17 Dec Top 5 Off Piste Runs in St Anton
St Anton is famous for its skiing, no doubt about it.
Constantly voted in the top 5 resorts in the world, there is almost limitless off piste in and around St Anton and the Arlberg. Some are obvious and already famous, but some are given “local nick-names” and you need to know where you are going to get the best out of the conditions and to really explore the St Anton off-piste.
In no particular order, our top 5 St Anton Off Piste Runs:
1. Schongraben (Beautiful Grave)
Don’t be scared by the name. If you stick to the tree lined “safe side” you will avoid the avalanche prone steep faces that funnel into this fantastic long run, from the top of Kapal all the way down to the village. On fresh snowfalls you have an abundance of pillows and small drops, ski through the shrubs and bushes or even mix it up in the trees for some added excitement. Loads of lines to choose and great great fun. Gets a bit bumpy at the bottom part, then a lovely long cruise out to a track taking you back to Nasserein.
2. The Milk Run
On the Rendl mountain, you take the 2 man chairlift, Rifle 1, up. A longish traverse to the skiers left and a short sidestep up, you come to a plateau which, on a sunny day, you will find several people sat in the snow with a cold beer enjoying the stunning views. A short traverse around and you can pick your line. So much space here to choose from, there’s big open fields of powder on the right day and you can usually always find some fresh snow even a few days after a snowfall. Personally, if you keep traversing and traversing until you see the Summer Cow Shed down the bottom (hence the Milk Run) you get a mix of gullies, steep, flat, bush, shrub, drops and jumps. A long track out (downhill) finishing off with a 15 minute walk uphill back to the pistes and lifts close to the bottom of Rendl.
3. Malfontal (The Malfon Valley)
Also on the Rendl side of the of the valley, all the way up to the top of Rifel 2 and head into Hinter Rendl (a fantastic off piste run in its own right). Traverse high and round to the right of the bowl. Looking down and left you can probably already see the boot tracks or touring lines in.
A 50-70 meter ski down and you end up at the start of these tracks. Skis on back or skins on skis and you walk a fairly steep 45 minute walk up (great exercise). Once at the top you can enjoy amazing views of Malfontal and on a clear day you can see right over the valley towards Kapal & Ischgl. Pick your line and follow the valley. Great open runs and its just amazing being out in the middle of nowhere. Nothing too tricky, nothing too steep – just a beautiful run. A long run out on your skis and even longer on your snowboard (flat in places) and you follow the (frozen) river all the way to Pettneu, where you can jump on the bus back to Anton.
4. Bachseite (The Backside)
Not a classic off piste run, but great none the less and the go to off piste for all the ski bums when the snow is good and you are short of time on the slopes. Also for those beginning the off piste adventures, instructors will often start their teaching around here. You cant get lost – wherever you start, you keep going down and you reach the piste (Happy Valley – Blue no. 1). With so many different lines to choose from, gullies to ride, rocks to drop, tree and bushes to skirt in and out of. Deep patches, snow pockets, pillows, Bachseite has it all. You can do lap after lap, serviced by the Zammermoose lift station. Endless fun in the powder!
5. Star Wars to St Christoph
A strange name, but when you see it, you will understand. Coming down from Stuben and Albona 2 lift, you go immediately left off the lift station. Traverse the rather scary bowl and step over into the next open face. A little bit of a traverse and you come out above the Star Wars run. The land mark you look for is a big, ugly building sticking out of the mountain floor, which looks like a something straight out of a Star Wars film (hence the name). A steep pitch and with great powder is a short but great run down to put in some lovely turns. Carry on skiing right, all the way, with a few turns and a few traverses . Negotiate a few gullies and you end up above the back side of St Christoph. You ski into the car park of the famous Arlberg Hospiz Hotel and simply walk across the road to the lifts.