- SEASON START & END: mid September to early May (depending on Snow conditions)
- SKI ALTITUDE: Rettenbach Glacier 2675-3250m / Tiefenbach Glacier 2795-3249m) / Vertical Drop- 575m
- PISTES: 30% Beginner / 60% Intermediate / 10% Expert
- LIFTS: 10 (Gondola-3 / Chair lifts-2 / Drag lifts-5)
- SLOPES: 11 Pistes for a total of 34.5 KM
- SNOW: Guaranteed from October through to May (11km of pistes with snow-making)
- LIFT TICKET 2016/17 : Adult: €41.50 – €52 – 1 day
- LANGUAGE: German
- AIRPORT: Nearest airport is Innsbruck 88km (1:15 hours)
- TRAIN: Nearest station is Ötztal Bahnhof (1-1:30 hours)
The Town is pretty quiet in early season and one can sense that the place is ramping up in readiness for the winter. The town does feel a little like a long road with hotels and shops spread out along it. However, there are some great shops and bars along the main drag, just be careful crossing the busy road. It is a shame to see that the strip joints have moved in, not something I have ever equated with skiing! Apparently it has a bit of a name for active Apres Ski, but it is fairly quiet before the Winter season starts.
The Rettenbach Glacier and Tiefenbach Glacier in Solden are the perfect places to brush out the cobwebs of summer and celebrate the coming of Winter and all of the joys it brings with it; praise be to Ullr the Norse god of skiing for Glacial skiing. Both Glaciers are accessed by bus or car (with winter tires or snow chains) along an exciting winding 14km road from downtown Solden, with free parking at both destinations. Do not miss the turning out of town and end up in Obergurgl like we did! The base of each glacier is connected by the 1.7km long “Rosi Mittermeier Road Tunnel”. Alternatively one can park at the base of the Rettenbach Glacier and ski over the mountain though the piste tunnel at 3,204m.
The Teams at Solden work hard throughout the year to prepare the snow on the Glacier, from making snow in January and February, piling it up in May through June, covering it with white reflective fleece to store it over summer until it is uncovered in September when it is then spread across the pistes. Obviously any fresh snow is added to the mix. Open from Mid September the Glaciers are perfect for keen skiers to international ski teams training for the coming season. September through to the end of November can be my favourite time of year to ski, often with the odd blue sky and beautiful snow conditions.
Tiefenbach Glacier has gentle, rolling and very wide slopes perfect for beginners.
Rettenbach Glacier has little more challenging terrain with steeper north facing slopes.
There is one black piste on each Glacier, and I must say I had a lot of fun in perfect conditions on piste 31 on the Rettenbach Glacier; steep with short fast turns are a must.
-OFF PISTE –
Because this is glacial skiing, hidden crevasses can be in abundance, so it is recommended that one hires a mountain guide. More information can be found here.
Rettenbach Glacier 2675m-3250m & Tiefenbach Glacier 2795m-3249m / Vertical drop 575m
Total 34.5km of piste – 7 Blue (25.4 km) / 2 Red (5.4 km) / 2 Black (3.7 km)
Lift system 10 total -Gondola-3 / Chair lifts-2 / Drag lifts-5
The whole area has a fantastic lift system, and once you are up the mountain the views are breathtaking if the weather permits. Check out the viewing walkway at the top of the Tiefenbachbahn chairlift, where one can look across to the Pitztal glazier. The Rettenbach glacier is a little quieter due to less sun and slightly steep slopes but it does have a better selection of mountains restaurants and bars. However, the Tiefenbach glacier has slightly more seating capacity in its restaurants but the main restaurant does feel a little more a school canteen. Go check out all of the pistes from piste 39 (head skier’s right on the Tiefenbach Glacier) to the step and enjoyable Piste 31.
If staying in Solden we can recommend Hotel Das Central.