Skiing in Heiligenblut

Grossglockner Ski Area Overview

The usually snow-sure slopes rise to nearly 2,900m, giving this lofty ski area a respectable vertical of 1,700m, with skiing spread across three peaks – Viehbuhel (2,420m), Schareck (2,604m) and Hochfleiss (2,902m) – offering a choice of four blue runs, eight red runs, one black run, four marked si routes (controlled) and a wealth of off-piste.

Many of the groomed runs are satisfyingly long. From the top of the Schareck gondola combining the Fallbichlabfahrt ski route, the Kasereck ski route and finally the Talabfahrt slope from the gondola middle station back to the village can give a wonderful run of nearly 9km.

On the far left of the ski area, the Viehbuhel lift gives intermediates the chance to enjoy some high-level blue cruising. To the far right of the ski area as viewed from the village the Fleissbahn four-person chair, topped by the Hochfleiss draglift, takes you to the highest point at 2900-metres. From here some steep red runs take you back to Fleissalm.

The Fallbichl black variation, often mogulled and challenging, is one to look out for accessed from Schareck. The Tauern blue run gives some of the best views into the Fleiss Valley and the Weissen blue run is a beautiful wide piste from the top of the Fleiss chairlift.

On-piste skiers will find the ski area more enjoyable than challenging in good conditions and confident intermediate and advanced skiers can easily ski all eight pistes in a single day and with only one black run and four red ski routes. However, the extensive off-piste terrain for freeriders includes difficult terrain for experts as well as easier slopes for newcomers to off-piste and a ski culture that declares itself as “absolutely freeride-friendly”.

Grossglockner Freeriding Arena covers 1500 hectares of high Alpine terrain almost entirely above the treeline and is snowboard-friendly. 

Advanced & Expert Skiing at Grossglockner 

Experienced skiers and boarders will have no difficulty skiing the Grossglockner’s 55km of mostly wide well-groomed slopes in a day or two – just one black run, 8 red runs and four blue runs – in addition to there are four marked ski routes within the main ski area and secured against avalanches. None of these are particularly difficult but skiing ungroomed slopes well in all conditions requires higher levels of fitness and skill.

Grossglockner’s attractions include a wealth of off-piste for advanced and expert skiers. The local culture promotes freeriding and ski touring supported by good safety training, tuition where needed and one of the oldest guiding associations in the Alps. It’s also much less crowded than internationally renowned ski resorts.

Grossglockner Freeride Arena.

Think… Austria’s highest mountain, the biggest nature park in the Alps, 30 peaks over 3,000m, incredible powder, local culture that is freeride-friendly and experienced guides to help keep you safe off-piste and help you find the best terrain.

The Freeride Checkpoint at Rossbach mid-station is a free service allowing you to check current and forecast weather conditions, open and closed runs and avalanche risk, and to test your avalanche transceiver – essential if you value your safety off-piste! If venturing off-piste you ski at your own risk and are liable for your actions so a local guide is recommended.

Heiligenblut’s Freeride Arena comprises six sectors offering deep snow skiing on entirely natural terrain, which is not patrolled, not secured against avalanches and not marked other than being designated on the ski map by colour-shaded areas A to F.

Shareck (A): “Is rideable from nearly all sides. If you avoid the east side off ski route number 2 (Fleisstal) and the avalanche barriers it offers easy runs”;

Fallbichl (B): “Is steep terrain with many cliffs that invite for some drop-offs during the run; pay attention to the avalanche situation!”;

Viehbuhel (C): “Due to its high altitude these slopes are guaranteed to have snow during the whole As long as the risk of avalanches is low, these slopes offer good rides”;

Fleissalm (D): “Most varied with steep and Alpine terrain in the upper section and long smooth pastures in the lower ones, descents in the wildlife preserve strictly prohibited!”;

Tauerntal (E): “Challenging terrain; descents require a lot of experience and good orientation, some sections with a high risk of avalanches”; and

Tal-Runs (F) “In this very challenging terrain a ski guide is [especially] recommended and descents in the wildlife preserve are strictly prohibited!”

Grossglockner Mountain Restaurants

The Grossglockner ski area has 10 mountain restaurants and Wallackhaus (#1), Spatzalm (#3), Schistadl Tauernberg (#7) and Fleissalm (#9) are our favourite lunch spots.

Wallackhaus, off the blue Viehbuhel run number 8, is a relatively high-end type of hut and serves excellent food. Spatzlalm is a traditional mountain hut with a characterful, cosy interior and a popular sun terrace. Schareck has the most fabulous views and Schistadl Tauernberg also offers great panoramic views and an authentic atmosphere while the Fleissalm is noted for Carinthian specialities. The Skischmankerln is a lively après-ski bar at the Rossbach middle station.

Prices are very reasonable and affordable even if skiing on a relatively tight budget. Most of the mountain restaurants offer a good selection of soup dishes, traditional main courses and desserts including favourites such as Gulaschsuppe, Wiener Schnitzel and Kaiserschmarren as well as regional specialities and ubiquitous burgers, frankfurters and fries without breaking the bank. Likewise, wine lists are mostly for everyday drinking, but fine wine lovers are also adequately catered for.

Bergasthof Wallackhaus #1

A cosy, newly renovated mountain restaurant at 2300m located directly on ski piste number 8 (a blue run) with a sun terrace and guest rooms. Tel: +43 4824 2223

Panorama Restaurant Schareck #2

A restaurant at 2600m with regional cuisine, a sun terrace and a special room for small groups. Tel: +43 4824 2288-57

Spatzalm #3

A traditional mountain hut with a charming wooden interior and brass instruments hanging from the walls. Located on the Schareck downhill, only accessible by skiers, with a spacious sun terrace with terrific high alpine views. A good spot for pit stops, for lunch and sun worshippers. Tel: +43 664 92 20 912

Skistadl #4

A quaint ski hut on Tauernberg at 2100m with a sun terrace and beautiful views of the Grossglockner. Tel: +43 664 11 22 827

Almrausch Huttn #5

An umbrella bar with a small terrace at the Rossbach Glocknerblick middle station. Good enough for a quick pit stop or to shelter in a whiteout. Tel: +43 650 21 29 802

Ski Hutte Rossbach Klause #6

A basic restaurant with a small sun terrace located next to the Rossbach Glocknerblick middle station, offering traditional homely cuisine. Tel: +43 664 35 22 690.

Gasthof Schistadl Tauernalm #7

A cosy guesthouse at the bottom of the Tauernberg T-bar ski lift with a large sun terrace and guest rooms. Tel: +43 4824 2059.

Fleisskuchl #8

A small rustic hut near the bottom of the Fleissbahn chairlift 1809m with a large sun terrace, and good mountain food. Tel: +43 664 50 78 069.

Skihutte Fleisalm #9

Located at the valley station Fleissalm 1809m with a fantastic large sun terrace. Tel: +43 4824 2532.

Gamstadl Hutte #10

In Fleiss located directly on the ski piste number 12 (a red run) with a large sun terrace.
Tel: +43 660 51 81 707.

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