waiting is almost over as St Anton opens in style on 27th November
with a VIP-competition to win pole position and carve the first line of the new
season with ski legend Karl Schranz. The prize also includes 2 nights in a 4*
Hotel and 2 lift passes. On the morning of the 27th the lucky winner
will ride the Galzigbahn to the top with a glass of champagne and canapés to
hand before becoming the first skier to ski the piste and officially open the
season to all. Enter online at www.stanton-ski-open.com. The
celebrations will include a party kicking off 8.45am, a spectacular ski show by
the Arlberg Ski School and the chance to try out the hottest new trends for free
during three days of testing for the new season’s ski, snowboard and Telemark
Skiing in St. Anton
developments are currently underway in St Anton on the new Rendlbahn, with the
opening still on track for December 2009. The key improvement is that the base
station has been moved to a new location close to the Galzigbahn. The new
8-seater gondola, with heated seats, will be able to carry up to 2000 people an
hour in only seven and a half minutes, making it over a third faster than the
original 1974 Rendlbahn. Linking both the Galzigbahn and the Rendlbahn from a
central location in the heart of the resort is a great triumph for skiers and
boarders wanting to access the Rendl slopes. For more information visit
Those who travel to St Anton am Arlberg in the winter enter a Schneedorado which has enjoyed a world-wide reputation since hosting the Alpine Ski World Championships in 2001. High holiday standards, a superlative winter sports area, excellent hospitality, a Ferris wheel style cable car, special weeks such as the "Ladies First" feel-good weeks, the finest gourmet food and numerous events promise an unforgettable winter holiday during 2009-10.
Once again in December 2009 approximately 140 gates will be put in place.St. Anton am Arlberg has an average snowfall during the winter months of 7m and has 280km of runs with the longest ski run - the Valluga/Ulmer Hutte/St Anton of 10.2km. Add to this that the uphill transport can move 123,600 people an hour and this is a "ski paradise" by any stretch of the imagination.
The new winter season gets going on November 29th with special package rates and regulars know the "Snow Crystal Week from 28th November to 5th December offers a lift pass with a saving of 25 per cent on the usual low season rate. As St. Anton is a snow-sure resort, early December skiing holidays are proving increasingly popular and the Snow Crystal Week is followed by Wedel Weeks until December 19th.
85 mountain lifts in the entire Arlberg area grant access to 280 kilometres of marked runs and 180 kilometres for off-piste skiers. Holiday-makers can ski in the spacious winter sports arena from morning until evening on the most diverse pistes without skiing on the same run twice.The Galzigbahn is a spectacular cableway innovation based on a Ferris wheel where the skier enters one of the 28 gondolas at ground level which then rises back to the cable by use of the Ferris wheel!. The Galzigbahn's carrying capacity has increased three-fold to 2000 skiers an hour, transported at 24 in each of the 28 gondola and waiting times in the valley have become a thing of the past. The new Galzig valley station is a glass building which in itself is facinating, just like the Ferris wheel. The wheel is 9.3m making entry at ground level possible and thereby avoiding the need for stairs or escalators.
So 70 years ago St. Anton was the first ski resort in Austria to introduce a gondola carrying 30 passengers or 120 people an hour on the Galzig so history is repeating itself with St. Anton taking advantage of the latest technological achieveents from the lift construction/design company - Doppelmayr.
St. Anton is one of the most exciting skiing areas of the Alps where such internationally famous names as the "Valluga" piste send pulses of excitement through even the most experienced of holiday skiers. A place where the word "extreme" is used to highlight the most difficult of pistes such as the Pfannenkopf.
But the Arlberg has something to offer everyone with numerous blue and red runs and where adjoining villages such as St. Christoph, Stuben, Zurs and Lech can easily be reached by using connecting transport.
The Arlberger Bergbahnen invested Euro more than 13 million to further include the quality of the ski region - but especially to provide better pistes for the "less accomplished" skiers with "medium" skills!
One of the important projects was the building of the new Arlenmahderbahn which is a 6-seater chair with protective hoods and transports up to 2,600 skiers an hours, replacing the existing drag lift. A further improvement - long overdue - has been the replacement of the long drag lift in the Rendl ski region. There is now a linkable 6-seater chair, again with protective hoods and to take skiers up to Gampberg at a height of 2390m.
Over the years the area has changed. But no changes have been more significant that when the Arlberg Railway track was moved and re-located on the south side of the valley. By putting St. Anton's railway station across the valley it has made a distinct improvement to the quality of life for local residents and holidaymakers alike. It is now as easy to walk to the centre of the resort from the station as it is to walk to the lifts of all the ski regions.
On the site of the former railway station has been built a leisure and relaxation faciliy, including ice skating and curling rinks. Even an indoor swimming pool, connected to an outdoor pool, complete with waterfall and "current channel" are part of a development costing DM 350.
It is the skiing, however, that most people want when they visit St. Anton and with an excellent snow record the Arlberg has much to offer. With 270km of prepared downhill runs and 83 mountain railways, cableways and lifts to quickly transport skiers to the vast skiing area above the village, it has to be one of the most sought after areas in Europe. From Galzig (2085m) there are nice gentle runs down to St. Christoph. Or for the better skier, you could take the two stage Valluga cable car to Valluga Grat at 2660m and then try out your fitness and ski right back to the village! The Gampen modern chair takes skiers to 1850m from where there are red and blue pistes back to the village.
Until now the ski region of St. Anton has been considered as "technically demanding" but now less experienced skiers will feel "more at ease", especially on the "Fang". Without the necessity of constructing new pistes the authorities have linked the "Fangbahn" mountain station with the former slalom lift by means of a ski and forest trail, considerably increasing the range of pistes for beginners and intermediate skiers.
Alternatively, on the opposite side of the valley is the Rendl gondola which rises to 2100m and then opens up a very good skiing area around Tobel and Maass as well as the Riffel runs served by chair lifts.&pic& Accommodation is plentiful and varied in the St. Anton region but a "gem" of a hotel well worth considering is the Hotel Gletcherblick in neighbouring St. Jacob, just a short walk from the nearest gondola. This hotel is run by the family Jehle-Kathrein and husband and wife Christian and Sandra are following in the footsteps of the parents who started the hotel with just five rooms and one bathroom back in l966. The Hotel Gletcherblick has been extended and modernised on many occasions sinbce then and now can accommodate guests in 36 double rooms, all en suite, plus they have the nearby Gletcherblick Chalet which has apartments and accommodationn for six people.
The Hotel Gletcherblick deserves a 4*-rating as all facilities are of the highest standard including rooms, service, food and the very friendly welcome. Sandra Jehle-Kathrein says she would love to welcome more British guests. The hotel has an extremely well apointed chalet on the opposite side of the village road with excellent views along the valley. Guests come to the main hotel for the evening meal as well as afternoon tea. The Editor was certainly very impressed with the Hotel Gletcherblick and will certainly be paying a return visit next winter.
There are numerous apres ski activities at St. Anton including curling and ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, tennis, squash and bowling, as well as an indoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Shops are plentiful and prices are "within budget!"
The tourist office can be very helpful in providing advice on snow conditions, availability of accommodation and prices, so why not contact their website Website. Reaching St. Anton am Arlberg by car is now very easy. You follow the motorway route from Calais to Stuttgart and Ulm, then drive south towards Bregenz and follow the motorway to the Arlberg Tunnel. At the far end of the Tunnel (toll) is the signpost for the resort.
The 2009-10 season opens on 28 November and runs through until early April.