The ultimate in off piste. St. Anton, Austria's flagship resort, ranks among the very best ski resorts in the world. Better suited to intermediate or advanced skiers rather than beginners, the resort is known for its legendary off-piste and even more legendary après-ski scene.

'Off the back'

To the former, first. There is plenty of 'off the back' skiing to be had but the classic itinerary is the Valluga North Face descent into the neighbouring resort of Zürs. Access is via a small gondola to the observation platform at the Valluga summit, from where skiers - who must have a qualified guide with them - descend via a series of hair-raising traverses above sheer cliff faces. After this tense beginning, the reward is outstanding, with fresh powder fields beneath two huge peaks opening out into wide open slopes of yet more powder all the way to Zürs.

Get loose at the Moose

Back in St Anton Austria and with the adrenaline still flowing, it's time to dance on the table tops (still in ski boots, naturally) at the Mooservirt bar on the slopes, listening to a mix of Euro-pop and oompah music. Several hours later, you might finally crawl into bed, ready to repeat the whole thing a few hours later.