The Arlberg ski area is legendary in skiing circles. It is the place where, in the early years of the twentieth century, Austrian skiing pioneer Hannes Schneider perfected the modern downhill skiing technique most of us use today. His fame in his own life time was such that the Japanese imported him to teach them technique and modern ski construction and thousands came to learn at his ski school.
Some early epic silent movies of mountain drama were shot here also, helping to spread Schneider's fame to a greater audience and turn skiing from a 'crank sport' to the worldwide leisure pursuit it is today. One mustn't forget that the art of piste grooming was begun here too! Back in 1949 a couple of a blokes with a roller began the process that so many resorts, particularly in North America, have since elevated to a mechanical art form. But enough history!
The Arlberg Ski Pass today gives the holder the use of over 80 ski lifts in the Region which together access the runs of St Anton and its neighbours of St Christoph, Stuben, Klösterle and the exclusive resorts of Lech and Zürs (not quite lift-linked to St Anton, a bus trip is required). The area is indeed vast and truly the 'skiers paradise' that many resorts claim but few actually deliver!
St Anton is unique amongst ski resorts in holding three legendary reputations simultaneously. First there is its world class skiing, second there is the resort's reputation for the most hedonistic nightlife in any ski resort in the world, and third there is St Anton's status as a key pioneering resort in Alpine skiing. Marketed as "the cradle of Alpine skiing", the first ski club in the Alps, the Arlberg, was established here on Christmas Day 1901. Suitably St Anton hosted the World Alpine Skiing Championships a century later in 2001. Especially popular with expert and advanced skiers (It quotes 180km of additional 'off piste' terrain).