The variable weather in Austria wasn’t over after the first five days. To start the week, we had sun, clouds, snow showers and more sun. For day six, we had rain.
Day 6 – Rain
The weather in Austria was so bizarre. It started to rain overnight, and all the fresh snow disappeared with it, which was sad.
We originally thought we might only ski 5 days, so day 6 was a bonus anyway. Partially because of the rain, and partially because our legs were getting pretty tired by day 6 we decided to do a little exploring and finally get across the Lech. (For a map of Ski Arlberg, click here.)
Getting to Lech required taking a bus because the lifts we needed to get across still weren’t open. The bus to Lech was 5 Euros each and we were clearly not the only ones with the idea. There was a huge line up at the stop and they brought two buses to take the crowd over. Our bus was packed, with every seat taken and people crammed in any standing space left through the aisle.
Lech as a town seems more residential and upmarket than St Anton. It’s also along a main road, whereas St Anton has some quiet pedestrian-only sections to the main road. The road in Lech is also wider, so it splits the town along with the river running through the bottom of the valley. The slopes are one side, the town on the other. This made the town feel a bit more squeezed in than St Anton.
We tried skiing off the top of Lech, but it was really hard to tell where we were. The rain came in with some very low clouds, so visibility was down to only about a meter in front of our skis. I don’t think I’ve skied in rain since New Zealand in 2002. It’s not fun and it’s hard to see. Also, the snow was getting slushy. Overall, I wasn’t having a lot of fun.
At Lech, there seemed to be more marked and groomed runs, with fewer off-piste areas. I think this is why if felt a bit more like a North American resort. After a few runs, the rain stopped and it seemed like it might clear. I think I even saw a patch of blue sky.
About mid-day we took a break for hot chocolate and to see the town. We found a really nice Italian restaurant for lunch. I’m always so jealous of Europeans. Our waiter spoke at least 3 languages in the space of two minutes to help us and another table out.
By the time we were done with lunch, it was started to rain again, but it looked like the lifts to get us back to St Anton were open. We decided to give it a go; it was about 20 kilometers to get back! It was completely clouded in, which was a shame because it would have been a really neat experience to see the mountain range as we headed back across. Instead, it didn’t feel like we were travelling anywhere, just skiing between the lollipops.
Overall, not the best way to finish off the ski trip, but we did get a powder day and we still have a night in Zurich still to come.