Ischgl is a very big ski area. With lifts and runs sprawling over several mountain faces, we figured that it’d be a good idea to try and cover as much terrain as possible on our first day. Especially as the visibility was variable, blowing in and out with passing snow showers. The snow was firm both on and off-piste, and slushy on the lower runs. It was fine, but new snow was needed.
So we explored extensively. Up and down lifts and pistes to get our bearings. And down to Samnaun in Switzerland for lunch, to check out the duty free shopping (people with empty large backpacks were everywhere skiing down piste 80). I certainly wouldn’t recommend this run in soft conditions however. For over 2km we poled and skated to get to the cable car to return to Ischgl. It was a slog.
We eventually had lunch about 1pm, just as the snow really started coming down. At least a couple of inches fell in the next hour, and then, magically, the skies cleared (pics here). Suddenly we could see wind-loaded lines off-piste (Ischgl seems to be a windy place), with 4-6 inches of airy, fluffy powder to chew up.
I did my best for 3 delightful runs to cut up as much pow as possible, not even needing to venture far off-piste. It was impressive how much excellent terrain short traverses could open up. By then it was well after 3pm, and we headed down the red piste 1 to town, in search of Ischgl’s famous apres ski. More on that later!
Day 41 – 9100m
Season totals: 41 days, 21 powder days, 315,100m vertical