Ischgl - at long last

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Ischgl - at long last

Started by Tony_H in Austria - 7 Replies

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Tony_H posted 19-Oct

Somewhere I have often looked at but found holiday costs to get there on a package restrictive, and limited availability for accommodation DIY.
However, last week I cancelled a cycling week in Tenerife and swapped it for a ski week in Ischgl (courtesy of TUI allowing free amends) early Jan.

Initially very excited, and then the realistic thoughts kicked in (same as anyone going anywhere I guess):

Will we be in a lockdown situation come that time of winter here in the UK?

Will Austria have adopted restrictions in resort that could impact the skiing?

Will there be a limit to the number of lift passes sold each day to go up the mountain?


And I thought to myself: for the past 2 years nearly we have been in a ridiculous situation which is out of our control so why worry about the negative aspects and focus on looking ahead to getting back on the snow again, especially to this resort! Especially as my last ski trip ended up in emergency evac flights out of Verona in March 2020 as things started to get proper crazy with this "pandemic".

Anyway.....Ischgl. I've read a fair bit about the skiing, and of course the mental apres (I will probably return to the open fire in a quiet hotel lounge at tea time......), but wondered if anyone had some tips and guidance on the best runs, where to avoid the more crowded slopes, decent off piste to locate, and the smaller cozy huts up the mountain to avoid the big self serve places?

Thanks in advance.
www  New and improved me

DougR
reply to 'Ischgl - at long last'
posted 20-Oct

Last time we were in Ischgl was 2016 so things may have changed a bit since then. Yes, the Apre can be mental, but there are loads of bars so if you look around you will find some quieter ones. It's a great ski area with loads of runs, but it does get busy. We were there in early Feb for our second visit. The lifts up in the morning can get very busy, with long queues, but I understand they have replaced at least one of the lifts since then so it's prob better now. Best advice is get there early. We found the A2 lift to be the least busy, but as I say, things may have changed since then. Can't remember much about the huts, but the ones in the 'bowl' were always rammed, so you may want to explore others.
Beware the 'duty free runs'. There are 2 of them, both take you across the border into Switzerland (hence the names). The one we took ended up at a dead end with no lift back. We had to wait about an hour for a bus to take us the 1 mile or so to the Gondola. We never tried the other duty free run, but it is supposed to be very good. Make sure you study the map to make sure you choose the one with the lift back.
The home runs can be a bit of a trial. They end in the town main street, but they narrow considerably as they approach the end and they are relatively steep for beginners. Not a problem for most people, but it catches out the novices and you end up with a pile of bodies at the bottom that spill out onto the street.
If you find it too busy you can get a bus up the valley to Galtur which is a much smaller quieter resort. Bus is included in your pass as is the area (I think, but best check), they are regular and reliable, I think the journey took 15-20 mins. You can ski the whole of Galtur in half a day and there are some nice huts up there.
Alternatively you could go down the valley to Kappl, but we never made that journey so can't comment further.
Ischgl is one of the great Austrian resorts and I'm sure you will enjoy it.
I just hope Covid does not drop another bomb on us this coming season. I don't think many ski resorts could survive another lockdown and the whole travel industry could face collapse if we cant get away.
Personally I don't think I can survive another winter stuck in the UK , so fingers, legs and everything else crossed.
Skied: On snow, On water, On mud, On slush, On ice. Oh, and on a few dry slopes.

Wanderer
reply to 'Ischgl - at long last'
posted 20-Oct

Hi Tony

It seems strange to be talking skiing again after the lengthy break. I think you will really enjoy Ischgl. Doug has probably captured the main highlights. I found it best to head over to the Swiss side early in the day. It is South facing and the skiing is best early in the day and then head back to the local side after lunch but remember that lunch on the Swiss side may be quite a bit more expensive!

Enjoy!

DougR
reply to 'Ischgl - at long last'
posted 20-Oct

Quick note though. Swiss use Swiss francs. They will accept euro, but change will. Be given in Swiss francs.
Skied: On snow, On water, On mud, On slush, On ice. Oh, and on a few dry slopes.

SwingBeep
reply to 'Ischgl - at long last'
posted 20-Oct

Austria's plan for Covid-19 restrictions in ski resorts is outlined here: https://www.austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information/ski-winter-holidays In the English version it states that FFP2 masks are to be worn in "Cable cars", but in German version it says "Seilbahnen" (ropeways) so FFP2 masks might be required for all lifts.

If you go over to Samnaun and want to eat inside a restaurant you will have to obtain a Swiss Covid-19 certificate https://covidcertificate-form.admin.ch/foreign at CHF 30- a piece you would probably enjoy your lunch a bit more if you ate on the terrace!
Edited 3 times. Last update at 20-Oct-2021

Iainm
reply to 'Ischgl - at long last'
posted 21-Oct

According to recent press releases, masks will only be required in cable cars. There will be no capacity restrictions.

Also possibly of interest:

New "intelligent" camera systems have been installed on the three cable cars in Ischgl, which optimise waiting times in the queuing areas by means of density measurements and mobility analysis".

SwingBeep
reply to 'Ischgl - at long last'
posted 21-Oct

"Cable cars" is a mistranslation, these days many skiing related press releases are machine translated using Google translate etc., they tend to struggle with ropeway terminology. Ischgl only has one cable car, it goes up to Piz Val Gronda.

In articles that appeared in the Swiss and Austrian press, it was reported that "intelligent" camera systems have been installed in the three "Zubringerbahnen" (feeder lifts) at Ischgl. Ischgl has 3 gondola lifts that take skiers up to the slopes above the village.

The Austrian government COVID ordinance for the coming ski season is still pending. The draft version states that FFP2 masks will be mandatory in cable car cabins, gondola lift cabins, chairlifts fitted with hoods and in enclosed waiting areas. It also states that stricter measure can be introduced on a regional basis if necessary.

Tony_H
reply to 'Ischgl - at long last'
posted 19-Nov

Oh great. The world continues to go mad.
www  New and improved me

Topic last updated on 19-November-2021 at 15:18

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December 5, 2021

Snow is next forecast to fall in Austria over the next 2 days, in at least 50 Ski Resorts including Bad Gastein, Flachau, Kitzbühel, Mayrhofen and Obertauern.

Fresh Snow is reported by Galtür, Ischgl and Kitzbühel.

 At least 1 Austrian Ski Resorts is reported to be open.

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