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Mid March suggestions needed!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
As most Americans I see in the forums here, I'm fairly overwhelmed as well and would HIGHLY appreciate suggestions if you can spare a few moments. To summarize:
-Traveling to Munich in mid-march (definitely, cannot change tickets)
-1 Advanced & 2 Expert skiers in my group
-Would like to ski 4-5 days, maybe in 2 different areas (broken up by some sightseeing to let the legs recover)
-I ski in the US at top resorts (vail, whistler, mammoth, etc) so given the option between a resort with character or charm and a killer view, I would chose than over than total skiing megaplexes. Although I'm totally open to being swayed.
-I will have a rental car, so that should keep my options fairly open...

Some questions based on my research:
-I originally planned to go to the dolamites since a germany buddy of mine suggested them, but it sounds like they have a dry climate and I could find better skiing many other places. Agreed?
-St Anton sounds pretty promising from what I read. Will it be OK in march? I read it is south facing and only 7.5k feet, so maybe snow pack will be an issue?
-Anywhere else in Austria?
-Thoughts on Andermatt for march?
-Chamonix seems far to hit from Munich, but maybe not, 600km? Would I be better off just enjoying Austria since it's so close? I don't want to spread the trip too thin.

I think I'm going to enjoy wherever I end up, but I sat down several hours thinking I would ski near Innsbruck and then maybe go south to Italy for a few days, and now am convinced I had it all wrong.

Thanks in advance for any input, and I would be glad to offer up advice on Whistler or Mammoth Mountain in the US if anyone needs any, just PM me).
post #2 of 10
Arlberg is pretty much Austria's best resort skiing with an extended backcountry and will be perfect for mid March - 'nuff said. The pain is the drive at times - solely working your way around Munich can take an hour or longer if you hit bad traffic since the airport is way out to the northeast. Not much else to do than skiing there but you could hit Innsbruck on a break day or proceed on into the Paznaun valley with Kappl, Ischgl ect. if you want a change.

An alternative: go straight south, cross the Austrian border at Kufstein and hit the Zillertal arena with tons of resorts and skiing to chose from. Much less of a drive plus a glacier at Hintertux should give you plenty of fun. Possible detour to Kitzb├╝hel en route. In case you're sick of skiing visit Innsbruck or (much nicer) Salzburg for sightseeing.
post #3 of 10
I'm a little wary about the Arlberg that late, conditions get spring-like in March over there. I've had more success there on the earlier side. That said, the Arlberg is my absolute favorite resort in Europe, and it's not like spring conditions are a bad thing.

Andermatt will probably have better snow at that time of year. Andermatt, in fact, almost always has good snow and is a cool little resort, much, much smaller than St Anton, let alone the whole Arlberg complex. Another of my favorites, though.

Chamonix, since you mentioned it, probably would offer you something of both. I'd guess better snow than the Arlberg that time of year, much more scale than Andermatt.

In my view, you have three pretty good options there already, hard to go wrong with any of them. I'd maybe throw Zermatt into the mix, Val d'Isere perhaps, Verbier. I'll put in a plug for the Monterosa complex (Champoluc/Gressonay/Alagna) too, if you're interested in Italy.

But absolutely get yourself a copy of Where to Ski and Snowboard. The best way to make informed choices on European resorts, IMHO.
post #4 of 10


hiya doublea

i was at Ischgl around 20th March 2007 and it wasn't a good snow season last year!! the skiing was great all runs and lifts open. I'm not an expert skier by any stretch of the imagination but one of the chaps i was with said that the black runs were pretty good.

If all the early snow the Alps have had this season already continues i would have thought it might be worth considering.


its about 3 hours drive from Munich. hope you find somewhere good =)

post #5 of 10
Good advice so far. I would just add one point:
It is silly to drive past a lot of great skiing to get to other great skiing, especially if you only have 4-5 days and you have never skied any of it before.

Going to Chamonix, Andermatt, Zermatt, Verbier, or Val d'Isere, while all great destinations I'm sure, mean that you will be spending nearly as much time in the car as you will skiing.

That's silly when you have the Arlberg, Ischgl, Zillertal, Gastein, and more within much easier reach.

It would be like flying to the US for the first time, landing in Salt Lake City, and then driving to Colorado when you only have 4-5 days. Not a good use of your time.

Now, what exactly does mid-March mean? I ask, because you need to decide if it makes sense to book now or wait. Easter is early this year, so if you are running up against that, you may need to book soon. If not, you'd be better off waiting to decide upon arrival. Then you can follow the best conditions. Also check when German and Austrian school holidays are for the same reason. I'm sorry, I don't know when they are.

St. Anton is famous for being difficult to find accomadations for anything other than a Sat. to Sat. stay. I'm sure this can be gotten around somehow, though.

Finally, go one place and stay there. 4-5 days will not even begin to scratch the surface of any of these places. If you choose two resorts, you'll be cursing yourself on your travel day.

www.bergfex.com gives great summaries of all Austrian resorts and links to their websites.
post #6 of 10
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions thus far!

>Now, what exactly does mid-March mean?
March 16-22nd time frame. I had not thought about Easter which i guess is the 23rd. I assume your suggesting that will be a busy weekend?

Just ordered my copy of "Where to Ski and Snowboard" via UK Amazon.com....I'm amazed it's so hard to find the USA, as it seems like a great resource.

You're probably right about picking a resort and sticking to it -- I think I would shoot for two at max (since I want to break the skiing into 2 sections to give the legs a break).

Much appreciated -- I have a lot more reading to to it seems...
post #8 of 10
If you've only got 4-5 days, do yourself a favor and stay in one place. Max you could make you base in St Anton, do your first bloc there, then ski the other days at Lech/Zurs. Major European resorts are too big to hop around from one to the next for just a couple days. If you did something like Andermatt, yeah, OK, a couple days would be enough, then you could do another small resort like Engelberg for the other days. I'm with Ami, though, more fun not to jump around.
post #9 of 10
I'd second the go to one place and stay put idea. If you need a day off to rest your legs, just do it in the resort. St. Anton, Lech, Zurs, St. Christoph has enough variety and terrain to keep you more than occupied. The amount of snow in the areas should be fine that week in March. Surface condtions will depend on the current weather. Might be winter conditons, might be spring....might be both depending on exposure.

In additon to the Arlberg, check out Ischgl and the Zillertal. Both with relatively easy access from Munich. Zillertal is a bit more low key and less pricey than the Ischgl/St. Anton. Don't spend a lot of time traveling. Go someplace an ski.
post #10 of 10
Stay in Austria. And for you off day, you can drive to Innsbruck or Saltzburg depending where exactly you're skiing.
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