Samnaun, CH 01/29/13


Day 3: Ischgl, Austria and Samnaun, Switzerland

After staying in the middle of the ski area the previous two days, I took advantage of today's clear weather to go counter-clockwise around the perimeter. As you've heard me go on about before, being able to travel long distances on your skis and visit different villages is one of the great value-adds of the Alps, and something that no ski resort in North America offers. Today was one of those days where I was just overwhelmed by the scale of the skiable terrain here -- makes everything in the U.S. seem like very small potatoes.I can only imagine what's out there with some local knowledge.

Here's the map again if you're interested in following along -- and as before, I'm alone, so all I have are scenic shots.

Starting at the mid-mountain hub area at Idalp -- where six chairs and two gondolas converge -- I went looker's right to Höllenkar.

Then down to Fimbatal on the far looker's right:

Up a chair that takes you 3,100 verts to the top of Palinkopf:

Then down a long expressway that drops you across the Swiss border:

and into the village of Samnaun:

... which allegedly has 64 duty-free shops selling everything imaginable that you schlep in your backpack to your hotel in Austria. Seems like a lot of work just to save a few shekels, but duty-free is a huge racket there.

You then take this odd-looking double-decker tram up to the Alp Trida section, which is in Switzerland:

Alp Trida is like a huge volcano crater, easily a mile wide, with lifts going in every direction from its center. I spent the next 2.5 hours trying out the different terrain pods, which had beautiful conditions. Unfortunately, that is where the day's clear, sunny weather went poof as a storm moved in with 50 mph winds and stinging graupel, so no pix from Alp Trida.

I went all the way back to the Fimbatal section and had lunch at an outdoor restaurant/bar/cafe.

One thing you have to come to terms with in the Alps is Euro Disco. It's unavoidable and a distinct part of the culture, so you just suck it up and check out all the people who seem to enjoy it, like this lady who was shaking her moneymaker to, I kid you not, a disco version of Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again."

I'll close with an obligatory "those zany Euros" photo (for the record, they were French):

Tony Crocker

Staff member
That's a lot of ground covered before lunch, though from my Sunday afternoon on Parsenn it doesn't surprise me.


Tony Crocker":32owvpj2 said:
That's a lot of ground covered before lunch
I didn't go to lunch until 1:45. Knowing the cost of everything here, I brought along a pile of Clif Bars from Costco.


New member
braveskimom":1x8s3gg5 said:
Okay! You win. You're having the best winter of anyone I know. Lucky, lucky!

Agree! You had a great winter. The place is nice. Thanks, you gave me idea on where to ski next. =D>