I’ve just got back from a great trip to St Anton in Austria. This is my account of the ‘perfect’ day that we enjoyed whilst we were out there
We awoke to the sight of light snow coming down from a grey sky in St Anton on the morning of Monday January 10th. This wasn’t brilliant news for the day’s skiing, but, with so little time on the slopes, we were going to make the most of it. later that day, while we were having a couple of après ski beers the snow stopped and the bashers came out, appearing from their mountain hideaways. From this point on we had our fingers crossed that Tuesday January 11th could be a day that ski dreams are made of…
At 8am and with a slightly fuzzy head I opened the curtains to a vision of the sun coming up across the mountains, hazy blue sky and not a cloud in sight. We got out sharpish and had already made our plan the previous day and so skied across from the Nasserein gondola to end up at the top of the Schindlergrat 3-man chairlift to enjoy the full run down the red 14 and then into the blue 17, taking us down to the ski bus stop at the bottom of the Valfagehr lift to get us over to Lech.
Once in Lech, we went up Schlegelkopf then onto the Kriegerhorn lift, skied down to the bottom of Steinmähder and then we were into a red run playground. We had a good blast around here enjoying the glorious snow and weather, then off for a very quick lunch stop before heading over and having a couple of goes on the speed trial at the side of blues 35/62. My slight frame hit a not so impressive high of 67km/h. Next down was ‘Dangerous’ Dave Hatley, who took a while as he got entangled in the fence separating the speed trial from the piste, fell over and couldn’t get back up again. But the spoils went to ‘Rocket’ Richard Marriott who clocked just over 79km/h and left the rest of us trailing in his wake.
We headed down the scenic home run, blue 34, towards the village of Lech skiing through Oberlech on the way and then back up the lift – as no day is complete without a quick fly through the fun park. Our resident jumps expert ‘Dangerous’ Dave was at it again and showed us the way on a reasonable sized kicker. After watching him fly head first over the top with his back side in the air (landing flat on his face the other side) – the rest of us opted to give that a miss and shot down the skier cross course instead! However Dangerous did redeem himself with a half decent drop off a box.
Time was getting on, so down we went into Lech and opted for a quick Glühwein stop in an open air après bar just on the side of the street – very civilised. The ski bus took us back to the bottom of the Valfagehr lift in Stuben then we were homeward bound – following the blue 12, into 4 then finally down 1 through the famous happy valley and down to the bottom of the Galzig gondola. The happy valley can get busy from 3pm ish onwards, but at 4.30pm it was deserted and it proved a great way to finish off the day – not forgetting the little jump underneath the second electricity pylon!
After a lot of smiles we unclipped and got in the Anton Bar for a well earned beer or two then down to Bar Cuba for a couple more (only to break up the walk to the hotel…) to see one man and his guitar Andy Gibbs doing his thing.
We then headed back to the Hotel Arlberg to freshen up and feast on their amazing food, then got back out before we fell asleep. Speaking rubbish and laughing a lot is the mainstay of going out and this was done with good style in Kandahar, Cuba and a quick one in Alibi on the way back to the hotel – this completed what was a truly epic day. Mark, Rich, Brian & Dave – I thank you all.
By Neil Lodge, Product Manager at Crystal Ski