or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › I'm Bäck (Austria - St. Anton review)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I'm Bäck (Austria - St. Anton review)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Spent 2 weeks in Austria, mostly in Graz, home of Arnold Schwarzenegger - hence the subject.

During the trip I got away for a few days to St. Anton with my daughter. It was a true skiing pilgrimage. We stayed in St. Jakob which is basically the eastern section of the town of St. Anton at a 3 star hotel named Tirolerhof. The accommodations were comfortable and food good but not especially exciting.

There had been some recent snow the week before but none while we were there. The first day was partly cloudy and cold. We skied in the immediate vacinity of St. Anton and most of the well traveled pistes were VERY icy just like so many of the Europeans seem to like! After exploring about for most of the morning and early afternoon we discovered the best snow and terrain we could find were off of the Schinlerkar chair lift with some other goods off of the Valluga 1 tram. (For some really neat interactive maps showing the lifts and terrain go to:
Arlberg interactive ski maps

There, with a little traversing and sidestepping we found a few turns in untouched powder and a number of other turns in some very nice cut-up/crud. There was some reasonably steep terrain but nothing too extreme. Of course looking around us at the unbelievably spectacular panoramas there were an uncountable number of lines off-piste (out of bounds) of any degree of extreme most could desire. Near the end of the day we decided to take a bump run leading down to the Galzig area and had a blast : on medium sized bumps of blue ice with come scattering of light snow over them. Nevertheless we felt we had a great first day with some very good skiing, some classic icy bumps and prepared pistes, and of course some of the most spectacular views imaginable.

The second day we hired an Austrian guide to do the classic route from St. Anton to Zürs. We started out with an off piste run heading east and circling around back to the Nassereinbahn. Then we headed up to Valluga I and II (you can only go on the Vallugabahn 2 (6 person tram) with a guide or without skis to see the view. Over the top of Valluga II we headed toward Zürs. The descriptions of the easiest route from the top (which we took due to pretty icy conditions on the ridge route) are a bit exaggerated IMHO. You ski down a moderately steep section that has a big 1000 meter? drop off down the fall line (you ski around to the left) but unless you have solid ice (which we didn't) or you're going excessively fast there is little or no chance of tumbling off. Even an intermediate could handle this IF they weren't bothered by the potential exposure. Anyway, the tour will be one that I will never forget. I have never skied in such awe inspiring surroundings and getting fresh tracks down into a valley surrounded by high Alpen peaks has got to rank as one of my most memorable skiing experiences. To share this with my daughter, who very much felt the same, made it even more so. When we got to Zürs we stopped for a bowl of soup at a typicaal mountain hut. After the snack our guide took us through a back door of a lift terminal up an exterior stairway and bridge from where we hiked for about 30 minutes to get back to the top of the ridge of the valley we had come through in getting from St. Anton to Zürs. From that ridge top we once again got fresh lines down to the bottom of the valley and headed back to Zürs. At the end of the day we caught a bus to Stuben where we took a lift up and skied back to St. Anton for a little apres ski with our guide. Our apres ski conversation (and beers) with our guide was very enjoyable and the perfect way to end one of the most "classic" skiing days anyone could have.

The last two days we skied in Stuben and Rendl. In both places we ventured off-piste on our own and found some very good snow and some very satisfying, moderately steep terrain. (Nothing we skied was really as steep as the chutes we like to ski at Jackson Hole or in the Wasatch - although there is no lack of such terrain if you want to hike - pretty much need a guide). We felt confident yo-yoing off-piste (OB) because there were guided groups and numerous tracks where we went (only a few fresh turns, mostly soft cut-up with long icy/bumpy run-outs back to the lifts) and the avalanche conditions were pretty stable. Without having gone OB the panoramic views and spectacular surrounding we found ourselves in would have still made for a memorable trip. The off-piste ventures, however, really added to the sense of truly skiing the alps.

A final note. On one of our nights we did explore the famous night life of St. Anton. We (my daughter and I) headed out at about 11:00 with a young Finnish lady who worked at the hotel and a Dane who was also a guest at the hotel. We hit the "Funky Chicken" and about three other discos/bars. While it's not especially our thing, it was one more interesting part of our St. Anton pilgrimage. Since we had stopped for apres ski at a place called the Krazy Kangaroo on the lowere slopes on the way down that day we felt that we must have hit a number of St. Anton's hottest spots [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] .
post #2 of 6
Niiiice, Si. Sounds like an amazing trip! Too bad you had to come back home.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
BTW, I just ran across our guide's card. I told him I would post his info:

Reinhard Thaler 43 (0)650 452 1954
post #4 of 6
Wow, that really sounds fantastic!
post #5 of 6
"After the snack our guide took us through a back door of a lift terminal up an exterior stairway and bridge from where we hiked for about 30 minutes to get back to the top of the ridge of the valley we had come through in getting from St. Anton to Zürs."

Which lift terminal was this? The tritkopf tram that rises from Zurs?

I did a similar tour last year although from Zurs we went to Stubem to Langen to Sonnenkopf back to Langen back to Stuben and finally back to St. Anton. The only thing it sounds like you missed is the Mooserwirt for beers and dancing on the tables in ski boots.

Great place. Glad you enjoyed it.
post #6 of 6
I had wanted to ski St.Anton this year but never did. Skiied near Innsbruck instead.

Two weeks ago I skiied a couple places in Switzerland not that far from St.Anton. I had planned to head back to Flims/Laax but I heard they had poor conditions. So on Saturday we skiied Davos and on Sunday we hit a little known resort outside of Chur called Lindzerheide.

The weather and conditions at Davos (Jacobshorn)was perfect! Maybe 10 people in life lines once on the mountain, although the cable car to get up on the mountain was a 45 min wait.

Sunday, the weather sucked (extremely bad fog)at Lindzerhiede, atleast where we were at. At lunch, we changed peaks and found great conditions and sunshine. What surprised me the most about Lindzerheide was the lack of people. It was a Sunday and I parked 50 feet from the gondola and never stood in line at all... just skiied right to the chairs. Great resort low-key resort overall, looks like it is very popular with local families. My only complaints were the lack of interconecting peaks and a rude bartender. I don't think they get many Americans there.

One cool thing about Lindzerheide was the mid-mountain bar we found. About 10 families were there with thier dogs playing in the snow and riding sleds down. I skiied a sled run without knowing it for a few hundred yards until it got very narrow and I fell right before a sign telling me it was for sleds.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › I'm Bäck (Austria - St. Anton review)