GUIDING FAQ

FAQ’S

WHAT IS ON PISTE GUIDING?

Skiing or snowboarding on regular groomed slopes or routes down a mountain, which would be marked on a map and accessible to the public via the lift network. In Austria these include blue, red and black runs. Safety equipment is not required.

WHAT IS OFF PISTE GUIDING?

Skiing or snowboarding on areas of the mountain which are not marked as an official slope or route in a ski resort. Access is via the lift network and sometimes with a short climb (without ski touring equipment). Safety equipment is mandatory: backpack, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe.

WHAT IS HELISKIING?

A skiing discipline requiring helicopter transportation to higher mountains unreachable with a ski lift, followed by an off-piste descent in varied terrain.

WHAT IS SKI TOURING?

Typically, ski touring is done in the backcountry or off-piste areas with access via the lift network and uphill travel made possible with skis and skins. Ski touring boots, skis, skins etc. are required and safety equipment is mandatory.

WHAT IS FREERIDING?

Freeriding is something you enjoy in the off-piste parts of the ski Arlberg area. You try to find your ‘line’, which gives you the most thrill going down at high speed – any steep slope, narrow couloirs, combined with jumps. It demands a very good physical shape and good strength in your legs. Quiet often freeriders choose to climb (bootpack or on skitouring equipment) to reach their favourite spots.

DO YOU HAVE OPEN GROUPS THAT I CAN JOIN?

No, St. Anton Classic does not and we never put individuals into groups with others. However, we  offer ski or snowboard guiding for private closed groups for couples, friends, families etc.

WHAT ARE THE MAXIMUM GROUP SIZES FOR ON PISTE OR OFF PISTE GUIDING, HELISKIING AND SKI TOURING?
  • On Piste Guiding: You decide but we recommend small groups of no more than 9 people of a similar ability.
  • Off Piste Guiding, freeriding, heliskiing and ski touring:
    With these types of skiing we move in the free ski area – sometimes it is difficult to keep an eye on all participants. Safety is very important to the guides at St. Anton Classic, therefore the group size is limited to a maximum of 7 people.
CAN WE MIX SKIERS AND SNOWBOARDERS FOR ON PISTE OR OFF PISTE GUIDING OR HELISKIING?
  • On Piste Guiding: Yes, for sure skiers and snowboarders can go together. Probably best to request a guide that fits with the majority of the group
  • Off Piste Guiding: Yes, you can mix and match. Depending on the choice of terrain, snowboarders may be at a slight disadvantage, especially if you are riding cross-country for a long time. If the difference in technical ability is too big, we suggest separate guides for skiers or snowboarders.

     

WHAT EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED FOR OFF PISTE GUIDING/FREERIDING AND SKI TOURING?

We have safety equipment, unless you have your own. You will need: backpack with ski or snowboard carrying system, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe. We recommend off-piste skis which can be rented from sports shops locally. Ski touring equipment is also available to rent from local sports shops: boots, skis, skins, poles, split boards.

WHAT DO I NEED FOR OFF PISTE GUIDING/FREERIDING, HELISKIING OR SKI TOURING?
  • Mountain rescue and accident insurance – please check you have this before you come to St. Anton.
  • Safety equipment – if you have your own please bring: a backpack with a carrying system for skis or a snowboard, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe. Please ensure your transceiver has new batteries and the latest updates.
  • Freeride skis – available to rent from local sports shops.
  • Ski touring equipment – boots, skis, skins, poles, split boards are available to rent from local sports shops.
  • Helmet – highly recommended for your safety.
  • Goggles – required to enhance visibility in varied weather conditions and as protection for skiing at high speeds.
  • Gloves – a spare pair of gloves is recommended in case yours get wet.
  • Spare clothing – especially for ski tours so you can change out of sweaty tops before you start the descent.
  • Sun protection – sunscreen, lip salve, sunglasses.
  • Water, snacks, energy gels etc.
  • Lift pass – available to buy at the main lift stations.
WHERE CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?

There are many sports shops in St. Anton where all equipment can be rented. Discounts are available if you pre-book online: Alber Sport, Sport Jennewein, Intersport Arlberg, Ski-West.

WHAT TYPE OF SKI SHOULD I CHOOSE FOR OFF PISTE GUIDING/FREERIDING OR HELISKIING?

Off-piste skis are wider than carving skis and we recommend ones that are at least 90 mm wide at the centre under your foot, making turns easier in varied snow conditions. For deep powder days, we recommend skis 100 mm wide. For inexperienced or lightweight off-piste skiers, we recommend you choose a softer ski that is about head height, and for experienced, heavier or powerful skiers we recommend a stiffer and longer ski.

WILL MY HOLIDAY INSURANCE COVER ME FOR ACCIDENTS AND OFF-PISTE MOUNTAIN RESCUE?

Please check with your insurance provider before departure and if not, we recommend this one.

IS A LIFT PASS INCLUDED IN THE GUIDED DAY PRICE?

No, you will need to buy your own lift pass at one of the main lift stations. You do not have to buy one for your guide.

CAN WE STOP FOR LUNCH AND IS IT INCLUDED?

For full day reservations there will be a lunch stop at one of the many mountain restaurants, your guide will make recommendations and reservations. The cost of lunch is not included in the price.

IS THE TIME FOR LUNCH-BREAK CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE SKI LESSON?

The time for lunch is not counted as lesson-time. For example, you book 6 hrs, skiing from 9.00 – 12:00, lunchbreak and you continue from 1.00 – 4.00

HOW GOOD DO I NEED TO BE TO GO HELISKIING?

Skiers or snowboarders need to be competent in riding off-piste descents in varied snow conditions.

I’M INTERESTED IN HELISKIING, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
  • Heliskiing is permitted at two landing sites: Schneetäli and Mehlsack.
  • The descent from both landing points takes you to the Zuger Bergbahn (chair lift) where you return to the Arlberg ski area/lift system near Lech.
  • The helicopter has space for 4 passengers (3 guests and 1 mountain or ski guide).  The ideal scenario is a group of 3 and 1 helicopter or a group of 7 and 2 helicopters.  A guide can take a maximum of 7 guests for safety reasons.
  • Heliskiing is only allowed from Monday to Friday and not on weekends or public holidays.
  • The flights are operated by a company called Wucher (www.wucher.at).
  • The take-off site is in Zürs. From St. Anton or Lech you can go directly to Zürs by ski, bus or taxi.
  • Heliskiing depends on the weather and snow conditions and can only be confirmed approx. 3 days in advance.
  • Option 1: make a reservation for a guide on a designated day (or tell us possible dates you are here) and wait to see if heliskiing will be permitted on your requested date(s). If heliskiing is not permitted, the reservation will go ahead as a freeride day and our guide will do his/her best to find the best snow and conditions for you on the day. You will only pay for the rate for the guide and not for the helicopter flight.
  • Option 2: contact us at short notice approx. 3-4 days in advance and we will confirm our availability for a guide and tell you if it’s possible to go heliskiing. Please note that we cannot guarantee a guide at short notice, especially during high season (February to mid March).
  • Safety equipment is mandatory: backpack, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe.
WHAT ARE YOUR TERMS & CONDITIONS AND CANCELLATION POLICY?

Please click this link for full information “Terms and Conditions”

WHY CHOOSE ST ANTON CLASSIC

RESORT KNOWLEDGE

Our company has worked with St. Anton Classic for the last ten years and we enjoy a strong partnership. We love working with them because they are professional and accommodating. Our guests are always so impressed with the high level of instruction they receive from St. Anton Classic ski and snowboard instructors. Not only this, they know the resort inside out, they are the real specialists of the St. Anton and Lech (Arlberg) ski area
- MAEV C: BRAMBLE SKI

FRIENDLY GUIDES

I went on my first skiing trip in St. Anton am Arlberg last week and needed some lessons to get comfortable to ski. I had a great chat at the office and felt more comfortable right away. Tom helped me out and was such a friendly, patient and helpful guide. He taught me the basics of skiing in 2 days and made me enjoy skiing :) ….
- ANNEMIEK W.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

…The great advantages with them are that they all hold a degree by the Austrian Ski Guides School and they are all local so they know hidden gems that you would never find them on your own. Highly professional and with real passion for their job, they make your day an unforgettable one. I can only recommend them highly.
- JUNCAL G.

PRIORITISE SAFETY

Perfect mix of adventure and safety! Martin is a highly skilled, knowledgeable and enjoyable mountain guide. He finds awesome routes but doesn't compromise on safety. I highly recommend Martin and am sure to find him for future Skitours
- PETER R.

CONTACT AND LOCATION INFO

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