Today 15/Dec/18 -5°

Ski Lifts and Pistes

Great to see we have something in common: we know the meaning of an exclusive ski holiday.

Hexenboden, Madloch, Muggengrat, Trittkopf – a quartet dedicated to alpine skiing in Zürs and which mark the four geographical starting points for exceptional skiing.

Like Zürs itself, the high plateau via which the Flexen Pass leads to Zürs is bordered to the west and east by mountain ranges that are ideal for alpine skiing.

The mountain chain to the west starts with the Grosse Grubenspitze and extends from the Grosse Grätligrat to the Flexenspitze and Vordere and Hintere Hasenfluh, which tower skywards west of the resort. This range continues to the Madloch Joch and ultimately the Omeshorn, which descends in the north-west to Zug.

To the east, Zürs is bordered by a range stretching from the Trittkopf, the highest peak in Zürs, via the Hexenboden to Rüflikopfspitze, which descends down to Lech.

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Beginner Lift

The first ski lift in Zürs, and simultaneously the first in Austria, was erected in 1937. The drag lift led from what is now the ski school gathering point upwards and left of Hotel Flexen to the exiting point for the current beginner slope “Kleine Valluga”. At the outset the lift could transport 150 people per hour. Today's beginner lift still conveys all those keen on learning to ski up to easy slopes and even one or two slightly harder, yet fairly short slopes.

In 1939, just two years after completion of the first ski lift in Austria, the Zürsersee lift was constructed, which starts left of the resort centre and runs westwards up to Zürser See. 1956 saw the lift complemented by the Seekopf lift in order to transport more skiers within a shorter time.

Madloch

One of the finest touring runs in the Alps starts on Madloch Joch and leads down to Zug. Until 1954 skiers had to make their own way up from Zürsersee; before ultimately a single-seater lift was constructed that was later replaced with a two-seater chair lift.

Muggengrat

Since 1974, a ski lift has run from Zürser See up to a crest in the southwest named after “Muggen”. This strange name is the term used to describe heaped hay. What are probably the most scenic ski runs in Zürs lead from the Muggengrat down to the edge of the Zürs resort. The groomed piste passes southwest and half encircles the Hintere Hasenfluh; with a ski guide, logging roads to the left and right of the piste and subsequent off-piste runs down to Zürs can also be found. Spectacular vistas are presented on a circuit of the Vordere Hasenfluh, which starts upon exiting the mountain station on the left and runs along the slope, over the col down to the Hasenfluhscharte and ultimately ends down in the resort.

Hexenboden

Primarily blue and a few red pistes await skiers up on the Hexenboden, where the lifts have been renewed a number of times. In 2005, a six-seater lift running directly up to the mountain station was installed. Half way back en route to the centre of the resort is the Trittalpe mountain hut, which is availed of long sunsets in late afternoon and offers lively àpres-ski at the end of an intensive, yet wonderful ski day.

Flexen Lift

The new Flexen lift is set to open shortly before Christmas 2016, consequently linking up the circuit of Arlberg ski areas. For the first time, skiers will be presented with a link that runs from Zürs to the ski areas in Stuben, St. Christoph and St. Anton and back, effectively creating the largest interconnected ski area in Austria. As such, the dream of Sepp Bildstein, who constructed the first ski lift in Zürs and created the framework for the current Zürs-Lech ski area, has been fulfilled. 

Previously, Zürs was only accessible by ski from St. Anton/St. Christoph via Valluga, one of the steepest runs in the Alps and one that even experienced skiers only used when accompanied by a ski instructor and in good weather. 

The opening of the Flexen lift puts Zürs at the very heart of the entire ski region. A comprehensive ski area to the north had already been accessed in winter 2013/2014 with the link to Lech running over the Madloch and via Zug to Lech and on to Warth. Now the southern link to St. Christoph, Stuben and St. Anton is also complete. 

Two new links have been built in tandem. The Trittkopf I lift runs to an intermediate station on a semi-col above the Flexen Pass. From here skiers can either take the Trittkopf II lift to the new mountain station or take the new Albona II lift to Alpe Rauz to access the St. Christoph and St. Anton ski areas.

Flexen Lift Facts

Start of construction: spring 2016
Anticipated opening: winter 2016/17
Length: 1.8 kilometres
Altitude, valley: 1,665 metres
Altitude, mountain: 2,227 metres
Difference in altitude: 562 metres
Lift type: 10-person gondola, monocable circulating ropeway
Transport capacity: 2,400 persons/hour

Trittkopf I Lift Facts

Start of construction: spring 2016
Anticipated opening: winter 2016/17
Length: 1.9 kilometres

Altitude, valley: 1,724 metres
Altitude, mountain: 2,227 metres

Difference in altitude: 503 metres
Lift type: 10-person gondola, monocable circulating ropeway
Transport capacity: 2,400 persons/hour

Trittkopf II Lift Facts

Start of construction: spring 2016
Anticipated opening: winter 2016/17
Length: 0.9 kilometres
Altitude, valley: 2,227 metres
Altitude, mountain: 2,420 metres

Difference in altitude: 193 metres
Lift type: 10-person gondola, monocable circulating ropeway
Transport capacity: 1,200 persons/hour

Albona II Lift Facts

Start of construction: spring 2016
Anticipated opening: winter 2016/17
Length: 2 kilometres
Altitude, valley: 1,642 metres
Altitude, mountain: 2,320 metres

Difference in altitude: 678 metres
Lift type: 10-person gondola, monocable circulating ropeway
Transport capacity: 2,000 persons/hour

Der White Ring

Even as he was still designing the basics of the Zürs-Lech ski area and just after he had built the first ski lift in Austria, engineer Sepp Bildstein was already dreaming of a link by skis from Zürs to Lech and back. That dream was ultimately fulfilled with the construction of the lift to Madloch Joch in 1956. Around the same time the Rüfikopf lift and Trittalp drag lift were constructed in Lech and The White Ring was born. 

For more than half a century, the 22-kilometre-long ski circuit with its enchanting panoramas on which around 5,500 metres of difference in altitude have to be overcome, was the longest and perhaps the most beautiful in the world. 

The White Ring is also a challenge. Since 2005 “The White Ring– the Race” has been a core component of the Zürs and Arlberg winter skiing programme and competition is particularly hot for the 1,000 starting places. 

Professional and amateur skiers race at full speed around a circuit that every holidaymaker and skier in the Arlberg region should have on their tick list. Starting on the Rüfikopf above Lech, the skiers set off in groups of 20 towards Zürs. Via Seekopf and Madloch, they climb up to the Kriegerhorn, before heading to the finishing line in Lech. The best complete the circuit in around an hour.