Rewarding piste skiing in St Anton

24th March 2014, by Nik Gill

Blogger Gill in action above St Christoph

Blogger Gill in action above St Christoph

48hrs of snowfall have left us with a foot-plus of very enjoyable and not too sticky fresh snow. Limited visibility had us concentrating on the sub-tree-level slopes below Gampen. We found black 25 Fang particularly sweet.

We’ve spent quite a bit of time on the Rendl sector, across the valley from the home slopes, which has been fabulously deserted. We particularly enjoyed the sheltered R1 run back to the village. This provided several smallish nicely steeper pitches, in good condition with little hard base exposed, and not too much banked/mogulled loose snow, linked by less steep parts.

The higher R2 was not as much to everyone’s liking, with the visibility often poor. But it was not very much skied, the snow was in great condition meaning we could bat on with confidence with the foot-deep snow providing nice consistent resistance throughout the turns. R2 also had a really nice constant pitch. We’ve enjoyed virtually zero queuing so far, often find the lift stations totally empty.

We have not skied any off piste or itineraries. Snow cover away from the pistes and snow cannons is in many places extremely thin. Trees and rocks are poking through on most of the itinerary routes that the visibillity has enabled us to see. On others a single turn has totally cleared the snow leaving an arc of bare ground. But fun has been had in seemingly unseasonably light snow at the edge of some pistes.

We have been particularly struck by the difficulty of some of the sections of some blue runs in resort. Between us, we know of a good few more timid skiers who would have been very unhappy to find themselves on a couple of these.

One of the blues we felt a notch more difficult than should be expected was the formerly red Valfagehr to Stuben. We did however stand at the start of it at 3pm with nobody else in sight, which editor Gill remarked was rare. The snow on this was quite sticky and now quite moguled in the useless and leg-destroying way blue runs can be; it seriously needed a groom. Steeper sections allowed the moguls to become useful and enjoyable.

Mid-blog: Herr Editor Gill advises me that the snow is up to the top of the wheels of the editorial Tiguan, parked in the hotel lot since arrival late Saturday night.

We enjoyed a quick end of day beer on Saturday at the rather pleasing Galzig Bistro in St Anton. Rather smarter clientele than my memory of my last visit to the resort in 2000. The place feels to have moved up market somewhat, like Val d’Isere has.

Walking to get the bus home to St Christoph, we pass the park area that replaced the train tracks moved years ago to improve the town for some world championship or other. Not sure about the park, I have to say.

Really nice dinner last night at our Inghams chalet-hotel billet – hotel St Christoph. Goulash was great, and choc brownie for pud equally first rate. Duck tonight … fingers crossed.

We have just been researching our chalet night off. We view the evening menu at the famous and well-liked Hospiz Alm, just a few yards away from our chalet-hotel. Turns out dinner is ferociously expensive, wheras lunch is not so bad. We had a quick beer whilst reviewing the menu, 30cl $4.90; quite pricey for Austria.



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