Looking back – looking forward…
Great season of powder, fun, smiling faces, endless ski touring and even Saharan sand!
As the dawn closes on the end of another ski season in the Arlberg, one that was even more special as we welcomed back all of you returning once more.
Early December 2021, as we faced a delayed lift start due to covid – we were once more spoilt by fantastic early season snowfall, clear blues skies . Without lifts – we were limited to ski touring but by using the free bus shuttle from St Anton to St Christoph, you could get in very satisfying ski tours and go home armed with a takeaway and crate of beers! Small pleasures kept us going, hoping always for a near normal season, nervous whether this would be the case.
In the end we were very lucky. The season survived, kicking off on the 14th December 2021 and we really appreciated the efforts so many of you made to get out here again and ski with us. We were once more able to run our Open Groups, our ski touring groups, Avalanche training camps and our Girls technique camps all through the season. We felt incredibly blessed and lucky and we know many of you were as thrilled to be back.
Small delay at the start – back 200 percent!
On December 14th 2021 lifts opened and to our deep joy some familiar faces started arriving looking for ski touring – our guides were simply delighted to be guiding once more. Some restrictions were in place – but restaurants and bars miraculously managed to cope with the early curfew meaning only two sittings, but thanks to stirling efforts from teams who worked harder than ever before, we got through. The season would go on no matter what.
January and February, again we were blessed with great snowfalls, some record powder falls in the first week of the New Year topping up an already great base. Our Open Groups were back on and popular as ever. Our Open Tour groups. were also gaining in popularity as people discovered the wonders of ski touring, where a little effort is worth everything for the amazing reward of fresh powder lines! Europeans returned in full force and we even started to see more English managing the travel hurdles, some who declared to us nothing was going to stop them getting back to their favourite resort and skiing with us again.
Early February we were amazed to see our North American friends starting to return. They were rewarded with excellent Off Piste conditions all through the month.
Apres – what Apres?
By now we had become used to a more sophisticated St Anton, with fine dining and quiet drinking – none of the sometimes raucous behaviour characteristic of this party ski town. Everyone seemed rather to enjoy this transformation – even the 10pm curfew meant you could be early to bed and up fresh for some great Off Piste next day with no FOMO (Fear of missing Out!). In early March restrictions were relaxed once more and on March 6th Apres Ski returned, well almost to its former glory. Standing at the bar (a novelty by now for us) was again allowed, even dancing on the bar – and no longer did people have to sit quietly at tables and wait for service. Gunar, right on cue started playing again in Murmel bar with his legendary rock songs and there may even have been a few revellers dancing on the bar! Some felt like dogs let off the leash in the park, the first two weeks of apres were amazing!
March – epic Ski Touring !
March has always been a mecca for ski touring – but this March perhaps even more so. With almost continuous sunshine for most of this month – our Open Groups transformed into Open Touring Groups. Even our Level 1 beginner Off Piste groups were willing to give it a go and each morning we noticed the big smiles and playful comradery as the groups bonded in a way that is unique and a very special part of ski touring.
Mid March we welcomed back our American groups in Lech. With Saharan sand and unusually warm days, they good naturedly soaked up everything that is good and unusual about the Arlberg !
And so to April – with powder returning we were able to guide Off Piste until the very end finishing with an amazing, late season hut to hut tour in Otztal.
So what’s in store for Next Season?
Next season then, ski season 2022/23 – the emphasis is going to be even more ski touring. We will still run our standard freeriding Off Piste groups , using lift access and short hikes – but there is so much more in the reward from ski touring that we will be giving this a fresh face.
Also – after a dry period please come prepared to tour in all our Open groups It doesn’t matter if you have never tried before and you can easily rent all the kit. We will of course always let you know to give you the option, however expect in Level 3 groups always to have some ski touring.
Our ever popular Girls Technique camps are back again next season – including half day technical and a 3 day girls ski touring camp. (with a little touch of luxury!)
This season we had many signing up for the Piste to Powder SEASON PASS. This will be available again for those wanting great value for 10 or more ski days , including a special Piste to Powder goody bag, and a club for socials etc. If you are interested just contact us here.
We will also have more hut to hut tours. Including our Introductory 3 day Silvretta tour and our standard silvretta hut to hut as well as Otztal for more advanced tourers.
And so it just remains to say a big thank for a special season! We are very much looking forward to welcoming you again next season – ready for an unique Off Piste experience?
Our local UIAGM / IFMGA qualified mountain guides have expert knowledge of the terrain and are able to take you to secret powder spots on day tours or multi day hut to hut adventure tours.
Our friendly team are here to help and can advise you – just get in touch here, or check out our Hut To Hut Touring Trips and other ski touring guiding options in St. Anton, Lech Zürs, Arlberg.
Find more information about your private booking with Piste To Powder here!
Blog entry by Zoe