Warth is a small town in the Vorarlberg which has shot into the front ranks of Austrian ski resorts through its ski connection to the more famous resort of Lech.
This expansion of the Ski Arlberg area has been a long time in coming (there were plenty of environmental objections to overcome) but what was once a fairly isolated small-to-medium-sized ski area at the end of the Lech valley and high up in the Bregenzerwald has been massively expanded.
It isn't just Warth that has benefited. The Arlberg ski areas now have more convenient access from Germany, albeit only on skis rather than by road.
Warth is a small village of under 200 permanent inhabitants on the border of the Vorarlberg and the Tyrol. It lies at the end of the Lech valley and just under the Hochtannberg Pass which connects through to the rest of the Vorarlberg.
The tourist activities of the village are connected with that of another small village, Schröcken, which lies on the other side of the pass and which accesses the ski area via public transport.
Its high altitude has ensured that the village ski area, which stretches from Warth up to and over the pass, has remained popular with a hard core of visitors. But the smaller area and relatively isolated location kept the area from being on the radar of travel agencies and holiday companies.
However that all changed with the completion of a new gondola which connects the Lech-Zürs ski area to the Warth-Schröcken area and immediately adds to interest from both sides.
For Warth, their ski area has just been massively increased, while Lech and the rest of the Arlberg resorts gain another complete mountain connected via ski lifts to add to the range of areas already on the Arlberg pass.
The skiing in Warth is spread out along the mountains to the south of the road which heads from Warth westwards up and over the Hochtannberg Pass.
The closest lifts to Warth are on the outskirts of the village. The Wannenkopf chairlift is a short ride up with an easy blue slope underneath which is a favourite for beginner boarders. A little further over, the longer Steffisalp Express chairlift accesses the rest of the area from the links at the top as well as offering some interesting long runs - including a black - down to the bottom again.
From the top of the Steffisalp chairlift skiers can head to the short Wartherhorn chairlift for the quick link up to the top of the Jügeralp chairlift or alternatively take one of the meandering intermediate runs to the base station at the hamlet of Hochkrumbach.
Around the top of the Jägeralp chair there are a variety of easy blue runs heading to the bottom of the Wartherhorn chair on the left or the Karhorn or Hochalp chairlifts on the right. Alternatively there is are a couple of challenging black variants running underneath the Jägeralp for those who are interested in getting the pulse pounding.
The Hochalp chairlift accesses the Saloberkopf peak at 2050m. Heading straight down the mountain back to the road and the Hochtannberg pass are a couple more black runs. At the bottom there is a short chairlift which helps to get back over to Warth or the Saloberjet straight back up to the top.
Further on around the Salober area are the two Auenfeld chairlifts. Both have 'sun' in their names, which gives an indication of the generally friendly exposure of the intermediate runs in this area.
The Sonnencruiser chairlift links the Salober to the small Falken area by means of a number of blue runs. The Falken consists of two connecting lifts above Schröcken with short intermediate runs on them. There is a ski route connection from here down to Schröcken when snow conditions are good.
The Sonnenjet chairlift is yet further around the Saloberkopf and this side has some interesting long intermediate runs as well as a good ski route down to the left of the lift. This is also where the brand new Auenfeldjet gondola links into the Lech ski area.