Kaunertal Glacier Ski Resort

Kaunertal Glacier ski resort, Austria - a quiet, little piece of high alpine heaven.
Ski Kaunertal Glacier
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
Kaunertal Glacier ski resort facilities are mostly concentrated in one area mid mountain
A Kaunertal glacier perched above the Nörderjpch ski lift
Kaunertal Glacier main resort car park at 2750m elevation
Karlesjochbahn gondola at Kaunertal reaches 3108m altitude
Kaunertal Glacier highest lifted point at Karlesjoch
Kaunertal Glacier main restaurant
Spacious interior & glacier views from the restaurant
Even beginner skiers can almost touch glacial ice at kaunertal Glacier ski resort
Kaunertal Glacier on-piste skiing
A steep chute accessible from the gondola at Kaunertal Glacier
Kaunertal Glacier off-piste freeride terrain - Variante Wiesejaggl
Kaunertal Glacier borders Italy
Ski route to Melago Italy from Kaunertal Glacier
Ochsenalm base at Kaunertal Glacier
Kaunertal Glacier snowboarding
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%
Inspired Italy Dolomites Ski Safaris
     Kaunertal Glacier Ski Trail Map
  • Kaunertal Glacier Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    2,150mm – 3,160m (1.010m)
  • 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 - 21km
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced - 15%
    Intermediate - 20%
    Beginner - 65%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Adult – approx. €43 to 47
    Child – approx. €25 to 30
    Child u/8yr - Free

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, quality 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 Kaunertal Ski Resort

Pros

  • Quality snow & deep, reliable snowpack in a high-altitude location;
  • Europe's most approachable glacier ski resort for beginners (particularly with the new Falginjoch 'funifor' cable car from season 2019/20) ;
  • Very 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;
  • Low crowds, no lift lines;
  • Challenging couloirs & expert terrain for adventurers with a little imagination.

Cons

  • Limited advanced on-piste terrain;
  • 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!)

  • Relatively small amount of on-piste terrain that may or 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.

Kaunertaler Gletscher Skiing & Snowboarding 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 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 the Kaunertal Glacier ski trail map here.

Of the eight named freeride routes on Kaunertal, only two can be skied without skinning and/or bootpack. Also, worth knowing that whilst many Kaunertal Glacier trail maps show a Nörderjoch II lift, in reality it no longer exists so access to the top of the Nörderberg is human powdered only. It’s a nice skin up alongside the toe of a decaying glacier & then a long ski down Gepatschferner glacier (backcountry ski skills required)! The routes down to Maleg in Italy & the Nörderberg- Fernergries 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 a brand new 100-person 'funifor' cable car with a high wind tolerance to be installed, removing old T-bars in the process & opening the ski terrain up for sliding down as opposed to dragging up. The surface tows 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.

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 2750m elevation was 560cm (18ft or 221in). The terrain is all generally 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 has the closest accommodation 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 (ZCH), 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 all airport transfers to Kaunertal Glacier here.

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 very full with skiers boarding at Feichten on the way.

Search & book train tickets to Landeck-Zams here.

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 all Kaunertal Glacier ski accommodation here.

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.

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.

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Kaunertal Glacier in 2019 & had a delightful ski. Click on the review link in the left column to read its inciteful prose!

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Tours in or near Kaunertal Glacier

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Austria Tour Innsbruck Freeride City
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 or come alone & meet new friends.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,691
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Kaunertal Glacier here
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