Innsbruck – the Snow Paradise
Innsbruck is the paradise of snow-sliding sports enthusiasts. Here, one advantage is that the ski runs are just a stone’s throw from the city. Indeed, enthusiasts are treated to abundant white snow and blue skies. In other words, a dream come true for any skier, freerider, snowboarder or hiker worth their salt. The nine ski resorts in the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck are relished by skiing enthusiasts. Here, too, lies the Kühtai ski resort which, at an altitude of 2,020 metres, is the Alpine ceiling. Fortunately, Innsbruck is not only about snow-related activities. After a day on the pistes or hiking through the mountains, there is a host of options open to you, including the Christmas markets, of which there are no fewer than six here. But, this time we’re focusing on their resorts.
The Nine Ski Resorts Around the Three-time Olympic City
Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck features a grand total of nine ski and snowboarding resorts, from family runs to pistes designated for professionals. Here you will find the right piste for you and moving between the different ski runs is facilitated by a free, eco-friendly ski bus.
This is one of the steepest pistes in Europe, with a gradient of 70%. The descent from Hafelekar to Seegrube is an experience for any adrenaline junkie. One of the features of this resort is that it is easily accessible by cableway or funicular from the city centre. At Seegrube there is also a chill-out area for those who prefer to swank around. This piste is very complete and includes a Kids Arena for the young ones. Nordketten Skylinepark also has night lighting and a 2,000-watt, surround musical system.
Located south of the city, the “gentle giant” faces the Nordkette mountain range. The runs on Mt Patscherkofel are three times Olympic (1964, 1976, 2012). Skiers can reach the pistes in comfort on the Olympia-Express and Patscherkofelbahn cableway, while freeriders will discover their own winter idyll at Snowpark Innsbruck.
Situated just 12 kilometres from Innsbruck and next door to Patscherkofel, the Glungezer ski station has pistes with panoramic views over the river Inn. It boasts the longest descent in Tyrol, stretching over 15 km. What’s more, as it lies further away from the city, it is less crowded than other spots.
The Muttereralm ski resort is ideal for the whole family and is easily accessible from both Mutters and Götzens. Its attractive, sun-drenched ski slopes provide fantastic views over the Inntal and Wipptal valleys. Here you will find MAP 6020; in other words, the longest snowpark in the Innsbruck region.
5. Rangger Köpfl
A mere 15-minute car ride from Innsbruck, the Rangger Köpfl ski station has beginner- and intermediate-level pistes. A cable car with a capacity of 8, four ski lifts and a snowpark for beginners round off the amenities for ski lovers. The Höhenweg trail also enables hikers to enjoy the restorative Alpine winter air.
6. Axamer Lizum
The Axamer Lizum ski resort stands out for the quality of its pistes. Up to 12,000 people per hour can move about it, with practically no waiting times. With its north-facing slopes, this resort is a veritable paradise of powdered snow. Those game to go there are encouraged to eat at the Hoadlhaus panoramic restaurant.
Among the highest resorts in the Alps. Far from the other, crowded stations nearer the city, Kühtai has broad pistes and a guaranteed supply of snow until well into the spring. It also has numerous ski lifts, genuine Alpine shelters and night skiing twice a week. Further, K-Park Kühtai is a thrill for freeriders, as they can ski above the treeline.
8. Schlick 2000
The Schlick 2000 resort is all the rage in Alpine sport. Here, in the Stubaital valley, you can do downhill and cross-country skiing, carving, snowboarding, sleigh-riding, as well as walk in the snow or go paragliding. In the children’s section at the Ski School Stubai, tutors take care of children from the age of 3 months.
The platform on top of the Stubai glacier affords views of a hundred and nine 3,000-metre summits, as well as over the giant glacier itself. Skiers have at their disposal 110 km of pistes and 25 ski lift systems in this, the largest glacier skiing resort in Austria, while Stubai Zoo is one of the best snowparks in Europe. The resort opens from October to June.
Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación
Images by Innsbruck Tourismusmore info
Electronic And Snow In the Alps
Who says you have to wait for the good weather to enjoy open-air music festivals? One way of having a final fling at the end of your ski season is by treating yourself to one of the festivals hosted on Europe’s summits, where pride of place goes to music and snow. One of these must-attend events is Snowboxx, a festival which brings both elements together and where musical quality, snow sports and entertainment are guaranteed.
This, the fourth edition of Snowboxx will be held from 18 to 25 March on the fantastic pistes of Avoriaz, in the French Alps, some 80 kilometres from Geneva airport. Basement Jaxx, Wilkinson and Hannah Wants are the highlights of this festival, which also features High Contrast, TQD (Royal T, DJ Q & Flava D), Karen Harding, Yousef, Norman Jay MBE, Bicep, Jax Jones, Charlie Tee and Charlie Swift, among others. So, you’re in for a heady shot of electronic music to see out the season of winter festivals.
But, music is not the only leading light of this festival, as it shares the bill with the snow, and everything you can do in (and with) it. 650 skiable kilometres distributed across 283 pistes (27 black, 104 red, 119 blue and 33 green) and 14 valleys, where you can ski or snowboard – a veritable paradise which any skiing or snowboarding enthusiast can explore. And, there’s more, as Avoriaz also has several snowparks which will wow all freestylers. Oh! And if you’re not a dab hand at sliding on snowbound surfaces, you can always join the mass snowfight organised by Snowboxx, or dance in an indoor swimming pool to the background music of some DJ.
Another ingredient of this festival is cuisine, essential for beating the low temperatures and repairing your energy wear and tear. So, don’t hesitate to build up your strength by savouring the local classics, such as raclette and fondue, or warming your hands on a glass of hot wine while you listen to your favourite music.
Avoriaz – A Car-free Area
One of the unique features of Avoriaz, the ski resort which hosts Snowboxx, is that it is closed to all vehicular traffic. That means you can only get there on foot or by any means of transport purpose-designed for gliding on snow, namely horse-drawn carriages, sleighs or skis. This affords you the luxury of being able to walk from the hotel to the ski runs. For those of you who come by car, there are two parking lots, one open-air and the other covered (both pay facilities), where you can leave your vehicle during your stay.
Avoriaz, which has been operating since 1966, is located in the central area of the group of fourteen ski resorts making up thePortes du Soleil.The different sectors are Arare, Lindaret, Chavanette, Té, Chatel, Intrets, Prodains and Super Morzine.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Images by Snowboxxmore info
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