Pacific Northwest Ski blog (and a few other places!)

Lots or reports from skiing around the Pacific Northwest, with some East Coast excursions thrown in for good measure

And then the storm came to Fiss … and didn’t stop

Looking out the hotel window on Tuesday morning, it was obvious there was a lot of new snow. A quick breakfast and we lined up with maybe 10 other people at the Schoenjochbahn, and when it opened scored 2nd gondola. Avi control meant we weren’t going to the top, but this just meant three glorious runs down the deep snow, on and off piste, back down to village. There’s nothing better than groomer faceshots on your warmup run!

We hung around Fiss, waiting for the gondola to open to the top. This happened about 11am, and the rest of the day was spent skiing off the Almbahn, in a foot of fluffy new snow. The trees below the Zwolferbahn were superb, and the 3.30pm run down a lightly tracked Kamikaze to the village – about 1100m vertical – was enough to build up a thirst (see pics here).

And it got better on Wednesday. Colder weather, deeper snow – a local told us there was over 1m of new at the top, which sounded right as there was a good 30cm in the village. Bombs were exploding every few minutes, so we didn’t wait for the Schoenjochbahn to open. Rather we headed to the far side of Serfaus, where there was much untracked snow to be had, and the higher terrain ensured quite perfect conditions. A few laps of the Pezidbahn were probably the highlights, but there were so many, it’s hard to recall.

We had a late lunch, and while we ate, a blizzard arrived. Quite an amazing blizzard actually, causing a complete white-out. We stumbled back to Fiss in the storm, and while Jan went to prepare for the Hexenalm, I figured a couple of laps on the Waldbahn in Fiss on the pleasant tree-lined runs would be a good way to end the day. On the way up the gondola, I spied a lone ski instructor ripping the tasty powder under the lift. An irresistible proposition of course, and 3 laps later, i was completely exhausted. The wind had loaded the lift line between the trees, giving drifts as deep as I’d skied all day. If you stayed near the trees it was all untracked, giving true snow-flying-over-your-head turns. Bring a snorkel. At 3.30pm. Quite staggering really.

The storm raged while we drank in the Hexenalm, dumping as hard as I think I’ve ever seen it snow anywhere. And it continued to at least bed time, ensuring a third consecutive day of pow. Unluckily, the temperatures went up a little overnight, and you had to be a lot more selective about where you headed into the deep stuff. It was still a fine day tho, and it wasn’t hard to find pretty light powder out of the sun and in the trees. We toured over to Serfaus and back to Fiss, finishing 3 stupidly good ski days with a run down the just-opened Direttissima (the Almbahn had been closed due to wind until 2.30pm) black piste, laying fresh lines in six inches of sun-battered mash spuds on a perfect, flat groomer.

3 days  8300m, 8100m, 10100 verts

Season Totals: 39 days, 302,500 vertical metres, 10 powder days


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