Kaunertal Glacier Ski Resort

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Kaunertal Glacier ski resort, Austria - a quiet, little piece of high alpine heaven.
Kaunertal Glacier ski resort, Austria - a quiet, little piece of high alpine heaven.
Ski Kaunertal Glacier
Ski Kaunertal Glacier
Kaunertal Glacier skiing can get a tad lonely...............!
Kaunertal Glacier skiing can get a tad lonely...............!
Powder will last for weeks on the high altitude north facing slopes at Kaunertal Glacier ski resort
Powder will last for weeks on the high altitude north facing slopes at Kaunertal Glacier ski resort
Kaunertal Glacier ski resort facilities are mostly concentrated in one area mid mountain
Kaunertal Glacier ski resort facilities are mostly concentrated in one area mid mountain
A Kaunertal glacier perched above the Nörderjpch ski lift
A Kaunertal glacier perched above the Nörderjpch ski lift
Kaunertal Glacier main resort car park at 2750m elevation
Kaunertal Glacier main resort car park at 2750m elevation
Karlesjochbahn gondola at Kaunertal reaches 3108m altitude
Karlesjochbahn gondola at Kaunertal reaches 3108m altitude
Kaunertal Glacier highest lifted point at Karlesjoch
Kaunertal Glacier highest lifted point at Karlesjoch
Kaunertal Glacier main restaurant
Kaunertal Glacier main restaurant
Spacious interior & glacier views from the restaurant
Spacious interior & glacier views from the restaurant
Even beginner skiers can almost touch glacial ice at kaunertal Glacier ski resort
Even beginner skiers can almost touch glacial ice at kaunertal Glacier ski resort
Kaunertal Glacier on-piste skiing
Kaunertal Glacier on-piste skiing
A steep chute accessible from the gondola at Kaunertal Glacier
A steep chute accessible from the gondola at Kaunertal Glacier
Kaunertal Glacier off-piste freeride terrain - Variante Wiesejaggl
Kaunertal Glacier off-piste freeride terrain - Variante Wiesejaggl
Kaunertal Glacier borders Italy
Kaunertal Glacier borders Italy
Ski route to Melago Italy from Kaunertal Glacier
Ski route to Melago Italy from Kaunertal Glacier
Ochsenalm base at Kaunertal Glacier
Ochsenalm base at Kaunertal Glacier
Kaunertal Glacier snowboarding
Kaunertal Glacier snowboarding
Ski Kaunertal Glacier
Ski Kaunertal Glacier

Kaunertal Glacier Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Kaunertal Glacier

Kaunertal Glacier3.5/51
Kaunertal Glacier3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Wagner Custome Skis

Nearby Ski Resorts

Serfaus Fiss Ladis
Venet

     Kaunertal Glacier Ski Trail Map
  • Kaunertal Glacier Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    2,150mm – 3,113m (963m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    10m+
  • Lifts (7)
    2 Gondola/cable cars
    2 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Late September to Early June
    9:00am to 4:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 32km
    Ski Routes - 30km
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced - 15%
    Intermediate - 20%
    Beginner - 65%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Adult – approx. €45 to 49
    Child – approx. €27 to 29
    Child u/8yr - Free
     Kaunertal Glacier Ski Trail Map
  • Kaunertal-Fendels Resort Map

Kaunertal Glacier Ski Resort Austria

Tucked away on the frontier with Italy, Kaunertal Glacier ski resort in the Austrian Tyrol, provides a relaxed snow experience, free from all the hype of its larger neighbours (think Ischgl, Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis), but still with quality snow, terrain, lifts & freeride powder ski options.

Kaunertal Glacier is Europe's most approachable glacier skiing area for beginner & intermediates but is also one of the more remote. Its compact size, ease of navigation, amazing snow & friendly piste terrain make it perfect for families & those skiers & snowboarders preferring their riding on the easier side of the ledger. That said, the off-piste powder, freeride routes & backcountry ski touring is superb & under-rated.

Pros & Cons for Kaunertaler Gletscher Ski Resort

Pros

  • Quality snow & deep, reliable snowpack in a high-altitude location.
  • Long ski season up to 8 months.
  • Europe's most approachable glacier ski resort for beginners (particularly with the new Falginjoch 'funifor' cable car).
  • Particularly good variety of piste trails for beginners & intermediates that stay in superb condition even on the 'busiest' day (if there ever is one!).
  • Fabulous freeride & backcountry ski opportunities.
  • Powder lays untracked for weeks.
  • No crowds, no lift lines.
  • Challenging couloirs & expert terrain for adventurers with a little imagination.

Cons

  • Limited advanced on-piste terrain (although it has Austria's steepest groomed black run now - the short Black Ibex).
  • Upper mountain road bisects some of the best 'inbounds' freeride routes.
  • No on-mountain accommodation.
  • Difficult returns from some of the backcountry routes (including to Italy) - highly reliant on one’s own car(s) or an intimate knowledge of the bus schedules.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Amount of on-piste terrain may or may not hold one's interest for more than a couple of days.
  • All terrain above treeline.
  • Access road from the village of Feichten im Kaunertal to the resort is narrow & challenging in poor weather or with oncoming traffic. The road has a toll for anyone without a valid lift pass. It is an amazing drive for those that enjoy driving!
  • Nearby villages are quiet & distant from the resort.
  • A limited number public transport journeys /day (5) to/from the resort from further down the valley at Prutz. One needs to understand the timetables.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

The Kaunertal Glacier terrain is where one can still find solitude, ski perfect groomers or freeride powder all day, step into Italy & get up close & personal with a glacier or two. A paradise for beginners, the upper resort is a broad north facing bowl of around 300 - 400m skiable vertical, overlooked by the 3,518m Weissseespitze & with crumbling glaciers clinging to its ridges. Easy beginner & lower intermediate terrain are the norm, with an exception being under the Karlesjoch gondola where steeper pitches prevail. A new short, advanced trail, the Black Ibex (1B) A ski tunnel links the upper bowl to a tasty, advanced piste & steeper north-facing freeride pitches. Need to be aware of the road below though!

See here for the Kaunertal Glacier ski trail map.

The number of named freeride routes on Kaunertal has decreased recently, though they all still exist. Only two can be skied without skinning and/or bootpack. The top of the Nörderjoch 3062m) is a nice skin up from the top of the lift of the same name, alongside the toe of a decaying glacier & then a long ski down the Noerderberg route along the Gepatschferner glacier (backcountry ski skills required)! The routes down to Maleg in Italy from the top of the Karlesjoch gondola (no longer shown on the trail map) & the Nörderberg or Fernergries routes require some planning to get back into the resort. Maleg is best done on a car shuffle or face a long bus ride home. Nörderberg/Fernergries can be done with an easier car shuffle, hitch-hiking or co-ordinate with the 3 mid-morning to early-afternoon buses from Feichten back up to the resort. A bus stop is at Fernergries.

The ski lifts at Kaunertaler Gletscher are typical of glacier ski areas where those on the glacier are surface tows. New technology & investment has allowed the Falginjochbahn, a brand new 100-person 'funifor' cable car with a high wind tolerance, to be installed. Several old T-bars have been removed in the process & open up the terrain up for sliding down as opposed to dragging up. Surface tows in the resort are becoming an endangered species. Below the main car park & Glacier Restaurant, the Ochsenalm chairlift runs in 2-stages all the way from the bottom with a mid-load halfway.

There are plans for a whole range of wonderful lift additions to Kaunertal which would make the resort absolutely first class & truly international. We watch with interest.

Kaunertal Glacier ski lift passes are valid for use on the dorf (village) lifts in Feichten as well as the ski lifts at Fendels. A free ski bus links Fendels ski area base at Ried to Kaunertal Glacier (& vice-versa) 5 times throughout the day. Of interest to some, lift passes of 6-days or more include the superb Pitztal Glacier ski resort.

See here for the full Kaunertal - Fendels resort map.

Snow & Weather

A high elevation ski resort on the highest ridge of the Austrian Alps, Kaunertal Glacier gets masses of snowfall during late autumn, winter & early Spring allowing for a long season spanning October to June. During our visit in mid-February 2019, the snow base at 2,750m elevation was 560cm (18ft or 221in). The terrain is generally all cold, north-aspect, so snow quality is superb.

Kaunertal is not the best place to ski on low-visibility day, but in clearing conditions or on a sunny day is stunning. Ski the lower elevation, lift pass linked Fendels during a storm.

Where is Kaunertal Glacier Austria?

The Kaunertal Glacier is located high on the frontier with Italy in the Tyrol state of Austria. The ski area is 67km south-west of Innsbruck or 120km (1¾hr) by road. The nearest town is the village of Feichten im Kaunertal, 21km to the north. Feichten also has the closest accommodation & services to the ski resort.

The closest international airport for travellers from within Europe & the UK is Innsbruck (INN). For everyone else it is Munich (MUC) or Zurich (ZRH), both around 3hr drive away. The closest major railway station is at Landeck-Zams, only a 30min drive to Feichten im Kaunertal.

Due to the awkward nature of public transport to the Kaunertal Glacier & its distance from the nearest accommodation, we recommend looking at a private transfer either direct from the airport or from the Landeck Zams train station direct to your accommodation.

Search & book here for all airport transfers to Kaunertal Glacier.

The Powderhounds endeavour to use public transport wherever possible & we skied Kaunertal glacier using the train & bus. Getting to Landeck Zams is simple as it is a major station on the line between Innsbruck & Switzerland. Landeck’s bus terminals have services to ski resorts near & far, but to travel to Kaunertal requires two separate buses, the route 210 or 4236 bus to the Postamt stop at Prutz, then cross the road to catch the 4232 bus all the way to the Ochsenalm chairlift base at Kaunertal. Expect the second bus to get quite full with skiers boarding at Feichten on the way.

Search & book here for all train tickets to Landeck-Zams.

Kaunertal Glacier Accommodation

The Kaunertal Glacier ski resort has no accommodation within its boundaries. The closest lodging options are in the village of Feichten im Kaunertal, 21km to the north. Around 30 to 40min by bus, Feichten has several ski shops, a supermarket, bars & numerous hotels & guesthouses with restaurants. A small learn-to-ski area with one surface lift & a conveyor are also in town.

Search & book here for all Kaunertal Glacier ski accommodation.

Further afield, at the start of the Kaunertal valley, the village of Prutz is well placed. Near the lifts of the small Fendels ski resort, Ried im Oberinntal & Fendels provide additional alternatives. Ski buses link Ried & Prutz to Kaunertal Glacier via Feichten.

A good base from which to explore this entire fabulous ski region is the major town of Landeck located in the Inn valley. Its position, services, bus terminal & train station are perfect for a ski safari base by public transport, but even better if one has their own car.

Ski Rentals

Ski rentals are available in the ski resort & nearby villages via our local partners. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Kaunertal-Glacier Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

Nearby Ski Resorts

Kaunertal Glacier is in a remote part of the Austrian Alps. The closest ski areas to it are the lift linked Fendels above the village of Ried im Oberinntal. On the opposite side of the valley to Fendels is the expansive Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis. We hope to visit it in 2020. Further away toward the Inn Valley and Landeck Zams is Venet ski area. From Landeck the resorts of the Paznaun valley (Ischgl etc) or the Arlberg (St Anton etc) are skiable on day trips by public transport.

Reviews

The Powderhounds reviewed Kaunertal Glacier in 2019 & found it an absolute delight with loads of possibilities. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of page if on a mobile) to read its inciteful prose!

See how Kaunertal Glacier compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Kaunertal Glacier

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Austria Innsbruck Freeride Tour
HOSTED & GUIDED SNOWBOARDING
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Snowboarding | 7 Ski Resorts
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Based in Innsbruck, this trip is for intermediate to advanced (or better) snowboarders taking in some of the best ski resorts in the Austrian Alps. Join the "fixed date" tour with your own group, come alone & meet new friends or fully customise a private tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy on a 7 day tour.
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 2,354
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Kaunertal Glacier here
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