it another go.
Found a place in Lech but im just wondering how feasible getting from Lech to St. Anton and back again. The Flexenbahn seems to be a bit of a can of worms based on what Ive read here...
I would guess traffic from StA to Lech and back would be more than the other direction, whether that makes any difference...?
Cheers!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Definitely, from Lech to St.Anton is easier and without queues as long as you make sure to be at the Rufikopfbahn before 10 am
You will have to put up with the mogul carnage on piste nr 100 (Valfagehr) on your way back though.
You are aware that the Lech-Warth-Zürs resort is almost twice that of St.Anton? (Just checking, it does sound a bit like you’re thinking that Lech is an inferior little brother of St.Anton) Very Happy
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@shiva_71,
For a day trip, it's very doable, but crowded. But if St. Anton is your goal, book a place in St. Anton.
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Cheers. Yeah I was aware of that, as I said I was there before and thought the Lech area was far superior to St. Anton (limited piste options, crowded, icy) which is why i said if ever i went back to the Arlberg i would stay in Lech.
Thanks!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@shiva_71,
Then you're set, I suppose. Try Stuben when hiking to St. Anton. In my experience it's less icy and less crowded. (At least it was when I was there.) Many of the village descents are lovely runs in the early mornings.
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@shiva_71, allright, very wise decision. You might end up skipping St.Anton anyway then. Like most Lech-guests do Very Happy
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There is no doubt that in peak weeks and with less than good conditions St Anton is not the best spot to be (though that would apply to most places). With Easter being so late this year early March is peak season. If you are looking for a quiet skiing experience you are unlikely to find it at that time. You should have no issues getting between Lech and St Anton though if all the resorts are busy then inevitably there will be queues. Rumour has it that the queues for the Madloch chair can be longer than the ones at Flexenbahn

One option to maximise skiing time is to use the bus link, they run about hourly and cost a few Euros. The advantage of using the buses is that you can get to St Anton from Lech earlier than you could using the lifts. You should be able to get to St Anton for 09:00ish which, even with no queues and empty pistes, is not possible using the lifts. This gives you more time and options. You can use them at the other end of the day too, no rush to get last lifts and it leaves you time for a beer or two.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
double post


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 6-02-19 16:06; edited 1 time in total
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@Langerzug, cannot resist biting! Toofy Grin One of the senior boot-fitters at Strolz roughly described Lech-guests as people who breakfast until 10am, then weave their way down gentle slopes in the toilet seat position, after which they lunch, and then move onto Apres. Sound about right?

The reality is that, for serious skiers anyway, each village has something different to offer. Which is “best” on any given day depends on the snow, weather, light, what you feel like doing.
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Great good info there many thanks. Yeah I think part of why Lech made a better impression on me was that it seemed like the typical Lech guest would get kitted out in their Gucci ski clothes, take a lift to a hütte for oysters and champagne then ski back down - leaving pistes nice and quiet for proper skiers like us lot Smile
Good to know the bus is an option, though I remember the most crowded, uncomfortable bus from my last trip....urgh. Is it always like that? I am an early riser and normally out of the hotel by 8:30 which should help I guess...?
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So, yesterday, Zürs was a crowded circus. We arrived at Seekopfbahn to find the queue well outside the race. Went back to StA to find very quiet pistes and no queues, except for Vallugabahn. So, like all generalisations, you would be wrong in assuming StA is crowded and Lech/Zürs quiet. It depends on the day, time, weather, etc. Stay flexible and adjust your plans as required.

BTW: Today, we were on the first chairs up to Madloch. Virtually nobody about. Coming back, via Ruffikopf, the Madloch wait-time annunciator was showing an 11 min wait time.
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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.
@ulmerhutte,
Whilst it obviously is true that lunch in Lech is a serious affair Very Happy , you too will recognize the fact that the average level of skitechnique in Lech actually is very high. Very little toiletseatstyle Very Happy
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@munich_irish,
Taking a bus from Lech to St.Anton is about as silly as it gets; it’s hard to beat the glory of an early morning Rüfikopf-Zürs descent. One of the glories of staying in Lech... Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Since they built the new lifts linking Rauz (St Anton) to Zurs fewer people use the buses between the resorts.

Go on the St Anton website and check the times of the No 92 bus. The bus fare is probably about €6 each way.

https://www.stantonamarlberg.com/media/2071/download/Linie92.pdf?v=1
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Langerzug wrote:
@munich_irish,
Taking a bus from Lech to St.Anton is about as silly as it gets; it’s hard to beat the glory of an early morning Rüfikopf-Zürs descent. One of the glories of staying in Lech... Toofy Grin


Maybe, but maybe first runs in powder on Wannele, Mattun, Schafgliger, Schindlergrat, and others are hard to beat. I do understand that as a Lech skier, you do prefer the blue piste down from Ruffi. That’s fine. As Dirty Harry said, “A good man knows his limitations!”. Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ulmerhutte, I’m always taking the red one, and was comparing it with the bus and was especially thinking of the early morning scenery from Rüfikopf Very Happy
And going the other way -Langerzug- is something very special too. But of course rather circumstantial when staying in St.Anton. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
I do like the Schindlercouloirs just as much by the way....
Must say though that having lunch at Ulmerhütte indeed is not my idea of having a good time. Must be Australian for that I presume.... Toofy Grin
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Langerzug wrote:
@ulmerhutte
But I do like the Schindlercouloirs just as much by the way.... Smile


Well, in that case you are qualified to ski in St Anton. Time to upgrade from the kiddy slopes of Lech. Welcome! Toofy Grin

Langerzug wrote:
@ulmerhutte
Must say though that having lunch at Ulmerhütte indeed is not my idea of having a good time. Must be Australian for that I presume.... Toofy Grin


Yeah, only real skiers hang out there, so I guess you feel out of place. Toofy Grin
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Im normally a Sella Ronda guy. Cant see myself venturing off piste much. I like long reds, the longer the better and like to cover big distances (70 - 100km a day).
Where should i be heading in the Arlberg? Looks like something nice from the top of Madloch back down to Lech (Red 33/56)...
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@Langerzug, I dont disagree that first runs are almost always the best and the runs into Zürs are all good. The point I was making is that if you are staying in Lech and want to ski in St Anton for the day then using the bus helps get the most out of it. You wont quite make the first lift at Galzig or Rendl but you should beat the crowds. Nothing wrong with using the lift system, most people do, it is only the keen ones who use the bus.
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@shiva_71, you should check out https://www.skiarlberg.at/en/regions/activities/run-of-fame-1 it is a fair effort of planning to do it in a day, not much time for lunch stops.

Not sure which pistes you are referring to. The runs down from Madloch to Lech and Zug are well known and one of the highlights (excluding off piste) of the Arlberg. However they are not "pistes" but ski routes. In practical terms in good conditions they are basically long red runs with a couple of steeper sections, they can get moguled later in the day and then become more difficult. They are marked, pisted and secured. The theory is that ski routes have a single line of markers and the route is only secured in that immediate region but the Madloch runs seem to marked as a piste would be with poles either side. Not all the ski routes are prepared in the same way, if you get nervous with moguls, cut up snow, powder or whatever you might want to be a bit cautious with your choice of route. On the electronic piste map the Lech / Zürs runs have short descriptions (in German), if it says "Sehr selektive" or "anspuchsvolle" (selective / demanding) you know it is likely to be steep and probably big moguls.
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@ulmerhutte, I’ve seen the old railway, the Kandahar cable-train, the Feldherrnhügel lift and the yellow St.Christoph cablecar. Not to mention the unextended Mooserwirt, Gunnar in the Postkeller and the Underground bar. Slept everywhere between Mooserkreuz and far end of St.Jacob
Enough? Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
Just doing it the classic way: St.Anton first, Lech last. 27 Years Arlberg currently...
They need to fix the Fiascobahn though, and am a bit sceptical about that.
Thoroughly doubting the 28th year....we’ll see in March.
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@munich_irish, don’t agree for Lech>St.Anton. The other way it works.
It’s silly to go as far as St.Anton by bus when you can get to Alpe Rauz very fast from Rüfikopf, and be right in the middle of it all.
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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!
@shiva_71, if you like Sella, Arlberg might not completely be your cup of tea.
Madloch gets bumpy early, and is currently very much suffering from St.Anton-flooding, as mentioned.
You will like Rüfikopf-Zürs, and Zürsertäli. And about everything in Oberlech-Warth
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Just stay in Lech
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Just stay in Lech
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Many thanks for replies so far. Lots of mention of the Rüfikopf lift, whats the deal if you head to the left? Piste map shows a black ski route 215/6 down to the Schlosskopf lift...how is that area?
My thoughts after my one visit to the area was that the Arlberg is one of the worlds great ski areas, subject to a whole bunch of "IF"s - IF it dumps perfect powder; IF you know where to go (and IF you dont, IF you can afford hiring a guide for a day, and IF neither, IF youre willing to risk dying in an avi) IF you are actually competent off piste; IF youre happy that in all likelihood you aint gonna get first tracks anywhere; IF you have avi gear and so on. And IF you dont tick any of those boxes, and conditions arent great, the skiing is pretty crap (which I pretty much had on my visit) except Lech/Zürs which wasnt pulverised into boilerplate and bumps by 10:00.
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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.
@shiva_71,
From Rüfikopf to there are two routes to Lech, both via the short Schafalp-tow lift, called Tannegg and Langerzug Very Happy You seriously need to avoid Tannegg because is never groomed and indeed rather extreme. You might like Langerzug though. It’s groomed 99% of the time, and they indicate whether it is at the valleystation.
It’s a lovely and quiet piste (few people go this way), mostly the type of red piste you are preferring probably. With one catch: directly after the towlift there is a stretch of a few hundred meters that officially go as ‘steepest groomed piste of Austria’. And it indeed is quite intimidatingly steep. But snow is always excellent because it is completely north facing, and there are no bumbs ever. After that it becomes lovely mellow, in stunning scenery, ending up with a great and unusual view of Lech.
This video gives the best impression of the steep part imo:
http://youtube.com/v/btaXUJvyZfc

More in general: as mentioned, you will be fine and probably love Lech-Warth. Zürs has lovely pistes too, but is major suffering from St.Anton crowds most part of the season.
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Great, cheers Lz, is it clear which is which from the top of the drag lift?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@shiva_71, yes it is.
Only go that way on a clear day. It’s no fun when overcast.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
There is a big sign at the top of the run see

https://www.lechzuers.com/en/skiroute-lange-zug/

If you are feeling super fit you could try the race up rather than the ski down.

The tourist office organise an early morning trip accompanied by a guide, glass of champagne included too

https://www.skiarlberg.at/en/regions/ski-area/lech-oberlech-zuers/wintertainment/fruehstart-langer-zug
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Great looks like a nice run, thanks!
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In Lech last week. Great skiing with tons of new snow. Skied in Lech, Zürs, Steuben and Warth for 5 days. Great powder every day. Face shots in Warth. Off piste to Schrocken, nice but wind blown in many places. Made the mistake of going to St. Anton on last day (Saturday). Nice snow on Schindlergrat but a total mob scene. Way too many people. Lift system jammed. Long waits. Couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Sounds great! Maybe I'll just not bother with St. Anton at all...
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shiva_71 wrote:
Sounds great! Maybe I'll just not bother with St. Anton at all...


Good decision, Shiva. You don’t need St Anton... and St Anton does not need you. You will be happy in Lech.
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Langerzug wrote:

They need to fix the Fiascobahn though, and am a bit sceptical about that.


You have been banging on about this for the last few years. What exactly should the lift co do?
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To clarify, I like staying in St. Anton and skiing off piste in St. Anton which I have done more than once. But I do not find it a pleasant place for piste skiing or even close proximity off piste since it gets skied out in a matter of a couple of hours after a snowfall. There are better options.
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@ulmerhutte,
I think we are all worrying about the new Madlochbahn will just be pushing the problem forward to the piste, and further on.
But maybe, with piste adaptations and a new Zugerbergbahn, which should be coming soon too, things all will be fine again. Problem is that is all moving so slow. This is already the 3rd season with Fiascobahn, and the only outlook we have now are just rumours about a new Madlochbahn. How long will it take before they tackle the subsequent issues?
And Valfagehrpiste will remain problematic I’m afraid.
Creating different skipass options might be a solution, e.g. an expensive “Arlberg Complete” skipass, with cheaper “Arlberg-West” (Lech-Warth-Zürs-Stuben) and Arlberg-East” (St.Anton-Stuben) options
For example Quatre Vallees offers such options. It would keep more St.Anton guests out of the Flexenbahn I think.
But such separate skipasses might be unlikely, since St.Anton is Lech’s most powerfull marketing-tool. (guests starting in wider known St.Anton becoming regulars in Lech is quite a classic move. Even the Dutch royals did it that way Very Happy )

Apart from this: did you already hear about the 1000 new hotelbeds to be expected in Schröcken, with a new connecting gondola of course.... what’s going to happen to Lech then, and especially for Rüfikopfbahn...... Puzzled

We are seriously looking for alternatives for Lech. And no, for us that’s not something like St.Moritz or Courchevel...
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@Langerzug,

I don’t really have a view on whether a new Madlochbahn / Zugerbergbahn would solve your perceived problem. Actually, I am not sure what is your problem statement. Is it too many people going to Zürs, treating Zürs as a pass-through, or what? I assume the valfagehr problem is that the piste gets crowded in late morning. Correct?

I cannot see a split pass working. I doubt that the “Arlberg West” lift companies could survive without the traffic generated by St Anton. I am pretty sure that Lech / Zürs originally agreed to join with St Anton because they were no longer financially viable as a separate entity. Doubt that has changed, even with the addition of Warth/Schröcken. Why do you think it has?

I also cannot see a connecting gondola to Schröcken happening anytime soon. Those sort of wheels turn slowly in Austria. Somebody will discover the yellow-banded earthworm, or something equally esoteric, in the path of the lift and the project will be bogged in courts for years. The extra hotel rooms will not happen with the link, so probably nothing to worry about for the foreseeable future.

I actually think most people have adjusted quite well to the changes brought about by the Flexenbahn. There does not seem to be anything like the angst evident during the first year of operation.
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@ulmerhutte,
I am afraid my outlook on Arlberg is completely different from yours.
Saying that Lech was suffering as you are suggesting really is untrue.
Zürs yes, but Lech definitely not.
Occupation rates, and prices in Lech were and still are very good, and probably better than St.Anton. Don’t think you are very well informed, sorry. Check prices of the Lech tophotels, St.Anton is no way near. And Arlberg Hospiz is bankrupt and sold....whilst in Lech another two hotels this year were upgraded to 5*****
And the Schröcken lift will come soon, I’m quite convinced.
Issue indeed obviously are the crowds in Zürs, which are simply unacceptable, and a threath especially to Lech, but also St.Anton. Alot of negative comments in English, German and Dutch forums, etc etc
Don’t agree either that things are settling down. Current situation simply is worse than the original Arlberg and needs to be solved.
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@Langerzug, I think we should agree to disagree.

I too have been coming to the Arlberg for a very long time and have many friends here. Much of what you post is disputed by my Arlberg friends. Maybe it is you that is misinformed.

And again, you state that the current situation is unacceptable and must be solved, but offer no practical solutions.
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