Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Off piste resort recommendation

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Need some resort advice for this years trip.

Coming from the US, the last two years we have done zermatt and st anton. Our criteria are generally:

1. Relatively easy access from Zurich or Geneva
2. European "charm"
3. Good, easily accessible off piste terrain

Both resorts were fantastic but particularly last year in st anton we felt many of the guided off piste routes we took resulted in bus rides, taxi cabs, or long hikes. Not only that, most of the runs turned to poor snow quality by the lower 1/3 of the run.

So for this year, the goal is to find somewhere with off piste that is more easily accessible from lifts and does not require such long return journeys. We hire guides so do not intend to go off piste alone but as spoiled American skiers I guess we just don't want to work as hard for it.

Val disere or verbier seem to fit the bill but a, nervous about the lack of ambiance relative to zermatt and arlberg.

Given these concerns, any recs?

Thanks!
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@skiandgolfnut, Verbier.

I donít know when and where you were in St Anton last season but I was there throughout the season and saw no poor snow all the way from early season to Easter the big routes were in great shape. If you know where and equally as important when to go in the day thereís no need for taxis and buses either, apart from Langen and Maroi/ Verwall but theyíre worth it as a one off. Regards lift access thatís one of the true Freeride plusís of Arlberg. Donít know who your guide was.....
snow report     
 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?
skiandgolfnut wrote:

2. European "charm"

Val disere or verbier seem to fit the bill but a, nervous about the lack of ambiance relative to zermatt and arlberg.

Your choice but I wouldn't be prioritising the charm/ambience. I would go Val D'Isere. If you are with a guide they will take you to some great places. Maybe consider Italy also.

skiandgolfnut wrote:
3. Good, easily accessible off piste terrain

Both resorts were fantastic but particularly last year in st anton we felt many of the guided off piste routes we took resulted in bus rides, taxi cabs, or long hikes.

You gotta earn your turns! And some of the best routes end up in a long stick out or a bus ride. It's the nature of the beast.

skiandgolfnut wrote:
Not only that, most of the runs turned to poor snow quality by the lower 1/3 of the run.

Last season was one of the best for a long time. I skied two separate weeks at the @rse ends of the season in France and had great snow top to bottom. So either your expecations are overly high or you were very unlucky.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Verbier/4V is nice, but Arlberg has more off-piste (and much more piste, 4V is the biggest km-piste cheater of the Alps), much more snow and much more charm.
Might have been a warm week maybe? And Lech is much more central to the area than St.Anton...
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We were there mid March. Generally speaking snow quality was excellent. It was more that the routes the guide chose for us would descend into the valleys so we could catch a ride. So the lower thirds of the runs would turn crusty. Very well could be a product of having a guide that chose to guide us in that's style. It just seemed like too much traveling for too few runs. Arlberg was amazing though.

Definitely agree with earn the turns but I have an older father that while he can still ski well off piste, just cant spend all that energy getting to and from.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Have another week at Arlberg, stay in Lech Toofy Grin
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
When I said we stayed in st anton should have specified we stayed in stuben which we loved. Based on all the exploring we did, if we went back wed either do stuben again, loved it, or lech which seemed suited to us too.

Life is short and the bucket list is long which is why we like to mix it up Very Happy
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@skiandgolfnut, I'd go to Val D'Isere if I was you. However, bear in mind I ski mostly in France, though I have skied the Arlberg (out of Stuben) and Austria a bit too.

In terms of ambience it's not a bad looking place and quite lively.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Itís probably worth bearing in mind that off piste with a guide in Europe is a slightly different concept from in inbounds powder skiing in North America. In Europe, most seasons if you get some powder during your one week at a resort, you are happy. If you get powder from top to bottom of a big off piste run (say, 1200m+ vertical), well, that doesnít happen often and if you get that in your one week, you have struck gold. Remember, youíre looking at 10* celcius temperature difference from top to bottom on a run like that.
Back to your question, Engelberg and Andermatt would be worth considering. If you donít like walking, taking taxis etc, tell your guide clearly. You will risk missing out on the good stuff though, particularly if it hasnít snowed for a while
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
There is a direct trade off between snow quality and the amount of effort spent getting onto the route, combat skiing in the exit or hassle in returning to the resort. If it's worth doing, there's always a price.

Stuff that is easily accessible in the Alps tracks immediately and may well be skied when conditions are dangerous (e.g. Vallon d'Arbi in Verbier). That's not a problem that's going to get any better.

That said, I think the best bet for long off piste descents that do not involve excessive return hassle are either Alpe d'Huez where reverse heli skiing is possible and la Plagne, where the big descents kick you out either in Champagny or close-ish to the Vanoise Express.

Andermatt is great but getting back to the main lift from Hospental is a faff. The poling return out of the Giraffe and Hans im Gluck are also lengthy. Disentis is also great but it faces south and the return to the resort from some of the better routes is not fast (Val Strem - takes best part of a day).
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@gorilla, come on you know you really mean Verbier... I donít remember many tracks?
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=63496

@skiandgolfnut, was even better last year. A picture is worth a thousand words

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=132925&start=200

This was Feb conditions. Page forward or back for Jan or March/April. Canít guarantee that next season but in Verbier a guide will usually be able to find you untracked snow and nowhere matches the terrain
ski holidays     
 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.
Chamonix? Bourg St Maurice - and pick & choose which resorts you ski in?
snow conditions     
 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
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
Op,
You're spot on. I was in St Anton for my 10th + time, during mid March last year. Warth is great, but the rest of the resort is relatively low lying and we got some horrendous viz over 8+ days of skiing.

Val is really hard to beat as an all road resort, it's probably the best imho. Verbier is also tops. Guided trips in Northern Italy are also hard to beat. Finally, if you'd like something radical, La Grave is a bucket list must for a true off piste skier imho. (make sure you're flying fit)
A ski safari of 5 days in La Grave & 5 days in Val (or Northern Italy) would be simply awesome imho.
Enjoy gravity!!
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The one area that fits the bill that I haven't seen mentioned specifically is Monte Rosa. If off-piste is the clear priority then I might go for Alagna over Gressoney or Champoluc but any would do. The big descents (as much as 2000m vertical) down to Alagna involve some long ski outs but not hikes or buses as I remember.

Chamonix is an obvious choice of course although the atmosphere is perhaps more "drama" than "charm" (not worse for that just different). And some of the classic descents do require a bit of effort on exit.

While it's true that last season was great for snow levels at altitude it was often quite mild with rain low down so I understand why you found the bottom of runs not so great. That said, I agree with some of the others that you should expect to get exciting terrain and dramatic scenery but treat powder as upside.
snow conditions     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy