Ski touring enthusiasts visiting Tirol will be pleased to know that the resorts around Innsbruck have developed a rota system to allow ski touring at night (and during the day) on the groomed slopes. After a long day at work, many locals take the opportunity to clip into their skis, walk up to one of the cosy huts in the mountains and enjoy a meal with friends before skiing back down along the pistes into the valley. Why not join them for a unique moonlight experience in the Heart of the Alps?
The ski resorts around Innsbruck have drawn up a weekly plan setting out on which evenings which resorts stay open for ski touring. This means that instead of grooming the pistes as soon as the resort shuts in the late afternoon, the resort’s groomers wait until the final ski tourers have descended before heading out late at night to prepare the slopes for the guests who will arrive the next morning. This system means that each day there is at least one ski resort near Innsbruck where ski tourers are officially allowed to us selected pistes. Out of respect for the ski resorts and the staff responsible for grooming the slopes, we urge ski tourers to use the right resorts on the right evenings and to stick to the pistes which are expressly open to ski tourers. Please be aware that closed pistes can be very dangerous. For example, on steep pistes many grooming machines use steel wires to secure themselves. Skiing into such wires can result in serious injury or death.
We recommend taking a look at the Recommendations for Ski Touring on Pistes (German only) issued by the Austrian Board for Alpine Safety. You will also find useful information and tips on ski touring on ski resort slopes here.
Weekly plan for evening ski touring around Innsbruck in 2020
Hoadl – Axamer Lizum
From the bottom of the ski lifts in Axamer Lizum, take the left-hand piste and ascend via the “Olympia-Damenabfahrt” (piste number 1) 800 vertical metres to the Hoadl restaurant at the top of the resort (2,340 metres). This piste is open to ski touring enthusiasts every Monday. There is also the shorter option of walking up to the Sunnalm hut on piste number 4.
The ski tour up to the Hoadl restaurant is very popular and relatively easy, though there are a number of steep and icy sections towards the top.
Starting point: car park of Axamer Lizum ski resort
800 vertical metres
Days: Monday and Thursday
The ski tour up to the top of the Rangger Köpfl mountain (1,939 metres) is one of the classic routes around Innsbruck. Leaving from the village of Oberperfuss, skiers can ascend along the piste via Stiglreith and the Rosskogelhütte all the way to the top. Alternatively, you can drive to Stiglreith and then walk up along the toboggan run to the Rosskogelhütte before completing the final section to the summit on the piste. The view from the top of the mountain over the the Inn Valley is fantastic. It is also possible to complete the first section from Oberperfuss to Stiglreith using the ski lift (Peter-Anich-Bahn) and then complete the second section from Stiglreith to the top of the mountain on foot.
Starting point: bottom of Peter-Anich-Bahn ski lift in Oberperfuss
1,115 vertical metres
The Bergeralm is one of the most snowsure resorts near Innsbruck – even in warm winters it manages to maintain a good covering of snow throughout the season. This ski tour is very steep in places, so remember to pack your crampons. At the top there is also the option of completing the final few metres on foot (without skis) to the summit of the Nösslachjoch (2,231 metres).
Starting point: bottom of Bergeralm ski lifts in Steinach
1,100 vertical metres to the Nösslachjoch
Tourenabende: Mittwoch, Freitag und Samstag von 18:30 Uhr bis 21:30 Uhr
This easy and popular ski tour leads from the bottom of the ski lifts in Seefeld up to the Rosshütte. En route there are plenty of places where you can stop for a rest.
The route starts at the bottom of the ski lifts and leads along the Brandlpiste (or through the forest, left of the bottom ski lift station), along the trail to the Hochegg-Alm, via Murmelebau to the Rosshütte (1,760 metres). Skiers must descent along the “Familienabfahrt” piste. The restaurant at the Rosshütte is open. Skiers can park in the main car park (18:00-22:00).
Starting point: bottom of Rosshüttenbahn cable car in Seefeld
856 vertical metres
This very popular route leads up to the Muttereralm and the Pfriemesköpfl mountain.
It starts in the village of Mutters and takes in the Erlebnisrestaurant Muttereralm before ending at the Pfriemesköpfl (1,801 metres). Above the middle station you have the option of heading right and ascending along the old draglift route. It is also possible to walk up along the “Götzner Abfahrt” piste to the Erlebnisrestaurant Muttereralm and to the Birgitzköpflhaus.
Starting point: separate car park for ski touring enthusiasts at Muttereralm
750–950 vertical metres
Day: Wednesday until 22:00
There are various routes up to the top of the Patscherkofel mountain (some steep, others more gentle) via the Patscher Alm and the Patscherkofel Schutzhaus (1,952 metres) all the way to the top of the mountain and the Patscherkofel Gipfelstube (2,248 metres). It is possible to shorten the ascent by taking the last cable car up to the Patscherkofel Schutzhaus and then completing the final section in the evening sun to the Patscherkofel Gipfelstube on the domed peak. The restaurant at the bottom of the resort, “das Kofel”, is also open in the evenings. This mountain to the south of Innsbruck is very popular as an ski touring destination in the evenings, so remember to take a powerful headlamp with you and always stay on the edge of the slope when walking up. Some of the pistes can be steep and icy, so you may need crampons.
Ski touring is permitted on the “Olympiaabfahrt”piste on Thursday evenings until 22:00.
Starting point: intersection between Igler Straßer and Patscherstraße roads, or car park at the bottom of the ski lifts onto the Patscherkofel mountain
950 vertical metres to the Patscherkofel Schutzhaus
Leaving from the car park in Tulfes, the route takes you up to the Tulfein Alm (2,035 metres) or all the way to the Glungezerhütte (2,610 metres). The first section to the Tulfein Alm is relatively easy. It is also possible to take the lift to Halsmarter or to the Tulfein Alm and start from there. In winters with good snow conditions it is possible to leave from the Karlskirche church in Volders – though this means more than 2,100 vertical metres from bottom to top.
Starting point: car park in Tulfes
1,100 vertical metres (to the Tulfein Alm)
Days: Monday and Tuesday until 22:00
Further places in Tirol for evening ski tours on the piste
Gamsalm in Ehrwald
There are three different routes to the Gamsalm (1,200 metres): via the Sonnenlifte lifts, the Wettersteinlifte lifts or the Zugspitzbahn cable car. The Wettersteinbahn resort offers ski touring and tobogganing evenings every Wednesday and Saturday at the Gamsalm. On Thursday evenings, ski touring enthusiasts in the same resort can use the pistes starting from the W1 Skilounge.
Starting points: bottom of Sunracer, Wettersteinlifte or Zugspitzbahn in Ehrwald
300 vertical metres
Days: Wednesday, Saturday, 17:00–22:00
Sunnalm in Marienberg ski resort, Biberwier
Every Thursday it is possible to ascend in the evening hours to the Sunnalm (1,620 metres) in the Marienberg ski resort in Biberwier. This short but enjoyable ski tour is perfect for after work. Food and drink are served at the hut.
Starting point: bottom of ski lifts in Biberwier
600 vertical metres
Day: Thursday, 17:00-24:00
Kellerjoch am Hochpillberg
Every Thursday the red piste to the Hecherhaus (1,887 metres) is open to ski tourers. The ascent takes around an hour and is steep at the start before flattening off. On Thursday evenings the Hecherhaus hut remains open until 24:00.
Starting point: car park at Naturhotel Grafenast in Hochpillberg
530 vertical metres
Day: Thursday, until 24:00
From Maurach into the Rofan Mountains to the Berggasthof Rofan
From Maurach/ car park at bottom of the Rofanseilbahn cable car it is 840 vertical metres into the Rofan Mountains to the Berggasthof Rofan (1,840 metres) or to the Almstüberl. On Wednesdays the pistes are groomed late at night, so it is possible to use the pistes in the evenings.
Starting point: car park on Rofanseilbahn cable car in Maurach
840 vertical metres
Reither Kogel, Alpbachtal Valley
Tuesday is ski touring day in Reith in the Alpbachtal Valley. The route leads up onto the Reither Kogel mountain (1,110 metres). There are no lifts in operation. The “Familienabfahrt” slope (piste number 71) is reserved from top to bottom for ski tourers only.
Starting point: car park at Reither Kogel
Day: Tuesday, 18:30 until 21:30
Follow the signs (T5, “Hagan-Aufstieg”) to the Alpengasthof Buchensteinwand (1,462 metres).
Every Tuesday and Friday from 9 January the Alpengasthof Buchensteinwand is open until 22:00. Piste 3 can be used to walk up and ski down until 22:00.
Starting point: bottom of ski lifts at Hochfilzen
520 vertical metres
Days: Tuesday and Friday, until 22:00
Ski touring to the Rauthhütte (1,600 metres) is possible every day. The route leads along a former ski piste no longer in use. The owner of the hut grooms the piste every now and then. Leaving from the Leutaschtal Valley, it is around 420 vertical metres to the Rauthhütte at the foot of the iconic Hohe Munde mountain. The hut is open every day until 22:00 (except on Sunday, when it closes at 19:00). Friday is Burger Day – we recommend booking a table in advance.
Starting point: car park in Moos near Leutasch
420 vertical metres
Days: every day