Warth-Schrocken/Lech, Austria, Jan. 20, 2017

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Warth-Schrocken/Lech, Austria, Jan. 20, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:22 pm

On our last day we wanted to ski the front side of Warth-Schrocken, which had been socked in Tuesday.
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We first skied the 251 piste to the parking lot at the western edge of the area. The lifts do not extend down to the town of Schrocken though ski route 256 does. We next took a lap on the flattish Hochalp chair which still had a few shots of mellow powder next to the pistes. We then skied a winding piste down to the Jageralp base. Riding this brought us near the top of the Wartherhorn chair, which has the best fall lines. Even here there was some powder between the trails, though it was light powder only at near exact north exposure 5 days after the big storm.

Judging by how it looked Friday, Wednesday must have been a powderfest across the entire front side similar to what we had on the back Tuesday. Warth is definitely James’ kind of place. It’s surprising to be so quiet even with the Arlberg connection. And I’m guessing Warth has had less than half its normal season-to-date snow so far.

This is the Wartherhorn, which has a small cross on its peak.
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View toward Schrocken from top of the lift.
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After a couple of laps I explored farther afield. Dropping off the 270 piste were a couple of good powder shots but the contour eventually bends to face east here.
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Few tracks but partially sunbaked.

This was the irresistible view from the Wartherhorn chair.
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That fall line is a good 1,000 vertical of perfect north facing before getting into the shrubbery and crossing a gully and exiting with some lower angle untracked.

The reason for few tracks was the nasty traverse getting out there. Rounding two points it was necessary to walk not slide over gravel sections. But after 10 minutes or so here was the view down.
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View back up after skiing ~500 vertical.
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We worked our way back via another Hochalp lap, a cruise to the aptly named Sonnencruiser lift and finally piste 258 to the transfer gondola.

Returning to Lech, Liz took a break at Die Wolf and called it a day after a couple more runs.

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I skied down to town and crossed the street to the Rufikopf tram, where I encountered the only serious line of the week (20 minutes) at 1:35PM. Evidently lots of people come over from St. Anton to ski the White Ring and this is a chokepoint on the way back even though Rufikopf has two trams.

I had been planning to ski to Zurs myself, but then I spotted a poma lift under the upper part of Rufikopf and this powder field leading to it.
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The poma leads to the 215 skiroute dropping though a notch on the north side of Rufikopf. This area has only been open a day or two due to huge avalanche exposure.
Martin told me that night that the area has to be bombed by helicopter.

Skiroute 215 is called the Langerzug and is a contender for steepest groomed run in the world.
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It averages 36 degrees for about 800 vertical feet.

View from the top.
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View up from bottom of the steep pitch.
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View down valley from same spot.
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That valley empties out at Stubenbach above Lech.
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That was quite an impressive finale to a week in the Arlberg. I then took the Schlosskopf lift up to ski back to the Sandhof. Totals for the day were 14,200 vertical at Warth, 6,600 at Lech, about 4K of powder mostly at Warth.
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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
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Tony Crocker
 
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