2014/15 New year skiing in the Alps
A town of 2,500 permanent inhabitants, St. Anton offers the best expert skiing in the Arlberg region, and the most lively apres-ski scene. St. Anton lies on the Rosanna River, and is on the main east-west rail line between Austria and Switzerland. It is part of the Arlberg alliance of ski resorts—a region that includes more 82 cable cars and ski lifts, 260 km (160 miles) of groomed pistes and 184 km (114 miles) of deep-snow runs.
Known as the birthplace of Alpine Skiing hich started here back in 1901, St Anton has remained at the cutting edge of ski development and as such is a mecca for advanced skiers, akin to Chamonix and Jackson Hole.
A pedestrian zone forms the center of the town. On the western edge of village is the "Galzigbahn" which has been replaced by a Funitel gondola. The new gondola also includes the first ever ferris wheel, which enables passengers to board the gondolas on ground level. The Funitel accesses the Galzig slopes and connects to Schindler and Valluga peaks. On the eastern edge of town, the Nassereinerbahn rises to the Nasserien area with links to Kapall peak. Kapall, Valluga, and Schindler peaks provide skiers with close to 1,500 vertical metres skiing. Slope-side apres-ski bars, such as Krazy Kanguruh and Mooserwirt, can be found on the Steissbachtal trail just above St. Anton. A more subdued apres-ski scene exists in the numerous pubs and cafes in town.
Expert terrain includes less frequently groomed ski routes such as Schindlerkar and Mattun, and the backside of Valluga (2,811 m) down to Zürs, which is for experts only if accompanied by a guide. There are also a large number of off-piste routes in the area that experts can explore with the help of a guide. Rendl, a separate area on the other side of town, is more suitable for intermediates. It also gets the late afternoon sun. Many people end the day at the Rendl Beach-a lively outside bar with a sun terrace and daily tea dances.
Other ski areas are Lech, Stuben and St. Christoph, a hamlet that became famous in the 14th century when the shepherd Heinrich Findelkind built a hospice as a shelter for traveler crossing the Arlberg pass to the Vorarlberg province. Alpe Rauz, near St. Christoph, has one of the finest cruising trails in the region, an 820 m vertical slope that takes one all the way from Ulmer Hutte to Stuben.