Skiing in Innsbruck
Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck offers a choice of nine varied ski areas with a combined offering of 240km and 9,000 vertical metres of skiing and boarding for all abilities from beginner to expert including 140 pistes, 20 ski routes and four snowparks.
Innsbruck Ski Area Overview
Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck’s nine ski areas are served by 88 ski lifts including an imposing funicular and cable car ascent from Innsbruck city to the south-facing Nordkette, and an efficient free ski bus service for commuting between Innsbruck city centre and eight more ski areas to the south of the city; chiefly Patscherkopfl, Axamer Lizum, Schlick 2000 and more snowsure skiing at higher altitude at Stubai Glacier and Khutai. Some ski areas are exposed to wind from the south with high winds up to 150-160km at altitude sometimes causing some ski lifts to close temporarily or for a few days even!
With 20 ski routes, 18 black runs, 74 red runs and 48 blue runs the variety of ski terrain ranges from sublimely easy to seriously tough and the chance to enjoy fast downhill cruising on Patscherkopfl where Franz Klammer famously won gold in the 1976 Winter Olympics Downhill. There’s plenty of family-friendly skiing on offer, but Innsbruck as a base will appeal more to grown ups able to enjoy Innsbruck city life, history and culture to the full and to move quickly from one ski area to the next.
Nine distinct ski areas combined offer very diverse experiences. Ranging from 15km to 60km in extent with longest runs between 5 km to 7.5 km and widest possible variety of ski terrain from novice to expert depending on snow conditions. Where else in the Alps can you enjoy breath taking city views, in bound aircraft landing in the valley 1,700 m below then ski 40 degree south-facing slopes and 4.5km relaxing red run to base station, then hop in a taxi for a final 30-minute sprint to the airport? Or ski the 10km longest run from the Stubai Glacier Wildspitz top station (3,210 m) to the base station (1,750 m) then a mere 45-minute taxi ride to the airport?
Nordkette / Seegrube (860-2,300m)
The Nordkette is reached by a 21st century funicular mountain railway, which runs from the Congress station (just 400 meters from Innsbruck’s historic city centre) to Hungerburg, then cable car connections to Seegrube (1,950 m) and Hafelekar (2,300 m). The panoramic views of Innsbruck (575 m), the Inn valley and Southern Alps from the Restaurant Seegrube and hip sun terrace are truly breathtaking. The top lift station at Hafelekar offers more distant views and a choice of extremely steep off-piste descents for experts only, which are not to be underestimated. Small, but sweet with 1,440 metres vertical and 15km of challenging skiing including four ski routes, one black, four reds, a blue run and the Nordkette Skyline Snowpark, all south facing and offering magnificent views of the city. Easily skied in half a day and a “must visit” for skiers and non-skiers. Also home to some of the steepest mountain bike trails in the Alps in summer.
The closest of eight ski areas to the south of Innsbruck, the Patscherkopfl above Igls is a small family-friendly ski area with a choice of nine pistes (three reds and six blue runs) served by a cable car, two chairlifts and a handful of surface lifts. The runs are pleasantly wide, undulating and well groomed, but never boring. Ideal for beginners they are also wide enough for cruising safely at speed and for perfecting your carving technique with expert tuition available from the local ski school should you need it. Ski the 3.5km Olympic red run from the top immortalised by Franz Klammer’s victory in the 1976 Winter Olympics with a winning time just under 1 minute 46 seconds. The Schutzhaus Panorama Restaurant, originally a mountain refuge established over 150 years ago, is worth visiting and a good bolthole in bad weather. Situated just 8km / 15 minutes drive from Innsbruck with accommodation available locally in Igls.
Gunglezer is a small ski area above Tulfes offering 1,384 m vertical and 21km of skiing on easy red and blue runs, and for ski touring or hiking to the Glunglezer Hutte. Mainly for the convenience of locals, Gunglezer is not a priority for those visiting on a short ski break. 16km / 25 minutes drive from Innsbruck.
Axamer Lizum (1,580-2,340m)
With 760 m vertical and 22 pistes offering over 30km of mostly easy red and blue runs for intermediates and beginners with spectacular views of the Kalkkogel (chalk cliffs) to the south. There is snowpark for boarders and freestylers, good off-piste terrain between some pistes and ski touring tracks on the Kalkkogel reveal the ambitions and antics of some local experts. Proposals for a new ski lift connecting Axamer Lizum to Schlick 2000 are opposed by some on environmental grounds but likely to be granted sooner or later. About 21 km / 45 minutes drive from Innsbruck and the huge car park at the base station is evidence of the popularity of Axamer Lizum ski area for day visitors from Innsbruck and beyond.
A small ski area for locals with 850 metres vertical and 20km skiing including relatively steep red runs reached by gondola from Gotzens (or can ski over from Axamer Lizum) and easier blue runs and tobogganing accessed by gondola from Mutters. Just 7km / 13 minutes drive from Innsbruck to Mutters and 8km / 15 minutes drive to Gotzens.
Schlick 2000 (1,000-2,300m)
Schlick 2000 in Stubaital offers 1,300 meters vertical and 20km piste skiing for all abilities including interesting off-piste opportunities in good conditions. Marked pistes include eight blue runs, five red runs, three black runs and a marked ski route. Quiet and family-friendly Schlick 2000 is a useful alternative to the bigger and more popular Stubai Gletscher ski area at the far end of the Stubaier valley. Just 17km / 25 minutes drive from Innsbruck and with a accommodation available locally at Fulpmes,
Stubai Glacier (1,750-3,210m)
The biggest of nine ski areas commutable from Innsbruck, the Stubaier Gletscher ski area offers 1,460 metres vertical between 1,750 m and 3,210 m and 23 ski lifts serving 60km of skiing for all abilities including nine ski routes, three black runs, seven red runs and 11 blue runs. The highest and only glacier ski area in Olympia SkiWorld, the Stubai Glacier is open for skiing from October until May, but no longer for summer skiing due to environmental concerns. With a full range of accommodation in the nearby villages of Neustift and Fulpmes and dotted along the Stubai valley, the Stubai Glacier is both a stand alone ski destination and a must-ski day or more in any Innsbruck City & Ski experience. Approximately 40km / 55 minutes drive from Innsbruck City centre and just 45-minutes from the airport.
Kuhtai (2,020 – 2,520m)
One of the highest ski villages in Austria, Kuhtai is a purpose built ski resort now occupying the former hunting grounds of the Emperor Maximilian and home to the exclusive 5-star Hotel Jagdschloss Kuhtai, whose aristocratic owner Count Christian zu Stolberg-Stolberg carefully scrutinises each booking request before reservations can be confirmed. Just 500 metres vertical separate top and bottom lift stations and the 44 ski runs totalling nearly 40km in extent offer good skiing for all abilities including eight black runs, 29 red runs and seven blue runs served by 11 ski lifts. Located entirely above the tree line it offers great skiing and pleasing views on a blue ski powder day, but in poor weather it’s a bit exposed and under a cloudy grey ski the village looks distinctly ordinary, more industrial than alpine and unlikely to charm you unless hidden away in the Jagdschloss Kuhtai apart from the hoi polloi. Approx 40km / 55 minutes drive from Innsbruck.
Oberperfuss Rangger Kopfl (800-2,000m)
A small stand-alone ski area with 1,200 metres vertical and five lifts serving just 12 ski pistes totalling17km in extent including nine red runs and three blue runs. Also tobogganing from the Rosskogelhutte and from middle station at Stiglreith on a tree-lined descent to the base station at Oberperfuss. Easy family-friendly skiing, mainly for locals and just 16km / 20 minutes drive from Innsbruck.
Innsbruck Beginner Skiing
Innsbruck Intermediate Skiing
Innsbruck Advanced & Expert Skiing
Innsbruck Boarding & Freestyle
Innsbruck Mountain Restaurants