St.Anton is famous across the world for the off piste skiing that can be found here. The resort certainly has some of the best and most extensive off piste skiing you will find anywhere and it would literally take a book to tell you about most of it. Strangely enough there is, in fact, just such a book that has been written by a guy called Andy Thurner and you can order the book here. Andy is from this area and has been skiing around here all his life and his book is very authoritative with maps, photos and detailed descriptions. However, we cannot make the point too strongly – you should not ski very far off piste without taking a QUALIFIED GUIDE and SAFETY EQUIPMENT as it is far too dangerous. If you would like to hire an independent Ski Guide who will take you or your group to some of the very best off piste skiing to be found in the area click here for info.
If you are a lone skier and would like to join an off piste group then there is also very good company in the resort that specialises in taking people to some of the best off piste areas, they are called Piste to Powder and you can join one of their groups as an individual skier and they will supply the safety equipment. However there are some nice off piste areas that are close to the piste that have plenty of people skiing them so you are unlikely to get into any problems there. These are the areas that we will now tell you about.
Ski Route – Black Osthang
This is a ski route that goes from the bottom right of Blue No. 63 on Galzig. It is very easy to get to, just ski down the right hand side of blue No. 63 (Osthang) and as you get to the bottom head off to the right. Black Osthang basically runs all the way down under the Galzig gondola. It does get lots of moguls on it though but if there is fresh snow it can be great. Be careful as the moguls will still be under the fresh snow !! The run finishes when it just pops you out onto blue 50. You will then have to ski all the way down to the village and take one of the lifts back up.
St.Anton Off Piste – Maienwasen & Maienplatt
Maienwasen is a great off piste area, but it is pretty steep and can avalanche so lots of care is needed. To reach it you leave the top gondola station on the Galzig and head towards St.Christoph. Then cut off the slope to the left. You now in an off piste area and ski across to the right, this will bring you to the top of Maienwarsen. It is quite a wide area and has some great powder when it has snowed overnight. Maienplatt is not so steep and has a few trees so is a little easier. To get to Maienplatt ski halfway towards St.Christoph and then when you get to the flat part leave the piste on the left. Hard far right towards the trees and you will be at the top of Maienplatt. To get out you have to head towards the big concrete air vent (you can not miss it) and then ski to the left. Here there is a traverse track back through the trees – you will come out near the Senn Hutte on blue 50. If you do not turn left by the air vent you will end up on the St.Anton – St.Christoph road with a long walk back!! I would not suggest that you ski in here if you are not with somebody that knows where they are going.
St.Anton Off Piste – Schindlerhang
This is a very good place to ski if there is lots of fresh snow. To get to it take the Schindlergratbahn up from the Galzig side. Take the expert entrance so you get out of the gondola at the first station. Ski straight down for about 200 metres until the piste goes around to the left. At this point you cut across to the left, I am sure that there will be already be a traverse cut across here unless you are lucky enough to be the first there. You then traverse across and choose the point at which the snow looks best for you to ski back down to the piste below. Once you return to the piste you will be on red 14, somewhere near the Ulmer Hutte.
St.Anton Off Piste – Vallugahang
Very similar to the Schindler hang (see above) except that when you come off the Schindlergratbahn and ski down to the left turn, instead of traversing to the left, you traverse to the right. Again there is sure to be a traverse already cut here and plenty of people to follow. You have the chance for quite a few good turns here as you can ski down the first hang and then cut across for a further traverse and more turns. Best bet is probably to follow one of the ski instructors that are bound to be taking their group across here!
Ski Route – Schindlerkar
The Scindlerkar is ski route red 86. It is reached by taking the Schindlergratbahn from the Galzig side. Take the expert queue and as you come off the chairlift ski about 100m and then go to the right. It will be signposted. This area is regularly closed because of avalanches and snow blasting so if it says closed – DO NOT GO IN. If the snow is good there will be many people to follow and also many choices of where to ski. You can take the easier option of skiing down the marked ski route or you can traverse across the hang on the left hand side and then ski the powder back down to the ski route. You can also get into the hangs on the right but there are lots of chutes here and they can of course avalanche, also a little bit of climbing will be required. When you get to the flat area where the track starts there are a couple of gullies that you can take to the left but be careful as the snow can be crap in them ! Best idea is to take the track back down to the top of Happy Valley.
St.Anton Off Piste – Zwischen
Zwischen literally means “between” and this little area is to be found between the runs of Osthang (blue 63) and Kandahar (black 52). To find it you ski off to the left of blue 63 just after the point where the red run comes across it. If there is fresh snow this area is very nice but take care not to go too far down as you have to cut back to the right and come out by the bottom of the Osthangbahn. If you keep going you will find yourself in one of three gullies. It is possible to ski down these IF there is plenty of snow but it is very steep, narrow & tricky. If there is not enough snow it is a very slippery climb down with your skis off – not recommended!
Ski Route – Mattun
Mattun is another good area that is easily reached and when there is fresh snow it can be great. However, Mattun can also be dangerous as it is very avalanchable. If the signs say that it is closed – DO NOT GO IN. To reach the Mattun area you take the chair lift up to the top of Kapall and as you come off the chair go around to the left. Again when the snow is good there will be plenty of people skiing in here so following somebody should not be a problem. Mattun will bring you out at the bottom of Happy Valley so if the snow was good you can then take the Mattunbahn back up and do it all again. Alternatively you can go up on the Zammermoosbahn to Galzig.
St.Anton Off Piste – Bachseite
One of the best, most popular and easily accessible places to quickly get off piste on in St.Anton. Bachseite which in English means beside the stream or river – However the English being the English have put a slightly different translation to it – Backsider !! Bachseite is the area below the Galzig that drops down to blue run No. 55 (Happy Valley). The best way to get into it is to go down blue run No.59 which is a track that cuts right through Bachseite and across underneath the Tanzboden lift. You will see plenty of people skiing it if the snow is good so you can easily follow somebody down and there are many routes down. You can get into Bachseite from the top of Galzig itself but I would not recommend trying this if you do not know where you are going as there are lots of rocks and drops.