While some are still enjoying autumn walks in the mountains and valleys, snow-hungry skiers and boarders are already heading for Tirol’s glaciers. I have to admit, skiing in autumn has many advantages. Here are a few of the highlights for the 2019/20 season together with some information on what’s new in the region’s glacier ski resorts:
The Kaunertal Glacier will be opening for business this year on Saturday, 28 September 2019. The official opening event takes place a couple of weeks later with the KTO – Kaunertal Opening from 11 to 13 October 2019 featuring freestyle contests, parties and the chance to test all the latest material.
New this season on the Kaunertal Glacier is the Falginjochbahn cable car, a state-of-the-art gondola with a wind-resistant and energy-efficient design.
In the snowpark on the Kaunertal Glacier the two-kilometre-long Nature Run, which was built last year, has been extended and expanded to include new rails. Jib Line has also been updated ready for the new season.
An absolute must-do on the Pitztal Glacier is coffee and cake at 3,440 metres above sea level on a terrace overlooking the mighty Wildspitze, the highest mountain in the Austrian Tirol. The skiing season begins here on 21 September 2019. An early-season highlight is the Glacier Ski & Show on 19 and 20 October 2019 with ski tests, music and a party vibe.
Opened last year, the Dynafit Ski Touring Park is the ideal place for beginners to try out the sport but at the same time offers plenty of options for advanced and expert ski tourers. Even in autumn the three routes – easy, intermediate and advanced – are ready to be explored with or without a mountain guide.
Winter- & glacier ski resort Sölden
The winter- & glacier ski resort Söldenopens this year on 13 September 2019. It traditionally hosts the first race of the FIS Ski World Cup, taking place this year from 25 to 27 October 2019. The season-opener brings together the world’s best alpine ski racers. Further events in the glacier ski resort include the Electric Mountain Festival in early April and the legendary Hannibal spectacle.
New in the resort this season is the ten-man Rotkogl cable car in Hochsölden with a transport capacity of 1,330 passengers per hour. The gondola takes just six minutes to whisk skiers and snowboarders from the bottom station up onto the mountain. James Bond fans will definitely want to check out the ice Q restaurant, which in 2015 provided the backdrop to some of the key scenes in the blockbuster movie “Spectre”.
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Austria’s largest glacier ski resort throws open its doors this season on 16 September 2019. The first major event on the Stubai Glacier is the Ski Oktoberfest taking place on 12 and 13 October 2019.
New for this season is the “SKI plus CITY Pass Stubai Innsbruck” giving holders access to 13 ski resorts and 22 highlights in nearby Innsbruck. The pass also includes ski bus transfers from Innsbruck to the glacier as well as use of the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus in Innsbruck.
The Stubai Premiere from 18 to 20 October 2019 marks the opening of the DC Stubai Zoo snowpark. With its Jib Line, Medium Line and Pro Line, it is one of the largest funparks in the world. During the Stubai Premiere skiers and snowboarders will once again have the chance to test the latest equipment for the up-coming season at the Brandsaloon in the Eisgrat cable car station.
The Hintertuxer Gletscher is the only ski resort in Austria open 365 days a year. From autumn onwards it has 60 kilometres of pistes. The winter season officially begins on 27 and 28 September 2019 with the Hintertux Oktoberfest. Freeskiers and snowboarders celebrate to the opening of the Betterpark Hintertux with the Hotzone.tv Park Opening taking place from 3 until 6 October 2019.
All those keen to save their ski legs for the winter months but still keen to enjoy the fresh mountain air can try out the brand new Gondola Breakfast. Guests are invited to hop on one of the cable cars in the Gefrorene Wand area of the ski resort and tuck into a delicious breakfast with truly breathtaking views. Fans of traditional German and Austrian food should order the Bavarian Gondola Breakfast complete with sausages, pretzels and a cold wheat beer!
Have a great start to the new season!