Ski Area

Sonnenkopf Ski Area

Described as the “family ski area in the Arlberg”, the Sonnenkopf ski area is both detached from the rest of the Arlberg and a part of it, via a bus connection to Stuben. But the local skiing is well worth discovering first, whatever your standard.

Sonnenkopf Skiing1 660x260

The backbone of Sonnenkopf ski lift system is the 8 person Sonnenkopfbahn gondola. The gondola rises from the valley lift station near Danofen and Wald am Arlberg at about 1000m, through a middle station, to easy beginner slopes served by 4 surface lifts either side of the Bergrestaurant Sonnenkopf (1,840m) close to which there is a special children’s ski area.

There are both sunny South-facing runs and North-facing ones which tend to have crisper snow. The runs down to the middle station and the base station meander through woods, but everything else is above the treeline. The highest lift reaches 2300m, which does not sound very high but the Vorarlberg is one of the snowiest regions in the Alps, so snow qaulity, at least near the top, is rarely a problem.

Sonnenkopf ski area is family-friendly and suitable for beginners and intermediates happy skiing a smaller ski area with quiet open slopes; but it can also be good for experienced powder hounds using Klostertal /Klosterle, Wald and Danofen as a low cost base from which to explore the entire Arlberg ski area via the bus connection to Stuben.

The Sonnenkopf ski area includes a dozen groomed ski runs and four marked ski routes totalling 30km in extent, one third of which is designated easy (blue) for beginners and early intermediates and two thirds red for intermediates. There is also one short but quite steep black run.

More experienced skiers and boarders can ride the 4 person Obermurlbahn chairlift and a couple of 2 person chairlifts to access higher level red runs. Explore half a dozen red runs and four red ski routes beneath Glattinggrat 2,300m before attempting Sonnenkopfs most challenging groomed run (black 10), the main part of which is considerably steeper and straighter than it appears on the map.

Top to bottom skiing includes easy blue (1 and 1a) and intermediate red (4 and 4a) run descents, each of which is approximately 6km long and over 1,000m vertical from the ski area down to the valley lift station. On mountain, there’s also a 2km toboggan run and 3 winter walking trails (10km), longest of which is a 7km Winterwanderweg to Muttjochle at 2,075m.

In addition to Sonnenkopf’s marked ski runs and routes, in good snow conditions there’s plenty of off-piste skiing and freeriding, especially in the large North-facing bowl around the Gllttingrat and Obermuri lifts. Because this is an uncrwoded area, the powder here remains in much better condition than it does in St Anton. For those seeking greater challenges, there are genuine ‘off-the-back’ long off-piste descents from the ridge between Glattingrat (2300m) and Purtschakopf (2244m) and yet more difficult off-piste for advanced skiers behind Purtschakopf. Taking a guide is strongly recommended.

There are two mountain restaurants in the ski area, Bergrestaurant Sonnenkopf which is next to the top of the gondola and Bűndthűtte just above middle station and Kelo Bar at the bottom of the gondola is open for après ski from 4pm.

Although Sonnenkopf ski area is included on the main Arlberg lift pass, Sonnenkopf is overlooked by the vast majority of tourists visiting St Anton so it’s a great place to ski on a blue sky day and in good powder snow conditions.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top