Hintertux Ski Resort
With a peak altitude of 3,250m, the Hintertux Glacier is one of the highest ski areas in Austria, offering all-year round skiing within an hour and a half of Innsbruck. Its runs are more extensive, varied and challenging than on most other glaciers, and there is more skiing down the valley at the other Zillertal resorts - most notably at Mayrhofen.
Hintertux is located at 1500m at the end of the Tux Valley, which is really just the uppermost section of the much larger Zillertal Valley. For skiers and boarders, Zillertal s famous because it has more ski runs than any other valley in the world, 580km in total – far more than any skier could get through in a week’s holiday. The skiing is split between several resorts, all linked by bus and sometimes by lift and piste as well, and all covered by the Zillertal Superski pass.
And whilst Hintertux is at the head of the valley, it’s not isolated. Just 10kms down the road, and only a 15 minute bus ride away is Tux-Lanersbach which is lift-linked to Mayrhofen, the largest of the Zillertal resorts. As it’s so easy to commute between the two areas, and most skiers want to ski in both, there is now a single name for the joint Mayrhofen-Lanersbach-Hintertux area: Zillertal 3000.
But Hintertux based skiers don’t have to take a bus down the valley to find good skiing, because above them is some of the best glacier skiing in the world. For experts there is a reasonably tough black piste, several marked but ungroomed ski routes and access to huge amounts of off-piste freeriding and ski touring if they hire a guide. For intermediates there are excellent red runs all around, including one on the south-facing Schlegeis glacier which can provide some much needed warmth, because everywhere else is not only very high but also predominantly north-facing – a perfect recipe for good snow but not always for comfort. Beginners have nursery slopes at village level and more extensive ones up the mountain at Sommerberg which require a lift pass. There is a good choice of ski schools and guides. Surprisingly for such a bleak place, the mountain restaurants are actually quite nice, but there are not a lot of them.
The village is really just a nondescript collection of hotels, low-rise apartment blocks, bars, ski hire outlets, a few basic shops and some simple restaurants. Some of these are located next to the lift but most are about 15 minutes’ walk away. The road comes to an end at Hintertux, so there is no through-traffic. Apres-ski is similarly basic and beer-fuelled but it can be quite lively: it starts at mid mountain in the afternoon and continues on in a few bars in the resort until late at night. There is much more choice in restaurants and nightlife down the valley at Mayrhofen and buses connecting the two resorts run until quite late at night.
And for a high mountain resort, Hintertux is easy to get to: airport transfers from Innsbruck take less than 90 minutes.
Ski Equipment Rental in Hintertux
There are a few equipment rental shops in Hintertux and some of the ones down the valley will do deliveries but they seldom negotiate on price if you just walk into them. ALPINRESORTS.com works with ski hire shops throughout the Zillertal valley and can secure discounts of up to 35% if you pre-book online
SKISET also has an outlet in Hintertux and offers discounts if you book ski hire in advance online
Hintertux Pros and Cons
+ The Zillertal valley has lots of skiing
+ Hintertux is snowsure
+ Good intermediate skiing locally
+ Good off-piste opportunities
– Basic nightlife
– Novices have to take lift up and down
– Bus-linked not lift-linked to the rest of Zillertal
– Cold bleak setting