Skiing in St. Anton - the cradle of alpine skiing
St. Anton is well deserved of it’s cult status and generally suits the more advanced professional skiers and boarders who flock here from around the world to enjoy the diverse terrain and endless off piste. Its consistent snow record, extensive and varied ski area (340km of pistes, 200km of off-piste itineraries and over 55km² of off-piste terrain) and modern network of 97 lifts make St. Anton the largest and one of the best ski areas in the Arlberg. Undoubtedly favouring the stronger skiers and riders (blue runs here would be considered reds in most other resorts), St. Anton breaks down the marked but ungroomed off-piste runs into “normal” and “extreme” routes. However, even supposedly “normal” routes, like those coming down from Schindlerspitze and Kapall are to be approached with caution. “Extreme routes”, like the 18 down Valfagehr, are best tackled with a guide (often the best way to enjoy St Anton’s full potential).
It’s not all for the advanced though with nursery slopes at the base of the main ski area. You’ll need to progress quickly however to tackle the gentle blues further up the hill. St. Anton is also ideal for intermediates looking to perfect their technique on the tricky blue pistes and pick up the pace on the tough reds. There are also plenty of opportunities to develop a taste for off piste. Small children generally thrive here on the nursery slopes and there’s a superb children’s ski school and youth centre in nearby Nasserein. Beginners will want to stay around gentle Nasserein to start with, while comparatively quiet Rendl is ideal for intermediates looking to find their snow feet. The fast reds down from Albonagrat to St Christoph are great for perfecting carving, while a top to bottom from Valluga to St Anton will test the strongest of legs. Fancy your skills? Then why not time yourself on the Kapall World Cup piste and punish your knees on the Mattun and Schindler Kar mogul fields.
Most of St. Anton’s terrain is on the northern side of the valley, the same side as the town, though there’s also the smaller Rendl sector on the southern side. Rising directly above St Anton and Nasserein, the Gampen and Kapall mountains offer fairly gentle beginner slopes at their base, getting more challenging the higher you get. The pioneering Galzig gondola, the world’s first lift to boast a ferris wheel system enabling skiers and snowboarders to embark on ground level, whisks visitors west across the Moos valley to the Galzig mountain, where the ski area really starts to open up.
The resort of St. Christoph nestles in the valley south of Galzig, while the imposing Valluga and Schindler peaks rise up to the east. The large Valluga I cable car takes people towards the top of Valluga, while brave off pisters can continue up on the little Valluga II cable car to the very top at 2,811m. Press on northwest along the top of Galzig, and the town of Stuben lies in the next valley south. From here you can access the relatively quiet slopes on Albonagrat, while Zürs and Lech resorts lie further north.