The Arlberg – the cradle of skiing but how is it for snowboarders?
Skiing and the Arlberg have gone hand in hand for over 100 years largely due to the fact the men of the Arlberg pioneered Alpine skiing. Over the years people have travelled from all over the world to enjoy the wide variety of terrain the Arlberg has to offer. However, in recent years the increased popularity of snowboarding has meant that this ‘cradle of alpine skiing’ has become more and more appealing to those on a board.
So what does the Arlberg have to offer for boarders? The 340km of piste hold many challenging and exciting runs. From Warth which boasts some of the steepest blacks in the Austria to Lech with its wide and cruisy blues to St. Anton with its deep powder fields there is something to suit every boarder.
For those that prefer park riding to piste St. Anton is the perfect place to be. Stanton Park in Rendl offers kickers, rails and boxes of all sizes ranging from easy right up to a pro-line. Whether you’re a beginner boarder or a ‘park rat’, Rendl Park has something for everyone. Despite having this park so readily available, there are those that would prefer to practise their jumps without an audience. With plenty of incredible natural hits dotted around the resort a plethora of opportunities are presented to the freestyle boarder.
And then there is the powder! The Arlberg is renowned for its endless powder trails and opportunities to cut fresh tracks in stunning surroundings. 200km of marked off-piste provides boarders new to off-piste a safe way to gain experience and means that a weeks holiday can be spent entirely in the powder! For those looking to ditch the crowds and go back country there are many experienced guides who can help you explore the 55km2 of off-piste terrain.
There is no doubt that St. Anton has a reputation for being a resort full of challenging runs and many of the blues here would be considered reds in other resorts. Despite this it is possible to come as a beginner boarder to this resort as there are nursery slopes to practice on and with the neighbouring resorts of St Christoph and Lech on your doorstep there is always a run for you to be found.
So how do you avoid skating on some flats around the Arlberg? Blue 12 in St. Anton, affectionately known as ‘sad blue’, is a long flat that all boarders quickly learn to straight line and hope to make it to the end. However, the countless incredible runs around the Arlberg and the constant opportunity to find something new and exciting for me personally makes up for any sad blues. More than anything the simple attitude and atmosphere around the Arlberg is one that encourages and accepts snowboarding making it, in our opinion, one of the best ski resorts for boarders to come shred.