Skiing in Brandnertal

The Brandnertal ski area includes 55km of groomed piste skiing, mostly on east-facing slopes that stretch from north to south between the resort villages of Bűrserberg and Brand. The lift-served vertical drop is 963m and around 75% of the ski area has artificial snow coverage when needed. There is also a half-pipe and off-piste skiing in the area.

Brandnertal Ski Area Overview

Brandnertal’s family friendly ski area is well-suited for beginners, intermediates and mixed ability groups. The ski area is characterized by wide, well-groomed pistes with much of the ski terrain below the tree line, although at the southern end of the ski area (Paludalpe), the Glattjochbahn chairlift takes skiers and boarders to the top station at 2,000m where there are several open, treeless pistes. Brandnertal’s ski slopes are mostly served by an efficient ski lift system and around 75% of slopes have artificial snow coverage. Snow conditions on the predominantly east facing slopes hold up very well during the ski season, which lasts from December until April.

Brandnertal’s 29 groomed runs total 55 km and comprise 14 blue runs (22 km), 14 red runs (30 km) and a single (3 km) black run. With all but one of 29 marked runs designated either red or blue the ski area is clearly best for beginners and intermediates . Advanced skiers would be happy here for a short break as the pistes are generally uncrowded and offer sufficient changes in pitch and direction to maintain interest.

First-time skiers are fortunate to have their own learner area in the centre of Brand complete with a slow moving draglift and magic carpet. This is perfect for young children before they venture onto the mountain. Once beginners have found their ski legs there are plenty of easy blue runs for beginners higher up the mountain including four blue runs at the top of the mountain in the Paludalpe area and an enjoyable blue run from the Faregglift across the ridge that connects Bűrserberg to Brand.

The designation of 14 red runs doesn’t tell the full story, as they include a handful of ‘red diamond’ runs, which are unpisted and are more suited to confident intermediates and advanced skiers and boarders, rather than early intermediates. The distribution of blue and red runs is fairly evenly spread between Brand and Burserberg and many red and blue runs are in close proximity to each other and leading to the same lifts, making it easy for mixed ability groups to ski together.

Most visitors to Brandertal choose to stay in Brand, the bigger of the two villages, and this is reflected by the amount of uphill transport in Brand. The Dorfbahn gondola is in the heart of the village, and access is by escalator – so no trudging and jostling your way up flights of stairs with cumbersome equipment!

The ski area is adequately served by a mostly modern high-speed lift system capable of carrying 17,000 riders per hour. There are a few older 2-man chairlifts which work adequately well most of the time, but which will soon be replaced by new high speed chairlifts to reduce queuing at peak times.

On mountain dining is varied with six mountain restaurants (4 in Brand and 2 in Burserberg), and with a ski route back to the centre of Brand, its easy to take lunch in resort if you prefer, then ride the Dorfbahn gondala back up to the ski area.

In addition to downhill skiing and boarding, other activities include at least two toboggan runs, one of which is 6 km long, as well as 72 km of cross country skiing, which includes a glorious 15 km circular route at 1,250 m at Tschengla (Burserberg). Add to that snow shoeing and an extensive winter walking paths and all the ingredients are in place for a traditional Austrian ski holiday.

Beginner Skiing in Brandnertal

Brandnertal is a good choice for first time skiers and boarders. There are nursery areas in the village of Brand and at the base of Bűrserberg, coupled with an excellent children’s learning programme.

In Brand village the Schedlerhof surface lift and nearby magic carpet give beginners their own area where they can learn the basics before heading up the mountain. Once on the mountain, the ski area includes plenty of gentle blue runs to help learners and to boost their confidence.

Always perfectly groomed, most of the blues are wide open tree lined slopes – a great advantage on those cloudy days when the light is flat. Two beginners runs stand out; blue run 1 off the Niggenkopfbahn in Brand meanders gently around the mountain and under the Dorfbahn before returning to the Niggenkopf. In Bűrserberg, the much shorter blue run 24 off the Tschengla surcface lift is wide and is slightly away from the other pistes, so is a run virtually reserved for beginners.

Brandnertal has a total of twelve blue runs totalling 22 km, and since the runs link well, there is no reason why beginners starting off in lessons with either of Brandnertal’s two ski schools cannot progress to ski intermediate red runs and enjoy exploring most of the 55 km ski area.

Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Brandnertal

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Intermediate Skiing in Brandnertal

The vast majority of Brandnertal’s 55 km of piste are designated red and blue, which is a happy coincidence for intermediate skiers as there is almost nowhere in the ski area which will be beyond their capability.

The well-groomed runs are varied in pitch and direction, and given the generally uncrowded nature of the slopes, Brandnertal delivers a quality ski experience.

The Bűrserberg side tends to be even less frequented than the Brand side and the long, wide blue run 26 off the Loischkopf lift (1,680m ) is a superb confidence builder and a lot of fun. This run brings you down to the Einhorn chairs, and en route refreshment can be taken at the charming Rufana Alp restaurant. With a dozen or so blue and red runs on the Bűrserberg side, served by four lifts. there is plenty of variety and with three mountain restaurants – Rufana Alp, Fuchsbau and Restaurant Ferienpark – an enjoyable skiing day will soon pass.

There are two ways to get from Bűrserberg to Brand; either ski to the Panoramabahn cable car on the blue run from Loischkopf, and enjoy a scenic ride across the ravine that divided the two parts of the ski area, or from the Faregglift surface lift, ski across on blue run 25. This is a gentle and scenic run (which may require some poling) across the ridge behind the ravine crossed by the cable car. As you ski across, the off-piste terrain on the left looks inviting but eventually leads to cliffs and must therefore be avoided. Once across the ridge, the run drops down to the Gulmabahn six passenger chair and voila – you are on the Brand pistes.

Before you head up the mountain, the run back to the Dorfbahn gondola station in the village is wide and perfectly groomed, and will stoke the skiing ego. Half way down, if you have a change of heart, take the Niggenkopf chair up to the Palud side of Brand. At the top of this lift there are two more mountain restaurants – the Niggenkopfstube and the wonderfully traditional Paludhutte. From here, ski across to the Glattjochbahn 6 seater chair lift which takes skiers to the highest point of the ski area at 2,000m. Here, unlike most of the Brandnertal, skiing is above the tree line and it is easy to pick your own way down, although there are marked pistes to follow as well. For a stiffer challenge, route 15 at the southern edge of the ski area is an unpisted red, that brings skiers back down to the Glattjochsbahn.

Advanced Skiing in Brandnertal

Brandnertal has much more for beginners and intermediates than advanced and expert skiers, but it isn’t without challenges, by any means. There’s easy off-piste skiing between the pistes and more difficult off-piste for experts beyond the main ski area.

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Brandnertal’s ski area is best for intermediates and beginners. There are just 3 km of piste designated black including the top section of Brandnertal’s longest run – the 5km run from Loischkopf in Burserberg to the base of the Einhornbahn (with a vertical drop of almost 1,000m).

There are also several off-piste options, including the black ski route 16 in the Lorenzital section of Brand which is a favourite of Brand’s free riders. Still on the Brand side, red routes 14 and 15 from the Glattjoch chairlift down to Palud lift in the valley offer more off-piste options, and over on the Burserberg side, the unpisted red route 17 starts at the Fuchsbau restaurant and leaving the main routes, drops down to Tschengla.

Advanced skiers will also find plenty of opportunity to ski deeper snow between the pistes and there are some interesting off-piste opportunities through the trees and beneath some chair lifts.

There are limited but challenging opportunities for more adventurous experts including a steep off-piste descent which is visible to the right as you approach the top of the 6-person Glattjochbahn chairlift, but it can only be reached by booting up from the top of the lift and should not be attempted without a local guide.

Similarly, good off-piste skiing can be seen beyond the main ski area and hence it’s not lift served, so you’ll need ski touring equipment as well as a guide to reach it, but the rewards are there for those willing and able to ski the back country.

Mountain Restaurants in Brandnertal

Brandnertal has seven on mountain restaurants,which for an uncrowded ski area with 55 km of piste, is an excellent ratio. Another pleasant surprise are the prices, which in Alpine terms are modest.

The Brandnertal ski area includes seven mountain restaurants. There are four mountain restaurants above Brand and three at Bűrserberg – a mix of mountain huts and larger (though not huge) self service style restaurants – offering hearty Austrian fare at modest prices.

Mountain Restaurants in Brand

For tradition and great views, the Palűdhűtte is the place to be. Inside it’s traditional Austrian, – all wood and low ceilings – and the popular outside bar seems to be open in all weathers. The nearby Niggenkopfstube is a functional self-service restaurant at the top of the chairlift.

There are two more restaurant options at the top of the Palud chairlift – the self-service Hubertus is probably the biggest restaurant on the mountain and is notable for its umbrella bar. Close by is the popular Berghof Melkboden – a bit too big to be described as a hut, but nevertheless is charming and characterful, and also has outdoor dining.

Tel: + 43 (0) 5559 390

SB Niggenkopfstuble
Tel: +43 (0) 5559 22450

Restaurant Hubertus
Tel: + 43 (0) 5559 490

Berghof Melkboden
Tel: + 43 (0) 5559 543298

Mountain Restaurants in Bűrserberg

The Fuchsbau at the base of the Loisch lift is a popular little hut, and for something more spacious try the self-service Einhornbahnstube at the confluence of the Einhorn lifts. Rufana Alp, which is on the piste towards the bottom of runs 22 and 26 is a popular restaurant and the perfect watering hole on that last run of the day back to your Bűrserberg base.

Restaurant Fuchsbau
Tel: + 43 (0) 664 5559 390

Restaurant Einhorn
Tel: N/a

Rufana Alp
Tel: + 43 (0) 664 528 2302


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