You needn’t have to wait until the end of November to carve down wide and empty pistes. Otherwise, what are glacier ski areas for? Some are open almost the whole years round, but if not they tend to start their season latest around September or October. In Austria you can choose between 8 glacier ski area, of which 3 are bookable via SnowTrex – for arrivals from mid September. Fun in the snow can be enjoyed in the following areas:
On the 12th of October the Stubai Glacier starts into the winter season. 88 km of pistes are available between 1,750 m and 3,210 m altitude (accessible via 26 lifts) and also 19.5 km of ski routes can be found here – the largest ski area in Austria. The ski terrain was made accessible around 1973. By now the 3,333 m high peak of the Schaufelspitze can be surrounded clockwise and counter-clockwise. The ski areas is known for its easy to intermediate slopes and is therefore highly popular with families. In 2013 is was repeatedly voted to on one of the best family ski areas by the ADAC skiguide magazine (German Automobile Club). Directly at the mountain station of the Gamsgarten gondola families can find the “BIG Family Kinderland” and the “BIG Family Boardercross”, as well as a beginner area. But also more experienced skiers and boarders are catered for here: e.g. on the new, 1km long skicross run at the Eisjochferner. Or in the “Moreboard Stubai Zoo”, located at 3,100 m altitude. Obstacles such as rails, boxes, kicker, wallride and tubes are positioned on 3 different lines. 11 freeride runs however, have been put together by experts from the”Freeride Department”.
The main attraction of the Pitztal ski area is the new Waldspitz lift. The highest located cable car in Austria transports winter sports fans up the Hinterer Brunnenkogel in only 6 minutes – to an altitude of 3,440 m. Tyrol’s highest situated glacier is known for its wide pistes and lonesome powdery slopes. Between 1,740 and 3,440 m altitude skiers and boarders can enjoy 37 km of pistes with additional 32 km of varied runs. At the Mittelbergferner you will find vast glacier areas for carving, on the north flank of the Brunnenkogel however more challenges await you. The fun park at 3,000 m altitude offers 3 areas with boxes, rails, kickers and wave rides, as well as a half-pipe. Alongside the main pistes freerides will find a great selection of unprepared areas. It is not for nothing that the Pitztal Glacier is host to the freeride race “Pitztal Wild Face” – taking place next on 27th of February und 14th of March 2014. Popular descents are for instance the run down the Mittagskogel or the “Swiss run” at the Mittelberg lift. At the glacier restaurant “Kristall” the little ones can pass their time: the children’s area provides snow-tubing and slide. The practice slope can be found near the Brunnenkogel tow lift.
Austria’s only full-year ski area offers a total of 59 km of piste between 1,500 and 3,250 m altitude. 17 lifts operate on the glacier in the Ziller Valley. The pistes below the pyramid of the Olperer are diverse and entertaining, the runs below the “frozen wall” and at the Kaserer lifts are rather for gathering speed. Freeride descents can be found around the Lärmstange and at 3,200 m altitude and there is also freestyle terrain in form of the “Bretterpark” Hintertux, one of the highest fun parks in Austria. Besides five lines (divided into easy, medium, pro and two jib lines) there is also a SuperPipe available. In autumn the “Bretterpark” is Austria’s first fun park to open for the season. This year you should note down the 4th to 6th of October for freestyle weekend. Families can enjoy an extra park, the “Family Park”. Freestyle offspring can try themselves on a boardercross run, a kicker and a rookie line.
Tempted to get the season started? Then off you go and book your ski holiday on the glacier now!