But what keeps some keen skiers going back is its atmosphere. The village is no beauty, but it has more than a veneer of traditional Austrian character, and a vitality its French-speaking rivals will never match. With the road over the Arlberg pass skirting the village and the railway passing through its heart, it feels like more than a ski resort.
And there's the snow. If the weather is coming from slightly north of west, the first serious mountains it encounters are those of the Arlberg. The result is a snow record that other resorts can only dream of. However, the Valluga faces due south, so the sun has a profound influence on the state of the slopes.
The Valluga runs for which St Anton is famous are all formally off-piste, meaning no marking and no patrols - a disgraceful evasion of responsibility, considering every keen skier comes here expecting to ski them and only one in a hundred is prepared to hire a guide. There are plenty of alternative runs for less adventurous skiers. The Rendl area, across the valley, is a neglected asset - quiet, and great for early excursions off-piste. Stuben, Zurs and Lech are only a few miles away.
CHRIS GILL'S VERDICT: For competent skiers, St Anton is among the great resorts. If the slopes of the Valluga faced north, it would be hard to beat.
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