Valluga, Stuben (Piste-to-Powder), Austria, Jan. 23, 2013

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Valluga, Stuben (Piste-to-Powder), Austria, Jan. 23, 2013

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:16 pm

Richard drove over to St. Anton today and dropped me off before parking at Nasserein. John, Martin and I were again with guide Alex of Piste-to-Powder. Al was sick and Paul had moved to a faster group and were replaced by a Swedish couple Ted and Karen. The group remained very compatible in pace and ski ability.

Wednesday was 100% clear. Reported new snow was a modest 2 inches in the resorts, probably twice that up high. At any rate, Piste-to-Powder probably sent all of their level 3 and 4 groups up the Valluga trams after an initial warmup run. This view from Galzig shows the Schindlergrat chair topping out at the Schindler Spitze at upper right at 8,725 feet.
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The top of the first Valluga tram in the notch center left is at similar elevation. The Valluga 2 tram ends at the tower dead center at 9,220 feet. The line for Valluga 1 was slightly out the door at Galzig, probably 15 minutes or so. View down from Valluga 1 to the top of the Arlenmacher and Rauz chairs.
IMG_2093.JPG


The Valluga 2 tram is mostly for sightseers: Richard went up there midday. You are not allowed to take skis up there unless you're with a guide. It's tiny, much smaller than Snowbasin's and our whole group would not fit in there with skis. Here's the view down the tram line with an avalanche "bell" protecting the piste below.
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There are also 2 Gasex installations near the top of the Schindlergrat chair.

Here's the initial descent off the Valluga's backside.
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The group is doing a switchback sideslip descent of the top section as there are more rocks in there than it appears from a casual look. Beyond the group is a saddle which you must cross to skier's left to descend the NW drainage to Zurs. The vast skier's right drainage is a terrain trap where it will take a very long hike to return to civilization.

This is an alternative descent due north, also leading to Zurs.
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However its upper section was steep and bony and the wind was blowing from that direction so there was likely less powder also.

Here's the first section we can ski.
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Traverse into the saddle.
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Looking back to the Valluga from the saddle.
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In the distance we see a couple of people skinning up for some extra fresh tracks.
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We were content with a short traverse to this slope.
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The Piste-to-Powder guides do a lot of traverses to bypass wind affected slopes like those in foreground for those with better snow.
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We follow another group skiing this powder slope.
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Our turn
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We then have a long runout to Zurs' Trittalp chair. We take a lap there, traversing out to a powder run through these scattered trees.
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We ate lunch in Zurs ~12:30, then took the free bus to Rauz and skied down to Stuben. We rode up the 2 chairs, then set off on a 15-20 minute traverse with several diagonal step-up sections.
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I've always found those extremely tiring and so chose to take my skis off and walk. Fortunately enough people had set that route that I rarely postholed. We finish the step-ups but still need to traverse more to get around to a better exposure.
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Finally our reward, the most consistent powder of the week.
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There was about 1,000 vertical of this. Then there was a short descent in direct sun through thick "Baldy powder" then some packed powder bumps shaded by opposing mountains and finally a long exit trail to a bus stop. The bus comes out to service backcountry and cross country skiers and costs 4 Euros for the 15 minute ride back to St. Anton. We caught that bus (last of the day) around 3:30, so that was all of our skiing for the day. Only 11,400 (but 4K of powder) due to waits for the tram, 2 bus rides, the slow chairs at Stuben and the slog out to our final run. Though today was the lowest quantity day of the week, it was definitely the highest in quality, hopefully illustrated by the pics above.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Valluga, Stuben (Piste-to-Powder), Austria, Jan. 23, 201

Postby jasoncapecod » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:24 pm

no pix ?
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Re: Valluga, Stuben (Piste-to-Powder), Austria, Jan. 23, 201

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:42 pm

If the report is posted with numbers but no pix, that's a precaution to avoid losing the report and having to rewrite it. It usually means the pix will be loaded in 5-10 minutes, with the exception of situations like Sunday's report, when the Sandhof's WiFi hung up so I gave up until I could get a better connection a couple of days later.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9822
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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