Silvretta Montafon ski resort in the southern Vorarlberg region offers 140km of slopes suitable for all skill levels at altitudes between 700 and 2430m. The ski area is easily accessible and has a good snow record from early winter through to spring.
Silvretta Montafon Ski Area
Cable Cars: 2
The Silvretta Montafon ski region was created in 2008 by linking what had been two smaller areas: the Hochjoch ski area above the town of Schruns and the Silvretta Nova ski area above the villages of St Gallenkirch and Gaschurn.
The fusion of the two areas created a surprisingly large and challenging ski region which is still largely unknown outside German-speaking countries. Although there is no ski run link between Hochjoch and the Silvretta Nova area, the linking gondolas of the Grasjochbahn and the Valiserabahn offer the opportunity to move easily from one area to another. (Public transport linking Schruns to Gaschurn and St Gallenkirch is also cheap and frequent.)
The ski pass also offers benefits for those looking to explore further afield as any pass of two days or above also gives access to Gargellen, Golm and the villages of the nearby Brandnertal with the Montafon Brandnertal Card. The ski pass system is based on 'dynamic pricing', which means that those booking early can lock in some good prices on lift tickets.
The skiing at Hochjoch starts at the lowest altitude in the region but also has the highest point, enabling a massive vertical drop of more than 1700m when snow conditions permit.
If staying in Schruns, most skiers and snowboarders will probably access the Hochjoch area via the two stages of the Hochjoch cable car. This rises to the Kapell section of the ski area at the same point as the top station of the Zamang gondola (which those arriving via car might prefer to use as it is a little outside the town of Schruns).
The Kapell area houses a variety of short drag lifts and is an excellent base for beginners and low intermediate skiers. Some more experienced skiers also like to take an early morning wake-up run back down to the base of the cable car on the longer red and blue pistes.
Those looking for a bit more of a challenge can take the two-seater Sennigrat chairlift up to sample the black runs and ski routes or head over to the Panoramabahn gondola which rises to the top station near the Kreuzjoch.
From here it is possible to access the Snowpark Montafon, with its 40 different challenges for boarders and freestylers, or climb to the highest point in the ski area with the Hochalpila gondola.
The longest run in the Silvretta Montafon starts from the top station of the Hochalpila lift, with blue runs leading down to a ski tunnel of nearly half a kilometre in length which allows access to the runs above Kapell once again and the mixture of intermediate pistes all the way to Schruns in good conditions.
The bottom station of the Hochalpila gondola is also the link to the Grasjochbahn gondola, which offers a ride down towards the St Gallenkirch connection into the Silvretta Nova skiing on the other side of the valley.
The Silbertal is a valley on the other side of the Hochjoch area and has a two-seater chairlift which accesses the base of the Panoramabahn, as well as offering some limited and low-altitude skiing with two draglifts on the Kristberg on the other side of the valley.
The Silvretta Nova side of the ski area can be accessed from the purpose-built complex of the valley stations of the two gondola lifts which link Hochjoch and Silvretta Nova. This complex includes an underground car park, ski rental, food hall and accommodation and is located just off the main Montafon road from Schruns towards St Gallenkirch.
Other options to get into the area are via the chairlift to the Garfrescha area from the hamlet of Grandau or the Versettla gondola, which will be popular with those staying in the small ski resort of Gaschurn.
The Silvretta Nova side of the ski region is perhaps the more 'modern' of the two ski areas, with plenty of gondolas and six- and eight-seater chairlifts serving a mix of red and blue pistes suitable for intermediate skiers.
Advanced and expert skiers, however, will be attracted by the opportunities offered by the harder black runs and around 12 unpisted ski routes.
The tougher and steepest official runs have been named the 'Black Scorpions', with gradients of around 60%. Three of them are in the Versettla area above Gaschurn, with the other two dropping from the Kreuzjoch and Sennigrat area on the Hochjoch.
Our ski equipment rental partners Skiset offer big discounts on resort prices for online bookings in advance.
Visitors booking through Ski-Austria get an additional 5% reduction on the prices by using the code 'alpineconcepts':