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St Anton, St Moritz, Val Gardena or Zermatt?...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Alright, so after missing my first ski vacation since 2000, it's time to start planning this year's excursion across the pond.  We have a group of six (6) intermediate / advanced skiers that are looking to go in late February / early March, and have skiied the following resorts in Europe:

 

  • Ischgl
  • Zermatt
  • Wengen
  • Solden
  • Schladming

 

Out of those, we're open to returning to Zermatt and then we're also considering:

 

  • St. Anton
  • St Moritz
  • Val Gardena

 

Anyone have any input on the three (3) mentioned above?  Would they be worth going to over a return trip to Zermatt?  

 

Any input / guidance / recommendations are greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you! 

post #2 of 6

I skied Zermatt last year, and am going to St. Anton this year.  St. Anton looks much better for steeper skiing.  i would try somewhere else, why not?

post #3 of 6

Val Gardena isn't really steep skiing (unless you go for guided, off-piste, couloir-type behaviour).  What you do get is 1,200km of runs groomed every night, and 450-odd lifts spread across an enormous linked series of passes and valleys over 12 'zones'.  You plan a day's skiing based on where you want to go - which valleys and passes and villages to explore, where to have lunch and how to do it - rather than which runs you'd like to ski on the same hill.  If you're in the wrong valley and miss the last lift you head straight to a bar and hoist a drink or two to your misfortune before hiring a taxi to get you home again.

 

I have the Dolomiti Superski piste map on my desk now and the condensed version seems to be approx. 40km x 30km.  The greater Dolomiti area seems to be at least four times as big (80km x 60km).  All linked together by lifts and runs and the odd bus link.

 

I have no real experience with any of the others on your list, but I'm off to Corvara (sort of the next village over) in January, and I'm a bit excited.


Edited by sinbad7 - 11/23/10 at 9:50pm
post #4 of 6

Three very different resorts. St Anton is the best overall and the best for snow, challenging skiing. In terms of ambiance, both St Anton and Val Gardena (which is really a series of villages) are far better than St Moritz in my view.

 

St Moritz has a lot to do for non-skiers; it's not really a town but a small, very upscale city in the Alps. The skiing is better than most people think, better than Val Gardena in my view for a good skier, but not as good as St Anton. The villages around St Moritz are appealing but not particularly convenient.

 

Val Gardena and its connected region have oodles of intermediate skiing on well-prepared, usually manmade-snow-covered pistes. The scenery is stunning and the organization is much more Austrian than Italian (that's a good thing).

 

St Anton and its semi-connected resorts have oodles of skiing for every type of skier, unusually good natural snow, especially early in the season, lots of quaint villages and active nightlife.

St Moritz has lots of rich people, the best cross-country skiing in the Alps, probably unbeatable shopping of the not-just-ski-gear type and lots of upscale flair. 



As far as the rest of your selection process goes, get yourself a copy of Where to Ski and Snowboard.

 

You might also consider France.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post


Val Gardena isn't really steep skiing (unless you go for guided, off-piste, couloir-type behaviour).  What you do get is 1,200km of runs groomed every night, and 450-odd lifts spread across an enormous linked series of passes and valleys over 12 'zones'.  You plan a day's skiing based on where you want to go - which valleys and passes and villages to explore, where to have lunch and how to do it - rather than which runs you'd like to ski on the same hill.  If you're in the wrong valley and miss the last lift you head straight to a bar and hoist a drink or two to your misfortune before hiring a taxi to get you home again.



 



I have the Dolomiti Superski piste map on my desk now and the condensed version seems to be approx. 40km x 30km.  The greater Dolomiti area seems to be at least four times as big (80km x 60km).  All linked together by lifts and runs and the odd bus link.



 



I have no real experience with any of the others on your list, but I'm off to Corvara (sort of the next village over) in January, and I'm a bit excited.







You lucky one! Corvara eh? You've got to be excited!
I used to go there in January since my early teen age years (and have memories of when the valleys around the Sella Massif weren't linked with runs and lifts and to move from one to the next one had either to take a taxi or a bus and attempt to descend from the top of one pass in "open" fields and sometime find oneself on a pile of cow-s...covered by a thin veil of snow posing as a bump) until 2005...Still like the place a lot! Fond memories!
post #6 of 6

I'd put a plug in for St. Moritz.  You can have the town, but the location, weather, snow reliability, and the accessible terrain are some of the best I've found in the alps.  I've skied in all the other places you've mentioned, and I'd go back to the Engadine in a heartbeat.  Staying in an outlying town (Pontresina's my favorite, but Sils Maria is nice too), gets you access to all the ski terrain in the valley and great family run hotels at reasonable rates.  At certain times of year the hotels offer a "Top Hit" package which, in spite of the lame name, gives you lodging, breakfast & dinner, lift tickets and bus transport at a pkg. price (usually between 900 & 1,300 CHF per person).  There's a lot of off piste options that are very accessible from the lifts. The grooming is flawless.  The pisted runs aren't super crowded on weekdays.  With a little local knowledge and/or a guide you can ski untracked snow for days after a snowfall without having to hike for hours.  On hill restaurants are great too.  Well worth a look.

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