St Anton Resort History

The development of skiing in St Anton owes its success to the Arlberg ski club.

As inhabitants of the area began to try out skiing and develop the techniques that they learned from the Norwegians but adapted to their own ends.

The main notables that founded the club were:

  • The Parish Priest of Lech, who made his first attempt at skiing in 1895.
  • Mathia Zdarsky, who was developing the Lilienfeld skiing technique in Lower Austria which differed to the Norweigan technique in that you were encouraged to lean forward.
  • Herman Hartman, who climbed the Galzig for the first time on skis in 1899.  He reached the peak in just over 3.5 hours.

The locals became more and more impressed with these pioneers of skiing and eventually sought to emulate their efforts.

On Christmas day in 1900 a group of friends decided to undertake a ski tour of St Christoph and on 3rd January 1901, their plan was realised.

Along with glorious sunshine, superb snow and flowing wine, the Arlberg Ski club was born.

On that evening the emblem of the ski club was devised of two crossed skis and a pole and it has remained that way ever since.

The first races were held by the club in 1903 and amongst the winner who was a 13 year old!

The following year was cancelled due to bad weather but the year after that the races were categorised into a long distance class, a fast race, a ladies event and a junior race.

The Arlberg Ski Clubs was founded upon a love of skiing and they wanted others to partake in the joy that it provided, so in March 1902 the first mountain guide ski guide courses started, opening the sport to even more people.

The club welcomed visitors to St Anton and encouraged them to come to the resort by providing a friendly and sociable setting for them to learn in. Much of the early architecture was dominated by wooden lodges around the centre of St Anton, but as the popularity grew, more commercial enterprises moved in building several specialist hotels followed by apartment complexes to grow the resort.

Today St Anton is a very popular ski resort drawing winter sports enthusiasts from around the world cementing St Anton’s place in history as one of Austria’s finest ski resorts.