I have to admit: I was really thrilled when I got invited to check out the new Flexenbahn cableway in Austria, around the Arlberg, to be more precise. The reason is obvious: The skiing areas in this region can look back to a very rich history. The people there are born with skiing boots on, you find a variety of luxurious hotels (such as the Zürserhof) and classy accomodation (for example the Schwarzer Adler) and the finest slopes. And now they got a new cableway that’s the missing link between Zürs and Stuben Rauz. For the skiiers it means that they can discover all resorts at the Arlberg without having to unstrap their gear. It makes the Arlberg Austria’s largest contiguous skiing area.
It was a sunny weekend early in December when the new Flexenbahn opened; after a construction time of only about half a year. It was exciting to see this new gem and even more thrilling to get a lift by it. The cabins are spacious and hold ten people and thanks to their large panorama panes the ride is just breathtaking. It takes like six minutes to get from the bottom to the top; which is really fast. You hover above rocky grounds and if you’re lucky you can even spot some animals, such as chamois. Within the short ride you cover an altitude difference of more than 560 meters in the most comfortable way. Speaking of comfortable: 2.400 persons are brought up the mountain – per hour! That means waiting times are short, even if it’s a crowded day. And have I mentioned the breathtaking unobstructed view?
A view of beautiful surroundings and nature – a nature that’s being preserved by having the new cableway, because before it was built, skiers had to take busses from one resort to the other. Thanks to the new Flexenbahn around 120 busses less are driving around per day. And if you’re keen about wintersports yourself, you might know how much of a pain in the ass it is to take skiing busses. You have to unstrap your board or skiers, you have to wait for it, you are squeezed between numerous other people, you start sweating, someone in the back starts puking – you know how it is.
So, back to the more comfortable cableway: the Flexenbahn is not the only new mean of transport at the Arlberg. There’s also the Trittkopfbahn II and the Albonabahn II. Together with the former mentioned (and praised) Flexenbahn, they enable you to discover 305 kilometers of downhill slopes and in total 87 lifts and cableways. In one skiing resort. Accessible with one ticket (that comes for a reasonable price of about 52 Euros per day for adults)! But what I really love – sides from everything I mentioned before – is the “Run of Fame”. Run of Fame? Run of Fame!
As I said at the very beginning of this post: The area around the Arlberg is known as the “cradle of alpine skiing”. A long list of skiing stars throughout the years were born here or practised here – starting as early as in the 19th century. Now that the resorts St. Anton, St. Christoph, Stuben, Zürs, Lech, Oberlech, Schröcken and Warth are connected, you can ski (or snowboard, that is) a whole loop, starting at almost any point of the skiing area. It takes you a full day to get back to where you started from, but rest assured: It’s an experience you won’t forget. Ever.
A full-day skiing pass comes for 52 Euros during the winter season 2016/2017 (adults).