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What's your pick : Zermatt / Verbier / St Anton

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
If you had the choice between a trip to Les 4 Vallées (Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon, La Tzoumaz), Zermatt/Cervinia or St Anton which would you choose based soley on two factors:
*quality of skiable terrain
*best chance for good snow for the first half of January

Planning ahead for 2006.
post #2 of 22
Verbier is supposed to have the best off piste expert skiing in the world
post #3 of 22
If you want to really party, then it has to be St Anton.
If you want the "chocolate box" ski resort, then it's Zermatt.
PdS will give you the most variety of terrain (remember, all areas you've mentioned are bigger than what you're used to)

If it was me, I'd go for St Anton. Ski hard, party hard.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
no, party hard is not a concern. This is part of a honeymoon vacation while going back to the homeland to get married. I selected those three resorts for their old village / picturesque appeal. I also want to ski somewhere else than the french Alps which is where I learned to ski when I was a kid. I've skied there a lot so I want something new... Always wanted to ski Switzerland or Austria but when you have the Pyrénées and the French Alps at your doorstep, why go anywhere else? I regret not going to Switzerland when I had an easy chance and lived just a couple hours from the border.
post #5 of 22
Verbier, is awesome (but not in the Portes de Soleil) and is only an hour from Chamonix by road. Certainly has some of the best off piste skiing in the world. Zermatt has some really demanding terrain and the glacier makes it absoluterly snow sure.
post #6 of 22

paper or plastic

verbier has much terain but the mountain is also "exposed" when bad weather hits, a great mountain but I am partial to St Anton. As noted above...ski hard...party hard!!! St Anton takes the cake there and there is plenty of off piste if you want. Fly into Innsbruk, 20 minute train to St Anton, on slope B&B for $50 US/night, stop at the Roddelalm for lunch, Krazy Kangaru at 4, Mooservert at 6, and you still have to ski to the bottom...dam I'm ready to go... If you go you must plan to ride the tobogan run at night...after a few williams shnopps...enjoy
post #7 of 22
Lech the third week of January (after a pretty lousy December and early January):
http://www.zoneski.com/forum/ftopic2751.html

Nice village too.
post #8 of 22

just beyond

after seeing some of your additional comments you might also look into Lech, Zurs, and St Christoph, these are small towns just beyond St Anton but they access the same ski terrain. They are very quaint, picturesque, possibly a bit more romantic and certainly quieter than St Anton but only a short taxi ride if you want to go dance and party...another area of great beaty and good ski is Cortina Italy...
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Sparks
Verbier, is awesome (but not in the Portes de Soleil) and is only an hour from Chamonix by road.
Thanks, I guess I got les 4 Vallées and les portes du soleil confused. My bad.
post #10 of 22
St Anton. Skiing is more than equal to any of your other suggestions and the place has a great atmosphere.

Zermatt is very pretty and some great skiing when you search it out but a bit spread out/disconnected and you can spend more time than I like on lifts.
Verbier is somewhere I have never really warmed to despite all its attractions and wanting to like it. Portes du Soleil has a tremendous variety and has some good skiing but is not really in the same league as the others.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rippin
another area of great beaty and good ski is Cortina Italy...
thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into them as well. Nothing is set in stone and still ten months to plan the trip. We're going to road trip in Northern Italy before we hit the mountains. We will probably be around Venice by the time we need to go up towards the mountains... So stayin in an Italian resort is totally possible too.
post #12 of 22
St. Anton will come out on top, no matter where in europe you compare it to. More terrain. More off piste. More groomers. More volkswagon size bumps. More snow. More vertical. More fun. More babes. More access. The only place that comes close is Chamonix
post #13 of 22

Cortina is gorgeous

The slopes are pretty tame & it's not snow sure, so it may not fit your needs. I went there with my wife 3 years ago, and it was so beautiful she cried. Most beautiful mountains I've seen.

We'll go back (my wife likes groomers). Actually, I want to go there in summer & ride my bike...
post #14 of 22
Kelly
Both St Anton & Verbier cover your first parameter as well as any resort in the world, but for your second parameter, St Anton edges verbier out with more alpine, higher, further inland (continental snowpack). If you want a more intimate setting don't stay in St Anton but rather Stuben, St Jakobs or Lech (Zurs is more for the rich and aristocracy).
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Does St Anton get the snow consistently in early January???
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001
If you had the choice between a trip to Les 4 Vallées (Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon, La Tzoumaz), Zermatt/Cervinia or St Anton which would you choose based soley on two factors:
*quality of skiable terrain
*best chance for good snow for the first half of January

Planning ahead for 2006.
I would be loathe to book too far in advance for early January. This year was a big disappointment. I would want to see snow on the ground first.

Zermatt and St Anton are fine. I have not tried Verbier because it is mostly a chalet resort - but the terrain is supposed to be good.

You could check out historic depths for the weeks you are interested on the SCGB site; but that will be scant consolation if you turn up and the snow is poor.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
SCGB site?
post #18 of 22
It depends on what kind of skiing you want to do. if you want to stick intermediate groomers - go to zermatt. although zermatt is one of the higher resorts - and has plenty of reliable snow in January - they don't open the challenging terrain in zermatt - till late jan or even Feb. on the other hand - if I was on my honeymoon - i would go to zermatt for the ambience/beauty.

i have not been to st anton. but it has a reputation for reliable snow in january, more challenging terrain and noisy (sometimes rowdy) crowds.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001
SCGB site?
Ski Club of Great Britain
http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/default.asp
post #20 of 22
scgb - ski club of Britain
post #21 of 22
In Europe, snow is always iffy in early January. However, if there is snow in Europe, then there is snow in St. Anton. I think that it has to do with the lake effect. (Bodensee). I have skiied there 3x (20+ days) between x-mas and new years, and 7x (50+ days) during February. February is always better, but I have skiied "epic" days in December. In 2001, the ski world championships were held during the 2d week in Feb. in St. Anton. The snow was fantastic.
post #22 of 22
Go to Zug!
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