Ski area Obergurgl Hochgurgl
Diamond of the Alps: Hochgurgl-Obergurgl
At the very back of the Ötztal valley is one of the most beautiful skiing regions in Austria. Visitors to Obergurgl can expect to find stylish restaurants and hotels at altitudes of 2,000 metres. Not for nothing is the tradition-conscious mountain village known as the Diamond of the Alps. Ringed by towering, snow-capped peaks, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is truly a jewel among Austrian skiing regions. The snow-sure pistes naturally attract winter sport fans, but there are also many off-piste ways for guests to ensure some enjoyable downtime.
Huge range of slopes at up to 3,000 metres
With more than 112 kilometres of slopes, perfect skiing in the high Alps is guaranteed. The broad pistes – which are sure of snow – delight skiers and snowboarders at altitudes of up to 3,000 metres. Guests also take advantage of a superbly organised infrastructure: with free parking and ski buses throughout the village, visitors get where they want to go quickly and conveniently. To give beginners a positive introduction to the joys of winter sport, several ski schools around the village take great care of newcomers. In total there are seven ski schools to choose from, all of which teach students their new form of mobility to full effect. The children’s areas have been fitted with modern magic carpets and rope lifts so that the very young kids (of three and above) can discover skiing in a safe and enjoyable environment. The skiing region also offers visitors an interactive piste plan that can be called up from anywhere thanks to free WiFi. The plan provides current information on mountain railways, ski slopes, restaurants, ski tours and other activities as well as the latest weather reports.
Perfect weather and skiing conditions until late April The high levels of snowfall in the area are reflected in a long skiing season. As the first glacier-free skiing area in Tyrol, the winter season at Obergurgl extends from mid-November until the end of April. The area is especially attractive to sun-loving skiers in the spring. Obergurgl gets an average of 50 hours’ sun in January, a figure rising to around 160 hours by April; over the same period, temperatures climb from an average of minus 5.5°C to 2.0°C. Towards the end of the season, skiers hardly need to wear mittens and balaclavas on the slopes. With 112 kilometres of slopes, there is ample space for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Approximately 37 kilometres of the pistes are designated blue – perfect for beginners and inexperienced skiers wishing to practise in peace. The gentle slopes around the Magdstuhl and Gaisberg lifts are ideal for those finding their feet. Around half of the accessible slopes (56 km) are intermediate red slopes, which provide a welcome change of scene for skilled skiers and those building their confidence; the slopes of Festkogel in Obergurgl and the Schermerspitzen downhill route in Hochgurgl are especially suitable for this. Obergurgl also has more than 20 kilometres of black runs for the experts. For a true adventure, visitors can head for the mogul slopes of the Hohe Mut in Obergurgl and the Top Wurmkogl II descent in Hochgurgl – bearing in mind that mogul slopes will leave them with aching muscles! Freshly groomed on a daily basis from end to end and side to side, the slopes lead directly to the majority of hotels in the village. The lift facilities in Obergurgl really turn heads, and 25 are in daily operation. One highlight is the eight-person Top Express gondola, which transports as many as 1,200 persons between the Obergurgl and Hochgurgl regions every day. The route carries passengers over the Ferwall and Königstal valleys, treating them to magical views along the way.
Off-piste activities in Obergurgl
Aside from the ski slopes, the many other attractions include the Snowpark, the Skicross area and night skiing. That said, non-skiers also have a great time in Obergurgl; with a wide range of things to do in and around the glittering resort, nobody need get bored. Away from the pistes, for example, the Freizeit Arena in Sölden and the Aqua Dome thermal spa resort ensure a relaxing wellness break. More than 230 historic motorcycles are on display at the Top Mountain Crosspoint in Hochgurgl, so visitors of all ages can marvel at the horsepower of a bygone age. For high elevation research you can touch, the Ötztal Nature Park Info Point Hohe Mut Alm at 2,670 metres showcases absorbing and instructive exhibits relating to glaciers, the climate and research in high alpine environments. Visitors can experience real glacial ice first hand at the research station, and gain fascinating insights into research findings. Those who don’t wish to miss out completely on the beautiful snowy landscape can also discover the beauty of the Ötztal valley on an extended winter hike: every winter, there are 12 kilometres of clearly signposted hiking trails to explore. Venturing even deeper into the hinterland of the Ötztal, adventurous types can embark on snowshoe hikes in the company of an expert guide. Twelve kilometres of cross-country tracks also await discovery by skaters and enthusiasts of the classic skiing style.
Superior après-ski and cuisine
Alongside the range of sporting activity on offer, the Obergurgl skiing region promises some outstanding cuisine. Invariably situated at stunning viewpoints or right on the slopes, the various restaurants, cabins and bars serve everything a gourmet’s heart could desire. One must-visit pleasure spot for skiers is the Top Mountain Star. At an elevation of over 3,000 metres, this mountain restaurant combines peerless views with a tempting range of culinary delicacies. Pasta dishes are served at the Festkogl Alm Pasteria, while the Downhill Grill at the valley station of the Hochgurglbahn in Pill offers barbecue food prepared over an open fire. Connoisseurs of superior cuisine are drawn to the variety on offer at the Top Mountain Crosspoint and the beautiful sun terrace of the Top Hotel Hochgurgl, where authentic Tyrolean specialities are served with hospitality typical of the region. To wrap up a day’s skiing in style, visitors head for the many umbrella bars and cabins. The Edelweiss umbrella bar at the valley station of the Hohe Mut Bahn and the Hochgurglbahn umbrella bar at the entrance to the Hochgurglbahn are highly recommended outdoor establishments. The party crowd at the Nederhütte, also situated in the heart of the skiing region, enjoy a varied musical line-up, while the Nederlumpen band provides the mood music. Toni’s Almhütte keeps spirits high into the early hours; the friendly staff at the welcoming cabin treat visitors to local delicacies as the party continues.