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The Arlberg Snow Report 2020/2021 (Dec 4 to April 25)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Markymark29, thanks, good report, though not revealing anything we didn't know. I was fortunate to have left St. Anton by March 1st., people at Zurich airport were coughing loudly then.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@davidthornton, no nothing new really but I thought the Icelandic guys comments were interesting. Zurich airport and the coaches were rammed, very little social distancing possibility and no testing back in U.K. on arrival or for weeks thereafter. Never contacted by track and trace despite it being a condition of exit that we filled in forms and had them stamped, checked by police at the bus terminus.

What’s done is done....I don’t bear any malice, it was an evolving situation but nonetheless there was clearly more going on in the background than we knew on the ground. Bars were closing throughout the week and we’d avoided all gondolas and crowded spaces.
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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?
@Markymark29, I know you were personally affected by all this, by luck I managed to miss out. This subject has been endlessly raked over by the media. The official report published a few months back clearly pointed to the "chaos" being caused by the overly hasty decisions made in Vienna with no coordination with people actually on the ground. No thought was given to what the effect of the various pronouncements would actually be. Needless to say that verdict was hardly popular with the federal Austrian government who are more than happy to continue pointing fingers at the (admittedly loathsome) mayor of Ischgl and government in Innsbruck.
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@munich_irish, I know, it's old news now, those images are still raw though......one year ago this coming Friday - one thing it has done is reminded me/ us of the benefits of having own transport in resort, and we'll be returning to driving again. We were at the mercy of train and planes, and once they closed the train station and herded us onto buses you are going to get what's coming at you irrespective of the precautions you've taken until then. The car will be within arms reach for the next trips that's for sure......the Germans, Dutch and Belgians were out of there double quick and onto the Autobahns, the rest of us were like sitting ducks! rolling eyes
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@Markymark29, the Germans, Dutch and Belgians were out of there quicker, but still spread the virus around. Plenty got sick, some died. The whole thing was a complete clusterfuck. They should have locked down and kept everyone in place until testing could be performed...
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@Steilhang, agreed, we all got home and isolated, I wonder how many didn’t.
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Steilhang wrote:
@Markymark29, the Germans, Dutch and Belgians were out of there quicker, but still spread the virus around. Plenty got sick, some died. The whole thing was a complete clusterfuck. They should have locked down and kept everyone in place until testing could be performed...


Easy to say in hindsight, the reality was there was no way to carry out mass testing at the time. There were plans in place for an orderly shut down (as happened elsewhere in Austria) but these were overruled by Sebastian Kurz. The resulting chaos probably (though no way of ever being sure) did more to spread the virus amongst those who ended up being herded out of the resorts than anything that had happened before.
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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!
There would've been uproar I imagine at everybody being made to stay in St Anton/Ischgl until being tested as that would've taken days as there wouldn't have been the capacity, or the accommodation for everybody.

I'd been in touch with family back in the UK the weekend before (this time last year) and talking to them said the season would be over and I'd be back by the end of the month. I'd been keeping an eye on the Austrian/German language media, especially as things started hotting up in the Alps, to get an idea as to what was going on, but from what people I spoke to in the UK were saying, they didn't have a clue as there'd been nothing on the news.

Everybody's a professor in hindsight, there were issues with how the authorities handled things, but don't forget that back then they didn't know any way near as much about the virus and its transmission etc. Not watched the report yet, might do tomorrow.
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Markymark29 wrote:
@Steilhang, agreed, we all got home and isolated, I wonder how many didn’t.


Probably just as many as haven't been isolating when they should be at any time during the pandemic. Patient at my sister's hospital was apologising profusely to the staff shortly before being intubated having caught covid because he went to see his girlfriend who was isolated following a positive test...

Austria did bring it in to law on that Saturday (14th) that anybody who had been in the affected areas between certain dates (can't remember them exactly, but I think extended back to the end of February) had to self isolate for 2 weeks. Everybody I know in Austria abided by this, and those who had been in Austria and subsequently repatriated to the country they were from, even if they technically didn't have to. All I got when arriving in the UK at the ferry port and having my passport checked was a 'good morning, have you had a good trip', nothing mentioned about covid...
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Sitter wrote:


Everybody's a professor in hindsight, there were issues with how the authorities handled things, but don't forget that back then they didn't know any way near as much about the virus and its transmission etc. Not watched the report yet, might do tomorrow.

Exactly. There are posts on here "should done this, should have done that", there was no template for dealing with the ensuing pandemic, no handbook govts could refer to, no systems to fall back on, no facilities in place.
Hopefully, lessons will have been well learnt, by govts and individuals. More importantly, the Chinese govt has to understand it's grave responsibility for this pandemic and to be more forthcoming and open with future outbreaks in China. Unfortunately, the recent Chinese obduracy and obstruction of the WHO investigation team indicates nothing has changed in the mindset of Chinese leaders in the face of the devastation it has wrought across the planet.
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@davidthornton,

Actually they do know how to deal with life threatening situations ...

They put into place disaster planning whenever there is Heavy Snowfall and danger of Avalanches... They close the resort..

Roads,Railways.... NO One in NO One Out and a Head count

This is pretty easy to do in Valleys Towns like St Anton, Ischgl , Solden etc.

If your very lucky and staying St Anton but get caught up or closed off in St Christoph or Lech you will be put up in their Hotels ...

As soon as one of the St Anton Apres Ski Bar owners got infected it was known the resort would have to close after seeing the situation rapidly developing in Ischgl......They do talk to each other !!

Customers from this Apres Ski Bar infected a large number of people in a well known lunch place in St Christoph.

The Correct decision would of been to Lock down the entire valley and not let ANYONE leave (for weeks if necessary)...Containment.

When its Snowing & there is a severe danger of valley Avalanche everyone is generally fine about being locked down....and are happy they are all being taken care of without actually really understanding the dangers ....Why would some fat city boy from London or Frankfurt know better Very Happy

Shutting down the area with no apparent danger can and would cause panic ....

The panic started when customers were pre-warned (by hotels etc) to get the f u c k out of town before the order came from Vienna ....

Austria is still reeling from this Crisis

The unemployment level in Tirol alone is running at 135% Shocked Shocked Shocked
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
stanton wrote:
The unemployment level in Tirol alone is running at 135% Shocked Shocked Shocked


Laughing Laughing So everyone out of a job and 35% of people out of two jobs Puzzled
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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
@stanton, given Sebastian Kurz's various political problems perhaps you might put your application in the become the next Chancellor Madeye-Smiley Obviously the current lot are far too stupid to see all these easy solutions....
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@DJL, Good job he's not running the furlough scheme eh? wink
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
To be fair, I doubt there that were many who in early March could predict how covid would evolve over the following weeks/months, and the course of 2020. Decisions were made that now look questionable, but that is with the benefit of hindsight.

Locking down the valley, as @stanton has suggested, was never feasible or sensible. We are not talking about avalanche risk, which usually subsides over a few days, but doing that for covid would have resulted in a lockdown of potentially weeks or months. Remember that mass testing was then not yet available. What do you do with international tourists who, by the time the lockdown was over, would have found no way of getting home?

IMHO, the local authorities did the best they could with the information and resources available at the time.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
munich_irish wrote:
Steilhang wrote:
@Markymark29, the Germans, Dutch and Belgians were out of there quicker, but still spread the virus around. Plenty got sick, some died. The whole thing was a complete clusterfuck. They should have locked down and kept everyone in place until testing could be performed...


Easy to say in hindsight, the reality was there was no way to carry out mass testing at the time. There were plans in place for an orderly shut down (as happened elsewhere in Austria) but these were overruled by Sebastian Kurz. The resulting chaos probably (though no way of ever being sure) did more to spread the virus amongst those who ended up being herded out of the resorts than anything that had happened before.

I don't think much in the way of hindsight needed. It was blindingly obvious at the time what the effect of herding the entire tourist population of St.Anton and Ischgl onto busses, into Innsbruck and Salzburg Airport and then onto crowded aircraft was going to be. I distinctly remember exactly this being discussed on TV here in Bavaria at the time and the experts were shaking their heads. It was fully known at the time how infectious the virus was. After all they had Wuhan as an example to look at. Tests or no tests, they should have locked down.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Could Austria legally detain people?
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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?
ulmerhutte wrote:
To be fair, I doubt there that were many who in early March could predict how covid would evolve over the following weeks/months, and the course of 2020. Decisions were made that now look questionable, but that is with the benefit of hindsight.

Locking down the valley, as @stanton has suggested, was never feasible or sensible. We are not talking about avalanche risk, which usually subsides over a few days, but doing that for covid would have resulted in a lockdown of potentially weeks or months. Remember that mass testing was then not yet available. What do you do with international tourists who, by the time the lockdown was over, would have found no way of getting home?

IMHO, the local authorities did the best they could with the information and resources available at the time.

Absolutely.
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Gentlemen, shall we return to slightly more useful subjects?
The look & feel of the gondola’s of the new Zugerbergbahn has been unveiled! Toofy Grin

https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/download/file.php?id=176088&mode=view
https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/download/file.php?id=176087&mode=view
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@Langerzug, both those links show me:

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@kitenski, oops...
Should work this way (scroll down a bit to 07.03):
https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=991&start=6225
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@Langerzug, What a shame they've stripped the trees out.

Fabulous hike from there in the summer to Wildgruben via Stierloch, almost as good as the ski down......and also along the R. Lech from Formarinsee to Lech.......hopefully end August.... Smile
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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!
@Langerzug, Thanks. Yes, shame the woodland setting has been cleared. The old chair may have been slow but it gave you a chance to rest after the ski routes down from Madloch, use to enjoy relaxing as the chair initially swung as it crossed the river. Chance to catch the rays as well. Never caught a queue there either, or not much of one.
The chair that does need an upgrade badly is the one up to Madloch-Joch from Zurs side.
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@Markymark29, @davidthornton, yes, those trees were very pretty. A pity indeed, but for a good cause: they created a underground garage for the gondola’s last summer already.
@davidthornton, new Madlochbahn (6chair) will be constructed as well this summer! It will go over the Zürsersee, new basestation will be right at Seekopf
But this new chair will hardly run at extra capacity at first, since the skiroute can’t handle many more skiers. They will have to request an additional permit for adaptions to the skiroute. Until that the new lift will run at lower capacity.

The new Zugerberg gondola is also gonna run in summer, and is also wanted to give Zug a reliable return-to-village since both skiroutes to Zug are often closed due to avalanche-danger
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No doubt the new lifts will be more comfortable, though you do loose some of the connection with environment around you being stuck inside a plastic bubble (given the environmental concerns with skiing perhaps that is not really a reasonable complaint). I do think this will lead to more crowding on the Madloch runs, the top part can already be pretty busy even with the slow lift, now more slow groups mixed in with impatient fast skiers, never ideal on a fairly narrow "piste".

Is there going to be any change to the bottom of the current piste down from Madloch on the Zürs side? It is a perfectly pleasant run, useful for a quick blast first thing on good snow to blow out any cobwebs from the night before. At the moment the only way out from the bottom is either a long very dull plod or the lift back up. If the lift station is going to move to Seekopf will the only option be the plod? (I suspect the answer is on Alpin Forum but I cant be bothered looking through pages of posts!)
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munich_irish wrote:


Is there going to be any change to the bottom of the current piste down from Madloch on the Zürs side? It is a perfectly pleasant run, useful for a quick blast first thing on good snow to blow out any cobwebs from the night before. At the moment the only way out from the bottom is either a long very dull plod or the lift back up. If the lift station is going to move to Seekopf will the only option be the plod? (I suspect the answer is on Alpin Forum but I cant be bothered looking through pages of posts!)

Also, the little used off-piste to the left and right of that piste back to the current Madlochbahn.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Langerzug, cheers that works. I don't understand what you mean about the ski route not being able to handle many more skiers?? What's the reason for that?

and then what does the permit allow them to do? I hope they don't do much to the run, it's very nice and a chance for some playing around off to the sides after fresh snow!
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Hey Folks

Zugerbergbahn already discussion (with link) started on Next Seasons Topic & actually has been discussed in the previous last 6 seasons Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=4751054&highlight=#4751054


____________________________________________________________________________________________-

Weather

Some significant SNOW on the way



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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

I don't understand what you mean about the ski route not being able to handle many more skiers?? What's the reason for that?

@kitenski, Safety
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Some significant SNOW on the way


That's kinda useful eh? rolling eyes
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@Markymark29, based on what? It's fed by a slow/cold lift so surely that is fairly self limiting??? It's not a trick slope either?
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@kitenski, the new 6 person chair, once running at capacity will deliver many more people onto the ski route than the old 2 person steamer, otherwise if it doesn't there'd be little point in doing it. Presumably the ski route will be upgraded to a piste status in time for the 22/23 season once they get approval like @Langerzug, says above.

Zuersersee is fed by 2x 4 person chairs.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Markymark29, ah ok cheers, shame if they piste the whole thing Sad
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@kitenski, it's often pisted a lot of the time anyway, and from an instructing point of view, as an Anwaerter it's the only itinerary that an instructor of that level can take clients down rather than needing Landes and Alpinkurs.
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@Sitter, ok so what do they need to "change" to make it safer??
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@kitenski, There's plenty of big options off the side and down to Zug, great care needed though down likes of Stierloch.....recent history of fatalities etc. Also don't forget a lot of people don't even go down to Zug, they go straight on to Omesberg and loop straight back up Rufikopf.
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kitenski wrote:
@Sitter, ok so what do they need to "change" to make it safer??


They could do with widening the 'flat' section not long after the lift, often causes a bit of a bottleneck/chaos which is the main bit that springs to mind. Not sure how the route fairs during busy weeks tho TBH, I've always been based in St Anton, and so any trips round there have always been on very quiet days.
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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!
@kitenski, Madloch-Zug “pisted-route” simply has many bottlenecks.
Current Madlochbahn does 1440 p/h, the new 6chair will be kept below 1700p/h, potentially in future 2200p/h. I think these numbers nicely summarize what’s the issue.
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Sitter wrote:
kitenski wrote:
@Sitter, ok so what do they need to "change" to make it safer??


They could do with widening the 'flat' section not long after the lift, often causes a bit of a bottleneck/chaos which is the main bit that springs to mind. Not sure how the route fairs during busy weeks tho TBH, I've always been based in St Anton, and so any trips round there have always been on very quiet days.


+1

That spot can be quite hairy with a mix of skiers going at vastly different speeds. Some have run out of momentum and are stopped or poling. Others have managed to maintain their speed from the tuck and are now trying to negotiate a path through the slow skiers.

Even the start slope from the Madlochbahn can get chaotic - some people straightline from the top to carry the maximum speed into the tuck, while others nervously approach the start “ledge” to decide whether to tuck or not, and all speeds between.

There are are a few other choke points on the way down, including 2 pitches near the bottom that are inevitably icy.

All of these pitches/points can be chaotic mid-morning with the current volume of traffic, which is why I either do it early, or use side-piste options. The increased volume the new chair will allow will just exacerbate that chaos.

On the plus side, the ride up the existing Madlochbahn could be bone-chilling, especially first thing in the morning, so I am looking forward to a warmer trip up.
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There is only Decents from Madloch worth doing are

Revensburgerhütte
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