LOCAL AREA: Hochzillertal & Hochfügen ski resort
SEASON START & END: Early December to mid April
SKI ALTITUDE IN METRES: 560m-2.400m / Vertical Drop- 1840m
PISTES: 35% Beginner / 48% Intermediate / 17% Expert // 85.6 km of pistes (29.7km Blue / 41.3km Red / 14.6km Black)
LIFTS: 39 (Cable cars 6 / Chair lift 11 / Drag Lifts 19 / lifts for kids 3)
SNOW: around 360 snow cannons
LIFT TICKET 2022/23: Adult Local Resort: 65 Euros – 1 day / 315 Euros – 6 days
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: 53 km of trails
AIRPORT: Innsbruck 58 km / Salzburg 154 km / München 180 km
TRAIN: Kaltenbach-Stumm train station. You can catch the high-speed train direct to Innsbruck and get off the train in Jenbach, where you change to the Zillertalbahn train or the bus. See online more info.
SKI FACTS: Located just a few minutes’ drive from the Inn Valley, the resort of Hochzillertal-Hochfügen in the Zillertal Valley is a snow sure winter sports destination that can be accessed from the village of Kaltenbach or from the village of Hochfügen at 1,500m. The many blue, red and black slopes stretch from 560m all the way up to almost 2,400m, while freeriders can head even higher up to the peaks overlooking the resort.
The Ziller Valley is easy to reach from Innsbruck, and once in the valley there are plenty of other ski resorts to visit like Mayrhofen, Hintertux, Tux, Zell am Ziller and Gerlos. A wide valley running mostly North to South and overlooked by many peaks over 3000 metres, the region receives a lot of sun. To ski Hochzillertal one has the choice to stay in several different villages and towns in the valley. Kaltenbach is the main village close to the base station, it is a small place so Apres ski takes place at the base station. We stayed in the charming Uderns at the 4 star superior Hotel Wöscherhof; surrounded by farms and open grassland this is a lovely family hotel and the top floor spa has spectacular views over the village and mountains.
With plenty of parking at Kaltenbach and a very large base station, this was our entry point to the mountain, but one can drive up to Hochfügen and access the skiing area from there as well. Once the efficient lift system delivers you up to the top, one can see for miles and miles, a guide is handy at this point; our guide Henrik, a local Dane, showed us around the pistes pointing out various mountains and other local ski resorts dotted along the Zillertal valley. The terrain will pretty much satisfy all levels of skier, with a huge selection of long, wide and rolling blue and red pistes perfect for carving and some steeper more technical black pistes too. There is even quite a large collection of unprepared pistes too (look for the black dotted line on the map). One can also venture over to the Hochfügen area, where there are even more unprepared pistes to keep those freeriders happy and a good amount of every other pistes too.
There seem to be mountain restaurants everywhere you go, all with outstanding views across the Zillertal region. Our particular favourite was Wedelhütte, with truly stunning views from the terrace or cosy dining inside the restaurant. One can even stay the night up here to experience their gourmet cuisine and the highest vaulted wine cellar in the Alps.
One can take the Hochzillertal 1 & 2 or 3 up to the Zentralstation, from here there are various routes on the blue piste 14 Anfängerpisten Marendalm serviced by several drag lifts. Get your mojo here and then go explore the rest of the mountain; but maybe take the gondola back down at the end of the day because the last piste down can get busy and bumpy.
This is the stuff dreams are made of, get to the top and feel on top of the world. I do not know what it was, perhaps the shape of the mountains, the size of the pistes, the beautiful snow conditions or the deep blue sky but skiing the blue and red pistes in Hochzillertal was magical. Before lunch at the Wedelhütte we loved skiing the red and black pistes under the 13 Wedelexpress chair lift.
There are several Black pistes spread throughout Hochzillertal, most of them are pretty long so make sure to fill up on Kaiserschmarrn. They are generally parallel to red pistes which meet at the bottom, so groups can split up and meet at the bottom depending on ski level. Like the black pistes the unprepared pistes are spread throughout the resort with many to be found over at Hochfügen. On a fresh powder day and with local mountain guide I can imagine these would be heaven.
For more information on Hochzillertal visit online. Hochzillertal is located in the region of Tyrol, for more information on the region including other ski resorts such as Hintertux and Mayrhofen please visit their website online.
The Bespoke Black Book travelled with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle to get to the Austrian Alps. Book your trip with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle from as little as £87 per vehicle (up to 9 passengers) each way for a Short Stay Saver ticket (valid for 5 calendar days) or £110 per vehicle (up to 9 passengers) for a Standard ticket (for any duration). Alternatively travel in style with one way £269 per vehicle (up to 9 passengers) for a Flexiplus ticket, turn up any time and get on the next available train, and access to the club lounge (for any duration). You can also take your pet from just £22 each way. For more information or to book see online at www.eurotunnel.com