Thursday, December 13th 2018

Skiing in Hochzillertal, Austria

I got invited last minute to join a mixed crew of Czech, Spanish, Trukish, Swedish people going to ski in Zillertal area in Austria. We split into three cars and ours was the first to set off on a 5 hour ride. We had a target of getting keys from the cottage we were supposed to stay before 10pm.

We arrivied to ZIllertal area around 10pm thanks to GPS we had and some people who were still outside and helped us to find the right cottage. Street names and numbers are a bit confusing especially at night. Below you can see the cottage we stayed in. The area is called Fugenberg and is located very close to the maine skiing areal.

Cottage we stayed in Fugenberg
Cottage we stayed in Fugenberg

 We reached the apartment, opened some beers and started waiting for the other two teams. We had to wait for almost three hours till they arrived somewhere close to the cottage, but could not find us. It was 1am. We started calling each other coordinating the actions. We left the cottage and tried to look for the lost guys, but several attempts failed. We could not understand they were on the same street, higher on the hill or somewhere lower. Funny…we tried to check their position by the moon, the village down in the valley and the opposite mountain. Surprisingly they saw all three of them in the same directions as we did, but still could not find us. An hour passed very quickly. Finally we saw the name of the street on the house. Strange that nobody noticed it before….i guess we were tired and already a bit drunk. We texted them and in about 10 mins they arrived. Everybody was tired but very happy to be finally at the cottage. We opened more beer and started exchanging stories and impressions, discussing who sleeps where and when we are getting up. One of the newly arrived asked: Why do u have alcohol-free beer? We: What???? Everybody burst laughing with tears. We had a crate of non-alcoholic beer and we had been drinking it and even getting drunk….. ;-) Power of placebo!

The whole previous day was snowing and we were expecting a lot of fresh show. Next morning we woke pretty early considering going to bed after 2am. After having rented skies, buying ski passes and getting unto skilifts we reached one of the tops. Veiws were amazing!

Hochzillertal, Austria

First morning ski lift ride at Hochzillertal, Austria

Many times I stopped to take a picture after getting off skillifts.

Landscape views in Zillertal

Landscape views in Zillertal

Some of the skilifts like Sonnenjet, Schnee-Express & Krossbichlbahn are speed ones, and all of them have a special plastic shield which protects people from wind. ONe just needs to grab a handle and move it from back to front and people are covered from top and front till below knees. It is very convenient when it is very windy. Though they are speed skilifts they are very slow at the stations and easy to get off.

Above Gedrechter, Hochzillertal

Above Gedrechter, Hochzillertal

Some of the skilifts are traditional double or 6 seat lifts. This is the top of Ofelerbahn.

Ofelerbahn ski lift, Hochzillertal

Ofelerbahn ski lift, Hochzillertal

There was quite a number of queues but they were moving quite fast. New card readers are installed in all stations of Zillertal areal, including Klatenbach/Zillertal. So you don’t have to touch the gate, the system will sensor your card from 30-40cms away. It was very convenient.

This is the Sonnenjet chairlift bottom station.

Sonnenjet ski lift from Marendalm pitstop

Sonnenjet ski lift from Marendalm pit stop 

The station is located close to several other chairlifts and a conveniently located nearby catering-rest area called Marendalm.

Marendalm pit stop in Hochzillertal

Marendalm pit stop in Hochzillertal

Here we stopped to have hot drinks and food several times. From the terrace there is a nice view over the ski slope going parallel to Sonnenjet chairlift. It was one of our main routes during the second day.

View from Marendalm pit stop in Hochzillertal

View from Marendalm pit stop in Hochzillertal

From the top station of the Sonnejet you have this view below.

Hochzillertal, Kaltenbach

And this…..

Hochzillertal, Kaltenbach

All the slopes, especially cross-roads are equipped with area and slopes maps. So you can easily direct you descent down. at least we have never go lost. The amount of slopes and thier lenghts are enormous. I am sure you can ski two days without going on the same slope twice.

Slopes cross road
Slopes cross road

 The lenght of all slope in Hochzillertal – Hochfugen is over 181km. The booklet says it can process more than 60 000 people/hour. It sounds too much but it has more than 40 various gondolas, chairlifts and platter lifts.

 The slopes themselves are very wide and it is very easy to fnd space to ski according to your level. Some of our crew went to snowboard on fresh snow off the slopes, in the forest. Once they had to cross a creek, and were throwing there boards over it. One ended in the water. I wish i saw that :-)

Slopes are very wide
Slopes are very wide

 

Theses guys are always ready to help in case an injury happens. They are very fast on their snow scooters.

Snow Rescue

Snow Rescue

You can also have rest and a drink while enjoying views. One of the best places is Kristallhutte with nice view over the Zillertal valley as well as Ofelerjoch peak. We were alse very lucky with a lot of fresh snow and sunny day.

Ofelerjoch peak

Ofelerjoch peak

Close to Kristallhalle there is an outside bar where you can get something to cheer your spirit and warm you inside.

Bar in Kristalhutte hut in Hochzillertal
Bar in Kristalhutte hut in Hochzillertal

 The space between this bar and the Kristallhutte is full of fatboy chairs. It is a bag full of small soft plastic balls, and it forms the shape of your body. You can adjust shape according to your liking. People were having rest in the sun, drinking and eating lazily drowned in the fatboys.

Kristalhutte Hut in Hochzillertal
Kristalhutte Hut in Hochzillertal

 On the other side of the a good amount of beach chairs for people to relax and suntan. We spent good 30mins enjoying the sun.

People sunbating in front of Kristalhutte hut
People sunbating in front of Kristalhutte hut

So the day passed quite quickly though we have done a lot and covered many different slopes. Tired but happy we watched the sunset. It was time to get back to the car.

Sunset

Sunset

Once we were down, last beer at the standing bar, skies back to the rental, and 5 hour trip back home was ahead of us.It was short but great. I definitely recommend to come here. I will come again for a longer skiing trip in Hochzillertal area.

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