Located in the Arlberg, one of Europe’s snowiest areas, St. Anton am Arlberg’s serious terrain attracts a hard-core crowd. It is well deserving of its cult status among the world’s advanced skiers thanks to its extensive, varied ski area, consistent snow record and challenging off-piste. It has also hosted the Alpine Skiing World Championships several times. The resort’s reputation extends to its famous apres-ski scene with dancing on tables being the norm at two of its legendary slope-side bars.
But St. Anton isn’t all about tough skiing and hard partying. Its broad appeal has expanded along with the Arlberg ski area, which now stretches to 340km of pistes (one of the six largest ski areas in the world) and offers skiing for all abilities, although its local ski area is best suited to the more advanced skier.
The local slopes are divided into three main areas. Most famous is Galzig-Valluga, reached by a spectacular modern gondola from the heart of the village. This provides access to bowl skiing and some long reds. The second, Gampen-Kapall, can be reached by the Nasserein gondola and offers more intermediate level terrain. Finally the separate Rendl Mountain offers a good, quieter option.
Most of the legend that is St Anton relies on the tiny Valluga 2 cable car which climbs up the slopes to the region’s highest point at 2,811m and opens up some seriousl off-piste terrain. So serious in fact that you are not allowed to enter the cable car with skis or board unless accompanied by a qualified guide. Those challenges include the option to ski through the Pazieltal towards Lech, but are only suited to extremely skilled expert skiers who won’t be unnerved by the danger of death if a wrong move is made. However for the rest of us the top of Valluga 1 at Vallugagrat (2,650m) provides ample access to lots of steep and deep terrain, it is exposed to some of the most abundant snowfall of any area in Austria and much of the Alps. These are just some of the numerous itinerary routes, open bowls for which perhaps St Anton is most famous, chutes and steep gullies that abound in the sector – although it does have to be powder day for them to be at their most epic of course.
Off the slopes, this attractive, authentic Tyrolean mountain village offers a wide range of shopping, dining and accommodation with plenty of luxury/gourmet choices, excellent leisure facilities and a pedestrianised centre.