St Anton is nestled in the Arlberg ski area based in one of Austria’s largest ski areas. In the last few years, it has received more snow than any other ski area in Europe. Therefore, it’s got a name for itself in the off-piste industry as one of the best resorts in the world. We’re here to tell you all about some of our favourite spots, how to access them and other important elements of off-piste skiing in St Anton.
What you need to know-before-you-go:
- Get the gear – Always carry a transceiver, shovel, and probe (make sure you have a backpack big enough). Wear your transceiver across your body, make sure it’s switched on, check it’s working and has sufficient battery. We have avalanche kit bags available to borrow when you book to go with a guide through New Generation.
- Get the training – Take an avalanche class to gain knowledge which could save not only your life but your friends’ lives too.
- Get the forecast – Study the weather and look at avalanche reports for St. Anton and Vorarlberg (linked at the bottom). Take note of any potential avalanche problems so you can make a plan!
- Get the picture – Be aware of changing conditions, other groups and make sure no one in your group is out of their comfort zone.
- Get out of harm’s way – Ride suspect slopes one at a time, be smart and don’t stop in an area exposed to avalanches.
Our Favourite Off-Piste Spots in St Anton
MaienPlatt (intermediate to expert riders)
With about 3.7 km of skiing and an 800m altitude difference, you’re in for a treat.
- Take the Galzig Gondola up and take blue 64 approximately halfway down into St. Christoph.
- The track then narrows and takes a sharp right turn. You’ll need to take a left off the piste and this is where the fun begins!
- Whizz over the first flat section and onto a steeper section. In the lower part, take a left and cross a little ditch directly under the wooded ridgeline. This section will bring you out back in St Anton/Ortseil Moos. The slope is south easterly facing so be aware of sun exposure as this can make it avalanche prone.
Rendl (intermediate riders)
- Take the Gampbergbahn up and you’ll find either a black or red piste back down. Dip off the sides of these, there’s plenty of off-piste for beginners.
- Follow ski route 10, exploring the areas to the left and right of it. They also offer relatively easy off-piste options down to Maassbahn. These are in the trees so are good in poorer visibility and low-light conditions.
- Alternatively, take the Riffel chair lift up which gives you access to more off-piste within the main Rendl bowl. Just make sure to watch out for rocks early and late season as well – it’s not nicknamed Rocky Rendl for nothing.
Hinter Rendl and Malfontal/ Wellness Centre Pettneu (intermediate to expert riders)
Hinter Rendl is a popular and long run, with an altitude difference of 1, 340 m and distance of 4.9 km. It’s a classic St Anton off-piste route!
- It’s easily accessible via the Riffelbahn II chairlift. At the top, cross over the ridge into the back face of the Rendl mountain.
- From here, it’s best to traverse to the right to avoid the cliffs. The first section is fairly steep, but the slope then changes direction and becomes more gentle.
- Once at the treeline keep to the left-hand side of the valley, it’s normally pretty bumpy due to the popularity here so be prepared for some moguls. Then you will reach a forest track which can be followed until joining piste number 1 (the red run down from Rendl finishing at Rendlbahn). This run often has good snow conditions thanks to its NE-NW exposure.
Maroikopfe to Langen or St Anton (adv-Expert)
An Arlberg classic with a short ascent and long descent. Skins or snowshoes are highly recommended for this ascent (boot hiking is an option but is hard work) which can take approximately 30 minutes.
- From the top of the Albonagratbahn gondola, head west towards the Alobona restaurant. Then turn left again to start the climb to the Mariokopfe summit.
- After taking in the spectacular views from the summit, head west over the saddle which will take you to a wide bowl called Krachel. From here, either drop directly into the bowl or traverse a bit further down. This part may require some sideslipping.
- Once through this section the slope levels and opens out again into a track. Which snakes its way through the trees eventually finishing up at Langen railway station. This is where a bus can take you back to Stuben or the train to St. Anton. In flat light and just after a big snow fall the Mariokopfe is not recommended.
Valluga (Advanced – Expert riders)
Both these freeriding options are accessible only via Valluga II, a 5-man cable car which is accessible only in the company of a Skiführer or Snowboardführerausbildu and comes out at 2811m.
- Starts from the summit on the left of the slope. Here you will need to put in some tight turns on a steep pitch before traversing right across a no-fall zone. The easily suspended decent over the summit slope is what makes this route high risk and it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
- After a few turns, you turn left towards Pazieljoch, cross over the wide slope in a north-westerly direction down into the flat valley floor. You’ll come out at the bottom in the direction of Zürs.
- Starts by heading over the northern, left side of the small saddle.
- From the saddle either head directly down or slightly left into the large hollow of the Valluga West. Ski down the west face, until you reach an obvious rock where the terrain gets steeper again.
- Traverse to skier’s left and ski down to the next flat section. Follow the gentle terrain down to a very steep canyon.
- Ski above the canyon to skier’s right and continue down to Zürs.
There really are few things better than fresh snow under your skis or board, pristine crowd-free slopes and beautiful panoramic views. St Anton is the ultimate destination for skiing adventures in Europe. We have a ski school in St Anton with qualified guides & instructors, who can show you the best off-piste routes and how to stay safe. Wherever you end up skiing in St Anton off-piste, just remember: stay safe by have the knowledge and gear you need. Oh, and don’t forget to breathe in that beautiful mountain air!
Numbers you need to know:
St Anton Mountain rescue: 140
Ski Patrol St Anton: +4354462352223
For up to date avalanche bulletins in St Anton click here.
For forecasts and safety information in St Anton, you can click here.