Skiing in Au-Schoppernau
Au-Schoppernau Ski Area
Au-Schoppernau villages are just a short drive from three ski areas, of which the nearest is Diedamskopf with 40km of ski runs. Also nearby is Warth-Schrőcken (now lift-connected to Lech and the huge Arlberg ski area) and Daműls-Mellau with 109km of ski runs). If you’re a keen skier you should make a point of skiing all three ski areas.
Au-Schoppernau Ski Area Overview
Diedamskopf Ski Area
Diedamskopf ski area offers 1200m vertical elevation between 820-2,020m, 40km of well-groomed pistes and ski routes served by an efficient lift system and the Au-Schoppernau ski school which employs about 50 ski instructors. The ski area, which is small but fun and suitable for all ability levels, includes 11 blue runs (13km) for beginners, 10 red runs (18km) for intermediates and five black runs (9km) plus three ski routes for advanced skiers.
Although smaller than either Warth-Schroecken or Daműls-Mellau, the Diedamskopf ski area is quite steep in parts and the black runs are steep enough to test advanced skiers. There are freeriding opportunities off-piste for advanced skiers and the impressive Pleasure Diedamspark has some sizeable jumps as well as plenty of kickers, boxes and rails to challenge and entertain boarders and freestyle skiers.
Access to the ski area is by Diedams gondolas 1 and 2 ascending from the Diedamskopf base station (820m) to the restaurant at the middle station (1,670m) and continuing up to the SB-Panorama Restaurant (2,020m). The SB-Panorama Restaurant has a large sun terrace from where you can walk up to the top of the Diedamskopf (2,090m) to admire the views of Lake Constance and the surrounding panoramic mountain landscape.
The ski area covers a wide open area between two mountains: Diedamskopf (2,090m) ski runs face south-east and in good weather are sunnier for longer than the shadier Falzerkopf (1,968m) slopes which point southwest. Although the terrain is steep in parts, the ski area includes 11 groomed runs for beginners.
There are regular free ski bus services running between the villages of Au Schoppernau and Warth-Schroecken, and between Au Schoppernau and Daműls-Mellau. Both of these ski areas are covered by the same 3-Taler lift pass and are less than a 20km free bus ride from Au-Schoppernau and are well worth visiting.
Daműls-Mellau Ski Area
The Daműls-Mellau ski area is the biggest in the Bregenzerwald with 109km of well-prepared pistes. Situated between the villages of Daműls (1431m) and Mellau (688m), the Daműls-Mellau ski area is especially good for confident beginners and intermediates who like to ski fast on wide open pistes. The pistes are also fun for advanced skiers and there are often good opportunities to ski deeper untracked snow between the pistes. Daműls is one of the most snow-sure villages in Austria and there are many ski-in and ski-out hotels high in the ski area which have good mountain restaurants. Plan to end your ski day at an umbrella bar on the mountain or one of the terrace bars.
Warth-Schroecken Ski Area
The ski area at Warth-Schrőcken includes 66km of well-groomed skiing which is best for intermediates and beginners, but there’s also plenty of off-piste skiing for more advanced skiers including guided skiing from Warth to Lech-Zurs and back, all of which is off-piste often quite challenging including avalanche prone slopes and hence not to be attempted without a guide. The ski bus from Au-Schoppernau deposits skiers at the top of the Hochtannbergass (between Schrőcken and Warth) and next to the Saloberjet chairlift. The Hotel Kőrbersee is ski-in and ski-out and recommended for lunch and a last drink on the mountain before skiing the long run from Kőrbersee down to Schrőcken (1269m). Alternatively, you can head back to the bottom of the Saloberjet chairlift, where you started, and catch the bus back from there.
Au-Schoppernau Beginner Skiing
The Diedamskopf ski area nearest Au-Schoppernau includes 11km of blue runs, but much of the ski area terrain is quite steep and not ideal for novices and beginners who will soon get bored with the nursery slopes and the limited amount of mountain terrain for beginners.
Although the ski school in Au Schoppernau is used to fast-track novices, the Diedamskopf ski area is relatively steep and not recommended for novices and early-stage beginners.
Beginner skiers at Diedamskopf can ride the Diedams gondolas 1 and 2 to the Panorama Restaurant at 2020m where they can enjoy skiing a network of eleven blue runs high in the ski area. The blue runs on Diedamskopf are served mostly by a T-bar and two chairlifts on either side of the ski area. Beginners also have the option to ski the longer blue run (6) down to the mid-station gondola then ride back up and ski more laps.
Having exhausted the options available on Diedamskopf, competent beginners based in Au Schoppernau can progress to nearby Warth-Schrőcken, a larger (66km) ski area with good terrain for skiers of all abilities including good beginner slopes throughout the ski area. Beginners in Warth-Schrocken usually start skiing relatively short blue runs next to the main Saloberjet chairlift at Hochtannberg then progress to ski longer blue runs accessed by high-speed chairlifts on either side of the Hochtannberg pass and enjoy lunch at one of several mountain restaurants including the popular Hotel Kőrbersee, Hotel Jaegeralpe and Sporthotel Steffisalp.
Another option just 8km from Au-Schoppernau is Damuls-Mellau, the biggest ski area (109km) in Bregenzerwald including longer and wider blue and red runs for beginners and intermediates, and more mountain restaurants, but most beginners will have an easier time skiing Warth-Schrocken.
Regular bus services, free for Ski Lift Pass holders, make it easy to travel between Au Schoppernau and the nearby ski areas at Warth Schrocken and Damuls Mellau and for beginner skiers based in Au Schoppernau to enjoy the benefits of all three ski areas covered by a single lift pass.
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Au-Schoppernau Intermediate Skiing
Au-Schoppernau’s Diedamskopf ski area is best for intermediates and above, not least because the category ratings given to some blue and red runs underestimate the degree of steepness encountered at the beginning of some steeper runs.
While the 40km Diedamskopf’s ski area is not big enough to entertain most intermediates for more than a day or two at most, what skiing there is on Diedamskopf is good fun and includes some testing black runs. With more and better skiing nearby at Daműls-Mellau (109km) and Warth-Schrőcken (66km). intermediate skiers visiting Bregenzerwald for a short 3- or 4-day ski break or longer are recommended to explore all three ski areas and Au-Schoppernau is the most convenient location from which to do so.
Starting with Diedamskopf there are 11 blue runs and nine red runs for warming up in the morning. Ignore the impersonal main restaurants at the lift stations and head over to Käsker Restaurant on Breitenalpe, which is a more charming rustic mountain restaurant, though not exceptional by Austrian standards. After lunch, test your skills on three relatively steep black pistes running from the top of the gondola down to mid-station then have a crack at black 15 on Breitenalpe or ski route 3. Finish your day and your exploration of Diedamskopf by skiing the relatively long red run (22) or longer red ski route (21) from 1670m or 1470m respectively down to the valley station at 820m.
A free ski bus service winds its way from Au (820m) along scenic alpine roads for 8km to Daműls (1431m) which is the most interesting entry point to the Damuls-Mellau ski area with 109km of well-groomed pistes including some exceptionally wide open runs which are just perfect for intermediate skiers and boarders. The Damuls-Mellau ski area, and Damuls in particular, features numerous ski-in and ski-out hotels and mountain restaurants and offers an altogether better on-mountain eating and après ski experience.
The Warth-Schrőcken ski area, 15km from Au-Schoppernau, is easily reached by a free ski bus service to the Hochtannbergpass where the Saloberjet express lift opens up another 66km of mostly blue and red runs providing good skiing for intermediates. Like Daműls-Mellau, the Warth-Schrőcken ski area is home to several good ski-in and ski-out hotels and mountain restaurants including the Sporthotel Steffisalp, Hotel Jaegeralpe and Hotel Kőrbersee.
Au-Schoppernau Advanced Skiing
Strong skiers can easily ski most if not all of the Diedamskopf ski area in a day, but if you are an expert skier there’s good off-piste skiing nearby at Warth-Schrőcken including guided skiing off-piste between Warth and Lech in the Arlberg.
Black 15 below Breitenalpe on the Falzer Kopf side of the Diedamskopf ski area is a straight black run with a near 40-degree pitch at times. Easily visible from the Diedamskopf side, it is best skied with sharp edges or when deep in powder, because that side of the ski area faces southwest it can be icy early in the morning.
Blacks 1 and 1a are also reasonably steep and number 9 is a super quick red run which is fun to ski when not busy. Red 22 from Diedamskopf middle station (1670m) down to the valley lift station or you can ski down Red 21 which is narrower and a service road in summer!
Outside the designated ski area there is steep off-piste on the western flank of Diedamskopf and Falzer Kopf’s south-eastern slopes, none of which should be attempted without a guide. Qualified off-piste guides can be arranged through the Au-Schoppernau Snowsports School.
Diedamskopf terrain is naturally steep and hence it’s important to check snow conditions and pay attention to avalanche warnings, updated daily in season by the Vorarlberg Avalanche Warning Service (Tel: +43 (0) 5574 201 1588), and to respect hazard signs warning of cliffs which are a real danger if you stray off-piste without a guide.
The Daműls-Mellau ski area nearby has 109km of well-groomed red runs including some exceptionally wide runs for intermediate and advanced skiers to enjoy carving at speed. Though there are relatively few black runs and the groomed trails are not especially challenging, the Damuls-Mellau ski area is very enjoyable and after fresh snowfall includes plenty of opportunity to ski untracked snow between pistes.
The Warth-Schrocken ski area, 15km from Au Schoppernau, has plenty of off-piste terrain for advanced and expert skiers including ski touring to the higher reaches of Warther Horn, Karhorn and Auenfelderhorn, and quite challenging off-piste terrain between Warth and Lech.
Bear in mind that the road between Warth and Lech is permanently closed in winter because of significant avalanche risks so if you are planning to ski off-piste it’s advisable to check avalanche risks locally and hire a local mountain guide. Contact the Au Schoppernau Snowsports School or Markus Moosbrugger, Ski Guide in Schoppernau, for more information about guiding.
Au-Schoppernau Boarding & Freestyle
Diedamskopf has good terrain for boarding including the Pleasure Diedamspark, which is one of the best terrain parks in the region and a major attraction for boarders and freestyle skiers.
Although the groomed area is comparatively small, many runs are wide, with the option to take steeper lines and very few flats. The ski area between Diedamskopf (2090m) and Falzer Kopf (1968m) is wide and open, but natural terrain lines are fairly steep. Accordingly, it’s important to check locally for avalanche warnings and not to disregard the yellow triangular “Absturzgefahr” warning signs showing skiers falling over cliffs. Though the Diedamskopf ski area is relatively small, the risks off-piste are real and should not be underestimated.
Pleasure Diedamspark, the best park in Bregenzerwald is reshaped daily and features a beginners’ area with rails and boxes, curved and kinked boxes plus triple kicker line for intermediates and a Pro line with up-down boxes, a fun box and numerous kickers in all sizes:
- Straight and Down-Rails between 4m and 12m
- Boxes between 4m and 12m
- 12m Down-Box
- Kickers in all sizes – small, medium and large
- T-Bone XL and Flat Tube 5m
For more Information about the Pleasure Diedamspark:
Park operators Qparks is one of the market-leading terrain park companies, that operate a dozen or more parks at ski resorts in Austria including parks St Anton, Ischgl, Solden and Kitzbuhel. Qparks is also expanding into Switzerland and Italy and in addition to designing and shaping, they also organise events at each of the parks.
Au-Schoppernau Mountain Restaurants
Au-Schoppernau has three mountain restaurants including a large restaurant at each of the middle and top gondola lift stations on Diedamskopf, and the Käsker Restaurant at Breitenalpe, a genuine mountain restaurant, which is smaller, rustic and more appealing than the other two.
There’s not much to say about Diedamskopf mountain restaurants other than they meet most basic needs and are best experienced in good weather.
The Panorama Restaurant at 202,0m is a 350-seater self-service restaurant forming part of the top gondola station with a large sun terrace and panoramic mountain views of the mountains of Vorarlberg and the Arlberg. The Stern Bar is open on the terrace in good weather.
The Wedelstube Restaurant in the middle station (1,670m) between Diedams gondolas 1 and 2 is described as having a rustic interior, a non-smoking “silver service” restaurant, a unique Wedelbar and a sun terrace with loungers, but it’s nothing special.
The latest addition to the Diedamskopf ski area is the Käsker Restaurant at Breitenalpe on the Falzer Kopf side of the ski area. Käsker, which has seating for 68 people, is rustic inside and out and is a good place to shelter in a white-out and for eating al fresco on Käsker’s sun terrace.