Fall is arguably the most beautiful time of year to enjoy hiking — however, as temperatures drop, skiers and riders are getting increasingly itchy to hit the slopes. So why wait? Early-season skiing at Tirol’s glaciers lets you experience the best of both worlds. Here you can work on your tan and get your ski/ride fix at the same time. Here are some exciting announcements for the 2018/2019 season at Tirol’s Five Glacier Ski Resorts:
Kaunertal Glacier is a great option for early-season skiers and riders with this year’s opening date on Saturday, September 29, 2018 and multiple planned events. One of the longest established snow and winter opening festivals in the world, the annual Kaunertal Opening will kick-off October 12, 2018, for a weekend full of gear testing, freestyle contests and partying.
The terrain park at Kaunertal Glacier boasts a new location this season and features an all-new ‘Nature Run’ with a long and steep jib line. More stoke, more riding. Freeriders have fun with “Check Your Line”, an advanced trail marking system for backcountry skiing. The Freeride Testival with expo area returns to Kaunertal Glacier from March 30 to 31, 2019.
An absolute must-do at the Pitztal Glacier Ski Resort is to order a cappuccino at the spectacular sundeck of Austria’s highest coffee bar, Café 3.440, named 3440 for its altitude (which is 3,400 meters as you might have guessed) and savour jaw-dropping views of the breathtaking surrounding glaciers and peaks (including 3,774-meter Wildspitze Peak, Tirol’s highest mountain). Lifts start spinning for skiers at Pitztal Glacier Ski Resort on September 15, 2018. One of the scheduled event highlights is the “Glacier Ski & Show” on October 21, 2018, offering free demos of the latest ski equipment, music and partying.
New this upcoming winter season is the “Glacier Park Card Ski & Snow Winter”, which includes access to six ski resorts. As well new this year is the Dynafit Ski Touring Park, which is the first of its kind in Tirol. This is where all abilities of backcountry skiers, from beginner to expert, can explore ski touring options all winter long, from autumn well into spring – under the auspices of an experienced mountain guide or on their own. Moreover, the Glacier Village will open its doors at the Pitztal Glacier Ski Resort in December 2018: The highest-lying igloo village in the world can sleep up to 50 people.
Sölden Winter & Glacier Ski Resort
Sölden Ski Resort resumes operation in late September. The 2018-2019 FIS World Cup Season kicks off in Sölden from October 26 to 28, 2018 with a women’s and men’s giant slalom. The Sölden Ski World Cup happens to be the first races of the season and is notorious for its epic early season snow. More highlights in the annual calendar of events at the Glacier Ski Resort are the Electric Mountain Festival and the spectacular Hannibal Show on April 12, 2019.
Opened in July 2018, “007 Elements” is a world-first cinematic installation at the top of Gaislachkogl Mountain. This interactive and immersive experience places visitors inside the world of 007 while revealing how that world is made. As well worth visiting is the eye-catching ICE Q restaurant, which appeared as the Hoffler Klinik in “Spectre” in 2015.
New this season is the “Ötztal Super Ski Pass”, which provides unlimited access to all six ski resorts of Ötztal Valley.
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Stubai Glacier, the largest glacier ski resort in Austria, cranks up its lifts in mid-September 2018. To add to the excitement, mark your calendars for a rich variety of events at Stubai Glacier, starting with the Ski Oktoberfest on October 13 and 14, 2018.
Be there when Stubai Zoo Terrain Park opens for the new season from October 19 to 21, 2018: “Stubai Premiere” is a thrilling weekend of sessions, contests and parties. Offering distinct, progressive lines for beginners, intermediates and experts, DC Stubai Zoo is one of the largest terrain parks in the world. Demo the latest ski gear of the upcoming season during the SportScheck Glacier Testival from November 8 to 11, 2018. Mind-games are at stake as the world’s best freeskiers lay down their best runs and score points on each other at the Freeski World Cup on Stubai Glacier from November 22 to 24, 2018.
The Powder Department is the place to go for freeriders to get specific trail conditions along with weather, snow and avalanche reports. Perform a final avalanche transceiver check and then exit the gates to begin your adventure on one of 13 epic freeride runs. Learn all about glaciers at the amazing Ice Grotto, a marvel of nature which lies close to the Eisgrat Top Terminal. Capture 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains from the TOP OF TYROL, a spectacular mountaintop viewing platform at an elevation of 3,210 meters.
Hintertux Glacier hosts Austria’s one and only summer skiing experience—with year-round skiing, the resort also boasts the longest snow season in Austria. In autumn, Hintertux allows skiers and riders a first look at 60 skiable kilometers. The new season is kicked-off September 28 and 29, 2018 with the Hintertux Oktoberfest. From October 4 to 7, 2018, park lovers will have the chance to catch some air and grind some rails at Betterpark during the Hotzone.tv Park Opening.
Skiers who want to explore more than glacier skiing here, can opt for the Zillertal Super Ski Pass, which gives access to 530 kilometers of ski runs. Don’t miss out on venturing into the “Natural Ice Palace” at Hintertux Glacier Ski Resort, an amazing underground chamber with giant ice walls.
Get a head start on winter at Tirol’s Five Glacier Ski Resorts!