Premiere in Hochgurgl: The Ski World Cup is here for the first time on November 18 for a men's World Cup slalom.
The Ski Resort
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is at the far end of the Ötztal Valley in Tyrol and is one of the valley’s largest resorts. As the name suggests, the ski area is made up of the two sub-areas Obergurgl and Hochgurgl, which are interconnected by the Top Express.
The “diamond of the Alps” has made its name as one of Austria’s most snow-certain ski areas and is often the nation’s first ski area to open its doors every autumn after the glacier resorts. This is not only due to the north-facing orientation of the mountainside but also the high altitude of the ski area between 1,800 and 3,080 metres. And if snow is in short supply, which is pretty unlikely here, 99% of the runs are served by snowmaking. There are no less than 112 kilometres of runs to explore here as well as 25 lifts. No wonder then that Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is synonymous with top-notch skiing. The runs are very diverse, and there’s something for skiers of all levels.
Obergurgl is a great place for beginners. There is an ideal beginners’ area here with a practice lift away from the hustle and bustle of the slopes. One particularly exciting feature for beginners is the chance to ski through a small stone pine forest. Youngsters will also feel at home at Bobos Kinderclub. When children are ready to advance to the mountain proper, they will have their pick from numerous blue-marked runs spread across the entire ski area. As a result, beginners and families can spread their wings and aren’t restricted to one section of the ski area.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is a real paradise for advanced skiers and experts. After jumping out of the highest lift with a view of 21 peaks exceeding 3,000m, skiers can then carve some turns on the immaculate high-level groomers. The most notable runs are from Hohe Mut in Obergurgl and the valley run to Pill in Hochgurgl. And with 20 kilometres of black-marked trails, there is also plenty of challenges for experts here. On top of that, there are numerous options in the ski area for taking to the powder away from the marked trails. Off-piste ski routes offer guidance in various parts of the ski area, and there is a permanent mogul run on the trail from Hohe Mut to Gaisberg.
- Obergurgl Hochgurgl is among the 10 best rated Ski Resorts in Austria.
- It is among the 10 most family-friendly ski Resorts in Tyrol.
- Elevated between 5883 ft and 10105 ft, the Ski Resort is among the 10 highest elevated Ski Resorts in Austria. The vertical drop from summit to base is 4222 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in Austria is 2369 ft. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Average snow depth during the season is 61 " at summit elevation and 22 " at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during January, offering an average snow depth of 71 " at summit elevation and 28 " at the base. Therefore Obergurgl Hochgurgl is among the 10 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in Austria.
- Obergurgl Hochgurgl features 84 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in Austria is 72 sunny days. March is the sunniest month with an average of 25 sunny days. This makes the ski resort one of the 5 sunniest in Tyrol.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
There are 11 lodges and mountain restaurants dotted across the resort. These range from traditional lodges with table service and self-service restaurants to umbrella bars for a quick drink and a snack. The Top Mountain Star is an undoubted highlight in this respect. At 3,080 metres above sea level, the viewing platform and panoramic bar are quite simply astonishing. Expect breath-taking views over the Ötztaler Alps, extending all the way to the Dolomites. Despite the futuristic architecture, the building is nicely integrated into the mountainside and a great place to unwind.
Foodies should definitely give the Hohe Mut Alm a try. It offers Tirolean specialities right out of the top draw: Kaspressknödel, Tiroler Gröstl, Kasnocken and many more favourites are served in rustic surroundings. The view of 21 3,000m peaks comes as standard! The large sundeck here is without down one of the top highlights in the ski area, if not the entire region. If you enjoy après-ski fun, then Arnold’s Schirmbar in Hochgurgl or the Festkogel-Alm are the places to head for.
Via trails 29, 28, 26, 25, 32 and 33, you can descend from Wurmkogel (3,082 metres) down to Pill in the valley, and descend some 1,260 vertical metres in the process. Run 10 down from the Festkogel (3,038 metres) is also fabulous and if you switch onto no. 6, you can ski all the way down to Obergurgl.
What could be better than relaxing in luxurious warm water after a day on the mountain? The Freizeit Arena in Sölden offers relaxation and fun in equal measure. You can sweat away the day in the sauna or let off some steam in the adventure pool. And if you haven’t had enough exercise for one day, you can even push some weights in the gym.
There are numerous other activities to keep you occupied away from the slopes here. Around 12 km of winter hiking paths are maintained in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, such as the Hochgurgler Romantikweg and Zirbenwald-Naturweg. There is also a natural sled run in Hochgurgl to enjoy – this 3 km run shoots down the hillsides from the mountain station to the valley station of the Hochgurglbahn. This is also makes it convenient for taking the lift back up to the top to do it all over again! Once a week, visitors can also enjoy night-time sledding followed by a visit to the Downhill Grill at the valley station. If you prefer ice to snow, Hotel Enzian in Obergurgl also boasts an ice rink with ice skating and curling possible. Eisloch Sportsbar is located directly by the ice rink, and is the ideal place to warm up.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl also has après-ski by the bucket load. On the mountain itself, the Wurmkogelhütte, Arnold’s Schirmbar or Skihütte Kirchenkar are all great places to stop for a drink. Typical umbrella bars dominate in the valley, such as at Schirmbar Edelweiss or the rustic surroundings of the Faßl or Toni’s Almhütte. Head to the Almbar if you are looking for a quick shot of schnapps to warm you up. The cu Bar is the place for a cocktail and a dance, and people also like to shake their leg in the Josl Keller and the Putt-in-Bar. And if that isn’t enough action for you, hop in a taxi and head for the nearby après-ski fortress of Sölden.
Dining and Restaurants
Foodies will find plenty to enjoy in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl. Hotel Edelweiss und Gurgl serves Tyrolean specialities made with regional ingredients, as well as internationally-inspired delights. The head chef’s creations have even impressed experts – culminating in the awarding of a Gault Millau Haube. You can also eat like a king in the Crystal Restaurant in Obergurgl and Hotel Bergwelt.
Infrastructure & Rental
By car: Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is at the end of the Ötztal Valley, around 45 km from Innsbruck. The ski area is best reached via Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald and Telfs. Head up the B12 towards Bregenz and then take the Ötztal exit before following the B186 to Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.
By aircraft: The nearest airport is in Innsbruck. The Ötztal Shuttle is possible the most convenient way to reach your hotel in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.