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Kicking Off the Ski Season in the Glaciers of Tirol, Austria

The five Tirolean Glacier Ski Resorts of Kaunertal, Pitztal, Sölden, Stubai, and Hintertux with almost 300 kilometers of slopes, and guaranteed snow at over 3,000 meters above sea level, are one of the best options in the world if you want to kick off your ski season in November.

The glaciers in Tirol are open up to ten months a year (Hintertux glacier is open 365 days a year). While elsewhere the snow is missed, on the Tirolean glaciers you will find excellently groomed slopes, comfortable lifts, panoramic terraces, modern cafés, restaurants, and guaranteed snow almost all year round. The Tirolean Glaciers offer no end variety of ski runs, activities, and stunning scenery.


Hintertux Glacier. Ski in Austria
Hintertux Glacier. Picture: Ski Paradise

The Hintertux Glacier is Austria’s only year-round ski resort, offering perfectly groomed, snow-sure runs 365 days of the year.

The ski resort above the Tuxer Fernerhaus stretches across wide slopes between the Olperer (3476 m.) and the twin peaks of the Gefrorene-Wand-Spitzen (Nordgipfel, 3288 m., and Südgipfel, 3270 m). In winter, the ski area also includes the slopes at Tuxer Joch as well as the valley run.​


Especially in autumn, the Hintertux Glacier is the place to be for ski fans who cannot wait until the coming winter season. From November-December onwards, skiers can enjoy 60 kilometers of glacier slopes (51 km of groomed pistes and 9 km of ski routes with 21 lifts), at altitudes of up to 3,250 m, of all levels of difficulty.

In Winter, the Hintertux Glacier combines with the Zillertal skiing mountains Eggalm, Rastkogel, Finkenberg, Penken/Mayrhofen, and Ahorn to form the skiing area Zillertal 3000 Ski & Glacier World. With just one ski pass you can enjoy a total of 202 kilometers of slopes.


One of the musts is to visit the Panorama Terrace, located at an impressive 3,250 meters above sea level in the saddle between the peaks of the Gefrorene-Wand-Spitzen. The highest point in the Zillertal Alps with lift access can be found on the spacious observation deck at the top station of the lifts. This is where you will literally enjoy a bird’s eye view. Breathtakingly extensive views open in panoramic form, ranging from the Zugspitze to the Dolomites and Großglockner. From this location, you can also enjoy probably the best view of the high Alpine Zillertal Alps Nature Park. Thanks to the „Viscop“telescopes with integrated information you will always know which peak or mountain range you are currently focusing on.


Hintertux Glacier. Ski in Austria
Hintertux Glacier. Panorama Terrace (3250 m.) Picture: Ski Paradise

Kaunertal Glacier. Ski in Austria
Kaunertal Glacier. Panorama from Karlesjochbahn's Top Station. Picture: Ski Paradise

The Kaunertal Glacier is Tirol's youngest glacier. The journey to the Glacier is a wonderful experience in itself. The panoramic Kaunertal Glacier Road has been called one of the "most high mountain beautiful roads in the Alps". The impressive panoramic Glacier Road leads through picturesque mountain landscapes surrounded by over 30 peaks higher than 3,000 meters and takes you all the way up to the ski resort at 2,750 meters.

The new Falginjochbahn cable car, inaugurated in the 2019-2020 season, takes you up to 3,113 meters above sea level. The state-of-the-art cable car is fully accessible and gives you access to blue, red, and black pistes including the Black Ibex – Austria’s steepest run.


Kaunertal Glacier. Ski in Austria
Kaunertal Glacier. Falginjochbahn. Picture: Kaunertaler Gletscherbahnen

The Kaunertal Glacier ski area is one of the highest in the region and offers snowsure conditions well into spring. Additionally, 40 % of the slopes have snow-making facilities.

50 ski runs on wide glacier slopes; no queuing at the lifts, and a ski area of 138 hectares are enough reasons to pay a visit to the Kaunertal Glacier.

Kaunertal is also a secret spot for Freeriders with numerous untracked powder slopes. Riders love the well-developed “check your line“concept at the Kaunertal Glacier, which marks the many routes and variants away from the groomed slopes. 36 kilometers of Ski routes lead to the Ochsenalm in the direction of Gepatschhaus and along the Langtaufer Valley to Italy (the only way back is by taxi - 90 km). The ski route is a variation that should only be attempted with a mountain guide.


The construction of the new Falginjochbahn lift was used to create another highlight, Black Ibex - Austria's steepest slope.​ This piste begins at the top of the lift and, with an average gradient of 41.3 degrees and a pitch of 87.85%, is the steepest in-bounds run anywhere in Austria. This is even steeper than the legendary Mausefalle at the Streif in Kitzbühel, which boasts a slope of 85 percent.


Black Ibex - Austria's steepest slope. Kaunertal Glacier. Ski in Austria
Black Ibex. Kaunertal Glacier. Picture: Ski Paradise
Pitztal Glacier. Ski in Austria
Pitztal Glacier. Panorama. Picture: Ski Paradise

Pitztal is Tirol's highest glacier. To reach the Pitztal Glacier ski resort from the base in Mittelberg you hop on the Gletscherexpress funicular mountain railway. After a ca. 8-minute ride with the underground train, you will reach the ski area. At the Top station, skiers hop off at an altitude of 2840 m at the foot of the 14 slopes, mainly red, though there are also some blue and black pistes.

The Pitztal Ski Area comprises a total of 22,2 km of pistes located between 1700 m at the base station of the funicular (and the arrival of the signposted, freeride route of "Variante Mittagskogel") and 3440 meters, at the top of the Hinterer Brunnenkogel. The 1700 vertical meters are served by 7 ski lifts.



Freeriders can try the long descent over the Taschachferner glacier, passing through powder fields and past crevasses. Another area popular with Freeriders is the 1,500-meter run from the Mittagskogel mountain down into the valley.

One more thing, we recommend you to round off your day by taking the Wildspitzbahn cable to the top station on the Hinterer Brunnenkogel (3,440 m) where you kick back on the panorama terrace of the "Café 3440" - the highest café in all Austria.


Pitztal Glacier. Ski in Austria
Pitztal Glacier. Café 3.440 Picture: Ski Paradise

Rettenbach Glacier. Sölden
Rettenbach Glacier. Sölden. Picture: Ski Paradise

Sölden's skiable terrain is formidable, with a season that begins in mid-September and runs until May.

Since 1993 Sölden hosted the Rettenbach Glacier the first race on the calendar of the Alpine Ski World Cup in October.

Sölden's Glacier Ski Area ranks among the largest in Austria. From autumn to spring you can ski on the wide and snow-sure slopes of Rettenbach & Tiefenbach Glaciers. The two glacier ski mountains, which extend between 2675 meters and 3250 meters above sea level and comprise 34.5 slope kilometers, are connected by a spectacular ski tunnel. And take advantage there is surprisingly little hustle and bustle in the pre-winter months.

International Ski Teams train on the red and black slopes of Rettenbach Glacier. Here in Sölden, you can enjoy skiing on the fairly steep and demanding World Cup slope. But before you take the challenge remember, it is not for nothing that the Giant Slalom in the Rettenbach Racecourse is considered one of the most difficult of the entire FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.

Neighbouring Tiefenbach Glacier boasts blue and red slopes and is quite relaxing. The much gentler, flatter terrain promises great fun for beginners and advanced skiers.


Sölden Glacier. Ski in Austria
Sölden Glacier. Rettenbach Racecourse. Picture: Ski Paradise

Stubai Glacier. Ski in Austria
Stubai Glacier. Picture: Ski Paradise

The majestic Stubai Glacier, popularly known as the #kingdomofsnow, extends all the way up to 3,210 meters above sea level and is the largest glacier ski resort in Austria with 64 kilometers of slopes and 26 lifts.



Stubai Glacier. Ski in Austria
Stubai Glacier. Picture: Ski Paradise.

Thanks to the new 3S Eisgratbahn, with a length of 4.7 kilometers is the longest lift of its kind in the Alps, it takes only 11.7 minutes from the base station to the Eisgrat top station (2,900m). During the ride, its panorama gondolas offer fabulous views of the mountains.

One of the highlights of Stubai is the 10km "Wilde Grube" descent from the Wildspitz mountain station (3,210m) to the valley station (1,750m).



Stubai Glacier. Ski in Austria
Stubai Glacier. Picture: Ski Paradise.

The Stubai Glacier is one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in Tirol. In the BIG Family Ski-Camp trained staff looks after the ski kids (children to 10 years of age ski for free if accompanied by a paying parent). Many blue pistes and lifts that are easy to get on and off introduce children gently to the world of skiing.

Snow safety, a great variety of lines, and numerous freeride possibilities make the Stubai Glacier in the Tirol a freeride hotspot in Austria., with the "Powder Department" attracting skiers and boarders addicted to backcountry adventures.

The Powder Department offers 13 GPS-tracked freeride runs, route videos, 2 checkpoints at the Eisgrat and the Gamsgarten with info panels with route descriptions, transceiver check, and information on avalanche situation, and an LVS training facility.


One more thing. A Tip for Instagramers. The TOP OF TIROL summit platform towers at 3,210 meters and offers magnificent panoramic views of 109 3,000m-peaks from the Stubai Alps to the Dolomites. The GEO magazine ranked the TOP OF TIROL platform among the 10 most beautiful viewing platforms in the world.



The Stubai Glacier is included in the SKI plus CITY Pass Stubai. It includes 13 ski areas (Stubai Glacier, Axamer Lizum, Schlick 2000, Kühtai, Hochötz, Muttereralm, Bergeralm, Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen, Serlesbahnen, Elferbahnen, Patscherkofel, Oberperfuss - Rangger Köpfl, and Glungezer), 22 city experiences, 3 indoor pools, the use of the entire ski bus network as well as the Innsbruck Sightseer hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

 

The 5 Tirolean Glaciers Pass White5 is valid for all operating lifts at Kaunertal Glacier, Pitztal Glacier, Sölden, Stubai Glacier, and Hintertux Glacier.

The White5 ski pass costs 580€ and is valid for 10 days from 1 October to 15 May. The ski pass days do not have to be used consecutively and are issued exclusively on a special 5 Tyrolean Glaciers pass key card.

The White5 lift pass can be purchased at all lift pass sales points of the 5 Tyrolean Glaciers ski resorts.


If you love skiing in Tirol, one of the best options is to purchase the Snow Card Tirol. For only 1050 €, from 1 October until 15 May, you will have access to over 90 ski areas, more than 3,000 km pistes, and 1,100 lifts, including the glaciers of Kaunertal, Pitztal, Sölden, Stubai, and Hintertux. That means 227 days of skiing for 4.6 € a day!!!

All EU citizens can buy the Snow Card Tirol at the regular rate.




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