The Silvretta mountain range,
in the Austrian Tirol's Paznaun valley is a fantastic ski area that
has really never made it to the International "who's who"
list of European ski resorts. It is, still, extremely popular with
knowledgeable European skier. The area boasts not only a varied ski
terrain, but a magical bit of scenery combined with a skiable
height of just under 3,000 meters. high enough to offer good snow
except in real drought conditions. The Paznaun is reached via
Innsbruck if you are coming by car from the Munich area, and Landeck
if from St. Moritz area. Alternatively via the Arlberg pass/tunnel,
should you be crossing in from other parts of Switzerland. To cross
here look for the Feldkirch border crossing.
The ski area, and the major
ski pass consists of the villages of Ischgl, Galtur and the Swiss
village of Samnaun on the other side of the mountain. You can buy a
collective ski pass that covers 200 skiable kms. serviced by more
than 60 lifts. Or individual passes for the towns mentioned above.
There are several smaller entries in this circus, but for purposes
of this story lets stick to the main performers shall we? As the
headline on the opposite page suggests, these are Galtur and Ischgl.
The skiing here is a well kept international secret, with an
excellent selection of both diverse and extensive skiing that should
please even the pickiest punter.
Ischgl is the first of the
resorts you see as you come into the valley. At 1400 M above sea
level, this is the biggest of the Austrian resorts in the region
with 35 of the total ski lifts under its direct umbrella. The next
major player along the valley floor is Galtur. This is the highest
village at 1584 meters. It has plenty of uphill transportation both
in its immediate vicinity, and above the Kopssee just a few lifts
away. There are several smaller villages dotted both along and above
the valley, all united on the bigger Silvretta ski pass. A look at
the trail map pictured here should put you in the picture. And do
not forget dear reader, this region allows you skiing forays into
Each village has its own ski
school also its own lift system, but each has equal access to the
main stream as it were. The valley that runs along
the silvretta ski region is called the Paznauntal so do not be confused if you hear someone say they are planning at a trip there.
They are one and the same regions.
This whole Silvretta area is
one that is underplayed by the International recreational skiing
circuit. You miss it at your peril. Munich and Zurich are good
airports. If you can get a flight into Innsbruck you're even closer.