Innsbruck – Glungezer Ski Area

10/19/2018 - SnowTrex

Get straight from the city to the pistes for a great skiing holiday! The Glungezer ski area in Austria provides the best conditions for locals and tourists who want to combine a cultural city tour with a great time on the piste. A varied ski area is just a few minutes away and it is a short hop back to the valley for après ski in the evening.

Panorama of Innsbruck and the Inn valley.

1) General information about the Glungezer ski area

  • Snow-sure at altitudes between 950 m and 2,304 m
  • Red and blue pistes with a total length of 23 km
  • Easy and convenient arrival by public transport
  • Part of the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck with a total of 214 km of pistes and 40 km of ski routes

Get straight from the city to the piste! There are few other ski regions that offer this, but skiers can go straight from Innsbruck to the Glungezer ski area. This ski area lies less than 15 km from the city centre and provides 23 km of pistes, with mainly red runs. For ski lovers and people on short breaks, the combination of city flair, cultural facilities and an imposing mountain panorama is especially appealing.

The impressive Inn valley is an attraction in summer as well as winter for holiday-makers, hikers and sports fans from all over Europe. Thanks to great travel connections by road, rail and air, Innsbruck can be reached quickly and easily from all parts of Europe. Around Innsbruck, little valleys, high mountains and impressive landscapes offer chance to connect to nature. The Glungezer ski area is best reached by public transport and starts at the little village of Tulfes, a short 15 km from Innsbruck.

Nordkettenbahn above a panoramic view of Innsbruck.

The natural ski area that lies at altitudes between 950 m and 2,304 m is a real insider tip amongst skiers. Via the connection to the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck ski region, winter holiday-makers have access to more than 200 km of pistes and 40 km of tourist trails in addition to those in the Glungezer ski area.

With average snow depths of between 20 cm and 60 cm in the valley and 50 cm to 100 cm at the mountain station from December to April, the ski area is regarded as very reliable for snow. The month of March is especially good for snow reliability and there are on average five to seven sunny hours each day at Glungezer.

When our experts rate a ski area, two top criteria are given particularly important weighting: “Lifts & cable cars” and “Reliability for snow”. Whilst there is usually a good level of snow at higher altitudes in the Glungezer ski area, it can be less abundant at the lower levels, so that snow machines are used to guarantee sufficient snow depth. The reliability for snow has therefore been awarded three stars. With eight lifts and no cable cars, the relatively compact ski area provides an adequate level of convenience.

2) Glungezer ski area map

3) Skiing in the Glungezer ski area

With pistes up to an altitude of 2,304 m, the Glungezer ski area is relatively reliable for snow. Transport to the mountain is provided by a total of eight lifts, consisting of two chair lifts and six tow lifts. With such a considerable difference in altitude between the upper and lower levels of the ski area and the length of the piste, it is no surprise that a few demanding descents await the skier in the Glungezer ski area. Of the 23 km of pistes, almost 16 km are of medium difficulty, and there are also 7 km of blue and approximately 0.5 km of black pistes.

What many skiing holiday-makers do not realise is that the Glungezer ski area provides one of the longest descents in the whole of Austria. It is some 15 km long and covers hundreds of altitude metres. It starts from the peak at an altitude of 2,677 m and runs down to Tulfes with descents that are demanding in places. But with patience and care, it is also possible for beginners to tackle this. The generously laid-out and well-maintained pistes are best suited for skiers and snowboarders. They provide a great mixture of challenges and relaxing slopes for advanced skiers. Therefore, our experts rated the categories “Beginners” and “Experts & freeriders” with three stars for this small ski area.

Perfect pistes in the Glungezer ski area.

For anyone who is looking for a greater challenge and wishes to expand their horizons, the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck ski region is readily accessible. A total of 90 lifts and 214 km of pistes can be found there at altitudes between 856 m and 3,210 m. It is easy to get to the peaks of different ski areas in 16 cable cars. 81 km of blue, 113 km of red and 20 km of black pistes are available. For the cross-country skier there are varied routes with a total length of 40 km.

A special highlight in the Glungezer ski area is the snow park, “GlungezerPark by headbud”. The professionally erected unique “jib-Park” has attracted freeriders and snowboarders to training, jumping and sliding since the 2011/12 season. The snow park consists of four areas, three of which lie on the Schartenkogel lift and the remaining one on the Halsmarter lift. It is aimed at beginners, advanced skiers and professionals. The experienced operators adapt the park to the prevailing snow conditions throughout the season. In addition, Innsbruck boasts the “Nitro Skyline Park”, an in-city snow park. The park is situated only 20 minutes from the historic city centre and, thanks to flood lighting, can also be used until 10 pm in the evening.

4) Expert rating

The Glungezer ski area achieved a good overall rating from our experts. The special location so near to Innsbruck compensates for the limitations of the ski area, which led to point deductions. To be able to jump on your skis for just a day is not measured in our ratings, but it is a very valuable asset.

Highlighted in the rating is the magnificent, well-run snow park, which earned four stars. Also, the organisational part of the skiing holiday such as “Getting there & parking facilities”, the well thought-out “Orientation (piste maps, info boards & sign posting)” and the quaint “Mountain restaurants, huts & gastronomy” in the Glungezer ski area received very good four-star ratings. The different interests of the skiing holiday-makers such as “Beginners”, facilities for “Families & children” and “Experts & freeriders”, as well as the options provided by “Cross-country facilities & trails” were all rated with three stars. The rating criteria for “Après ski” only received a measured two stars, but this does not pose a problem with the proximity of the city of Innsbruck with its buzzing night-life.

Current status and further information with SnowTrex.

5) Activities besides skiing

After a long day – or days – on the pistes many holiday-makers fancy a change from skiing. Apart from the opportunities for alpine and cross-country skiing, there are lots of other sports to try out in the wintery Inn valley. How about a lovely winter hike on well-maintained paths? Or a ski tour in the altitudes of the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck ski region? There are many very unspoiled valleys around Innsbruck which make trips of all types an unforgettable experience.

If culture rather than nature is the order of the day, the ski resort of Innsbruck is the right choice. The old heart of the Austrian city impresses its visitors with tiny lanes, quaint guest houses and cultural highlights. The versatility of the après-ski provision and the range of evening options after a day on the pistes is superior to almost any other ski area. Attractions such as Hofburg, the Goldene Dachl, Schloss Ambras or the Bergiselschanze are also just right to fill ski-free days with a programme for the whole family. Equally highly recommended are the indoor swimming pools, natural ice-skating rinks, climbing walls, tobogganing and bowling in the numerous sports centres in Innsbruck. A highlight for the really daring is riding as a passenger in the Olympia bobsleigh. However, the precipitous journey into the valley is not for the faint-hearted.

A great day on the piste is best rounded off with some refreshments. Several huts and restaurants in the Glungezer ski area are sited directly on the piste for refreshments during the day. Favourite locations are “Plan B”, the hip “Jolly” and “Jimmy’s”, which is mainly frequented by boarders. Skiers who end their day in the Glungezer ski area in Kolsassberg, can finish off in the “Berggasthaus Gartlach” or the “Hofer Stub’n”. Things are slightly quieter in Thaur where the various cafés and restaurants encourage visitors to relax.

6) Locations in the Glungezer ski area

With more than 130,000 inhabitants, Innsbruck is the fifth largest city in Austria. The most populated city in the Tyrol also provides some 30,000 students and 3,000 tourists with a roof over their heads each evening. The numerous sights, the wonderfully scenic position, the mountains and the great sports facilities make Innsbruck a popular centre for holiday-makers. There is no limit to the choice of suitable accommodation in the city. From youth hostel to holiday home to hotel rooms in all price categories, there is every type of accommodation imaginable available in Innsbruck. Guests who decide to stay in Innsbruck are opting for the lively atmosphere, extensive cultural facilities and long party nights.

The classic postcard motif: Innsbruck city centre with mountain panorama.

Holiday-makers who prefer things quieter should choose to stay in one of the suburbs. Both Kolsassberg and Thaur provide the romantic ambience of Austrian mountain villages and sufficient space for families and groups.

7) Arrival in the Glungezer ski area

A shuttle bus provides transport between the Glungezer ski area and Innsbruck. The local public transport and ski buses sponsored by the tourist association take skiing holiday-makers from Innsbruck, Fritzens and Volders to Tulfes, to the entry point to the Glungezer ski area. Innsbruck itself is easy to reach by road, bus, rail or air.

By road the journey from Munich, Vienna or Graz is less than two hours. If staying in accommodation outside Innsbruck, then travelling by road is the best option. If arriving by rail or air it is advisable to hire a vehicle, which also means that it is easier to take trips other ski areas of the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck ski region.

8) Weather, snow depths and webcams of Glungezer

Want to check and see if the sun is shining in the ski area? SnowTrex provides information about the weather and snow depths, and also gives you the chance to view webcams images.

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