The 4th most popular snowboarding destination in Austria.
Thursday 21 December 2017 03:23 GMT
Southwest of Innsbruck and Landeck, the Ischgl area of the Silvretta Ski Arena is an amazing area for snowboarding and partying. There are 62 pistes totalling 238km of groomed runs, plenty of off-piste terrain and 1,066m of vertical served by 45 lifts.
The Silvretta Ski Arena links Ischgl with the Samnaun Ski Area in Switzerland. If you purchase the right kind of lift, your pass may also be good at the nearby bus-connected ski areas of Galtur, Kappl and See. The area is known to be good for solid intermediates and experts. The main terrain park is the Boarders Paradise Park that has kickers, boxes, a quaterpipe and halfpipe.
If you are looking for challenge, make sure to check out the black Pardatschgrat which runs back into Ischgl with stretches through glades (one of the few gladed areas). Also, there are some nice freeriding stretches off the Palinkopf lift down to Fimbatal, off Greispitz and the challenging Hollenkar face down the steeps to the Hollenkar valley.
On a powder day, make sure to take the E2 chair to the Hollenspitze summit and start snowboarding down the cat track. Off to the left side of the cat track, you will find several easy chutes and powder fields (watch out for avalanche hazards) into the Hollenkar valley. Also, take the Gampen Chair up and follow the route to Vesil down. If freeriding is your scene, you’ve got to head up the relatively new Piz Val Gronda lift on the west side of the ski area. This cable car that opened in 2013/2014 provides access to freeriding lines with 900m of descent through steep narrow couloirs. Some of the better freeriding routes in Ischgl include the Valmala (500m descent), the Ravaischer Salaas (950m descent) and Val Matruga (780m descent).
After all the powder is tracked out, you may want to try the newer Schmuggler Runde circults which loop around the entire ski area. The loops start and finish at either the Fimbabahn lift base station in Ischgl or the Twinliner cable-car station in Samnaun. The Gold Schmuggler Runde is a 35.7km loop with 6,463m of vertical descent. The Silver Schmuggler Runde is a 24.7km loop with 4,745m of vertical descent. The Bronze Schmuggler Runde is a 19.8km loop with 3,191m of vertical descent.
For apres-ski, it seems like the most action happens near the A1 lift base (see: Trofana Alm or Kuhstall). If you happen to be over near the A3 lift base in Florian Platz, then try the Hotel Nevada Apres Ski Bar. For nightlife, make sure to hit the Trofana Showarena in the Trofana Royal Hotel and then the Pacha Nightclub at the Hotel Madlein. While many rave about the nightlife in Ischgl, honestly it always seems alittle hit or miss. You can expect to find a predominately male crowd (90%) in their late fourties to early sixties. By the way, if you are looking for an authentic Tirolean dinner, make sure to stop by Cafe Loba Kucha which is the last authentic restaurant left in Ischgl. There is an awesome Spring Snow Festival in April every year.
Note: there is no train service to Ishgl. To reach the snowboarding at Ischgl from Innsbruck or Zurich, take the train to the Landeck station. There is a convenient regular ski-bus and a Post-bus from the Landeck train staion to Ischgl. If you are planning to stay a week at Ischgl, it may be worth getting up early and take the 2 bus connection over to St Anton Am Arlberg..
Overall, Ischgl is the 4th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 67 snowboarding resorts in Austria. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Ischgl including Samnaun, See Bergbahnen, Galtuer and Kappl.