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|Resort: St Anton
Date: 16th to 23rd January 2005
Our holiday: My second week skiing this season, went with two good friends, and two that I'd only met once before. Hadn't skied with any of them before, so was interested to see what their standard of skiing was like.
Website : http://www.stantonamarlberg.com/
Basics : The Arlberg region is on the border between the Tyrol and the Alps proper, for this reason it is very snowsure, and has a long season despite it's low altittude (1350m). It can be reached within an hour and a half of Innsbruck, or two hours of Friedrichstraffe (our option for this trip). Access by road and by rail is very efficient. I would not recommend Friedrichstraffe as a destination airport as it is very small, and not designed to cope with large charter flights arriving. St Anton is the home of the Kandehar downhill, and so can claim to be the birthplace of modern alpine skiing. At one end of St Anton is Nasserein, which has access to the slopes through a high capacity gondola. This tends to be a quieter area. At the other end is St Anton which has access through either a high speed chair, or a cable car, this tends to be the more party orientated end of town. On the other side of the road at this end is the Gondola access to Rendl, a seperate and sllghtly quieter ski area which is also covered by your ski pass. Within the piste network are access points to and from two other resorts, St Christoph and Stuben, both of which are meant to be very quiet and very exclusive. Added to all this are the neighbouring resorts of Lech and Zurs, which are covered by a free ski bus, or a reasonable 50 euro taxi fare (for an eight seater taxi). Your ski pass works here as well.
Lift system : There are 83 lifts, a mix of mostly highspeed chairs, some slower speed chairs, a few T-bars, and some cable cars. There are a few bottlenecks within the area which can get very crowded at certain times of day. It's always worth making the effort to get up for the first lift in St Anton.
The terrain : Lech and Zurs are intermediate paradises, St Anton is for the more expert skier. Too many great pistes and itineraries to mention.
The snow : A bit thin on the first day, but then it snowed for the rest of the week.
Off-piste : Nowhere better in the world. Period.
The resort : Great apres ski, great shopping, a liitle thin on the ground for non skiing activities. There is a new spa complex in town, but I've not had a chance to try it yet. Also a nice character especially around the Nasserein end. St Christoph and Stuben are extremely pretty.
Food : In town the St Anton cafe does excellent food, at reasonable prices. In the evening Scotty's bar does nice pizzas. Don't eat at the Kandehar in town, it's very disappointing overall, although the quality of the food was ok. On the slopes both the infamous Krazy Kangaruh and the Moosevirt do reasonable food, as does the Ulmer Hutt. To be honest most places on the mountain were pretty good.
Accommodation : Chalet Regina by skiworld. A nice enough chalet, but the chalet staff left something to be desired in their enthusiasm. Most requests were met with a polite "no". And not just the rude ones
Costs: Lift pass for six days is 150 euros. Not the cheapest resort, but not as expensive as some of the more exclusive french or swiss resorts. Plenty of cheaper accomodation seems to be available.
Conclusion: Justifiably one of the best ski resorts in the world.
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