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St Anton v lech v davos v st moritz or other?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I finally booked flights for me and my twelve year old daughter to Zurich so we can ski for the week of March 23 to March 30. So now the question is where to go.

The background on us is I am an expert and she is an upper intermediate to advanced. Since she has not done much off piste, we will probably be more on piste. Good snow is important as is lack of crowds on the slopes. Places with good ice skating and ambiance would be good. This will be our first trip to the alps so a place that captures the stunning scenery and alpine charm would be great.

In late march should we focus on places with a glacier like st moritz or does st Anton and lech get soo much snow that should be considered the same as glacier resorts?

St Anton sounds perfect but is it too crowded on the runs? Is it too low for late march? I also read it is huge for off piste, but with my daughter we will likely be on piste. Is it not the right place?

Lech sounds great but is the town lacking fun? Like st Anton is it too low for late march?

Davos sounds great, but are there huge crowds? Once again, is snow an issue for late march since it does not have a glacier?

St moritz sounds great but is it too quiet or too spread out?. I also read that though it has a glacier it does not get a lot of snow.

Other that are close to Zurich? Within a few hours.

I am leaning towards st Anton, but any help anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. From reading posts it sounds like it is a favorite of expert skiers. So I think it would be perfect for me, I just wonder if it will be the right place for my daughter.
post #2 of 39

Consider Zermatt. It's a bit farther (3.5 hr) but ticks off all your boxes. It is definitely good in late season -- we went the last week in March a few years ago, and it was not crowded, and even in a low snow year, there was a ton of terrain open. Picture-perfect village (I do remember an ice rink) and scenery, too. We had our kids, 8 and 11 then, and it was great for them, as well. They still remember it as the best trip ever.

post #3 of 39

St. Anton would be just fine for your daughter.   There are very groomed runs everywhere.  You have to jump off the main runs to enter the off-piste.  She will be able to ski from the very top gondola.  There are no skiable glaciers at St. Anton.  I would think that if it's at least a fair year, the skiing will be fine in late March.  With poor snowfall that year and warm weather around your stay, it certainly wouldn't be prime, but plenty to ski.  Isn't poor snow always the risk for planning a trip to Europe, anytime??

post #4 of 39

+1 for Zermatt, if there is a better overall experience in the Alps I am still looking for it. It is stunning, lots to do and some interesting sidelines like skiing to Italy for lunch.

post #5 of 39

St Anton would be a good choice.  Whether you stay in St Anton or Lech you can still ski the whole area.  Wonderful area.

 

Zermatt is also good but personally I prefer St. Anton.  To me, it is up there with Val D'Isere/Tignes as the best in Europe

post #6 of 39
My vote goes for St anton - Lech - zurs. You can ski the whole Arlberg area. Snow is guaranteed at March. I was there last winter and I had great time!

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post #7 of 39

You'll hear a lot of love for St Anton/Lech-Zurs on this forum and I'm onboard with that. Zermatt too, though I find the place a bit soulless. I hear good things about the skiing at Davos, though word is it'd be better to stay in Klosters as Davos is more city than town. 

St Moritz has better skiing than it's known for, beautiful scenery and lots to do for non-skiers. Like Davos, it's more city than town and logistically far from ideal. 

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info. Zermatt is sounding good as well. I had always thought it was too far from Zurich but looking at the train, the is a train from the airport with only one transfer and it is only 3.5 hours. Its nice having so many good choices.
post #9 of 39

Train goes direct to St Anton from Zurich too, think from the airport. You do have to change trains to get to Zermatt, though you can check your stuff through I think and it all runs with the predictable precision. Might even be a shorter ride to St Anton than to Visp, where you get the train to Zermatt. 

post #10 of 39

The trains to St Anton from Zurich depend on what time you're departing.

 

There are a few direct trains (one in the morning and three in the afternoon/evening) that take about 2:15 in total. In the middle of the day, there are two options that include changes and take about 3:15. The Swiss Rail site has all the details, but you'll need to use the Austrian Rail site to see the timetable for the return trip.

 

I always buy the tickets in the airport, just in case my flight is delayed and I miss the 10:40 direct train.

post #11 of 39

"There are a few direct trains (one in the morning and three in the afternoon/evening) that take about 2:15 in total. In the middle of the day, there are two options that include changes and take about 3:15. The Swiss Rail site has all the details, but you'll need to use the Austrian Rail site to see the timetable for the return trip."

Finally, someone with real information rather than the usual spouting off with no firm facts. Oh, right, that was me. 

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

"There are a few direct trains (one in the morning and three in the afternoon/evening) that take about 2:15 in total. In the middle of the day, there are two options that include changes and take about 3:15. The Swiss Rail site has all the details, but you'll need to use the Austrian Rail site to see the timetable for the return trip."

Finally, someone with real information rather than the usual spouting off with no firm facts. Oh, right, that was me. 

 

I forgot to mention that you do have to get a train from the airpot to Zurich Central before getting the train from there to the resort. It adds about 10-15 minutes to the journey if memory serves me.

post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks all sounds like my decision is probably between st anton and zermatt now. Everyone has been super helpful. One more question, if I stay in st Anton near the pedestrian zone, is it still quaint and nice or is that area party central. I lively downtown would be nice but not sure if I want to stay in a place that feels like college spring break.
post #14 of 39

I'd say lively, but in a good way. But that's me. Zermatt is quieter. 

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtee View Post

Thanks all sounds like my decision is probably between st anton and zermatt now. Everyone has been super helpful. One more question, if I stay in st Anton near the pedestrian zone, is it still quaint and nice or is that area party central. I lively downtown would be nice but not sure if I want to stay in a place that feels like college spring break.

 

 

There are a few B&B's at the end of the main street where you can get the best of both worlds. It's a quiet enough area to sleep, but you're just a short walk from the restaurants and bars. Also, you're very close to the Galzigbahn and Rendlbahn lifts.

 

Checking the map, they're on Alte Arlbergstrasse. I've stayed in one of the B&B's on that road the last couple of years. It's quite convenient.

post #16 of 39

I enjoyed staying here deal-wise. It's not in center but they take you up and down whenever you want by van, and it's walkable anyway.

http://www.hotel-freisleben.at/

post #17 of 39

Look into the Bella Vista if you do Zermatt -- I would go back in a heartbeat. It's a small hotel, set just a short walk up from the center of town, which gives it spectacular views. The innkeepers are so friendly, just everything was perfect there. One of the best places I've stayed. Not dirt cheap, but not horribly pricey, either.

post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hi all

 

Thanks for all of the info.  A change in direction.  An old friend lives in Lausanne, so we are going to meet in Verbier (trains look efficient, about 3.5 hours from Zurich)!  Different from what we originally thought, but it looks like a great ski area!   I need to book some more trips to get to zermatt, davos st moritz and st anton.  So many great areas I just need more time.

post #19 of 39

Verbier is a great place to ski, but you can't get the train all the way there. If your buddy has room in the car, it would be more convenient to take the train to Lausanne (direct train, about 2 hrs) and then drive in together. Otherwise, you can take a train to Martigny or maybe a bit closer and then get a taxi/bus.

post #20 of 39

Verbier, St Anton or Zermatt get my vote... 

post #21 of 39

I thought there was a train from Martigny to Verbier. Not so? 

post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hi. Looks like there is a train from martigny to le chable but there is about a twenty minute layover. I am super excited. But riding with them from Lausanne is a good idea as the train does go through there.

Any must do recommendations? I looks like an amazing mountain.
post #23 of 39

If your daughter is ok with moguls, the top of Mont Fort is worth visiting. Also, if the snow is good, you should definitely explore the other valleys in the ski area, all the way out to Veysonnaz and Thyon. I think you'll like the experience of skiing through all the connecting valleys and just the huge area. It's a nice sensation.

 

Also, see if you can find a spot with a good view of Sion airport. Watching airplanes landing below you is a cool experience if you've never seen it before.  

post #24 of 39
Thread Starter 
Skiing all the way to thyon looks like it would be a great experience. Especially because we have only skied in North America and we don't really have that kind of adventure. Thanks.
post #25 of 39

My input on the vs. might not be so good as I have only been to Lech and St Anton. Of course I've only been there because it;s so good that I just keep going back. You definitely won't run out of things to do in Lech. Just go there. The skiing will be great for you, on-piste or off you will be good. You can do the entire Weiss-Ring pretty much staying on piste, and you will be able to dabble in the off-piste very easily.

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post

If your daughter is ok with moguls, the top of Mont Fort is worth visiting. Also, if the snow is good, you should definitely explore the other valleys in the ski area, all the way out to Veysonnaz and Thyon. I think you'll like the experience of skiing through all the connecting valleys and just the huge area. It's a nice sensation.

Also, see if you can find a spot with a good view of Sion airport. Watching airplanes landing below you is a cool experience if you've never seen it before.  

This is one of the biggest differences between the Alps and NA, the ability to do a tour like this. Oh and you will not have any language issues in Verbier. It is usually about 85%+ Brits. mad.gif.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtee View Post

Skiing all the way to thyon looks like it would be a great experience. Especially because we have only skied in North America and we don't really have that kind of adventure. Thanks.

 

Remember to keep an eye on the time. It can take a while to get back, and you don't want to miss the last lifts in Siviez.

post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
Is it about two or three hours from verbier to thyon?
post #29 of 39

It depends on how fast you ski. When my brother and I stayed in Veysonnaz, the journey to Verbier each morning was somewhere between 60 to 90 minutes, depending on which part of the mountain we were aiming for. That was both of us going quite fast on the groomers to save time.

 

It's probably best to head out first thing in the morning, eat lunch in Thyon, and then start heading back straight after lunch. Then, if you're making good time, you can slow it down and explore a bit more on your way back.

post #30 of 39

I've been to the area and we stayed in Lech -- if you're going to the Arlberg I would definitely recommend staying in Lech for the beauty of the town. It's easy to get to Zurs and St. Anton via free bus to ski, but I thought St. Anton was downright ugly compared to Lech (it's all relative!) I thought there was plenty going on in Lech, not so much Zurs.

 

You can take a sleigh ride up the hill to Zug and have dinner in one of the hotels up there.

 

I haven't been to other places mentioned like Zermatt, but I really can't imagine anywhere prettier than Lech. We were there in January so I can't say anything about late March weather or conditions.

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