Every village in Montafon has its own large fire on the evening of the first Sunday after Ash Wednesday.
The days before local people have built enormous piles of wood with in the top a witch.
On Sunday evening the pile is set in light.
In old days more or less a bonfire that was supposed to drive out the winter. Nowadays a popular local custom with music and of course a 'Schnaps'.
In Vorarlberg Funkensonntag is also named: Holepfannsonntag or Küachlisonntag.
'Funkensonntag' is hold on the Sunday following Ash Wednesday.
In 2010 this local custom will be on Sunday 21 February.
The main ski area in Montafon (St. Gallenkirch) is Silvretta Montafon (the former Silvretta Nova). But one of the pleasures of this region is the fact that your are able to visit more ski area's with the same ski pass.
The other areas are all situated within a distance of 10 km's from St. Gallenkirch.
Silvretta Montafon (St. Gallenkirch - Gaschurn):
25 lifts, 114 km's ski runs. Info www.silvrettanova.at
Schafberg Bahnen (Gargellen):
8 lifts, 47 km ski runs. Info www.gargellen.at
9 lifts, 27km ski runs. Info: www.golm.at
Hoch Joch (Schruns):
12 lifts, 40 km ski runs. Info: www.hochjoch.com
There are a couple of small area's more. All together these 8 ski area's offer 62 cableways and 222 km's of ski pistes.
There is one ski pass for all these ski area's in Montafon, varying from a day pass till a season pass. Cheaper prices for ski passes outside the main season and for children and seniors.
Bielerhöhe – the highest destination in Montafon
On one of these rainy days in Montafon we decided not for skiing, but for visiting the so called Bielerhöhe. Being sure it would raining at a height of more than 2000 metres. We had been there already in summer and autumn, but never during one of our ski holidays in winter.
We had to drive to Partenen, the last village in the Montafon Valley, taking the steep Vermuntbahn. At a height of 1700 metres we had to change into a small bus for quite an adventurous ride trough two tunnels, because the chauffeur was driving like a ‘crazy man’. The last part till the pass leaded through high snow walls and most probably the scenery is very beautiful. But we didn’t see too much, because it was foggy and snowing (indeed).
At the pass (2032 m.) are a couple of restaurants and it is even possible to get accommodation in this impressive mountain scenery. This is starting point for several cross country courses and hiking/walking trails. We walked over the frozen Lake Silvretta, which was covered with thick layer of snow. The (new) snow made it rather strenuous.
After a lunch in Hotel Piz Buin we went back to the valley (and rain) and had a excellent alternative and adventurous day trip; with our ski pass this trip was for free. We definitively will return when the weather is better enjoying the breathtaking mountain scenery.
It is possible to rent cross country ski equipment or snowshoes at Hotel Piz Buin.