11 June 2019 from Danielle in Ski areas | 0 Comments

The White Ring ski circuit at Ski Arlberg has been around for decades and has remained a popular way to explore different villages in the popular Austrian ski area. At 22km long, it's also home to one of the longest ski races in the world, The White Ring: The Race. And unlike most other ski circuits, The White Ring is accessible for almost any level of skier. It's mostly compiled of blue and red pistes, with a good smattering of cosy mountain restaurants and spectacular views along the way. Have you skied it yet?

A ski circuit with history

Back in the day there were no groomed pistes, lifts or prepared snow parks in this stretch of mountain, just miles and miles of deep powder snow and impressive rock formations. Ski pioneer Sepp Bildstein dreamed of staging a race in this beautiful mountain environment, and it was due to his vision that the first ski lifts were built in Lech-Oberlech-Zürs, and that the towns were connected to each other. With the inauguration of the first ski lift in 1940, The White Ring was born. It has remained one of the most popular ski circuits in the Alps to this day.

Old photo of skiers doing the White Ring
© Der Weisse Ring

A ski circuit for everybody

The disadvantage of most ski circuits is that they include some difficult pistes, rendering them off-limits to beginner and sometimes intermediate skiers. The White Ring doesn't suffer this problem. With mostly blue and red slopes, The White Ring is accessible to all but the most inexperienced skiers (and hey, now you have something to work towards!). The tour officially starts in Lech am Arlberg and brings skiers through Stuben, Zürs am Arlberg and Zug. The tour loops around so it's also possible to start in a different spot if you prefer, and to extend the tour by a few pistes if you're so inclined. If you don't stop too much and you're lucky with the lift queues, the trip should take about 3 hours to complete. Adding time for the occasional drink and a hearty lunch, you're looking at around half a day to a whole day.

Skier at Lech Zuers
© Lech Zürs Tourismus

World's longest ski race

The White Ring: The Race is the longest ski race in the world. Once a year, one thousand ambitious skiers take to the slopes in the Ski Arlberg to see who can complete the 22km circuit with the fastest time. The fastest skiers can do the entire White Ring ski circuit in a mere 44 minutes - incredible! What's your fastest time?

Take a break in a mountain hut

Along the way, you'll come across many mountain restaurants. It's hard to keep focused on skiing when there are so many lovely choices for stopping to have a drink or a snack! But nobody will be judging you if you stop for a quick hot cocoa or a glass of mulled wine to warm you up. And at lunch, it would be criminal not to indulge in some classic Austrian fare. When the sun is out, be sure to grab a seat outside on one of the mountain terraces and enjoy the view of the Alps around you.

Lech Zuers
© Lech Zürs Tourismus - Sepp Mallaun

Facts & Figures: White Ring ski circuit

Country: Austria Difficulty: Beginner-intermediate
Starting points: Lech, Zürs and Zug Length: 22km
Time to complete:Half a day Last lift: 4-5pm

Click here for a map of the White Ring or check out other ski circuits in the Alps >

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Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!

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