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Am I nuts to book airfare to Zermatt (Zurich) now for mid-January 2017? - Page 2

post #31 of 50
If you decide to go to St. Anton, check out the accommodation finder on the town's official site. There are a lot of great B&Bs that you can only get in touch with through that site. A lot won't have online booking, but the site will let you send an enquiry that will go via email.

I really recommend the B&Bs there. There are quite a few in great locations, the prices are lower than the hotels, and they're usually quieter when you're trying to sleep. I've had good experiences with the Haus Kandahar and the Haus Arnika, but there are several others that also look good.
post #32 of 50
I'm not crazy on the Lech suggestion for a first time European visitor with older teens although it is quieter and nearer to more cruisey skiing, it's also kinda spendy and a bit dull at night. Plus you'll never get to ski Rendl from there which is a great little area. With the new connection to Alpe Rauz the main obstacle to get over to Zuers/Lech/Warth has been eliminated although I'd expect more people transiting both ways as a result.
post #33 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

1) No, the Arlberg gets more.   But Zermatt's ski terrain is much higher and there will be a few storms where the Arlberg gets rain and Zermatt snow.  Or, like a couple of years ago the early storms were from the south and Zermatt was much better.   So it's your call whether to play the odds and book a hotel you really like in the Arlberg now vs. waiting to see which area actually gets the best start to the upcoming season.

 

Tony at what point in the early season do we tend to see if the Southern or other parts of the Alps are getting the snow....do patterns tend to develop in the early season in Europe that seem to linger for a while like in the USA?  I'm just trying to determine how long I should actually wait to choose which mountain before our departure on 1/13.  I was really hoping to choose by Xmas but who knows?  Thanks.

post #34 of 50

Not quite Tony's data driven approach but you'll generally know by mid December if the Arlberg is going to be skunked by Xmas or have a decent base.  Not all terrain needs a massive snow covering - I've hiked around Lech, Zuers and Warth in the summer and there is a pretty grassy base.  

 

I've skied a few times there at the end of January and it's been fine - the only issues caused by too much weather

 Whited/greyed out on some days & super heavy snowfalls resulting in closures (PNW snow) on another occasion.

 

Warth supposedly gets the most snow in the Alps (I was heavily snowed on in August there) so practical reality is that if the snow isn't any good around the Arlberg there will only be glacier resorts (of which Zermatt is partially one of course) that have much chance of being better.

post #35 of 50
Quote=gores95:
do patterns tend to develop in the early season in Europe that seem to linger for a while like in the USA?

That's mostly a myth in both regions. Weather tends to persist over short time frames but by the time you get to month-to-month weather there's almost no correlation.

 

To be safe if you're waiting, the time to pull the trigger is when there's an adequate base on the ground.  Sometimes that's early December; in the bad cases like 2 years ago it's Christmas or later.

 

Warth is the snowiest resort location in the Alps for which there is data.  But it's relatively low altitude so can get rain.

post #36 of 50

I would suggest looking at a website like booking.com. Look to see which hotels have a free cancellation policy, and then book a room in Zermatt, and a room in Lech/Zurs that meets your budget/needs. Then closer to date of travel, you can cancel the room that's looking less appealing due to snow conditions. However, you could be stuck with the enviable task of having to make a decision because both locations are getting hammered with snow for your dates of travel.

post #37 of 50

Ditto Toadman's advice. Last week I booked 7 nights at a hotel in Flims because I MAY go there in February, free cancellation until mid-January so plenty of time to decide.

post #38 of 50
Thread Starter 

Guys thanks for all the advice.  We did book a hotel in Zermatt that we can cancel for free up to 12/24 so I'll wait until at least then to make a decision.  Until then I guess I'll be watching the weather!

post #39 of 50
You won't regret Zermatt. I was lucky enough to ski there in 2014 and hit a great storm in late March. Truly a bucket list trip!

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post #40 of 50
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I hope everyone had a nice Summer and Fall.  Just to update this thread in case anyone cares LOL.  I actually have two hotels booked at Zermatt for 1/14-21 with no cancellation penalty.  Alpenhotel Fleurs de Zermatt (can cancel until 12/25) and Hotel Silvana (can cancel until 1/12).  The former looks nicer and closer to Town but the latter looks like it's ski in/out so up the mountain a little ways from Town.  Has anyone stayed in either of these?

 

I guess I should also grab a "cancellable" hotel in St. Anton but for now anyway I am leaning towards Zermatt.  This is a bucket list trip for my two teenage daughters and me.  I know it's too early to tell weather wise Zermatt vs. St. Anton but I am watching the weather and forecast projections.  Thanks.

post #41 of 50

FWIW I booked the week of Jan. 14-21, 2017 at the Hotel Sandhof in Lech last week. http://www.sandhof.at/en Why?

1) Prior nice experience there in January 2013

2) Pricing is attractive during the January "Winter Sports Weeks."  I asked first for the week starting Jan. 21 and it was sold out, so I thought I needed to grab what was available.

3) If you're going to commit for that early in the season, connected Warth-Schrocken is the snowiest resort in the Alps, and Lech-Zurs is not far behind. 

4) We will have a car rental, and will also spend the next two weeks in the Alps.  For those weeks we will be flexible and choose where to go, based upon how the season is shaping up.  There are a staggering number of options within drive distance in Austria, eastern Switzerland and northeastern Italy. 

 

My situation is the opposite of the OP's.  I'm mulling over when is the right time to book the airfare. 

post #42 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

FWIW I booked the week of Jan. 14-21, 2017 at the Hotel Sandhof in Lech last week. http://www.sandhof.at/en Why?

1) Prior nice experience there in January 2013

2) Pricing is attractive during the January "Winter Sports Weeks."  I asked first for the week starting Jan. 21 and it was sold out, so I thought I needed to grab what was available.

3) If you're going to commit for that early in the season, connected Warth-Schrocken is the snowiest resort in the Alps, and Lech-Zurs is not far behind. 

4) We will have a car rental, and will also spend the next two weeks in the Alps.  For those weeks we will be flexible and choose where to go, based upon how the season is shaping up.  There are a staggering number of options within drive distance in Austria, eastern Switzerland and northeastern Italy. 

 

My situation is the opposite of the OP's.  I'm mulling over when is the right time to book the airfare. 

Tony isn't Lech connected to St. Anton this year by chairlifts?  I read somewhere that rather than having to take shuttles/buses there was an extensive lift system built to connect the whole St. Anton region.  

 

Have you been watching early weather patterns in the area?  Also what airport you flying into?  Just curious as you are a seasoned ski traveler for sure! :)

post #43 of 50

The links between Zurs and Stuben (the two villages between Lech and St. Anton) should be up and running for this season. Now, the only gap in the area is between Stuben and Sonnenkopf, which is a section that is completely off on its own but still covered under the Arlberg lift pass.

post #44 of 50
Yes Lech is connected to Alpe Rauz and Stuben by new trams for 2016-17. With Warth-Schrocken involved, I think Lech is the most central location from a ski perspective, particularly early season when you want to be in the sectors with the most snow.

I haven't been watching Euro weather. I'm in Thailand on a non-ski vacation. November is a good month for that IMHO.
post #45 of 50
Thread Starter 

So as December nears I am realizing I am literally weeks away from this trip!  I am definitely leaning towards Zermatt as a once in a lifetime Alps ski trip but still have time to cancel my hotel (by 12/24 with no penalty) if we decide on St Anton area.  So again plan is for six full days in Zermatt.  I would definitely take at least one day off which gives us five days of skiing in six days.  Unless there are so many other non-ski activities you guys think that four days skiing with two days off would allow us to really enjoy the Town more.  Any thoughts?  Thanks.

post #46 of 50

My only thought is that Zermatt appears to be shaping up really nicely this year. I heard they may get a couple more meters in the next week. It seems like a strong start for them for the skiing (although the rain level appears to be closer to the village at the moment). 

post #47 of 50

snow line is actually quite high about 2k and its really the upper mtns that look great so far ....I love Zermatt

and couldn't possibly pick anything else for a first trip....If you can ski off piste a bit that would be my

main tip... Get a guide and if there is snow ski some tour or another....the mtn will need more snow and at this moment I 

don't see any but if you can go off piste that wood be the ticket!   And lunch is very very important.

 

See you there...

post #48 of 50
If the rain/snow line is 2,000 meters that's no big deal at Zermatt but more of a problem in the Arlberg.
post #49 of 50
Thread Starter 

Anyone ever stay at the Riffelhaus hotel...2500 meters up?  Love the ski in and ski out and amazing Matterhorn view but last train from Zermatt back up to hotel is 19:40 (7:40) or so.  It's our first time to Europe and while ski in/out is so great we would really be staying away from the Town of Zermatt.  We would have one full day off from skiing where would could explore the town all day.  We are also getting international ski passes so we would ski down to Zermatt and Cervinia both.  I'm just torn as to where to stay.  The Riffelhaus looks amazing though.

 

http://riffelhaus.ch/?lang=en


Edited by gores95 - Yesterday at 7:55 am
post #50 of 50

If you're in the Riffelhaus you better be on the full board plan including dinners.  It will take longer to get to Cervinia from Riffelhaus than from town of Zermatt as you will have to ski down to Furi and take the gondola or tram into the Klein Matterhorn sector from there.

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