Words by Peter Lundström
Finding your way around the Arlberg area (Lech, Zürs, Stuben, St Anton, St Christoph) in Austria, not far away from Innsbruck, might for some seem like an art form as puzzling and elusive as Uri Geller. With all the different resorts within the huge snow secure area, you always seem to be in the wrong one at the wrong time. Or at least that’s what all the different video crews would like you to think, just to stress you out. Living in any of the actual resorts is, for anyone with a limited budget, out of the question. To save on cash, you would always be better off staying in one of the smaller villages closer to Innsbruck, just before St Anton. And living in a house with an Austrian family also gives you a taste of the Austrian countryside. The tourist information in St Anton will help you find those places. This, however, demands that you have a car for transportation, something that will also be in your best interest if you want to stop and hit all the lines next to the road on your way up to the Zürs or Lech area. If you don’t have a car and you’re too lazy to hike around, it is wise to cough up €40+ for a day ticket in either the Lech or Zürs area, both suitable for backcountry kickers with the help of a little hiking, but don’t forget your transceiver. When it comes to bars and restaurants, Hampus Mosesson claims the Funky Chicken restaurant in St Anton is the best, which also turns into a nightclub during the wee hours, and accordingly is the best on ‘Swedish nights’.
This place is my favourite mountain area in Europe. It’s heaven when the snow and weather is good, and when the weather is bad... it’s not even that bad a place to be. They have good restaurants like Bobos and Amalis, and you can get your groove on at the Funky Chicken bar. Expect to see a lot of wasted Scandinavians with ugly hats and sunglasses in the bar. If you get pissed off, just beat them up... I hate them too. As far as riding, I have no favourite spots – I think it all depends on the snow. But I can tell you that Zürs has amazing spots for building kickers!