SKI AREAS IN THE REGION: Silvretta Montafon / Golm / Gargellen / Kristberg / Silvretta-Bielerhöhe
SEASON START & END: Late November to Mid April
SKI ALTITUDE IN METRES:
Silvretta Montafon: 700-2430 m / Vertical Drop 1730m
Golm: 650-2100 m / Vertical Drop 1450m
LIFTS & PISTES:
Silvretta Montafon: 35 lifts / 80 pistes (27 blue, 24 red, 9 black, 20 ski routes), 140 km
Golm: 9 lifts / 16 pistes (6 blue, 5 red, 1 black, 4 ski routes), 45 km
Silvretta Montafon: 610 snow cannons
Golm: 141 snow cannons
LIFT TICKET 2021/22 Ski Pass:
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: 90 km (67,7 km classic, 21,9 km skating)
AIRPORT: Nearest airports are: Innsbruck (140 km), Zurich (175 km), Munich (260 km)
TRAIN: Nearest train stations are Schruns (within Montafon), Bludenz (15 km), Feldkirch (35 km), Bregenz 65 km), Innsbruck (140km), Zurich (175 km)
The 39 km long valley has 11 villages/towns including the 5 ski areas Silvretta Montafon, Golm, Gargellen, Kristberg and Silvretta-Bielerhöhe. The three main towns are Gaschurn, St. Gallenkirch and Schruns where we stayed; Schruns has plenty of shops and restaurants and a bustling local community. At the end of the valley and the very southern tip of the Vorarlberg region is the famous Piz Buin Mountain, the Vorarlberg’s highest peak at 3312 metres and the namesake of the famous Piz Buin sun cream brand. We stayed at the TUI BLUE Montafon, modern and well positioned to explore the rest of the valley.
Back in the 1970s, my parents had driven us to Gargellen to learn to ski; I am not sure how they discovered the area in those pre-internet days but it was wonderful to return to the local area to ski Silvretta Montafon. We drove to the Valisera Bahn Talstation and started our skiing from there. With a recently built ‘unmanned’ gondola, i.e. it is run by computer we were at the top of Valisera Bahn 1 and 2 in no time at all. Once up the mountain the scenery is stunning with views across to Ischgl and the Swiss border, with lots of wide open blues and red pistes above the trees this is a carving paradise. There is also plenty to satisfy the more experienced skiers with a good selection of black pistes, ‘un-pisted’ pistes and ski touring too. A car is handy, so that you can explore the other skiing areas, particularly Golm where we experienced skiing in Saharan sand/snow storms, the mountains looked ethereal; we particularly loved the shape of the rolling pistes as they move from high mountain terrain into tree lined heaven. Altogether a stunning area to ski, we can not wait to return and explore more. For Lunch on the mountain we recommend Vinnova, Vorarlberg’s highest wine bar. For an entirely Carbon Neutral Ski Tour followed by dinner take a guide and head up to Gauertalhaus, the first BIO-certified refuge in Austria, go there for the best Kaiserschmarrn in Austria. If skiing the pistes of Golm then head over to Gasthaus Matschwitz for some traditional, hearty Austrian mountain cuisine.
There are just a few choices for complete beginners, but then how many do you need? Once ski legs have been established there are a great network of blue pistes to explore, even down to the valley, but beware some of these are rather long especially for tired legs at the end of the day.
What can I say… go everywhere and explore, the mountains are waiting for you. With long, wide pistes to explore, carving has never been so much fun.
There are a healthy supply of black pistes around the resort by the Sennnigrat and Nova Chair lifts and for the more skilled skier the Burg Draglift offers a lot of off piste / freeride ‘un-pisted’ pistes (see the dashed lines on the piste map). There is also a lot of ski touring to be had in the local mountains.
ECOLOGY & SUSTAINABILITY:
– Green Ticket: Buy your ski pass online in advance to get a voucher for the free use of trains and buses. The Green Ticket includes travel by bus and train from all over Vorarlberg and from the border stations in Tyrol (St. Anton), Germany (Lindau) and Switzerland (Buchs/St. Margrethen).
– Biggest E-charge garage in Vorarlberg at the new Silvretta Park.
– To generate sustainable heating energy for the new Valisera valley station, a biomass heating system is in use. Renewable raw materials, in the form of wood pellets, are used to generate energy.
– Two photovoltaic systems are in use on the new Valisera lift – a smaller one at the top station and a large one (almost the entire roof area) at the bottom station. More than 80% of the electricity generated by the two PV systems can be used directly for the operation of the lift. The rest of energy is fed into the grid as green electricity.
– Snow management: Many of the Snow Grooming machines are fitted with snow depth gauges enabling the drivers to spread snow efficiently and make it last longer.
– Golm is the first climate neutral ski area in Austria!
For more information on Silvretta Montafon please visit online.
Silvretta Montafon is located in the region of Vorarlberg, for more information on the region including other ski resorts such as Lech please visit their website online.
The Bespoke Black Book travelled with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle to get to the Austrian Alps. Book your trip with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle from as little as £87 per vehicle (up to 9 passengers) each way for a Short Stay Saver ticket (valid for 5 calendar days) or £110 per vehicle (up to 9 passengers) for a Standard ticket (for any duration). Alternatively travel in style with one way £269 per vehicle (up to 9 passengers) for a Flexiplus ticket, turn up any time and get on the next available train, and access to the club lounge (for any duration). You can also take your pet from just £22 each way. For more information or to book see online at www.eurotunnel.com