How Snow-Online.com/Skigebiete-Test rates ski areas

Since 2004, the Snow-Online.com/Skigebiete-Test team has been visiting ski regions around the globe and testing them according to set criteria. Initially, the ski areas were examined based on six categories. In 2015, the criteria were expanded to include the ten categories “Beginners”, “Advanced skiers”, “Freeride”, “Freestyle”, “Families”, “Après-ski”, “Service”, “Snow guarantee”, “Value for money” and “On-mountain dining”. Ski areas can receive up to 10 points in each category, and therefore a maximum of 100 points overall. The final result is the total of all individual categories added together. Snow-Online.com/Skigebiete-Test has tested over 250 ski areas worldwide to date.

General criteria

  • ​​​​​​How large and varied is the range of trails on offer (blue, red, black, freeride)?
  • How modern are the lifts (capacity, speed, seating, heating, weather protection etc.)?
  • How much snow falls in the ski area?
  • Are there any kids’ areas for small children?
  • Are there sufficient easy runs and nursery slopes for beginners?
  • Are there enough runs for advanced skiers?
  • How well are the individual areas within the ski area connected with one another?
  • How good are the available food and drink options?
  • How extensive is the après-ski offering?
  • Does the ski area offer value for money?


  • Is there a sufficient range of trails suitable for beginners?
  • Are there enough practice slopes served by special training lifts (magic carpet lifts etc.)?
  • Are the practice zones in the ski area well signposted and easy to reach?
  • Are there enough ski schools available in the ski area?
  • Is there a children's area and is this area equipped with the appropriate features?
  • Are there trails suitable for beginners close to the valley?

Advanced skiers

  • Is the ski area big enough?
  • How wide and varied is the range of trails?
  • Are there any special runs aimed specifically at advanced skiers (timed courses, moguls, particularly steep runs...)?
  • Are the lifts modern?
  • Is a ski tour/ski safari possible?


  • Is there terrain away from the groomed slopes which is suitable for experienced skiers to go off-piste?
  • Are there any ski routes secured against avalanches?
  • Is there a special information point for freeride skiers and snowboarders?
  • Are avalanche courses/an avalanche transceiver test centre provided?
  • Are guided freeride tours offered?


  • Are there enough terrain parks for freestyle fans?
  • Is the range of features in the terrain park sufficient (number of kickers, rails, boxes etc.)?
  • Does the setup include features for both beginners and advanced skiers?
  • Is the park regularly redesigned/extended?
  • Is there a lift directly serving the terrain park?


  • Are there enough practice slopes available for children and are these well distributed throughout the ski area?
  • Are there sufficient blue-marked runs available?
  • Are the options available from ski schools and childcare facilities appropriate?
  • Does the ski area offer value for money for families?
  • Are there enough trails suitable for beginners close to the valley?


  • Is there a large range of lodges and umbrella bars?
  • Is live music regularly offered in these ski lodges?
  • Can you continue the party close to the valley stations after the lifts close?
  • Does the ski area host any large events?
  • Is there a large range of bars and discos close by?


  • How is signposting within the ski area (trail markings, information boards)?
  • Are the lifts modern/comfortable?
  • Are the individual parts of the ski area well connected with one another?
  • Are the runs well-groomed?
  • Is there a ski rental/ski service centre and sports shops at the valley station?
  • Is there free Wi-Fi access on the lifts and lodges within the ski area?
  • Is there sufficient parking in the direct vicinity of the valley stations?

Snow guarantee

  • How high up is the ski area?
  • Is there a glacier in the ski area (skiing in autumn or until the end of May)?
  • Are the snowmaking facilities sufficient?
  • Does the ski area have a particularly long season?
  • Does the ski area receive favourable weather due to its location?

Value for money

  • Is the price of the ski pass appropriate?
  • Is parking free of charge at the valley stations?
  • Are prices for drinks appropriate?
  • Are prices for food appropriate?
  • Are any discounts offered?

On-mountain dining

  • Is there a sufficient number of lodges within the ski area?
  • Is the range of food on offer varied?
  • Are there any lodges with notable charm?
  • Are the lodges/restaurants well distributed throughout the ski area?
  • Are there any lodges with panoramic views?
  • Are the mountain restaurants well spread out throughout the ski area?
created on Oct 29, 2014