Skiing in Wildschonau

Wildschonau Ski Areas

The Wildschonau ski area was connected by a high-speed gondola to Alpbachtal in 2012. The enlarged family-friendly ski area, marketed as “Ski Juwel”, extends 145 km including 32 km of blue runs, 78 km of red runs, 18 km of black runs and 17 km of ski routes; 47 ski lifts, free ski buses and one lift pass valid for all lifts.

Alpbachtal-Wildschonau “Ski Juwel” Ski Region Overview

The new 145km Ski Juwel region comprises 82 km of skiing in Wildschonau and 63 km in Alpbachtal. The three ski areas in Wildschonau – Niederau, Oberau and Auffach – are connected by a frequent free ski bus service, with a similar free bus service connecting villages in Alpbachtal.

In 2012 the ski areas at Auffach and Alpbach were connected by an important new two-stage gondola from the Schatzberg down to Inneralpbach, doubling the size of the ski area available to skiers in each valley from 55km each to a combined 110km. The newly connected ski areas include 20km of blue runs, 61km of red runs, 12km of black runs and 17km of ski routes. There is also plenty of easily accessible off-piste terrain above and below the treeline which stays untracked for far longer than in busier better-known resorts.

The next biggest area in Wildschonau is the relatively small ski area at Niederau, with excellent nursery slopes down in the valley and 24 km on mountain, most of which is ideal for first-time beginners on easy confidence-boosting blue runs progressing to easy red runs, but also including a few black runs and some enjoyable and more testing off-piste descents on north facing slopes and following the fall line through the trees from 1,500m to 828m.

The pretty village of Oberau is conveniently located roughly halfway between Niederau and Auffach with a tiny ski area for novices and the convenience of locals.

Ski Area Total Blue Red Black Ski Routes
Niederau 24km 6km 12km 6km
Oberau 3km 2km 1km
Auffach 55km 7km 33km 6km 9km
Wildschonau 82km 15km 46km 12km 9km
Alpbach 55km 13km 28km 6km 8km
Reith 6km 2km 4km
Kramsach 2km 2km
Alpbachtal 63km 17km 32km 6km 8km
Ski Jewel 145km 32km 78km 18km 17km

Race ‘n Board Arena in Niederau

Niederau’s new Race ‘n Boarder Arena served by a drag lift on Tennladen is where skiing in the Wildschonau started in 1950. Five different courses for race training include slalom and giant slalom courses, a special course for boarders and professional instruction from race-experienced international trainers. There’s also a speed track for timed contests amateurs and professionals and a giant slalom race for guests every Friday night in season. Tel: +43 676 541 0253. There’s no deep snow and no moguls, but from a technical perspective, the Race ‘n Boarder Arena is a great place to test your ability to ski gates, carving from edge to edge at speed and skiing the course well is a challenge even for advanced skiers.

Wildschonau Advanced Skiing

The Ski Juwel ski region has eight black pistes, three at Alpbach and five in Wildschonau and 17km of ski routes increasing the advanced ski terrain from 14 km to 31 km. There is plenty of easily accessible off-piste in the ski areas above Auffach and Alpbach, which are now lift-connected.

Advanced skiing in Niederau

Though best known as a beginners’ ski resort, Niederau’s small ski area includes interesting opportunities for advanced skiers including the testing FIS race course (red #23) from the top of the Mittermoosjoch draglift and the Race ‘n Boarder Arena for technical training in Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom.  The 3km long black runs #16 and #15 from the top of the Lanerkopfl chairlift (1,800m) via the Hochberg run down to Niederau (828m) are great fun and worth repeating especially after a heavy snowfall when freeriding options are also presented.

The best challenges for advanced skiers in Niederau are ski routes #1 and #2 from the top of the Markbachjoch gondola.  The first of these is a long and narrow straight-line descent directly beneath the path of the gondola; nearly 2km long and over 600m vertical the average gradient is over 30 degrees off-piste – you can stop and rest if you need to, but once committed there’s no escape part way down. Ski route #2 is similarly direct though wider and a little less steep, but challenging including plenty of sudden changes in gradient to throw you off balance and great fun to ski or ride in deep powder.

After fresh snowfall there also are plenty of opportunities to ski in deeper snow off-piste next to many easy pistes with an easy way back to terra firma and difficult off-piste with no escape routes directly beneath the 1,850m long Lanerkopfl chairlift, but beware of tree stumps hidden beneath the snow so keep your speed in check.

After a fresh dump of snow, you’ll see plenty of fresh tracks heading off-piste then disappearing from view into the trees and it is best to arrange for an instructor to guide you instead of blindly following others’ tracks.

Advanced skiing in Oberau

Oberau’s tiny ski area, just 4km of piste skiing served by four drag lifts, is mainly for the convenience of local school children. The only black run in Oberau just 1km long is unmemorable apart from pretty views and barely worth skiing unless you need to tick off all of Wildschonau’s black runs.

Advanced skiing in Auffach

Though the Schatzberg ski area features only one short black run (#7) on the way down to the bottom of the Hahnkopfbahn chairlift, there’s plenty of excellent skiing (33km) on Schatberg’s exceptionally well-groomed red runs, reds #2 and #1 especially, which will also appeal to advanced skiers.

Also lots of easily accessible off-piste terrain between the slopes including an inviting and challenging opportunity off-piste beneath the path of the gondola cut between the trees and plenty more opportunities for guided skiing off-piste beyond the main ski area. Ski route #3 snakes its way down from Schatzberg along an easy treelined route with beautiful views to the picturesque village of Thierbach where you can arrange for a taxi to meet you.

There’s ski touring and an off-piste area between Schatzberg (1,903m) and Joel (1,968m), also on the Lampersberg and Lanerkopfl in Niederau, and qualified mountain guides are available through the ski schools. Organised tours are arranged on Wednesday and Saturday, weather permitting.

Wildschonau Mountain Restaurants

Wildschonau features 10 or more mountain restaurants and plenty more mountain restaurants on Wiedersberger Horn in Alpbachtal.

Niederau Mountain Restaurants 

Skiers in Niederau have a choice of four restaurants for on-mountain dining and ten or more restaurants in the village, only a stone’s throw or a short walk from the Markbachjoch gondola base station.

Anton-Graf Hut Niederau – located at the bottom of the Hochberg run; serves Tirolean specialities. It also has accommodation in dormitories for up to 42 guests. Tel: +43 664 5874415

Berghof Niederau – located right next to the gondola; Tirolean dishes including beef and pork specials, and homecured ham. Accommodation for up to 100 people. Tel: +43 5339 8221.

Rübezahl Hut Niederau – a cosy wooden hut at the top of the Markbachjoch gondola; serving local dishes and with a large terrace, deck chairs and a giant wooden barrel hot tub for relaxing after skiing. Tel: +43 5339 8324.

Mittermoosen Alm Niederau – located on the mountain: serves farm produce and light snacks. There’s also a petting zoo for children. Tel: +43 664 126 8160.

Oberau Mountain Restaurants 

A pretty village in the heart of the Wildschonau, Oberau is roughly equidistant between the main ski areas at Niederau and Auufach. While off-radar for most skiers, the beginners’ ski area at Roggenboden just outside Oberau includes a restaurant for dining and a small hut for snacks. The Gasthof Kellerwirt in Oberau is an 800-year-old coaching inn, recently refurbished. It’s well worth visiting for lunch or dinner, no matter where in the Wildschonau you are staying. 

Riedlhof Oberau – located at Roggenboden ski area; the Riedlhof serves giant Wienerschnitzel, so big the fries are hidden underneath and a favourite to win any biggest schnitzel contest. Tel: +43 5339 8882.

Roßkopfhütte Oberau – located at Roggenboden ski area; a small hut serving snacks and drinks. Tel: +43 5339 2624

Landgasthof Dorferwirt Oberau – located in the village; Traditional Tirolean and international dishes prepared from own farm produce including roast suckling pig every Tuesday and live music daily. Tel: +43 5339 8113.

Gasthof Kellerwirt Oberau – located in the village opposite the church; serving seasonal Tirolean and Austrian specialities made from local ingredients, Ice creams, homemade cakes and a good wine list. Tel: +43 5339 8116

Reini´s Ess-Bar Oberau – located in the village; it is open from 11 am on Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10 am Sundays, and offers an extensive selection of homemade pasta and Austrian dishes. Tel: +43 650 324 3007.

Auffach Mountain Restaurants

The Schatzberg ski area above Auffach, the biggest ski area in the Wildschonau valley, offers a good selection of restaurants and huts on mountain and some good hotel restaurants just a short walk from the gondola base station. Better still, Wildschonau’s Schatzberg ski area is now lift-connected to Alpbachtal, more than doubling the number of mountain restaurants as well as doubling the number of piste kilometres.

Shatzbergalm Auffach – warm meals available all day. Homemade cakes and gateaux, fresh summer salads and Tirolean specialities, self-service with large terrace and apres ski bar. Tel: +43 5339 8835.

Gipfo Hit Auffach – located at the top of the gondola; serves specialities of the region, waitress service, bar and large terrace, open evenings at weekends, but closed in bad weather. Tel: +43 664 13 00 871.

Koglmoos Auffach – located at the gondola mid-station; a self-service restaurant, different types of knödel, pancakes and specialities of the region are served until 4 pm. Large sun terrace. Tel: +43 5339 8889.

Grutt’n Bar Auffach – located at the bottom of the ski slope opposite the gondola base station; homemade cakes, ice creams and snacks from 12 pm, apres ski bar from 4 pm.

Cafe Martin Auffach – located in the village; light meals and pizza are served from 6 pm. Tel: +43 5339 8855

Auffacherhof Auffach – located in the village; reasonably priced daily lunch menus; including fresh trout, steak, and beef dishes made from own farm produce. Tel: +43 5339 8837

Platz Auffach – located in the village; house specialities include chicken, seafood and delicious desserts. Tel: +43 5339 8928.

Gasthof Weissbacher Auffach – located at the uphill end of the village; warm Tirolean specialities, seniors specials and homemade cakes served all day, indoors or on the south-facing sun terrace. Tel: +43 5339 8934.

Gasthof Schonangeralm near Auffach – located on the high Schonanger meadow some distance – a sleigh-ride – from Auffach; open all day and serves local dishes including cheese from own dairy. Tel: +43 664 326 7616.

Alpbach Mountain Restaurants

Skiers and boarders in the Wildschonau now have access to a good selection of mountain restaurants on the Wieders Horn in Alpbachtal, which is connected to Wildschonau by the gondola between Schatzberg and Inneralpbach.

Bogalm Tel: +43 664 325 49 19

Kolberhof Tel: +43 5336 5334

Almhof Tel: +43 5336 5379

Liftstuberl Tel: +43 5336 5255

Asthutte Tel: +43 699 127 40 630

Wiedersbergerhorn Hutte Tel: +43 664 548 84 94

Berggasthof Hornboden Tel: +43 5336 5366 24

Dauerstoa Alm Tel: +43 664 105 19 29

Umbrella Six Pub Tel: +43 5336 5610

Joe’s Saletti Tel: +43 699 111 68 992


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