Skiing in Bad Kleinkirchheim

Bad Kleinkirchheim’s ski area includes 64 miles of well-groomed ski runs served by 26 lifts. Artificial snowmaking covers 97 per cent of the runs.

Bad Kleinkirchheim Ski Area Overview

The top lift station is at 6,740ft with over 3,000ft vertical down to Bad Kleinkirchheim at 3,580ft. Around 75 per cent of ski runs are graded red for intermediates, 17 per cent blue for beginners and just 8 per cent are classified black for advanced skiers. There is no terrain park yet which is perhaps indicative of the target audience – solid skiers rather than freestylers.

Apart from the uppermost runs, the ski slopes are mostly well-wooded and the way they dip and dive through the forest, wide and groomed, has more than a hint of American skiing about it albeit that the altitude here is more comfortably modest. If skiing in a whiteout, it’s a good place to be as tree-lined ski runs help give perspective in bad visibility.

Most of the slopes nearest Bad Kleinkirchheim tend to be shady for much of the day but, because they are north-facing, they hold their snow well. The sunnier, more open slopes are situated above the nearby village of St Oswald with the skiing all interlinked. For days in the sun and long lunches on mountain restaurant terraces, head for the runs above St Oswald.

If you are at all worried about the somewhat low altitude, it’s a comfort to know that 97 per cent of the slopes are covered by 700 snowmaking machines with the rest to be catered for soon. This network of snow guns is, interestingly, said to provide the equivalent of 50 centimetres of natural snow.

But relatively low-lying as it is, the combination of weather systems, from north and south, to which Bad Kleinkirchheim is subject throughout winter has brought a reassuringly good snow record. The resort is on the edge of the Nock Mountain National Park and is separated from much of the rest of Austria’s skiing by the Tauern mountain range.

This means that the Bad Kleinkirchheim area can frequently experience totally different weather from the rest of the country. Often it is said that if it is raining in Venice, it will soon be snowing in Bad Kleinkirchheim. And, similarly, snow may rush down too from the north.

Beginner Skiing in Bad Kleinkirchheim 

Bad Kleinkirchheim offers a good choice of beginners’ slopes, to be selected according to where you are staying.

Bad Kleinkirchheim and St Oswald each have their own beginners area, but there’s a big difference though – Bad Kleinkirchheim ‘s beginner skiing is close to the village and low – so they may suffer from a shortage of snow in a poor winter season – and because of their low elevation Bad Kleinkirchheim’s beginner slopes see little sun in the depths of winter.

In contrast, the beginner ski runs at St Oswald are at the top of the Nockalm gondola lift and enjoy a much more open aspect with more sunshine. Accordingly, they are usually the warmer of the two beginner locations and aspiring beginners will soon be able to tackle the long blue run that runs the length of the gondola from St Oswald.

Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Bad Kleinkirchheim

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Intermediate Skiing in Bad Kleinkirchheim 

Intermediate skiing is Bad Kleinkirchheim’s strong suit with three-quarters of all ski runs classified red for intermediates.

Good intermediates can head out in the morning in Bad Kleinkirchheim and take any lift or any route down without finding anything to terrify them but they will find the opportunity to perfect their technique on long, wide, fairly steep but still flattering slopes. Some of the runs have a respectable 3,280ft vertical, so there’s a chance to do them non-stop and get some leg-burning happening.

A favourite is the FIS standard K70 downhill run, which takes you all the way from the top of the mountain to the bottom. You don’t have to race down it – it’s so scenic, in fact, you should take your time. It’s about five kilometres long, so there’s plenty of excuse to stop and take in the inspiring views every so often. The K70 run also takes you through an area well away from the lifts, and the bottom section has been cut through trees. It is not the only run that goes satisfyingly from top to bottom, so the mileage can really be clocked up.

The slopes around St Oswald also boast a wealth of opportunities to shred the reds, with T-bars handily located to keep you on the top sector if you wish. In all, an intermediate’s paradise, but it’s also good for groups of mixed ability because there is a choice of runs down from the lifts and it’s very difficult to get lost on the mountain.

Advanced Skiing in Bad Kleinkirchheim 

Bad Kleinkirchheim is not the toughest ski resort as far as challenging skiing is concerned – but what challenging skiing it has it cherishes.

One of the best and most testing blacks is the Franz Klammer World Cup run, which takes you from Strohasack to the gondola base. Well, if you’ve got a Winter Olympic gold medallist in your ranks you might as well flaunt him.

His own named run is a FIS World Cup course and rated as among the most spectacular and challenging on the circuit – and you can even have fun on it with Kaiser Franz himself on certain days during the season. The old master, Carinthia’s most famous son, is still a fanatical skier and he hosts the occasional skiing day through the season when anyone is free to take a run or two with him. If they can keep up!

Klammer learned his craft here. He was born at the farming village of Mooswald, nearby and his mother still runs a gasthaus at the village of Fresach, about 12 miles from Bad Kleinkirchheim, with his brother and sister-in-law. Klammer went on to win the World Cup Downhill title five times, coming first in a record 25 World Cup downhills in the process – as well as enthralling the watching world with his Olympic gold medal triumph with a spectacularly reckless run at Innsbruck in 1976 in the famous yellow catsuit.

That catsuit is now at his mother’s gasthaus, along with most of his trophies. And the Kaiser is still happily racing around the Bad Kleinkirchheim runs. ‘I’ll never tire of skiing, especially in the wonderful surroundings of Carinthia,’ he says. ‘It’s the absolute best. I get to the top of the mountain and I know I want to ski until I’m 80 – at least!’ He adds: ‘I still ski the same way I always did – but I just choose what mode to go in now: nice and easy or turbo.’

There are a few other designated black runs in the Bad Kleinkirchheim network, with two short and sharp ones below the Kaiserburg and another under the Wiesernock quad chairlift. But the masses of red runs can also be fun for advanced to hone their skills.

And there are a number of off-piste adventures to be had, with guided off-piste tours arranged through one of the ski schools. These will involve a bit of climbing and hiking and can include striking out towards the Mallnock and Klomnock peaks, a tour which starts from the top of the gondola from St Oswald.

Another popular area for off-piste is the Falkert mountain, a short taxi ride from Bad Kleinkirchheim. A T-bar takes skiers some way up the Falkert, where you need to hike before the real fun begins.

Boarding & Freestyle in Bad Kleinkirchheim 

Bad Kleinkirchheim has its fair share of snowboarders, and although they and skiers co-habit the ski area perfectly well, this is very much a skiers’ resort.

Bad Kleinkirchheim’s ski lift system includes a high proportion of draglifts, which are not the most popular with less-experienced boarders. And so far the resort has not gone in for a half-pipe, or terrain park. Similarly, freestylers have to make their own fun and find their own jumps.

Mountain Restaurants in Bad Kleinkirchheim 

Bad Kleinkirchheim has twenty-two mountain restaurants – mostly rustic and welcoming with their fair share of gemutlicheit – and there are more eating places at all of the valley lift stations.

If the extent of its intermediate slopes is Bad Kleinkirchheim’s strong point, it comes only just ahead of its many and varied mountain restaurants – one restaurant on average for about every five kilometres of piste.

For cosiness and traditional cooking, try the Ausflugsgasthaus Pioninger, the Buschenschank Hublbauer, the Larchenhutte, the Buschenschank Mati Sepp or the Falkerthaus. Tucked away on the runs are the Brentlerhutte, the Wiesenhutte, the St Oswalder Platzl and the Zum Sepp. Or for larger restaurants with bigger menus, there are the Bergrestaurant Waldtratte, the Nockalmhutte, the Rossalmhutte, the Alpengasthof Brunnach or the Panorama Restaurant at the Kaiserburg.

Carinthia has its own distinctive style of cooking, and many of these restaurants will offer dishes such as Karntner Brennsupp’s, which is seasoned with marjoram and includes an egg. Or Karntner Kasnudeln, which is large ravioli filled with crumbly cream chees and herbs and mint. Also popular is Gamsngulasch – goulash made with chamois meat.

Another local speciality is Gelbe Supp’n (yellow soup), made with mutton, beef and pork and enriched with saffron, aniseed, cinnamon and nutmeg – Bad Kleinkirchheim, still at heart an old farming community, is one of the best places in the Alps to experience cooking that has been transferred directly from the farmer’s wife’s kitchen to the mountain huts. So lunches are substantial – a plate of Ritschert, a stew of smoked meat, barley and haricot beans will keep out the cold on the snowiest day.

Mountain restaurants in Bad Kleinkirchheim

Bӓrenhӧhle (Walter Bachler) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8469 or 8427

Bergrestaurant Kaiserburg (Joesf Pulverer) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8467

Bergrestaurant Waldtratte (Walter Bachler) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8469 or 8427

Groar Keusch’n  (Gerlad Hinteregger) Tel: + 43 (0) 4240 8605

Maibrunnhűtte (Familie Ortner) Tel: +43 (0) 676 739 2257

Rosalmhűtte (Josef Pulverer) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8466

Strohsack Skibar (Walter Bachler) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8469 or 8427

Zum Sepp (Josef Prӓgant) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8468

Mountain restaurants in St Oswald

Alpengasthof Brunnachhof (Josef Hinteregger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 478

Brentlerhűtte (Werner Hintergger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 262

Falkerthaus (Maria Gritzner) Tel: +43 (0) 676 572 4090

Lorchenhutte (Familie Steinkellner) Tel: +43 (0) 664 568 2666

Nockalmhűtte (Sigrun Labacher) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8705

Bergrestaurant Nock IN Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8282 510

Oswald Platzl (Klaus Miggitsch) Tel: +43 (00 4240 20646 or 8690

Panoramahűtte (Joesf Brunner) Tel: +43 (0) 676

Zum Weltcup Poldl (Leopold Gruber) Tel: +43 (0) 664 184 4353

Mountain restaurants in Buschenschanken

Aufegger (Ernst Aufegger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8254

Hűblbauer (Familie Walder) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 337

Matl Sepp (Familie Schleiner) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 685

Streitnig (Gűnther Unterweger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8416


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