St Anton Ski Resort Guide

St Anton is a fantastic skiing resort and is one of the best for experts. The steep slopes are great on both the local mountains, the village centre is charming and lively and here you can party all night long, well through the early hours.

The resort has fantastic lifts and there is the new Galzig gondola which opened in 2006/2007. The resort of St Anton is situated at the bottom of the road that leads up to the Arlberg pass and is at the eastern end of a network of lifts that spread across to St Christoph and also over to Stuben.

There is a mixture of modern and more traditional buildings in St Anton and the resort itself is sprawling with the buildings crammed into a narrow valley.

As you head down the valley the resort of St Anton starts to thin out before widening again which forms the suburb of Nasserein.

There are regular ski buses that will take you to Stuben, Lech and Zurs and also the less well known Sonnenkopf which is situated above Klosterle.

St Anton’s main street is traffic free and is lined with great traditional buildings it’s a very bustling place both day and night and there are many shops which cater for everyday requirements.

The main part of St Anton is located at the western end of the main street, between the lift stations to Gampen,Galzig and Rendl, the lift to Gampen is a very fast quad chair, the lift to Galzig is a jumbo gondola and the lift to Rendl is an eight seater gondola. Nasserein also has an eight seater gondola which takes you up to Gampen.

St Anton is located in a partly wooded valley and has very stunning views from the summit of the Valluga.

There are many great places to stay including chalets, hotels and apartments. St Anton also offers good child care establishments and ski schools for both children and adults.

Indoor activities

  • Swimming pools
  • Sauna
  • Fitness Centre
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Bowling
  • Climbing wall
  • Museum
  • Library

Outdoor activities

  • Walking paths (cleared)
  • Ice rink
  • Skating curling
  • Sleigh rides
  • Snowshoeing
  • Tobogganing
  • Paragliding

There are superb places to eat in St Anton, although there is a lot of half board here, so there isn’t a great deal of restaurants. Hazienda is great for meals and drinks and offers a wide variety of food. The village museum’s restaurant is also very good, The Fuhrmannstuble and The Trodlerstuble both serve fantastic traditional Austrian food. Underground on the piste is especially good for steaks, Pomodora is great for pizzas, Funky chicken is well worth visiting so too is Bodega which is a tapas bar.

The Ski Runs

The après ski in St Anton is excellent, this place rocks by day and night, the après ski starts in the bars on the slopes, which are just above the village. Some famous places include: The Krazy Kanguruh, Mooserwrit, Griabli, Th Heustadl and The Sennhutte. Most of the bars in the town are buzzing by 4pm and are all lively and offer great music. If you fancy something a little quieter try The Anton bar, The Hazienda, The Picadilly and Underground on the piste.

You must visit the Arlberg – which is a leisure centre with outdoor and indoor swimming pools, three saunas and a steam room. There is also a great sports centre with indoor climbing and outdoor ice climbing walls.

The other Arlberg resorts are also well worth visiting you can travel to them by bus and you can visit Innsbruck by train.

Use the winter walking trails and go to Pettneu, there is also a very good walk to Verwall, Lech also has some very beautiful walks and is well worth experiencing.

St Jacobs is a must place to see and is beyond Nasserein, you can get to it by snow or the free shuttle bus.

Stuben is linked by all the pistes and lifts over the Arlberg pass to St Anton and buses will take you from the village to Lech/Zurs and also the ones from Rauz. Stuben dates back to the 13th century and is a very small village that really is unspoiled and it also gets very heavy snowfall.

St Christoph is located just down from the summit of the Arlberg pass and is home to a small collection of hotels, bars and restaurants. The beginner slopes here are great and are served by draglifts and also a fast quad chairlift which takes you to the very heart of St Anton’s slopes, which is Galzig.

The majority of the main slopes in St Anton are open to the elements, but the lower Gampen runs and also the run from Rendl to the valley are sheltered from bad weather.

The resort of St Anton vies with Val d’ Isere and is known as “the resort with the most under classified slopes” some of the blue runs in St Anton would be better classified as red and there are many red runs that would be better classified as black, there are many fantastic black runs for the expert skier although none of them are very steep.

The slopes in St Anton fall into three main sectors and two of these sectors are very well linked.

The main sector in St Anton is beneath the local high spot called The Valluga and you can get to it by the jump gondola, which takes you to Galzig and followed by a cable car.

The small top stage of the cable car used to get to The Valluga is mostly used for sightseeing and you can take your skis or snowboard up with you, but you must have a guide with you to guide you down the tough off piste run that takes you to Zurs.

The lower station of Valluga Grat gives access to St Anton’s, high sunny bowls and to the stunning long blue/red run to Alpe Rauz. From here there is a six pack called the Valfagehr for returns or you could go to the slopes of Stuben which are however rather neglected.

The Schindlegrat triple chair can take you to the run to Alpe Rauz and the high Valluga runs, although you will have to walk in some places.

Other great runs are the ones from Galzig and from here travel south west to St Christoph and then east into the Steissbachtal.

Further on from this valley using the piste and lift links is the Kapall – Gampen sector which you reach by using the chairlift from central St Anton or by using the gondola from Nasserein. You can also ride a six pack and head up to Kapall where you can ski the treeless upper mountain.

The third sector is Rendl, which is reached by a new gondola that is an eight seater that starts closer to the centre of town and is very close to the Galzig lift which means you don’t have to catch the bus anymore.

There are also a few lifts that serve the west facing runs which are located above the new gondola and there is one run that is north facing that takes you back to the valley.

Rendl is a lovely quiet place and is well worth experiencing and is suitable for all abilities with fantastic off piste and long cruising pistes.

The lifts in St Anton are excellent and access to the village is served by great new gondolas and fast chairs. Gampen and Galzig sectors have many fast chairs high up whereas Rendl and Stuben have lots of slower chairs.

You don’t have to queue long for any of the lifts most of the time, although the most popular ones can get busy at peak periods.

There is a 200m terrain park on Rendl and is just below the top of the gondola it is narrow and isn’t as big as the park over in Lech. The park itself might not be huge but it makes up for that in quality, with several new obstacles along with intermediate and professional table top jump lines.

Snow reliability is generally good, especially if the weather is coming from the west or north – west because then the Arlberg gets it first meaning St Anton and its neighbours will get heavy falls of snow.

As a result of this they have much better conditions than many other ski resorts that are of a similar height, some of the slopes do however face south east and this can cause icy and heavy conditions at times.

The lower runs are equipped with snow making which ensures that the home runs are kept open for skiers. For the steeper runs you must make sure you time the descents off the Valluga so that you have good conditions otherwise you could end up in trouble if conditions turn nasty.

St Anton is one of the world’s best skiing resorts for experts and as St Anton vies with Val d’ Isere, Chamonix and a few other resorts they all make fantastic places to visit for experts and you will have lots of opportunities to go off piste here.

The runs that are in the huge bowls situated below the Valluga are world famous and with good reason too, and straight after a fresh fall of snow you can see many tracks going all over the mountain. There are also many ski routes in the bowls too.

Lower down are challenging runs in many directions that go from Galzig and Kapall – Kampen, these runs however can be very tricky when the snow has been affected by the sun.

The Rendl area has many open spaces that are served by the top lifts and here there are also many challenging runs to experience. Sonnenkopf area which is down the valley from Stuben is excellent for its off piste route to Langen.

The Arlberg region is an off piste skiers heaven and is famous for its high snowfall record, deep powder and a fantastic variety of terrain. Serious routes include The North Face which you get to by using the Gampberg six seater chair and this area offers very challenging terrain that’s ideal for intermediates and confident off piste skiers.

The terrain in Stuben that is reached from the Albonagrat chair is perfect for the experienced off piste skier and here the descents are very long.

The open tree line of the Langen Forest where the powder is very deep, usually knee to waist deep form some of the world’s greatest tree skiing.

The runs from the summit of the Valluga are legendary, and are fantastic for experienced off piste skiers and includes The North Face, Bridge Couloir and East Couloir.

If you’re an adventurous intermediate, St Anton will be great for you as there are many testing pistes here and you can try some of the ski routes in the Valluga bowls. There is a long run from Schindler Spitze to Rauz and it’s over 1000m vertical and is varied which makes it great for good intermediates, if you’d rather you can turn off from this point half way down and take the Steissbachtal to the lifts that go back to Gampen or Galzig.

You will also find the Kapall – Gampen section very interesting with sporty bumps amongst trees on the lower half. You can also enjoy the men’s downhill run that goes from the top to the town.

If you’re a timid intermediate you may find that St Anton is too steep for you, there are a few cruising pistes that are easy but most of the blue runs should be classed as red and can get very bumpy after fresh snowfall. The best crusing pistes are the short blue runs on the Galzig and the Steissbachtal, but these can sometimes get overcrowded. There is also another blue run from Kapall to Gampena and its wide and good for cruising.

There is also a good variety of trails in the underrated Rendl area and is great for moderate intermediates, and there is also Salzboden which is blue and long.

Also very good is the long tree lined run to the valley and is over 1000m vertical from the top, this run is the very best when visibility is poor, although it does have some awkward sections and do get busy at the end of the day. A visit to Lech and Zurs is a must when you’re visiting St Anton and you get to them by bus.

If you’re a beginner you should start in Nasserein where the nursery slope is less steep than the ones that are close to the main lifts. There are more slopes up at Gampen and Rendl has a short, gentle blue run which is served by an easy draglift. Apart from these runs there are no other easy ones for beginners to progress to, so if you’re a mixed party it may be better if you stay in Zurs or Lech at least that way whoever wants to try the runs in St Anton can while the others are well catered for.

There are many cross country trails in St Anton totalling around 40km and the snow conditions are generally very good.

There is an excellent choice of mountain restaurants including: The VerwallStube at Galzig, Hospiz Alm in St Christoph, The Arlberg Taja, Ulmer Hutte, The Mooserwirt, The Krazy Kanguruh and The Rodelalm with many, many more.

There are many ski schools for children and adults along with kindergartens that are run by the ski schools and there is a youth centre attached to the Arlberg school and is fantastic.

Piste to powder mountain guides in St Anton are all day guides from 9am to 5pm and you can choose from four skill levels. Piste to Powder is a specialist off piste outfit and is run by a British guide called Graham Austick.

You will also find special slopes for toddlers and bigger children. At Nasserein you will find a moving carpet on the baby slope and is said to be ideal for young kids, another good area for children is by the Gampen fast car.

St Anton is fantastic for snowboarders and for many is the mecca of Austrian free riding, with fantastic snowfall and plenty of steep gullies with back country powder fields all with challenging terrain which is great for advanced riders.

The Arlberg snow board academy is well known for showing all levels of abilities where to best apply their skills. Even if you’re a beginner on the wide open pistes or if you’re a more advanced rider who wants some guidance through steeps, trees or off piste that is deep, they will help you.

If you’re a freerider or a freestyler look no further than Rendl, which is an excellent mountain that will be fantastic for you.

St Anton

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photo kindly provided by John Smith