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St Anton Resort Report Feedback Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is a feedback thread for richmond's recent resort report:

St Anton (February 2007)

and kramer's report from a couple of years ago:

St Anton (January 2005)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
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Blimey, this is a bit organised. Very impressive.
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richmond, our watchword is organisation Toofy Grin
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A very good report as well, I enjoyed it a lot and must go back to St A. sometime with the kids.
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Another report on St Anton from magic_hat's:

St Anton (March 2009)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
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great report from Magic Hat. I was in Lech the same week and we got soooo lucky with the perfect combination of snow and then sun Very Happy The Arlberg is the King of ski areas - that's a challenge - none better surely???
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red 27 wrote:
The Arlberg is the King of ski areas - that's a challenge - none better surely???


I have just had the perfect ski year - Dolomites in Jan and St Anton in March... am seriously concerned that I won't be able to better that next year! Have started looking already to try and find places that might be as good!
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magic_hat, Ha! ditto... I can recommend Davos/Klosters for the skiing, Villars for a quick trip, verbier for the off-piste, Cervinia for piste-bashing and skimottarets lovely apartment for luxury.

Where did you go in the Dollys please?
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red 27 wrote:
magic_hat, Ha! ditto... I can recommend Davos/Klosters for the skiing, Villars for a quick trip, verbier for the off-piste, Cervinia for piste-bashing and skimottarets lovely apartment for luxury.

Where did you go in the Dollys please?


Been looking at Verbier (for some lessons / off piste tuition) and Zermatt/Cervinia. Also considering splashing out and heading across the Atlantic.

Stayed in Arabba. Very impressed - not much in the way of Apres-Ski, but a lovely village, good food, excellent skiing and the most awesome skiing/mountain scenery i have ever seen.
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magic_hat, Nice report. Discovered the area in 2003 and am always comparing it with other resorts that I have visited subsequently, none of which reach the mark. It has something for everyone - will manage twice next year, fingers crossed Smile
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25 yrs in St Anton, I know many Brits & Aussies who have been there 30yr+. I even know some Germans who have been skiing St Anton for 45yrs.
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Sorry to say I found the resort very over rated. we skied the whole linked area by two pm pretty much. Although there are no beginner runs, there are no really challenging runs like say Arrabba. Off piste potential is good, particularly at Stuben, but then are most other ski resorts to be fair. lech and Zurs are beautiful, better organised and much classier. I would go to them again. I didn't ski Sonnenkopft but apparently it's where's all the locals go when it snows.

St Anton is now like Andorra or Saux twenty years ago. full of Brits on the lash. The local authorities are desperate to curb this by only allowing four and five star hotels to be built. People kept asking why here was no lift between St Anton and Lech? Apparently Lech wants nothing to do with it - it's easy to see why.
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cameronphillips2000, agree with everything you said
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Yup, St Anton is rubbish. Don't go!
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Sorry to say I found the resort very over rated. we skied the whole linked area by two pm pretty much.


Now that is impressive. So, you skied around 280km in around 5 hours? Wow, just wow!
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cameronphillips2000, You don't think that the Mooserwirt/KK has anything to do with the "Brits-on-the-lash" image, do you? The moniker "Cock-City" is rather apt with so much testosterone and aggression, guys competing with a couple of dozen others for any available partner (gay and straight!). And you're right about Lech and Zurs, however, there's more than half a day's skiing at St Anton, there's some world-class pistes/OP, and the skiing in/around Valluga/Schindler an absolute dream. And now the Russians are skiing there it's only going to get worse.

As ulmerhutte, says ............... don't go there, then!
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I assume it's 280Km for the whole St Anton, Lech and SonnenKopf area.

We skied in a group of three. All three of us have probably skied for about twenty weeks each. I'm 41, the other two are 47 and fifty. We don't hang about but thee are plenty who ski a lot quicker than us.

I'll give you an idea of our moring:

Two of us left St Christoph at 8.30. We skied up the drag, down to the chair, up to the top and then down to St Christoph to meet our mate.
We then did the same again to the top but the other side down to St Anton. We skied the non pisted number 3 under the Gondola. It was a real mess in mid April. We found it really hard and it took us a fair while to get down. We then took the gondala up and took Valluga cable car to the top. We then skied the 14 and 17 down to Stuben.

We too both chairs to the top of Stuben and skied both runs over the back, taking the chair a couple of times and skied back over the other side and back to the T bar and chair back up to St Anton.

When then skied over to the two chairs that took us to the top of Kapall. We ski run to the right and got the drag back up to the top of Kapall. We then skied the black all the way down to St Anton. We then tooke the lift up to Rendl beach and skied the lifts above there before settling down for a beer. This was all well before two o'clock.

We weren't racing about or trying to cover as much of the mountains as we could. It just struck me, when I sat down at lunch to have a look at where we'd been, that we had covered pretty much the whole linked St Anton linked area. I found ths suprising. We hadn't skied every run by any stretch but it made me realise that without Lech, Zurs, Ogerlech and Sonnerkopft (All bus rides away) the St Anton area itself is nothing like as extensive as some of the resorts it is compared to: Espace killy, Three valleys, Verbier, Whistler etc.

I could see the huge off piste potential though.


I'm told they're thinking of linking it over the back to Ishgl - Now that would be something.

The testosterone charged response from ulmerhutte is very 'St Antonesque'

One thing I did notice aout St Anton - Every can ski very well. You don't go there to learn so you don't tend to get caught behind snaking ski schools and slowed up be tentative learners clogging up the steep bits.
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It is easily possible to ski, in one day, the main pistes, Kapall/Gampen, Galzig, Schindergrat (plus Schindlerkar), Rendl, Stuben, plus the Zurs-Lech "White ring".
IMO, over the years, St. Anton has gone through phases of skiing satisfaction and rating. My first visit in the 1970's left a big impression on me and I returned several times, I thought nothing to touch it. But the lift served area through the 1980's and into the 90's suffered from some very serious lift queues, Galzibahn, Vallugabahn and later the Schindergratbahn being the most notable, 45-60mins at a time. The infrastructure was ancient compared to resorts in France, investment disgracefully neglected. However, in recent times, vast improvements have made skiing St. Anton a lot more rewarding than it was, with lift queues now less common.
As a ski resort, St. Anton has much more competition nowadays as development right across the Alps has "lifted" otherwise non-descript resorts into serious competitors, nearby Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is a prime example. That ski area, larger than St. Anton, offers some very challenging skiing nowadays, with extensive and accessible off-piste, lift served up to some 2800m.
St. Anton is legendary for it's accessible off-piste and this is still holds true to-day. However, because of it's popularity with off-pisters, after a fresh fall, you have to be up early. Other resorts have longer powder days, fewer off-pisters.
Whilst St. Anton is clearly not "rubbish", it is no longer THE top resort for serious skiers, just one of quite a number.
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We skied the 'White Ring' with our rep. It was stunning. I'm told Lech limits the number of day tickets sold per day too so it doesn't get too busy. This has got to be a way forwards.

St Anton is by no means rubbish. I just think it's been over-hyped over the years. Most of the main resort skiing is also south facing which is never a good thing. I'd compare it Meribel. Full of Brits who swear by it, but for the Europeans in the know, there's better out there.
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:

We weren't racing about or trying to cover as much of the mountains as we could. It just struck me, when I sat down at lunch to have a look at where we'd been, that we had covered pretty much the whole linked St Anton linked area.


So you skied nothing like the whole area, then. Just one or two runs in/to each 'village area.'

What do you want, a big long linear ski area purely so it takes ages to get from one end to the other? Many (most?) 'large' ski ares (Portes du Soleil, Saalbahc/Hinterglemm) have circuits where you can cover the 'boundaries' easily in a day. Surely it's the quality/quantity of what's between them that counts, rather than just how apart they are?

There's a massive amount of stuff to do in the Arlberg, earlier this season a few of us spent a guided day (high avi risk) skiing off just one lift - with new lines every run.

The offpiste is not over-rated. Simples.
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I guess the fact that you post in a resort review on a forum, and you get a very assertive response kind of sums up the St Anton macho problem. My initial review was about St Anton rather than the whole Alberg area and I still believe that it's not up there with other resorts that crop up in the usual 'world's top ten'

Interestingly, our reps and guides also seemed to agree with us. They said they all go over to Sonnenkopft when there's a powder day and told us to go to Lech and Zurs to get the best piste skiing.

The off piste did look amazing and close to the pistes but, again, if you really want untracked powder you can go to Chamonix or Le Grave.....
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:

The off piste did look amazing and close to the pistes but, again, if you really want untracked powder you can go to Chamonix or Le Grave.....

What is this Chamonix of which you speak? Even in places that goats fear to tread someone will have put down lines.

Your point seems to be that actual St Anton isn't that big an area, which I'd agree if you stay on piste and restrict your definition of St Anton. But given you can ski from Nasserein to Zurs without taking a bus or Stuben if you stick to pistes and Lech is just a short connection up the road it's not one that holds a lot of water. If you're stuck hacking down happy valley everyday then St Anton is I guess a PITA.
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cameronphillips2000, tend to agree, if you want many km of piste, St Anton isn't the best, well connected area. Did you look at the other higher ski routes at all for a challenge?

Ski route 3 was quite nice and mogully a few weeks back...

In my 6 days I spent a day off piste with a guide (Stuben, Valluga, Zurs), one day in Sonnenkopf, 1 day skiing St Anton, one doing the Weiss ring, and the other 2 days in Lech.
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To be fair, I'm getting on a bit old for a big challenge. I think some have misinterpreted my reviews on here. I thought St Anton slightly over-rated, not the whole Alberg area.

I went to Stuben on a day when the wind was funneling up through the pass and it made it quite hard work. Our reps said it is awesome for off piste on a good day. I do love lifts at the top of a pass with little or nothing there. Something very romantic and pure about it. Stuben definately fits into that category. I'm also told it has the highest snowfall in the Alps. that doesn't suprise me. the depths up in the car park there were huge and you can see how all the weather gets squeezed heading westwards and the clouds must dump piles of snow as they have to rise to go over the Alberg pass.

Ski route 3 was like skiing through lumps of sorbet last week. I guess that's the price you pay for going so late. I was suprised to see so much of St Anton's skiing to be south facing. We spent a lot of time up at Rendl where the snow was much better.

It's a shame I never made it to Sonnenkopf. Apparently it's stunning
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
To be fair........ the highest snowfall in the Alps......... over the (vor..)Alberg (Warth)..pass.

It's a shame I never made it to Sonnenkopf. Apparently it's stunning


It is!

Warth had 13 metres of snow this year. (Links into Lech next year)

North face Stuben (Albona) was awesome if not intimidating 2 weeks ago, perfect slope for end of season lines.

You don't mention Schindlekar, Mattunjoch, Furkawang, Osthang........... are you sure you skied St Anton?
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cameronphillips2000, Please check out the Resort Review on Warth/Schrocken,.............. Lech/Zurs gets bigger next year with the north facing slopes off Warth an even bigger draw than Stuben.

Somehow I get the feeling you may just decline the merits of the Vorarlberg having missed much of the Arlberg.

FYI............... I skied new tracks OP for a day off just one lift (Sonnenjet/Auenfeld) Wednesday 10th April................... Elsewhere in the Alps the fresh stuff would have been decimated by 10 am.
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
To be fair, I'm getting on a bit old for a big challenge.


Elsewhere you seem to indicate you're 41. God help us all if this is a contagious attitude wink
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I read somewhere there's no chance of an over forty passing the instructors' test. Sad
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I read somewhere there's no chance of an over forty passing the instructors' test. Sad


Which "instructors test"? Plenty of over 40s have passed BASI L1 and L2
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cameronphillips2000, I know there's some stattos probbaly out there can identify outliers but I think it's pretty widely held that you haven't got a lot of ope of getting through the Eurotest at 40+ unless you already have a fair amount of decent gate experience under your belt, hence the contention it is age discriminatory Propensity to and recovery time from training injuries being a couple of the relevant factors.

Why this should impact the regular recreational skier is unclear, perhaps one might naturally shy away from extreme hucks but elsewhere experience and "craft" that come from time can compensate for declining physical attributes.
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Like the fact that this thread was revived after 2 years and then again after 4. After this flurry can we expect the next instalment in 2021!!!

I've had great times in Sonnenkopf, Stuben and Wart in years gone by. Mostly in the context of lift accessible off piste and shorter stays. Though I do the majority of my skiing in France, on week long jaunts. Lech Zurs didn't do much for me tbh.

I have to say cameronphillips2000s opening gambit
Quote:
Sorry to say I found the resort very over rated. we skied the whole linked area by two pm
pretty much made me go Shocked Shocked Shocked But then I reckon I could ski the whole of the 3V's in a couple of days by the criteria later clarified. I've figured out with age (mid-40's) that it's not the size it's what you do with it, and it's not the quantity but the quality Very Happy
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I think some have misinterpreted my reviews on here. I thought St Anton slightly over-rated, not the whole Alberg area.


Possibly, I've never seen anyone judge/review just the one small sector of the area before. It's a bit like going to Silverstone and reviewing just one corner. Generally when people refer to skiing in 'St Anton,' they mean 'the Arlberg' - it's all 'right there,' all on the same pass (no extra cost), other than Sonnenkopf all easily accessed... I guess I don't understand why you'd make the distinction?
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Seems as if people are loyal to the place. Quite amusing seeing some of the responses to criticisim of the place. Its almost like you've insulted someone's mother.

Maybe I didn't realise that people see St Anton as the whole Alberg. Reviews on here of Meribel don't mean the Three Valleys and La Plagne doesn't mean paradiski.

Anyway, to clarify, the Alberg is great. But St Anton is by not the greatest bit - in my opinion. I think a reasonable skier could ski most of the St Anton 'area' by 2pm and really pushing it you could ski every piste in a day. I'd be interested to see how many Km of piste there are in the St Anton (Not Alberg) area. Like I say, I was slightly disappointed in it particularly as so much is south facing. I also found the town slightly disappointing. Quite an ugly train and bus station that could have been designed in a more sympathetic way.
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Quote:

Anyway, to clarify, the Alberg is great. But St Anton is by not the greatest bit - in my opinion.


Well, no disagreements with that!
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Everyone either loves or hates it. I spent all my time off-piste and I loved it. My OH was on piste and hated it. If I was her I'd hate it too, pistes are perfect storm- steep blues, extremely crowded, lots of bad skiers going fast, south facing so snow in terrible condition, and yet not a single challenging black. It has big reputation among Americans. I am sure it gives piste-skiing Americans a wrong impression (overcrowded and nothing steep)
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Perhaps that[s why I was slightly disappointed. conditions weren't right for off piste. I'll have to go again when conditions are better.
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If you're not interested in boozing and off piste St Anton is a very mediocre resort, and the pistes there are poor. The pistes in zurs are excellent.

If however you're interested in boozing and off piste I think it's one of the best resorts in the world.
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cameronphillips2000, I think you mostly right, main runs on Gampen, Kapall and Gazig are very average for most intermediate piste skiers (unless first thing in the morning, and with the exception of 5,8,14,17). Stuben is nice but very slow lifts + when I was there pistes were windblown and too hard. Rend again good but too small.
Still I liked the town architecture, seems a good mix of old and some great modern buildings.

As for the size, hmm I think you can do the same in places like Courchevel or Val Thorens for example - so ski all main points in a day (so areas with 150km).

Things to improve St Anton for piste skier will be: connection of Rendl to Kappl, this will open up lots of new, nice piste skiing.
Quicker lifts in Stuben (I think gondola already planned).
Better connection to Zurs, not even a lift, but more buses from town and Alpe Rauz. I don't mind them if I don't have to wait for them and then fight to get in.
Make them run every 5-10min from Alpe and its all fine.
Finally a way to get back to Galzig from pistes 11,13,17 etc, I don't think route 4a is the option, and the need to ski blue 4 back to town is horrible. Can they not fit a chair there? Looks like drag Tanzboden is due for replacement so maybe they will think about it.
So then you can download on the gondola or even better they should think about alternative red or blue from Galzig to town. They managed to design red run back to town in Les 2 Alpes so maybe they could do it here as well.
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Perhaps that[s why I was slightly disappointed. conditions weren't right for off piste. I'll have to go again when conditions are better.

But that's chance you take. Conditions may not be good. That's why I prefer to go somewhere like Tignes / les Arcs where there is always more than enough challenges on piste if conditions preclude off-piste.
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cameronphillips2000, when were you there?
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