Ischgl off-piste - bigger and better for 2013/14

Seriously good, hugely popular and with an ever burgeoning reputation Ischgl doesn't like to stand still.

With some of the best off-piste terrain in the Alps the lift company has fought a lengthy battle to expand southward into the virgin terrain of the Piz Val Gronda. This really has been a mighty battle with groups opposed to this incursion into a pristine area and yet the new Piz Val Grondabahn will add just 3km of ski pistes to the already very big Ischgl ski area.

The truth of the matter however is that clocking up an additional lift and 3km of ski piste on the league table of ski areas is not the reason for this hard-fought for and no doubt costly expansion. With a well-deserved reputation of serving up some of the best off-piste terrain in the Alps, Ischgl has a massive and expanding following of skiers and snowboarders who would happily never see a piste marker in a day on the mountain. And for those who have ridden in the Ischgl on or off-piste, the site of endless powder bowls is obvious from the slopes and the ski lifts. Offering another lift-linked route into a new powder region fits well with the growing demand for access to virgin snow. Most regions now actively promote off-piste and freeride clinics whatever their terrain or visitor profile is. The difference for somewhere like Ischgl is that it is truly legendary for the quality and scope of its off-piste offering and that has been the case way before off-piste riding became cool - this is only set to be more pronounced with this symbolic move into fresh off-piste terrain.

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