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Ehrwald, Biberwier, Lermoos ☆☆☆

26th January 2010 permanent link

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Last visited:January 2010

The ski areas of Ehrwald, Biberwier and Lehrmoos are part of the “Zugspitz Arena”, a group of smallish ski areas in the Loisach valley south west of the Zugspitze, just across the Austrian border from the Bavarian resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I just spent a few days there, traveling from Munich on a ski school bus with my family. (The normal advantages of bus versus car travel, from the perspective of the car driver, apply).

I was impressed. The valley, with the Wetterstein range to the north and the Mieminger range to the south, is spectacularly beautiful. I had driven through it many times, for example on the way to bigger and more famous ski resorts like Serfaus and St. Anton, but never stopped before. Now that I did, I discovered that the ski areas are good too – highly recommended for beginners and families with kids. If you're skiing with kids and/or of modest ambitions yourself, you don’t necessarily need big famous ski areas on huge mountains.

Ehrwalder Alm

Ehrwalder Alm is a small ski resort oriented to kids and families. It has some of the most spectacular scenery of any ski resort I’ve ever been to, being situated directly in the valley between the south face of the Wetterstein and the north face of the Mieminger Alps (I noted some excellent looking possibilities for summer trips in the Mieminger with my wife). The runs at Ehrwarlder Alm are shortish but pleasant, including the token “black” run that every ski resort feels it has to have – this, despite being pleasant and not too hard, had almost nobody on it, so my wife and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours one afternoon doing laps on it.

Drawbacks of Ehrwalder Alm: the (otherwise rather nice) blue run back down to the valley gets very crowded in the afternoon – slalom around groups of ski-school kids who you really don’t want to hit. The restaurants are few, mediocre and overcrowded. And the only way to the top half of the resort is via an old, slow double chairlift. This has quite a steep exit ramp that tends to be frequently blocked by fallen beginners, especially in the afternoon when the snow has got a bit bumpy.


Biberwier is a very small ski area - basically one quite long run (800 metres of descent), plus a little plateau at the top of the hill with a couple of draglifts that were closed when I was there because of insufficient snow. As with all ski areas where I have only been once, my perceptions are greatly affected by how the snow was that day, which in the case of Biberwier was pretty sparse and stony in places on piste. But while I was there it snowed for a couple of hours and there was some thin but rideable powder by the side of the piste; I spent my day happily going up and down that.

The Sunnenalm restaurant at the top struck me as one of the nicer ski area restaurants I have visited, although this may have been helped by the fact that hardly anybody was up there.

Apart from being small, Biberwier has one major drawback, namely: the only way to the top half of the mountain is an old, slow and freezing cold double chairlift.

My wife was generally underwhelmed by Biberwier; I found it utterly charming and would definitely go there again – albeit only right after a big dump of snow.


Lermoos is the largest of the three areas. It has lots of good beginner and intermediate runs, but there didn’t appear to be all that much for the ambitious. (We were there with two other families with small children, so “ambitious” didn’t apply to us anyway[*].) It is, however, north-facing, and the early season snow was pretty hard and nasty in the afternoon.

There’s no single ski area in the Zugspitz Arena that would be interesting for anybody except an absolute beginner for more than a couple of days, but since all the little ski areas – there are a couple more that I haven’t been to – are close together and linked by buses, the area as a whole would certainly be viable for a week’s family holiday.

[*] Although this will be my six year old son’s third ski season, and I have the feeling that by around the end of the season, “ambitious” for me might well mean “keeping up with him on the piste, just about”.

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