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|Resort: St Anton
Domain: The Arlberg
Date: March 15 - March 22
Our Group: 2 couples and 2 single friends. 3 good intermediate skiers, 3 boarders of varying ability.
Website : http://www.stantonamarlberg.com/winter/ViewPage.asp?Site=STANTON2-WINTER&PageID=206&lang=201
Basics : Flew from Liverpool to Innsbruck on EasyJet. Got a taxi minivan (http://www.innsbruck-taxi.com/en/) to our chalet. All very easy and simple. Stayed in the Nasserein part of St Anton about 100 yards from the gondola that takes you up into the heart of the pistes. Lift pass was quite pricey - 204â‚¬ - but you do get a lot of bang for your buck since it covers St Anton, Rendl, Stuben, Sonnenkopf, Lech, Zurs and Oberlech. It's easy to get around (regular free buses) and the different areas are well worth visting - more on this below.
Lift system : There are a few old chairlifts dotted about, but not many. Lech has some snappy ones that have covered, heated seats. There are a handful of drag lifts and a few T Bars, my first ones! Overall the lift system is very good, no problems or complaints. We only really encountered queues at the Zammermoosbahn (the queue looks huge but moves really quickly) and to get up to the Valluga.
The terrain : What can I say? Hugely varied, something for everyone. Some really challenging stuff, some cruising stuff and a couple of parks to play in.
The snow : Awesome. Couldnâ€™t have been better. It had been snowing on and off for three weeks beforehand and on our first morning the sun came out for a truly bluebird day. A couple more evenings of snow meant that we had some fantastic conditions. Slightly soupy on a few of the lower runs, but you expect that at this time in year when the sun is shining quite so brightly.
Our Sking : We skied pretty much all over the area covered by our lift pass. With the exception of Sonnenkopf which is a pain to get back from (the last free bus leaves at 2:30pm!!).
Rendl â€“ Skied here twice, first day and last day. Impeccable grooming and hardly any other people. The quietest place Iâ€™ve ever skied. Very nice.
Weisse Ring â€“ A loop that starts and ends in Zurs taking in Zug, Oberlech and Lech along the way. A very nice way to spend a few hours. Thereâ€™s a flat bit at the top before you come down into Lech, but this is made up for by the lovely itinerary route down into Zug.
Lech â€“ Versace ski suits a-go-go, but very nice, quiet skiing. And a great snow park with something for everyone to have a go on. I managed a rail and some jumps and was very pleased with myself.
Zurs â€“ See Lech, but without the snow park.
Stuben â€“ Skied here twice. Once on purpose and once because we missed the turn-off to the Lech bus and ended up in Stuben! Similar to Rendl in that it is just as quiet, but smaller.
Off-piste : Itâ€™s St Anton â€“ need I say more? Iâ€™m just about getting to a level where I want to start going off piste, St Anton fueled this fire. For a novice pretender like me there was plenty of untracked powder above and between the pistes. A couple of the ski routes were almost like off piste after the snowfalls. For proper off-pisters, the possibilities are endless and famous.
The resort : I was very pleasantly surprised by St Anton itself. Itâ€™s very easy on the eye and small enough to get around easily. It was my first time in Austria for 20 years and I had forgotten how picturesque it can be. Lech, Zurs, Stuben, St Cristoph and Zug are lovely. Very pretty, classic â€śAustrianâ€ť with painted guesthouses etc. Free buses link all the areas and run pretty regularly. It is also easy to get from St Anton to Zurs/Lech and back for free, but most people seemed to get the PostBus and pay â€“ not sure why. To get there for free, ski to Alpe Rauz from St Anton and then catch the free bus. Easy.
Apres Ski: Not usually my scene, but I did make the effort to sample the famous Mooserwirt. Utterly hated it for the first 10 minutes as it was loud and in your face, but then jagermeister kicked in and I had a fantastic time. Itâ€™s everything you read it to beâ€¦ friendly, loud and mental. People really do dance til itâ€™s dark on the tables in their ski boots and googles â€“ but itâ€™s all very amiable and nice.
Food : We were in a fully catered chalet, so only ate out at lunchtime. We ate in various mountain restaurants, all were of a fairly high standard. My personal favourite was the place in lech near the base of the chairlift that goes up past the snowpark. Also, the Mooserwirt sticky ribs platter â€“ 17â‚¬ but worth every penny!
Accommodation : Chalet Reselehof in Nasserein owned by Albus Travel. Nice, comfortable, excellent food and only about 100m from the gondola. The closest to the slopes I think I have ever stayed.
Costs: 204â‚¬ for the lift pass. Free buses to/from all Arlberg areas. Lunchtime soups 5-8â‚¬, proper lunches 10-15â‚¬. 0.5l Pepsi/Beer 4.6â‚¬. Jagermeister (yum) 2.8â‚¬.
Conclusion: What can I sayâ€¦ Awesome, fantastic, brilliant. My trip to St Anton was all those things. Never planned to ski here as I didnâ€™t really fancy it (had heard horror stories of the busy slopes back to town and the famed nightlife and noise) but ended up here when a trip to Ischgl was abandoned. All worked out well given that it is now my favourite ski trip I have ever had. Everything about it was wonderful â€“ the weather, the snow, the skiing, the village, the nightlife, the chalet, the short transfer etc etc. Brilliant.
St Anton Resort Report Feedback Thread
When was the last you heard of someone on their deathbed saying "I wish i hadn't wasted that much money on skiing holidays"?