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Obertauern

Ski Resort Guide 2022/23

by Adam Attew

FACTS

SEASON START & END: Mid November until early May

SKI ALTITUDE IN METRES: 1,630 – 2,313m / Vertical Drop 683 m / Obertauern village  1,740 m

PISTES: 100km (61km Blue  / 35km Red / 4km Black)

LIFTS: 26 lifts (Gondola 1 / Gondola & Chair Hybrid 2 / Chair lift 17 / Drag lifts 5 / Magic Carpet 1) 10 entry points from Obertauern across the entire region make sure that riding up the mountain is always easy and relaxed at any time of the day. 

SNOW: Obertauern: 390 snow cannons / Obertauern is very lucky with natural snow.

LIFT TICKET 2022/23 Ski Pass:  Obertauern: 53 Euros – 1day / From 251.50 Euros – 6 days / passes longer than 1.5 days include skiing in Grosseck-Speiereck ski region in Mauterndorf / St. Michael im Lungau

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Obertauern Region 67 km

LANGUAGE:  German

AIRPORT: The nearest airports are Salzburg Airport (90km) / Klagenfurt Airport (140km). (affordable shuttle transfers to Obertauern from both) / Munich Airport (220km)

TRAIN:  The nearest train station is Radstadt (20km), from where you can take the bus to Obertauern.

SKI FACTS: Scientific study identifies Obertauern as Austria’s snowiest ski resort.
-In 1965 the Beatles filmed scenes from their movie ‘Help’ in Obertauern .
-Piste Gamsleiten 2 is one of Europe’s steepest slopes.

TOWN

The Ski resort of Obertauern is located 90km to the south of the city of Salzburg, in the very heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park along the Radstädter Tauernpass. The town has a history dating back to at least the 400 BC when the Celts used to snowboard the surrounding slopes, sorry I meant ‘farm’ the surrounding slopes. The Romans used the road over the Tauern Pass from Italy to Salzburg for trade purposes, allegedly transporting oysters in barrels and bringing salt to Italy from Salzburg. Along the wide open pass the town has evolved, spreading out along the main road with a huge selection of large hotels and well equipped winter sports shops. Another random historical event is when the Beatles filmed part of their movie ‘HELP!’ on the slopes of Obertauern; apparently no one knew who they were and they performed live here too, the only time the band ever performed in Austria! 

When it comes to accommodation in Obertauern we enjoyed staying at the 5 star Hotel Cinderella, a large labyrinth of a hotel with very well appointed ‘Diamond’ rooms and suites. True Ski-in/Ski-Out with the ski room delivering you straight out to the piste so you can ski straight back as well, via the Apres ski bars of course. It is also a perfect position for the night skiing too. If looking for some delicious cuisine head over to Mundwerk with its American diner style and large variety of drinks and dishes. If looking for some evening fun then take a taxi to Gnadenalm to sledge on the floodlit 1.5km run and finish with a Fondue in the Gnadenalm hut.

SKIING

Obertauern has been identified as Austria’s snowiest resort due to its altitude and location. The mountains create a natural bowl surrounding Obertauern, with a spherical panorama giving you a good view of all the surrounding mountains from the centre of town. This natural and very picturesque circle of mountains means that the resort consists of 100kms of pistes and 26 lifts constructed in a circle called the ‘Tauern Round’ which one can travel around in either direction- either clockwise on the ‘Red Round’ or anti-clockwise on the ‘Green Round’. With 10 entry points from the valley bottom, there are multiple ways to start your ski day in Obertauern. Obertauern is also well set up for most levels of skier too with a plethora of blue pistes to satisfy the beginner to a healthy amount of harder pistes to satisfy the advanced skier, including one of Europe’s steepest pistes. When it comes to restaurants on the piste, we recommend Kringsalm sat amongst a little hamlet which one can also drive to. We particularly liked Treff 2000 which has some of the best views of Obertauern, great location and even better cuisine, personally I loved the ribs. 

Activities that are really worth exploring are Snow Biking with Ski School Koch, it is really quick to learn if you can already ride a bike and ski. Mondays and Thursdays present the opportunity to night ski using the Edelweiss chairlift and 1500m of floodlit piste. The mountains in Obertauern are stunning at sunrise, so grab yourself a local guide and ski tour up to the Hundskogel at 2238 metres for sunrise, the views are second to none. In Late April, Obertauern also runs the Gamsleiten Kriterium, Austria’s biggest treasure hunt. The event has people from all over digging holes in the snow to find one of thirty treasure chests, the event culminates with a big party and a huge prize giving ceremony, with the first prize being a BMW car!

BEGINNERS- 

Obertauern has a huge collection of blue pistes served by the Edelweissbahn lift, like pistes #18a, #3g and #18c. Schaidbergbahn lift also delivers you to the long blue pistes #3b and  # 2b where you can experience the ‘Fairytale Forest’ a ski-through haunted house. 

INTERMEDIATE – 

Obertauern has many great long red pistes, our favourite lifts to hang out on were the Zehnerkarbahn lift with its various North facing pistes back down the mountain,. Seekarspitzbahn delivers a selection of great South and East facing pistes, with some stunning views to boot. Hundkogelbahn is a fun lift to play under too. 

ADVANCED- 

Head up to Piste #26a, Gamsleiten, one of the steepest pistes in Europe, it looks worse than it is to ski it. Hundkogelbahn has a great itinerary route on #4d – a long, sweeping and super steep ride. Itinerary route # 10b can be fun, but pick your moment as it can get busy.

ECOLOGY & SUSTAINABILITY

-Obertauern’s district heating plant serves 80 percent of the properties and businesses.

-Energy is created in a sustainable manner by utilising local firewood and wood waste.

-Obertauern has more than 100 charging stations for electric vehicles.

-Because of Obertauern’s ski-in/ski-out options, you won’t need a car or public transportation during your vacation.

– Obertauern’s electrical power is supplied by Austrian providers (for example, Salzburg AG), which provides almost 100% sustainable energy. (hydrodynamic power & wind power)

FACTBOX:

For more information on the resort of Obertauern visit online.

Obertauern is located in the region of SalzburgerLand, for more information on the region including other ski resorts such as Altenmarkt/Zauchensee and Leogang 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

Obertauern Piste Map

Author

  • Adam is equally at home in the mountains or ploughing through a rare steak with a side of G&T. With over 40 years skiing experience from ski touring to Giant Slalom, Adam is a BASI qualified Ski and Telemark instructor and is also a member of the prestigious Kandahar Ski Club. Despite the G&Ts; health and nutrition are a way of life for Adam who has lived Paleo or 'eating like a caveman' for over 15 years. When there is time aside from all of these antics he is also an accomplished Alpine Landscape artist specialising in winter scenes.

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