- From 2014/15: Black Mamba – the run with a gradient of 63%, Fun Line, Ski Tour Info Point
- From 2015: New lift Gletscherjet 3 + 4
Information on the ski resort Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun
Kitzsteinhorn is the only glacier ski area in Austria’s Salzburger Land region, and a place where you can clip into your skis from autumn onwards. The area offers some 41 kilometres of trails to discover, as well as five freeride routes for anyone keen to explore the powder. In winter, the Kitzsteinhorn ski pass is also valid for Zell am See – Kaprun.
On Kitzsteinhorn mountain itself, you have to take the Gletscherbahn I + II lifts to reach the highest point in the ski area and the so-called “Gletscherwelt 3000” zone, where you can continue your upwards journey with the Gipfelbahn lift. Although this glacier ski area lacks a practice lift for beginners, there are several gentle blue-marked runs on offer, such as the Rettenwandabfahrt and the lengthy Alpincenterabfahrt. In winter, beginners can instead hone their skills in the lower-lying Maiskogel area. 25 kilometres, or more than half of the trails overall, are marked red and therefore promise plenty of fun and exhilaration for proficient skiers. The Gletscherseeabfahrt, for instance, is the perfect place to carve some turns while enjoying incredible panoramic views.
The Kristallbahnabfahrt is also a favourite among skiers who prefer challenging runs. There are only two black-marked trails in the ski area – Maurerabfahrt I+II. However, expert skiers will find plenty of terrain to challenge them off-piste on the Kitzsteinhorn – it has very much earned its reputation as one of the most popular freeride destinations in all of the Alps. Directly next to the lifts, there are five off-piste routes of differing difficulty, such as the relatively challenging Pipe Line, which, although short, is very bumpy and requires plenty of balance. The Jump Run is another tough route requiring nerves of steel. If you prefer to find your own lines, you can find out where it is safe to do so at the Freeride Information Base between the Gletscherjet II and Langwiedbahn lifts. You can also learn to correctly use avalanche search devices and freeride accessories in the avalanche search area.
The ski area’s legendary terrain park is also well worth a mention. In the Glacier Park at 2,900 metres, you can already practice your tricks from as early as September onwards. In total, there are 22 features here spread between beginner and advanced level obstacles. The park even has its own shaping crew to ensure that it’s always in immaculate condition.
On Mountain Dining
With all of this great terrain, it won’t be long until you work up a healthy appetite! We can certainly recommend the schnitzel served at the foot of the Gipfelbahn in the Gletschermühle. This mountain restaurant exudes authentic Alpine charm and is known locally for its delicious regional fare. The Krefelderhütte is located next to the Langwiedabfahrt, and the DAV Schutzhaus not only serves food, but also offers beds for the night. The Häuslalm, located on the Langwiedboden, is the first point of call for anyone looking to get the après-ski party started on the mountain.
If you switch from the Alpincenterabfahrt to the Langwiedabfahrt run, you can ski all the way down from the peak to the Langwiedboden, enjoying a long and exhilarating run as you go.
No visit to the Kitzsteinhorn would be complete without a visit to the Gipfelwelt 3000. High up above 3,000 metres, this zone boasts several different attractions. When you arrive on top of the mountain, you can pass through a 360-metre tunnel which has been dug into the peak of the Kitzsteinhorn. As you pass through the tunnel, you can learn lots of interesting facts about the mountains of the Hohe Tauern region, including how they were created, their crystal deposits and the permafrost in the ground. As soon as you reach the end of the tunnel, you can step out onto the panoramic Top of Salzburg platform. The views over the Limestone Alps, Lake Zell and the Kapruner Valley are quite simply stunning. What’s more, you can even visit a cinema on the glacier! In Cinema 3000, you can enjoy spectacular views over the landscape and insights into animals that live in the region around the Kitzsteinhorn. If you’d prefer something a little more action-packed, you can take the shuttle down to the Gletscherplateau and Ice Arena. In summer, this is ideal walking country and even allows sledding all year round. And if you need a break, the Schneestrand is a great place to unwind.
Après Ski Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun
The Häuslalm in the Langwiedboden area is the number one spot on the glacier for après-ski. If you want to continue the party after the mountain closes, there are numerous pubs, bars and discos in Zell am See and Kaprun – two towns certainly known for their nightlife. Popular spots include the Baumbar-Reiteralm, Beach Club Zell am See, Flannigans Irish Pub and the table-dance bar Hips.
Fine Dining and Restaurants
At the Gipfel Restaurant, situated at an altitude of 3,029 metres, star chefs join forces twice a year to treat guests to culinary delights under the banner “Hochgenuss”. There is also a wide range of excellent restaurants to choose from in Zell am See and Kaprun. The Steinerwirt offers up classical Austrian cuisine, while at Restaurant Feinschmeck, which translates as “restaurant connoisseur”, the name says it all. At Gasthof Seestrand you can not only eat well, but also enjoy breath-taking views out over the lake. And if you are looking for something a little more basic, such as pizza or pasta, there are also plenty of good-value establishments dotted throughout Zell am See and Kaprun.
Kitzsteinhorn is around 2 1/2 hours from Munich. To make the journey by road, take the A 8 towards Salzburg, then keep right at the Inntal junction and follow signs for the A 93. Leave this road at the Oberaudorf exit and continue on towards Niederaudorf, following the B 178 until you reach Kaprun.
Zell am See is also conveniently accessible by rail. Free buses take skiers and snowboarders from the train to the valley station of the lifts free-of-charge.
The nearest airport is in Salzburg. Various shuttle services offer skiers who fly in ideal access to the Kitzsteinhorn.