Thu, 2013-03-28 16:15 — Anonymous
One of Austria’s absolute must-visit resorts, there’s no doubt that St Anton has an enormous amount to offer both on and off the slopes. The resort’s lift pass covers the whole Arlberg region, which incorporates neighbouring villages such as St Christoph and Stuben as well as Lech and Zurs. The whole area offers an absolute wealth of pisted and un-pisted terrain to explore and although the 280kms of pisted runs will keep you busy, it is the 180kms of marked off-piste runs that really set St. Anton apart from other resorts.
When it comes to partying versus powder, it’s all about balance! St Anton’s fresh powder gets tracked out fast, so if you know it’s clear blue skies and fresh powder next morning it may pay to ease off the booze a little the night before. It might be worth booking a guide earlier in the week to make sure you can get out on those unmarked areas before anyone else, too. Also, if the budget allows, jump in a helicopter and discover even more remote heli-boarding areas – it’s the only place you can do this in Austria.
With so much off piste to explore St Anton is a popular resort for snowboarders from across the world, but beginner snowboarders take note – There are far better resorts than St Anton for those mastering their first turns on a snowboard. Flat terrain in some areas coupled with a lack of good beginner slopes compared to many other resorts in Austria and elsewhere mean this is a resort far better suited to intermediate and advanced level snowboarders.
Off-Piste Enthusiasts (Freeride)
You’d have to spend months in St Anton in order to learn all the natural nooks and crannies hidden around the valley, and the terrain here is teeming with freestyle possibilities. Drop-ins and take off points can be found left right and centre as you explore the ski area, it’s truly impressive. One area that comes most highly recommended is the area running parallel to run 17 in St. Christoph. It’s packed with drop off points and a collection of natural half pipes, making it ideal for off piste enthusiasts.
Snow-Park Boarders (Freestyle)
For snow park fans, those on the hunt for kickers and rails need to head to the Rendl side of the resort. The park in Rendl houses 3 separate lines for different levels of skier or boarder including a beginner jib line, all serviced buy a t-bar. There’s also a great bar/cafe area nicknamed Rendl Beach where you can sit and watch the pros hitting the park – it’s the perfect place to gain inspiration before your next trip through the terrain park. Over in Lech you’ll find a slightly bigger terrain park which is also worth a good look.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or you’re looking to master a certain trick or refine your technique, there are plenty of skilled and experienced snowboard instructors and guides in St Aton to accommodate your needs. All kinds of classes, from children’s beginner lessons to intermediate improvement classes and specialist clinics for park, off piste or mogul riding, are all readily available and the schools’ reputations are excellent.