The Ski Resort
Together, the mountains Planai, Hochwurzen, Hauser Kaibling and Reiteralm form the “4-Berge-Skischaukel”-ski area. This convenient coalition means that skiers and snowboarders can explore the unique terrain offered up by each mountain with just one single ski pass, moving from one hill to another as they please.
A total of 123 km of trails offer up exhilarating runs for beginners, experts and connoisseurs alike.
The Reiteralm is the closest sub-area of the Skischaukel to the motorway, and it’s the perfect stomping ground for expert and ambitious skiers. Known locally as the “black quartet”, four black-marked runs with gradients of up to 80% supply a serious adrenaline kick here. Two of these, the Hahn´l Piste (no. 2) and Gasselhöhe-Abfahrt (no. 3a), start at 1850 m, the highest point in the ski area, before both plunge down towards the valley for around a kilometre of challenging descent. The Finale Grande (no. 4) and Steilhang Rauner (no. 10) round out this testy quartet. If you’d prefer something a little gentler, red-marked run number 11 and blue-marked run number 12 are ideal trails for carving some laid-back turns.
The Reiteralm links with Hochwurzen, the smallest of the four ski areas, via the Hochwurzen Basic Jet. The 22 km of trails on Hochwurzen primarily suit beginners and intermediate skiers thanks to their broad and often straightforward profile. The groomers Golden Line and Mittelabfahrt stand out as fun favourites.
To continue across the valley to Planai, you first have to unclip your skis briefly in Rohrmoos and hop on the ski bus to the valley station in Schladming. From here, you can hitch a ride with the Schladminger Planai-Bahn lift up into the heart of the Planai ski area. In recent years, the ski area has made its name by hosting the Ski World Cup as well as its annual floodlit races on the black-marked FIS World Cup course. In addition, 37 km of red-marked runs ensure that this ski area has plenty of challenges up its sleeve.
The most easterly and highest point in the Skischaukel is Hauser Kaibling, which tops out at 2015 m. This mountain offers generously-sized groomers and picturesque panoramic runs, with the Höfi-Abfahrt and Prenner-Talabfahrt particularly standing out. Discerning expert skiers won't be disappointed either – the FIS valley course is also a fixture on the Ladies World Cup Tour. Skiers can take the delightfully-named “die Schöne” (“the beautiful one”) run back over towards Planai, before hopping on the Sonneneckbahn which leads up the other side of the mountain.
- Offering 76 miles of slopes and terrain, 4 Berge Skischaukel is the largest ski resort in Styria.
- 4 Berge Skischaukel is among the 10 best rated Ski Resorts in Styria.
- It is among the 3 most family-friendly ski Resorts in Styria.
- Elevated between 2461 ft and 6611 ft, the Ski Resort is among the 10 highest elevated Ski Resorts in Styria. The vertical drop from summit to base is 4150 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in Austria is 2362 ft. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Average snow depth during the season is 44 " at summit elevation and 15 " at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 59 " at summit elevation and 18 " at the base. Therefore 4 Berge Skischaukel is among the 3 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in Styria.
- 4 Berge Skischaukel features 51 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in Austria is 52 sunny days. February is the sunniest month with an average of 13 sunny days.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
No matter whether you like your restaurants traditional and cosy or modern and stylish, there’s plenty to choose from in the 4-Berge-Skischaukel. No less than 56 ski lodges spread across the four mountains mean you won’t have far to go if hunger strikes.
On Reiteralm, the Jaga Stüberl is an obvious choice with delicious food made exclusively using local products. If it’s an attractive sundeck and panoramic views you’re after, then the Hochalm is probably your best bet.
The Hochwurzenalm is the first port of call on Hochwurzen for a cosy atmosphere and down-to-earth food, while the Seiterhütte offers the chance to sample home-made baking and cakes by a warming tiled stove.
On Planai, the operators of 13 lodges have come together to form a food association. The Genuss-Specht (“gourmet woodpecker”) is its symbol – synonymous with particularly high-quality food and a varied range of food and drink. The Schafalm is part of this association, and it offers its guests direct views of its livestock to accompany its delicious dishes.
Connoisseurs should look no further than the Krummholzhütte on Hauser Kaibling. As Austria’s number one gourmet mountain restaurant, it only cooks with regional produce and maintains a varied, tempting wine menu. If you prefer pizza and burgers on high, head for Platzhirsch at 1432 meters.
Each one of the four ski areas offers wonderful trails as well as some unique descents. Two sure-fire highlights are the FIS runs in Hauser Kaibling and Planai, which are even known as favourites among the pros. What could be better than testing your skills on the trail of world champions!? Discerning skiers will also no doubt enjoy the Gasselhöhe run on Reiteralm. From the ski area’s top-out point, this trail winds its way down into the valley over 2.5 km through red-marked terrain.
Schladming-Dachstein also has plenty to offer visitors away from the groomed ski slopes.
The 7 km natural sled run on Hochwurzen is one of the longest in this part of the Alps and is a particularly memorable experience at night. The course starts at 1860 m and then sweeps past several lodges before finding its way back down to the valley station.
For the more romantic among you, you could try a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy winter landscape from Rohrmoos.
If you prefer exploring the backcountry on your own two, there is a broad range of well-maintained winter walking paths in the region. These trails are of varying lengths, with some even passing through the heart of the ski area.
Nordic skiing fans can also look forward to around 60 km of cross-country ski trails in Rohrmoos and the nearby Obertal and Untertal. There’s also an excellent skating course located directly on the plateau.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
Some après ski fans come to this area just to party! No wonder, as Schladming is home to the Hohenhaustenne – Europe's largest après ski lodge with room for 1000 people across three floors. This bar comes alive and becomes a temple to all things après ski after dark. The Celtic Bar and Kuhstall on Hochwurzen a slightly more low-key locations, but still plenty of fun.
The Reiteralm also offers plenty of options for enjoying the evening after the mountain closes. The Sautrogalm, which advertises itself as “the smallest and cosiest lodge on Reiteralm” gets the après ski party started every day from 3 PM.
The WM-Arena at the valley station in Hauser Kaibling is also a great place to party until the early hours.
Dining and Restaurants
The region also has plenty to offer from a culinary point of view. The area prides itself on its excellent cuisine and its love of a cosy atmosphere, with plenty of restaurants and inns in the region dedicated to offering just that. Notable examples include Tischlerei and Johann in Schladming, both of which offer a creative combination of authentic regional fare and contemporary dishes. Hotel/Restaurant Reiter and KulmiNarium in Haus im Ennstal also serve with international delicacies combined with typically Austrian flair.
Infrastructure & Rental
By car: From the West, the ski area is easily accessible via the Munich-Salzburg motorway and then the Tauernautobahn. Exit the latter at the Ennstal junction before taking the B320 for the last 15 km to the ski area.
Alternatively, if you’re coming from the north you could take the motorway via Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau to Wels, before changing onto the Pyhrnautobahn. Take the Selzthal exit and then the B320 to Schladming.
By public transport: As the ski areas surrounding Schladming are all well connected to public transport networks, it is also possible to travel to the ski area by train via the Salzburg-Graz line. The nearest airports are in Salzburg (90 km), Linz and Graz (both approx. 155 km).