Readers Ratings

Krippenstein

Krippenstein3/51
Krippenstein3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Classic Dolomites Ski Safari Inspired Italy
     Krippenstein Ski Trail Map
  • Krippenstein Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    609m – 2,109m (1,500m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8 - 10m
  • Lifts (6)
    3 Cable cars
    1 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Mid December to Early April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 12km (on-piste)
    Freeride routes – 30km
    Longest run – 11km
    Advanced - 72%
    Intermediate - 23%
    Beginner - 5%
  • Lift Pass Prices
    Day Ticket 18/19
    Adult - €36.70 to 39.50
    Child - €18.50
    Child u/6yr - Free
     Dachstein West Gosau Ski Trail Map
  • Dachstein West Gosau Ski Trail Map

Krippenstein Ski Resort Austria

Krippenstein ski resort is Austria’s answer to the legendary La Grave in France. With only a few lifts, one main piste trail & diverse untamed freeride terrain, the parallels are striking. Add in the quiet traditional village of Obertraun at its base & you will find the major differences are only the local language.

Krippenstein is rightfully popular with local freeriders but still relatively unknown across the globe. Tourists flock to the nearby village of Hallstatt, beautifully located on the shores of the Hallstatter See, plus also make their way to the top of Krippenstein for the incredible views from the 5 Fingers lookout. Cable car space can be at a premium as a result!

Pros & Cons for Krippenstein Ski Resort

Pros

  • A quality skiable vertical in a high snowfall locality;
  • Awesome off-piste & freeride terrain;
  • Relaxed, non-commercial vibe;
  • Superb ski touring to the Dachstein Glacier;
  • Interesting range of non-ski activities on the summit;
  • Two good ski-in ski-out accommodations near the summit;
  • Good value lift pass price & linked with the Dachstein West ski resorts;
  • Lift pass link with Dachstein West’s Gosau ski resort provides a diverse on-piste ski option in the area ;
  • Excellent public transport access by train to the base village at Obertraun.

Cons

  • Lift system (2 main access cable cars) can be crowded with skiers, but more so by non-skiing tourists – incredibly frustrating on a powder day;
  • Effectively only one (albeit very long) piste trail for those not able or interested in of-piste freeride;
  • Very low elevation base can have minimal snow or be pouring liquid sunshine (r__n!) when its snowing higher up the mountain;
  • As all skiing starts from the summit, everyone is incredibly exposed in poor weather conditions;
  • Depending on the night of the week, dinner options in Obertraun can be limited.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Can get lonely skiing here during a white out!
  • Some visitors may only feel able to ski the off-piste routes with a guide;
  • Obertraun is a quiet village & nearby Hallstatt is a beautiful tourist trap of the highest order.

Krippenstein Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

The ski resort’s full name of ‘Freesports Arena Dachstein Krippenstein’ not only provides insight into location, but also the ethos of this skiing area. Whilst the terrain is not vast, it can certainly be imposing for the uninitiated.

With only 12km of groomed piste trails (of which 11km is the one long valley trail), Krippenstein is all about the 30km of marked freeride routes & everything in between.  Couloirs, bowls, trees, natural half pipes, bumps, chutes & gentle meadows personify the upper freeride terrain. Freeride routes end up on the main piste trail for last 3 to 4km or up at the cable car mid station.

Two cable cars access the substantial 1500m of skiable vertical. A short chairlift near the summit & some base area surface lifts serve novice & beginner trails. When ascending the mountain, it seems impossible for a valley trail to exist amongst the sheer cliffs around the base. It does however & the last 6km are excellent fun & suitably lactic acid inducing.

See the Krippenstein ski trail map here.

Excellent ski touring is in the area, mainly up to the Dachstein Glacier – another parallel with La Grave.

Lift Pass Linked with Dachstein West

The lift pass link with Dachstein West provides a ski terrain balance of nearby groomed piste trails in a traditional ski resort at Gosau for those not up to the Krippenstein freeride terrain.

See the Dachstein West -  Gosau ski trail map here.

Where is Krippenstein, Austria?

The Krippenstein ski resort is perched precipitously above Lake Hallstatt (Hallstatter See) in the unimaginatively named state of Upper Austria. The nearest village is Obertraun located 3km by road from the cable valley station. By car, Krippenstein is a paltry 80km (1.25hr) southeast of the glorious city of Salzburg & over 300km (3 to 4hr) west of Vienna. Trains make the journey on a regular basis, mainly because of the ski resorts proximity to the tourist ‘honey pot’ that is Hallstatt. Hallstatt is across the lake from Obertraun accessible by road (bus or car to the village outskirts, or train & ferry directly into the village centre.< /p>

The closest major international airport to Krippenstein is Munich (MUC). The Vienna (VIE) airport is another potential option, as is Salzburg (SZG) or Innsbruck (INN) if travelling from within Europe or from the UK.

From Munich airport, the region around Krippenstein is 215km by road southeast. Travel time is approximately 3hr. By train the travel time is around twice that, requiring 4 trains via central Munich & Salzburg. Whilst the train is the recommended mode of travel in this area of Austria in order to POW (Protect Our Winters), those unwilling to undertake long rail journeys should look at a private transfer for all or part of the journey. Private transfers can be particularly efficient & good value if in a group of 3 or more people.

Search & book all airport transfers to Obertraun & Krippenstein here.

The rail journey to Krippenstein is to the village of Obertraun (not to be confused with the alpine ski resort village of Obertauern). The local railway station is Obertraun Dachsteinhöhlen, only 3.5km & a free local bus to the cable car lift base . The train line runs between the major link stations of Attnang-Puchheim & Stainach-Irdning. Attnang-Puchheim is on the Vienna – Salzburg line so is easy to reach. Stainach-Irdning is further south but effectively on a line that is served by trains coming from Vienna, Innsbruck, Graz & everything in between.

See the Salzburg to Obertraun (Krippenstein) rail map here.

Salzburg to Krippenstein is a 2hr 45min journey by rail (about twice the travel time by car), but the trip is comfortable & surroundings in the later stages are spectacular. Vienna International Airport is 4hr by train to Obertraun via either the north or south. Obertraun is a 250km (3hr+) journey to the east of Innsbruck by car. On the train, the voyage is 4.5hr via Salzburg.

Search & book train tickets to Obertraun & Krippenstein here.

Krippenstein Accommodation

The ultimate powder ski experience in Krippenstein is staying on the mountain for epic first tracks. Two options exist. The best ski in ski out accommodation is the Lodge am Krippenstein. Accessible only by the cable cars in winter, the Lodge is located at the absolute top of the ski resort, propped near the peak overlooking the Dachstein Glacier & surrounds

A close second (just because it is not on the peak!) is Gjaid Alm, a cosy ultra-traditional mountain hut. Only accessible by cable car & foot or a combination of cable car & ski.

Whilst Krippenstein might dominate the mountain tops with its commanding views across the amazing lakes & landscape, the village of Obertraun resides in the prime valley position on one of the few flat sunny areas below. Quite shaded through mid-winter, the centre of town & lakeshore begins to see reliable sunshine from early February

Search & book all Obertraun-Krippenstein ski accommodation here.

If keen to stay in the tourist honeypot of nearby Hallstatt, the Heritage Hotel Hallstatt is only a short bus or car drive from Obertraun & Krippenstein. In three renovated, historic buildings, Heritage Hotel Hallstatt features a bar & café with a sunny lakeside terrace & winter garden right next to Hallstatt's boat landing. Numerous other lodging choices are in the heart of the village near the lakeshore.

The lift ticket & free ski bus connection with the lower elevation, but more on-piste skier-friendly, Dachstein West ski area, put the village of Gosau into play as well. Gosau has a wider range of lodgings in a sunnier location than Obertraun during the dark mid-winter months of December & January.

Search & book all Dachstein West Gosau ski accommodation here.

Activities

The non-ski activities, aside from eating & drinking libations is several locations with splendid views, includes a fantastic snow walk to the 5 Fingers lookout. The walk takes in the true summit of Krippenstein. Advertised as a snowshoe trail, the walk can easily be done in good ski boots or walking boots. The snowshoe rentals here must generate alot of revenue, but the trails are groomed & easy to walk on without snowshoes. Poles can be handy though. The 5 Fingers lookout protrudes airily out of the cliff face like so many modern view platforms providing a nice adrenaline hit to go with the panorama over the Hallstatter See. Other show shoe walks are marked to the bizarre Shark sculpture

Away from the snow, it would be churlish not to spend a morning or afternoon in nearby Hallstatt. Famous across the world for its picture-perfect location, Hallstatt is a tourist mecca (or nightmare depending on the time of day). Taking the train & ferry across the lake is a novel way to get to Hallstatt. The pedestrian only village is without doubt a photographer’s dream location in good light.

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed the freeride powder ski mecca of Krippenstein in 2019 & had a great time. Click on the review link in the left column to read its marvellous prose.

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