Skiing in Alpbach
Alpbach’s ski area is now connected to Auffach in the Wildschonau. The combined ski area (marketed as “Ski Juwel”) boasts 128km of pistes and 17km ski routes served by 47 ski lifts, including 55km on Alpbach’s Wiedersbergerhorn linked by high-speed gondola to a further 55km on the Schatzberg above Auffach in Wildschonau.
Alpbach (“Ski Juwel”) Ski Area Overview
Ranked as the 10th largets ski area in the Tirol, the Alpbachtal-Wildschonau (“Ski Juwel”) ski area is comprised of six separate ski areas, three in Alpbachtal and three in Wildschonau, all covered by a single lift pass and all geographically distinct. The two largest and most important ski areas – Wiedersberger Horn/Alpbach (55km) and Schatzberg /Auffach (55km) – are now lift-connected following the installation of an important new gondola rising from Inneralpbach to the Schatzberg.
Together, the ski areas at Alpach and Auffach offer 110km of excellent piste skiing – 20km blue, 61km red, 12km black and 17km of ski routes – as well as excellent opportunities for deep snow skiing on untouched slopes off-piste. Consequently, Alpbach, which is among the best small ski resorts in Europe and a perfect ski area for beginners and intermediates, now has two main lift-connected ski areas and twice the amount of skiing on (or near) its doorstep, but with safeguards in place to protect the village.
Alpbach’s main ski area (55km) on the Wiedersberger Horn (2,128m) includes 47km of pistes, 8km of ski routes and one vertical kilometre of elevation between 1,000m – 2,025m. There’s also plenty of good off-piste terrain between the marked runs and further afield including backcountry skiing from Alpbach to Reith.
Though only 6km in extent, the small ski area on the Reither Kogel at Reith is accessed by a two stage gondola from 600m to 1,337m, and also open for night skiing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 18:30 – 21:15. It’s considered to be one of the best night skiing slopes in the Tirol and definitely worth visiting to experience skiing fast red runs on brilliant white floodlit slopes with a jet black night sky and lights twinkling in the Inntal valley below.
With 10 of 16 runs in Alpbachtal categorised as red and 3 of 16 runs designated blue, over 50% and 25% respectively the ski area is best for intermediates, but also good for beginners and very family friendly. Facilities for novices include the easy ski slope in the village and a special area for children at Inner Alpbach, behind the Hotel Wiedersberger Horn.
The east facing slopes on the Wiedersberger Horn include a large open area with easy red and blue runs between below the gondola top stations (1,900m) and above the tree-line (1,700m) and a handful of excellent tree-lined descents for all abilities from 1,850m down to mid-station at 1,350m and making it easy to ski laps.
Although there’s not much challenging skiing on piste – just two black runs totalling 6km – the black run from top station of the Widersbergerhornbahn down to mid-station can be challenging as well as fun to ski when filled with moguls or in deep powder snow. The narrow slope between the trees and beneath the Poglbahn gondola is off-piste and inviting, but often fenced off at the top and presumably out of bounds, but gets skied by locals.
Having explored the ski area on Wiedersberger Horn between the two gondolas, intermediate and advanced skiers should ski red run 5 to the bottom of the Hornlift 2000 and ride the chairlift to the Wiedersberger Horn Hutte at 2,000m for the best panoramic views of the region and to appreciate the true extent of the ski area, off-piste included.
The most important improvement in recent years is the addition in 2012 of a new high-speed gondola connecting the ski area at Alpbach with the Schatzberg above Auffach in the Wildschonau, resulting in a combined ski area of 110km of Ski Juwel’s total 145km and doubling the extent of the lift-connected ski area in Alpbachtal and the Wildschonau.
Mountain Restaurants in Alpbach
Alpbach’s Wiedersbergerhorn ski area includes half a dozen mountain restaurants offering reasonably-priced Tirolean dishes. Though most are self-service, culinary standards are high and all restaurants have a sun terrace with splendid views.
Located next to Albach’s Wiedersbergerhornbahn mid-station at 1,350m the Almhof is a traditional rustic mountain restaurant with a sun terrace and a cosy interior and serving tasty Tirolean dishes. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5379.
The Bogalm is one of Alpbach’s most popular mountain restaurants for lunch and apres ski. An attractive chalet style hut with rustic interior, serving popular local dishes including Gulaschsuppe, Tiroler Grostl, Albacher Kasspazl, grilled Wurstl and spit roasted Grill Hendl, a speciality of the house. Located at 1,200m near the top of the Galtenberg drag lift, the Bogalm is also accessible on foot. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5177 or +43 (0) 5336 5177. Web: www.alpbach-alm.at (German language only).
Dauerstoa Alm, Alpbach
Located at 1,900m and reached via the Poglbahn and Hornboden top stations the Dauerstoa Alm is an attractive chalet style mountain hut with rustic interior and a popular sun terrace with splendid views. Tel: +43 664 105 1929 Web: www.dauerstoa.at (German language only).
Gasthof Hornboden, Alpbach
Located at 1,827m just below the Wiedersbergerhorn gondola top station and next to the Ski School Alpbach Aktiv Kids Centre, the Gasthof Hornboden is one of Alpbach’s bigger mountain restaurants with table service as well as self-service dining areas, a snow bar and a large sun terrace. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5366 Web: www.hornboden.at (German language only).
Kafner Ast, Alpbach
Located at 1,600m next to the 3-seater chairlift, Kafner Ast is a cosy self-service restaurant serving popular Tirolean dishes and homemade cakes, with tables inside and outside on the large sun terrace. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5265
Wiedersbergerhorn Hutte, Alpbach
Located at 2,030m at the top of the Hornlift 2000 gondola station, the Wiedersbergerhorn Hutte is Alpbach’s highest mountain restaurant with spectacular panoramic views and self-service restaurant offering a selection of traditional Tirolean dishes. Tel: +43(0) 5288 72264 or +43 (0) 664 548 8494 Web: www.wiedersbergerhorn.at (German language only).
Almstuberl Gschwendt, Reith im Alpbach
Located on Reitherkogel at 930m, a separate ski area above Reith im Alpbachtal, the Almstuberl Gschwendt is a small and cosy chalet-style hut with pretty interior and full-service restaurant. There’s also a small terrace with splendid view of the Inn and Alpbach Valleys. Closed on Mondays but also open in the evening on Thursday, Friday and Saturday when the ski area is open for night skiing. Tel: +43 (0) 5337 64395 Web: www.almstueberl-gschwendt.at (German language only).
Mountain Restaurants in Auffach
There are more mountain restaurants in Wildschonau, now connected to Alpbach by gondola from InnerAlpbach to the ski area on the Schatzberg above Auffach.
Shatzbergalm Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8835
Gipfo Hit Auffach Tel: +43 664 13 00 871
Koglmoos Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8889
Grutt’n Bar Auffach
Cafe Martin Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8855
Auffacherhof Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8837
Platz Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8928
Gasthof Weissbacher Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8934
Gasthof Schonangeralm near Auffach Tel: +43 664 326 7616