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Lech – Zurs forms one linked section of the huge Arlberg ski region that is made up of 5 main ski areas. In addition to Lech – Zurs there is the St Anton, St Christoph, Stuben and Warth ski areas.
The diversity of the skiing and the wonderful villages make this one the worlds’ great ski regions. On top of those qualities, it snows in the Arlberg – it snow like nowhere else in the Alps with the ski areas of Warth and Zurs am Arlberg occupying the 1st and 2nd snowiest ski areas in the Alps.
Click through the ski areas below for more information:
One of the most talked about ski areas in the world – St Anton am Arlberg offers the toughest skiing in the Arlberg, some would say in Austria. It has a state of the art lift system and has piste access to the best off-piste ski area in the Alps – Stuben am Arlberg. Off the slopes St Anton parties like few others – St Anton is legendary. Those staying in Lech – Zurs should take the bus connection from Zurs am Arlberg to Alpe Rauz where the St Anton lift system starts. The return Blue 17 piste down to Alpe Rauz from the St Anton ski area is a pretty gentle route.
At the southern edge of the Arlberg ski region lies St Anton am Arlberg, one of the most recognisable names in world skiing and the so called ‘birthplace of modern skiing’. The skiing takes place on 2 sides of the village with the Rendl area located on the south side of the resort river. Until recent lift upgrades made the Rendl area more appealing to visitors this was the best kept secret in the St Anton ski area. On powder days the locals would flock to the steep and forested routes on this north facing area. With a completely redeveloped Rendl gondola it is easy to switch between the ski areas in St Anton. The slopes in the Rendl area are predominantly red intermediate pistes whilst the main St Anton park is located in the middle of the Rendl area.
On the northern side of St Anton lies the biggest St Anton ski area, comprised of the sections around the Kappl, Galzig and Valluga peaks. This is where the majority of ski pistes, ski routes and off-piste terrain can be found. This area also offers the steeper skiing and is where the legendary steep off-piste routes can be found – local guides are needed for excursion into the St Anton off-piste and can take visitors to the very best off-piste locations St Anton offers. From Alpe Rauz it is possible to ski on into the Stuben am Arlberg and the world beating off-piste skiing on offer there. At the Galzig top lift station the gentle runs down St Christoph are accessed with a stunning backdrop opening up above St Christoph and the chance to dine on the slopes just above the resort.
Located on the road between Lech – Zurs and St Anton, St Christoph offers great access into the St Anton ski area that lies just over a ridge from the resort. The ski area just above St Christoph is ideal for beginners and lower intermediates, whilst the St Anton ski offers something for everyone apart from timid skiers and snowboarders. St Christoph has a number of slope-side, high end and historic hotels.
The ski area above St Christoph offers some basic beginner slopes and then essentially all the skiing consists of blue intermediate pistes back to the resort from the St Anton ski area. Those staying in the Lech – Zurs area would likely access the ski area from Alpe Rauz and then ski or snowboard into St Christoph. The runs down to the resort are pretty gentle and offer fantastic views of the snow pack on the far of the valley from St Christoph. For skiers and snowboarders in the St Anton ski area it is well worth the short side trip to St Christoph. A chair lift takes those in the St Christoph ski area back over into the Galzig section of the St Anton ski area.
Many skiers and snowboarders descend on St Christoph for a lunch time spot on a sunny terrace -the snow pack and views west along the Arlberg are often something special. Off the slopes there are also a number of very good hotels in St Christoph which are a short walk away, offering further lunch time dining options for skiers and snowboarders.
For those looking at the ski piste map of the Arlberg the Stuben am Arlberg ski area seems somewhat insignificant – 3 lifts and not many more pistes reaching up to the Albonagrat. This is how the locals of the Arlberg are happy to portray their highly cherished secret spot – an area which on powder days sees almost every off-duty ski instructor in the Arlberg descend on the area.
Those arriving from Lech – Zurs on the short connecting bus will take the ski piste from Alpe Rauz down into Stuben. 3 hardly state of the art chair lifts climb the ski area above the wonderfully atmospheric resort of Stuben am Arlberg. Those on the ski lifts are very likely to heading for the Albonagrat and beyond and will be heading into an off-piste region that has few if any equals in the Alps. The ridge that hangs above Stuben down in the valley is long and offers countless routes down to the valley along its several km length. The pitch of the slope is magical and the snow that accumulates here is often difficult to comprehend, this area really is one to the world’s top powder paradises. For off-piste skiers in Lech – Zurs, hire a guide and tell them to head for the Albona!
There is nothing greatly remarkable about the in-bounds Stuben ski area. The quality of the snow is fantastic and the slopes are generally pretty uncrowded – most people using the ski lifts in Stuben are getting that bit closer to the off-piste. Stuben on-piste is well worth a side trip for those visiting the St Anton ski area from Lech – Zurs. From Alpe Rauz it is easy to ski down to Stuben am Arlberg, take the lifts into the Stuben ski area and then ski out of the Stuben area back to Alpe Rauz. For off-piste skiers and snowboarders then Stuben is an absolute must visit ski area.
For winter 2013/14 Warth made the highly significant and long planned / wrangled over decision to link to Lech – Zurs and the Arlberg ski region via the Auenfeldjet gondola. Warth, the #1 snowiest ski area in the Alps connecting to the Zurs am Arlberg ski area, the #2 snowiest ski area in the Alps was always going to be a highly sought after link. The Arlberg is now the place to get the most snow and it means that those staying in Lech – Zurs can now sample the (former Bregenzerwald resorts’) famed snow in Warth.
Even for those never venturing off-piste, the knowledge that a ski region is officially the snowiest in the Alps is a mighty good thing. Fresh groomed snow and resorts banked in new snow are recipes for a great Alpine visit. Those staying in Lech – Zurs now have the chance to readily ski into the snowiest ski area in the Alps. The off-piste opportunities add to the already incredible options in the Arlberg and the new link offers the chance for the Arlberg crowds to further disperse into the Warth ski area.
The ski area in Warth offers a number of pretty forgiving intermediate ski pistes, whilst the runs down to the village of Warth are really interesting as they wind past barns and huts on the approach to the resort. There is little on-piste skiing in Warth to trouble the good intermediate and the addition of this terrain further enhances the already great intermediate skiing and snowboarding options in Lech – Zurs and the Arlberg.