Heavy snow fell on many parts of the European Alps a couple of weeks ago, cutting access off to some of the more popular ski resorts because of a rising avalanche danger. Continue reading ‘Extreme snow cuts off several European resorts from civilization!’Print This Post
Tag Archive for 'Lech'
Zürs am Arlberg
A classic, and arguably Austria’s most exclusive resort, with a long skiing history and beautiful scenery. This is the sort of place where the rich, famous and royal go when they are so confident that they do not feel a need to make the “I can afford St Moritz/Gstaad” statement. The resort has two Gault Millau rated restaurants. Ski School programme includes Big Foot Carving and Ski Guide.
With its three five star hotels and nine four star establishments, the tiny resort of Zürs is the destination that the world’s well heeled skiers head for when they want luxury but they don’t wish to make a song and dance about it by booking in at St Moritz or Cortina. Apart from the luxury of the accommodation, which is actually what the resort is made up of – giant chalet-style buildings – the resort has several other important advantages for winter sports fans, wealthy or otherwise. It is one of Austria’s highest ski centres, up at a very snow sure 1720 metres (5643 feet) and it’s lift linked to Lech in the famous Arlberg region with St Anton also on the lift pass.
There’s history too: a year-round inn was known to have existed here as long ago as 1416, as a refuge for those crossing the Arlberg, centuries before there were ski lifts and Gore Tex. Ski tourism began in 1925, however the first pair of ‘Nordic Planks’ (Telemark skis) arrived in the Arlberg in 1890. The first courses in the ‘Alpine’ technique of downhill skiing took place at Zürs in 1906. One of the students was Hannes Schneider, the legendary founder of the world famous Arlberg school of skiing, who became a film star and travelled the world, most notably to Japan, to teach his technique.
The first rope tow lift in Austria, possibly the world, was installed in Zürs in 1937. Today the ski school is regarded as one of the best in the world with 140 of the cream of Austria’s ski instructors working, usually offering private tuition and off-piste guiding to annual repeat clients. Its not unusual for some of the instructors to be so in demand that they can be fully booked for the entire season!
Naturally, the resort which markets itself as ‘High Zürs’ is proud of its ‘quality rather than quantity’ approach and markets itself as the ‘First ski resort’ …they believe first for snow, skiing, ski school, restaurants and hotels.
Zürs am Arlberg, Vorarlberg, Lech, AlpsPrint This Post
Lech Zurs Tourismus GMBH
A classic resort with a long skiing history, linked to neighbouring, equally exclusive Zürs and sharing the Arlberg Pass with ski hedonists heaven, St Anton. Ski School programme includes Carving Ski Guide Ski Safari Snowboarding Telemarking.
Lech was one of the earliest Alpine ski villages, with the first appearance of Telemarking skiers on ‘Nordic Planks’ here in the 1890s, 15 years before the Alpine variant of skiing, most commonly used today, was invented. In the century since then Lech has quietly established itself as one of the world’s greatest ski resorts, having several of the crowned heads of Europe in its list of repeat clientele. Yet the village has done it without shouting from the roof tops and today it attracts the great and the good to its more than 66 four and five star hotels (that’s more than twice as many as there are in St Moritz) without very many people knowing about it.
Aside from its synonymity with great skiing – the resort has spawned four Olympic gold medalists, most recently Patrick Ortlieb (also 1992 World Champion). The legendary Hannes Schneider attended the first ski training course here in 1906 (Austria’s first ski school).
Although a cosmopolitan resort today, Lech has also managed to maintain its character, still being owned by the original families from the last century and before and still centred on the old square towered church with its onion dome. They have ensured that the water in the mountain streams remains pure enough to drink, although you don’t need to as “mineral water comes out of the taps”.
Apart from the main village itself the Lech community takes in Zug, Stubenbach and ultra-exclusive Zürs, as well as the car-free satellite village at Oberlech (1660m), reached by cable car from the village and an excellent example of doorstep skiing: your accommodation can be reached through tunnels from the top cable car station rather than having to stagger fully loaded over the snow as is the case at some other traffic free centres.
Lech, Zürs, Oberlech, ArlbergPrint This Post
Colorado’s Copper Mountain and Italy’s Val di Fassa have topped a list of the most satisfying ski vacation destination this season.
The numbers come from a poll conducted by TUI Ski, the company which owns Britain’s largest ski tour operator Crystal, as well as other leading brands Thomson, First Choice and Flexiski.
Copper Mountain in Colorado is the most popular overall, although as the company sends a limited number of clients there, the verdict is not based on the number of passengers. The company believes Val di Fassa would probably triumph if the number of forms returned was factored.Print This Post
With another winter season only a few months away, ski deals are expected to be bountiful this year, so shopping early will help in making sure you get some of the best deals in history. But where to book and what to look for? It can get quickly become overwhelming. Ski Rebel.com has assembled a list of top 10 ski resorts for first time would-be winter ski vacationers.
Nothing can put a beginner off skiing quicker than a week spent trying to ski down unsuitable steep terrain, or have to travel for miles to get to the beginner ski slopes. This definitive top ten list of ski resorts, gives you a quick overview of the benefits that each ski resort has to offer.Print This Post