Silvretta

 
Difficulty: Moderate    (Can be made Difficult for private groups)                    


             



The Area:
The Silvretta region straddles the Swiss-Austrian border south of the ski resort of Saint Anton.  The Silvretta range is made for skiing as the rolling glaciers provide endless powder runs in the 20-35 degree range.  There are steeper shots as well, but the Silvretta is the perfect location for folks who like moderate terrain.  Each valley is connected to the adjacent valleys by a col that serves as the access into the next glacier basin.  Surrounded by craggy peaks, we wind our way up the glaciers to pass through the hidden cols where it's like passing through a portal into another little world.  The larger peaks top out at 10,000-11,000 ft so there's plenty of big mountain ambiance without the difficulties of low O2.  

Huts:
The huts are some of the most comfortable and well run that you will ever see.  The food is brought in by snowcat (instead of heli) so fresh fruit & vegetables are the norm and vegetarian exist options as well. Often there are private rooms for the group (as opposed to dorm style), hot showers, a full bar, etc.  The huts are situated at about 7,000 ft, so no problems with altitude.  At the Jamtal hut (pictured below) they even have an ice tower that they light at night and loan you crampons & axe for some evening climbing.

The Skiing:
The tour starts with a big bump in vertical from the Ischgl ski area.  After a morning of warm up runs at the ski area, we strike out for a mellow climb (~300m) and then it's all downhill to the Heidelberger hut.  From here on we earn our turns.  The biggest days are around 1,000m of climbing at a relatively moderate altitude.  Last year, with clever route finding we managed to forgo kick turns until the 4th day and still had great descents!

This is a great 1st trip to the Alps because of the moderate terrain, deluxe huts, and reasonable altitudes that we tour through. it also has plenty of big lines if you’re feeling ambitious.   If you're thinking about doing the Haute Route this is a great "shake-down" tour to get used to using ski crampons, making good kick turns, skiing on glaciers, and traveling light Euro-style.  There are multiple tour options so we are able to tailor the itinerary to the needs of the group.  If we get to the hut and people are still hungry for more vertical it's easy to tack on another tour while the rest of the group kicks back at the bar and watches the powder fly.  It’s also easy to take a rest day since we spend 2 nights each at the Jamtal hut and the Weisbadener huts.

Itinerary:
Day 0    Arrive in Galtur and meet for dinner at hotel.  Meet & greet, any last minute questions.  Leave luggage at the hotel

Day 1    Ride the lifts at Ischgl ski area and ski off-piste for the morning as we work our way to the top of the Paulinkopf (2864m).  From here we start our tour with an easy skin over the col  (~300m) & into the wild.  From the Swiss/Austrian border we descend to the Heidelberger hut at 2,264m.  

Day 2    We set off up the valley to the Kronejoch (2980m “crown pass”) and get on our 1st glacier. From the pass it’s all downhill to the Jamtal hut (2165m).  Hut is somewhat of a misnomer as it’s more of an alpine hotel overlooking the glaciers.  It also has an ice climbing tower, climbing gym, presentation room, hot showers, and very comfortable rooms.  For those who are motivated we can spin a quick lap above the hut for more turns.

Day 3     Now things are getting really interesting.  We have many glacier runs to choose from before we return to the Jamtal hut:


















Day 4   We’ll make our way up the glacier past the Drielanderspitze and over the col into the next valley (1,000m climbing) and a nice descent down to the Weisbadener hut.   

Day 5   Some very nice options including the Piz Buin, Silvrettahorn, or Ochsentaler glacier and another night at the Weisbadener

Day 6    Short climb (450m) above the Bieltaljoch pass gets us a loooooong run down to the valley floor in the village of Wirl.  A quick bus trip (15min) brings us back to Galtur and our hotel.  A relaxing evening and farewell dinner await.

Day 7 Depart, or think about skiing in nearby St Anton, head to Italy for the beach, etc

Gear:
A light day pack (30-40L) is all you need because the huts provide all your meals, and bedding.  The only thing extra is your toothbrush and a change of socks & underwear.  Click here for Gear List   

Group Size:
Maximum 6 people, if more than 6 we can add another guide.no_reply@apple.com

Cost includes:
-6 days skiing
-2 nights lodging in Galtur with breakfast & dinner 
-Mechanical lifts
-Hut Lodging fees
-Hut Dinner, Breakfasts, & most lunches  
-All Guide fees and expenses
Please email for trip costs:   jeffbanksguide@mac.com

Program Cost Exclusions
-Rescue Insurance
-Travel to & from Galtur
-Drinks & 2 Lunches in huts
-Personal Gear (we offer rentals of ice axe, harness, crampons, beacon, shovel, probe, packs)

Travel:
You can fly into Zurich, Munich, or Innsbruck.  There is good train service from all these airports to Landeck.  From Landeck there is good bus service up the valley to connect to the villages (including Galtur) around the Ishgl ski area.  Taxi from Landeck to Galtur (~40K) is also an easy option.
The swiss rail site is an excellent way to book train travel throughout Europe:
www.sbb.ch/en/

Other Resources:
Here's a detailed trip report link from Lou Dawson's Wild Snow website: http://www.wildsnow.com/1781/silvretta-traverse-austria-switzerland-huts-skiing/
surf around his site for the subsequent days by searching “Silvretta day 2” etc, on his page’s search function.   Make sure to check out his great photos of Teutonic pastries and peaks.

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Click here for Slideshow 
of the Silvretta experienceslivretta_photos.html