Skiing in Zürs & Lech -- Part of the Vorarlberg's popularity stems from its two most visible and stylish resorts, Zürs and Lech. Both resorts boast lofty altitudes that are high even by central European ski-resort standards; they enjoy access to more than 1,000m (3,281 ft.) of skiable hillside above Lech and almost 700m (2,297 ft.) of carefully maintained hillsides above Zürs, where midwinter snows accumulate in deep billowing drifts.
Zürs boasts straight downhill runs that have tested the skills of Olympic champions, as well as gracefully sculpted runs that pass rocky outcrops and thickets of trees. Lech, positioned in the center of a roster of north- and east-facing bowls and slopes, offers a greater number of ski options that challenge intermediate skiers as well as the experts. Although they are competing resorts, Zürs and Lech cooperate with each other. Chances are that the ski pass you buy will allow you access to the slopes and chairlifts of both resorts.
The 20km (12 1/2 miles) of ski trails running between the two resorts offer experiences on four different mountains, and there's enough variety to qualify the area as one of the most exciting ski transits in Austria. If there are complaints about the resorts (and they certainly don't involve a lack of snow), it's only because you have to ski back into one of the villages for lunch: Dining options on the slopes are limited.
Favorite ski venues around Lech include the Kriegerhorn and the less-popular Rüfikopf, which has perilously steep slopes and is subject to avalanche danger after snowstorms. In Zürs, the best skiing lies to the east of the resort, in regions known as the Hexenboden and the Trittkopf, but because of the morning glare, these slopes are most appealing in the afternoon. Morning skiers usually head out to the Seekopf and Zürsersee areas or the slopes running downhill from the Muggengrat chairlift.
Regardless of the resort you select, trails usually are impeccably groomed, the evening après-ski venues are the most stylish in Austria, and Vorarlberg's scenery is among the most appealing in the world.
Zürs, Lech, and the nearby ski resort Oberlech are linked by 34 lifts (the whole region has 88 lifts), all of which can be traveled on only one ski pass. Lifts and runs are close together, and it's possible to ski between Lech and Zürs. A cable car, running daily from 7am to 1am, connects Oberlech to the heart of Lech: You can take a cable car from the heart of the resort to Rüfikopf (2,329m/7,641 ft.).
Snowboarding in the Arlberg -- Snowboarding techniques are taught at each of the ski schools in Arlberg's resorts. Shredders have free access to all of the region's slopes, and Lech even has several slopes that allow only snowboarders.