WHAT’S YOUR SKI JAM?
13th November 2018
The party life or complete solitude? Soaking up the winter sun and beauty or skiing as much as the ski area will allow?
Winter in Austria pretty much tops every skier’s list.
The kind hospitality, the hearty food, the great snow, the charming ski towns…
These are things most resorts are known for.
So how do you narrow it down and pick out where you should ski?
Well, first off work out what your priority is this season.
Are you looking to pound the powder and rack up the ski miles?
Or are you in need of some R&R in the mighty peace and quiet of the white mountains?
Do you want to experience some of that famous Austrian apres-ski?
Or avoid people altogether and lose yourself in nature?
We’ve picked out the best resorts for some of these moods.
As whatever your winter break intention, Austria pretty much has you covered…
Nature. Quiet. Solitude.
“I like to be out and about early in the morning,” ex pro snowboarder turned mountain photographer, Tom Klocker says.
“It’s lovely in the Zillertal at that time.
“You’re almost on your own, so you can soak it all in and have time for the wonderful photo opportunities around you.”
Three more reasons to ski Zillertal this season:
Go long, go smooth on Austria’s longest valley run – a scenic 10km run covering almost 2,000m in elevation.
Test your thighs skiing down the ultimate Zell am Ziller.
Fall in love with the huts on your breaks from skiing the mountain.
Start with the Schneekarhütte, high up in Mayrhofen with its unusual design and excellent cuisine made from regional and natural ingredients.
We’d recommend the carmelised Kaiserschmarrn is served with roasted plums and fine sweet wine from Tremmel Winery.
Freeride with more than 65 freeride runs.
Exciting variants and long powder slopes where you can find youself descending up to 2,000m of elevation.
Head to Superbowl, a south-east facing piste, for a classic must-do descent.
Carinthia makes up the sunny south region of Austria.
Not only is it a healing place because of that good Vitamin D and just by being a powerful mountain haven and headspace, but there’s also thermal water and… thermal spas.
Carinthia has more than 200 lakes, just to boost that image of it being a true paradise.
Of course, there’s skiing. Take the Bad Kleinkirchheim region.
Well groomed slopes and great snow conditions, and (back to wellness) there are two thermal spas.
The Römerbad spa has a view of the Franz Klammer World Cup downhill run from the outside pool and the St. Kathrein spa has recently reopened following a huge renovation.
Take a gourmet tour and explore the glittering wilderness on a snowshoe safari.
Shoe through the winter silence of winter before stopping for an Alpine-Adriatic meal in a hut. Then it’s back down mountain on a sledge.
Ice skate on a frozen lake – the Brennsee lake, nestled among the Nockberge mountains.
You can even try your hand at curling.
Ski with the King – the ski legend Olympic gold medal winner and WC champ Franz Klammer.
Linked skiing. Endless slopes. Off piste.
It’s one of the largest ski areas in Austria that includes 270km of pistes with even more off-piste challenges.
The resort villages of Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn are linked via fast modern lifts.
One of the Kitzbuhel Alps’ most famous draws is the hut experience, with more than 60 cosy huts that offer superb lunches and charming coffee stops, before switching to apres ski.
A local ski instructor and accomplished freerider Markus Kofler has listed his top tips for the Skicircus:
Take the Challenge Test and push your ski limits by taking on one of the most demanding ski circuits of the Alps.
The Challenge is a marked route covering 72km, 32 lifts and approximatley seven hours of skiing time.
Freeriding in Fieberbrunn, home of the Freeride World Tour.
It’s all about deep snow.
Head for its freeride park and numerous freeride routes for different levels, augmented with well signposted runs. First tracks are the best tracks.
Soak up some views – It’s all about the peaky panoramas.
A short hike up to the Grosser Asitz delivers spectacular views over the splendour of the Kitzbuehel Alps.
Hut safari – from rustic to chic, enjoy the delicious regional specialties and menus accompanied by frothy local beers and delicious local wines.
Zell Am See
Alpine Meadows. Glacier. Wintry Lake Zell.
Take a gentle winter break. Or slower, at least…
Ski tour up the Ronachkopf – a mountain for just snow hikers and ski tourers.
It’s a calm and beautiful mountain and an hour’s hike scaling 600m will lead you through snowy trees, leading to views over the lake and glacier.
There’s even a hut up there for some local food.
Through the snow-covered forests and pristine alpine meadows discover the cold season in a different way: quiet, calm, and with its very own rhythm far away from the hustle and bustle of other winter sports.
Take it on skis or snowshoes, on a toboggan or horse-drawn sleigh.
Top tips for a ‘gentle winter’:
Guided snowshoe hiking tours on the Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See and on the Kitzsteinhorn in Kaprun.
107 kilometres of cross-country ski tracks are available in the Zell am See – Kaprun region, such as the high-altitude cross-country ski tracks on the glacier.
Do the Ronachkopf in the Zell district of Thumersbach – an area exclusively for ski tourers and snowshoe hikers.
Read here for our report last winter on how to push your skiing to the next level for adrenaline junkies in Zell am See – Kaprun:
The Vorarlberg is the westernmost province of Austria.
Alpine skiing was born right here on Arlberg mountain.
An abundance of snow makes for A-grade conditions so there are winter sports activities of every kind.
Every Saturday evening there are open-air concerts up in Warth
Ski the legendary White Ring – a classic ski circuit that links Lech with Zürs, Zug and Oberlech by easy to medium grade slopes.
Do a toboggan run at night, under the stars, or snowshoe on a guided tour through the snowy landscape by moon.
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