Brandnertal, AT 02/03/15

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Brandnertal, AT 02/03/15

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:07 pm

After two days of storm skiing at places that I'm sure are gorgeous when sightlines are clear, today was payback. I went to Brandnertal -- a Vorarlberg ski area geographically located between the two large regions I'm visiting: Bregenzerwald and Montafon -- on a beautiful sunny day with plenty of off-piste powder from the past 48 hours.

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In 2009, the Panoramabahn tram was completed, joining two separate ski areas, Brand and Bürserberg, in this gorgeous valley just a few minutes from the city of Bludenz. From an infrastructure point of view, they couldn't be any different. Bürserberg's lifts are all older fixed-grip chairs (which are becoming more and more rare in Austria), while Brand has mostly high-speed lifts. I started the day on a Bürserberg chair that screamed "early 1970s" and got me right in the mood for a family place that's completely off the beaten path, but is only a few minutes from the Autobahn. Figure that one out.

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After a few quick runs, I took the Panoramabahn across a treed valley to the Brand side.

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There, I met the delightful Nina, who's worked at Brandnertal for years and completely embodies its unpretentious, family-friendly, all-about-the-nature, we're-not-a-resort vibe: my kind of people. And, by the way, Nina can ski -- exactly the way we expect Austrians to do it after watching them on TV for decades -- fast and smooth with completely clean racing technique. On every trail, within a few turns, it seemed like she would be a couple hundred yards ahead of me without even trying.

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We eventually made it to the top lift and saw a nice entrance to the looker's right. The top part was tracked, but thigh-deep:

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We dove in. I'm the tiny dot:

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Then we traversed further and all you had to do was stay left to make trenches:

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After lapping that twice, it was time for lunch -- at yet another cute mountain-top hut from my Austrian dreams.

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We were joined by a Swiss couple we'd met earlier on the lift:

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To make things interesting, the next table over was a group of Italians who looked like they'd just left a photo shoot. Don't ask how they kept that perfect hair while skiing.

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A couple sinful desserts:

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Including my personal favorite, Kaiserschmarrn:

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Nina brought back some fantastic schnapps in, what else, deer antlers.

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I saluted the Vorarlberg flag on the way back to my skis:

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And at 3 pm, headed back to the car. Another great one at a "small" Alps ski area.

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Re: Brandnertal, AT 02/03/15

Postby jasoncapecod » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:43 pm

I love the out door dinning..
Temps look nice an comfy..
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