St. Anton is popular for both ski and Après Ski and the resort attracts hard core skiers from around the world. It has hosted the Alpine Skiing World Championship on different occasions with the most recent event held in 2001. The popularity of St. Anton has given it a ‘cult’ reputation among skiers.
St. Anton Ski Lifts and Gondolas
St. Anton is a major part of the Arlberg interconnected ski region. The entire ski region of Arlberg is served by 88 lifts and passes. St Anton is covered by:
• 13 gondolas
• 2 eight person lifts
• 16 high speed sixes
• 9 high speed quads
• 4 quad chairs
• 1 triple chair
• 15 double chairs
• 28 surface lifts
The ski lifts that take skiers to Gampen (1850m) and Kapall (2,330 m) underwent improvement during the 2001 World Championship. New high speed lifts were added in addition to the 8 passenger gondola from Nasserein to Gampen.
In 2006, the outdated cable car from the center of St. Anton was replaced by a high speed Galzigbahn cable car that comprised of a glass panel construction to represent the technologically advanced system. The system helps detach the 8 passenger gondola without the need to reduce the speed of the high speed cable car.
Skiing at St. Anton
Considered the ski capital of Austria, St Anton is a world leading resort offering one of a kind experience for skiers looking for a challenging terrain. The resort is ideally located in a region with abundant snowfall and exceptional powder.
St. Anton has 183 miles of marked trails and pistes and more than 124 miles long off-piste. The resort has around 88 lifts. A single Arlberg pass is sufficient for all lifts in the resort. The St Anton ski area is a holy grail for experienced skiers but the resort has a number of slopes and pistes suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers. There are plenty of slopes and regions for snow boarders looking for a challenge.
The St. Anton ski area encompasses the neighboring villages of St Christoph and Stubenam Arlberg. The resort is very close to Lech-Zurs, another popular luxury ski resort. There is also a family friendly area located at Sonnenkopf near Klosterle.
Skiing for Beginners
St. Anton resort is largely known for its pistes and slopes that attract expert and intermediate skiers. Thanks to the improvements and upgrades on the modern lift system, the resort has comfortable slopes for first time skiers. Those skiing for the first time in St Anton can take lessons from any good ski school. Once you learn to ski in St. Anton, other resorts would seem easier to conquer with basic skiing skills.
The best locations for beginners are the nursery slopes located at Nasserein. This location is perfect for first timers for gaining confidence before their progress higher up the mountain towards the slopes on Gampen. The wide slopes of Kapall and Galzig areas served by the Osthang chairlift are excellent training locations used extensively by ski schools in the region.
It will be very easy for beginners to take the blue trail starting at Galzig and head towards St. Christoph. This trail is a classic route for beginners as it helps them slowly improve their skiing skills. The slopes can be easily tackled by beginners.
The blue trial that takes skiers to Flexenbahn from St Anton through the Galzigbahn, moves onwards to piste 63 all the way to Osthang, followed by pistes 59 and 76 to the Arlenmahder lift, moving onwards to 100 to Alpe Rauz. This trail is long and easy to follow for beginners. Despite the easiness of the trial for beginners, they can often get confused among the trails and head on to black trails by accident.
When feeling the need to further explore the slopes, beginners can head over to Warth. It takes some time to reach this destination but the journey is worth it as the route rewards first timers with endless blue pistes that stretch from the slopes above Lech and Oberlech towards Warth.
For Intermediate Skiers
Intermediate skiers can indulge in the spectacular mountain scenery, travelling a vertical mile from the top of St Anton’s three main mountains down to the village. This route will take skiers to 6.4 miles from Valluga through the beautiful location at Ulmer Hutte ending at St. Anton.
Kapal is a location that has long testing black pistes 42 and 34 that winds their way down towards the World Cup downhill route to the village. For those looking for a quiet alternative to the crowded slopes can head to Rendl. There are a number of blue, red and black pistes on open slopes. The route has a few ungroomed trails that will lead intermediate skiers to descent from the highest point of the Gampberg lift.
Intermediate skiers can take the quiet Sonnenkopf route at Klosterle, the area is accessible by Arlberg pass and there is one black and one ungroomed trail. With the exception of a single black trail, the area is made up of blue and red runs.
For Advanced and Expert Skiers
St. Anton is a paradise for adrenaline junkies on skies. The terrain is ideal for testing the skills of the very best of skiers. The ungroomed slopes of Mattun and Schindlekrar ski routes include some steep descents posing as a great challenge for experienced skiers.
Another prime location for skiers is the Stuben area that has a number of difficult slopes with many red routes located on the Albona north. It descents over 1000meters of different types of ungroomed terrains. For expert skiers, the popular Vallugna north facing off piste is a challenge. Skiers taking the Flexenbahn lift will give them access to 30 ungroomed pistes and trails with plenty of off piste.
The area near the steep west facing peaks that are protected by a very large fence are reserved for experts only. The area is accessible by Schindlergrat chairlift, this particular route is too extreme even for seasoned skiers. Even expert skiers must tread in the area with caution. A popular descent for skiers is the Schindlerkar 86 marked trail along with the popular Mattunioch 90, a famous descent for expert skiers.
The St Anton off pistes are legendary, the off-pistes are crowded when the weather is generous and there is a lot of powder ready for expert skiing. The Valluga north facing descent into the Paziel-Tal to Zurs is a very popular off piste with a gut wrenching descent that the best of skiers can handle.
Taking the red ski route 51 from Galzig to St Anton is a second reincarnation of the famous black route of Ostang, the route that goes right between the trees is one of the most challenging routes.
On a fine day when there is plenty of powder, even with low visibility, the trees are always visible to help the skier move past them. But even expert skiers must tread in these locations with caution as some cuts towards the right of the slope lead to deep valleys.
Snow Boarding and Free Style Skiing
The diverse and challenging terrain is a major attraction for expert snowboarders and free style skiers. There are extensive off-pistes that gives many opportunities to snowboarders to test their skills on some of the best routes.
The terrain park located on the old Masslift stretch at Rendl includes:
• A half pipe measuring 40m x 17m
• About 8 to 10 barriers
• Two quarter pipes
• A washboard
• A table top
• A single slide
• A long jump
The half pipe is well maintained and the teams work on the maintenance every three to four weeks. Rendl is a perfect location for intermediate and beginners, the location has wide and open slopes and a lot well-groomed runs suitable for beginners and intermediate boarders. The exciting flat section at St. Anton and nearby valleys including Steissbachtal are perfect for snowboarding and free styling.
Skiers Statistics for St. Anton Ski Resort
Ski Season: Begins in early December and closes in late April
Elevation: 9222ft - 4944ft
Beginner Runs: 36%
Intermediate runs: 43%
Advanced Runs: 40%
Expert Runs: 17%
Pistes: 93 Miles
Terrain Parks: 4
Longest Run: 6 Miles
Total Gondolas and Lifts: 88
Eight Person Lifts: 2
High Speed Sixes: 16
High Speed Quads: 9
Quad Chairs: 4
Triple Chairs: 1
Double Chairs: 15
Surface Lifts: 28