Krippenstein

Krippenstein

Overall Rating

Krippenstein

Krippenstein3/51
Krippenstein3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Europe Tours
World Nomads Travel Insurance
     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 19/20
    Adult - €41.90
    Child - €19.60
    Child u/6yr - Free
     Dachstein West Gosau Ski Trail Map
  • Dachstein West Gosau Ski Trail Map

Krippenstein - Reviews

Krippenstein - Reviews

The La Grave of Austria

Powderhounds Europe
10/05/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    March

The La Grave of Austria

Powderhounds Europe
10/05/2019

Is Krippenstein Austria’s answer to La Grave in France. Possibly. The similarities are there.

Skiing in the Dachstein area for the first time, the ascent of Krippenstein (2109m) via its two cable cars was met with white-out, zero visibility & blowing snow. Loved the blowing snow, not so much the zero viz. With only one long groomed ski trail, Krippenstein is all about the freeride powder ski routes, but in no viz, with no local knowledge & no guide, caution & patience was the order of the day.

An 11km run down the groomer was suitably fun & leg burning. Past the base of the Dachstein-Krippenstein cable car III, a bit of easy powder was interrupted by stops to scope out the terrain to my right, which includes the entirety of ski route #2 & the exit for ski route #4. Gotta say that I fully enjoyed the 1500m vertical run back to the valley. Snowboarders need to be aware of two short flattish sections & point it. One just above the strange collection of dwellings called Krippenbrumn, the other is near the end. After one run down you know where to safely let it rip in ‘no turns, point it’ fashion.

It was clear that the wind had all but destroyed the ski route #2 – Variante Imisl. It was a mess of wind scoured rock, refreeze, powder & bumps that whilst appealing to several masochists, is wholly uninviting to this Powderhound. It is possible to ski rubbish anywhere in the world at any time, why choose to ski it here! The wind was blowing all that snow to the opposite side of the ski area toward ski route #4 - Variante Angeralm so my search was now only waiting on some visibility.

I spent my time wisely, skiing the short beginner trail off the quad chair at the summit. (Great for beginners on a sunny day.) Then tested the coffee & ‘Kuchen’ from some of the restaurants. The Bergrestaurant is right at the top station of the cable car. Considering I was the only person in the place (& they clearly saw me come in) service was very poor & the coffee not much better. Slid down, then up, then down to the Gjaid mountain hut.

A short but awkward journey to a strange location, Gjaid is a popular guesthouse as well as restaurant. If the entryway to the restaurant is not immediately identifiable, that’s because it isn’t. Entry through the guest door, through the ski room, left through a door, into a boot/shedding room (no need to shed – its for guests), a few more right & lefts & you are in the pleasant restaurant area looking through the window that you just recently had your nose pressed up on the glass wondering how to get in! Must be some sort of test. Having passed, had a great coffee & apfel {apple} strudel – phew! To get back requires asking them to start a short surface tow or one can hoof it up the hill. Must be a private tow as they ask for €1 to go up if not a house guest. Figuring I was guest-like having spent some coin in their establishment, I failed to pay the fee. Hopefully don’t get hit by the Karma bus but it is a two-way street!

From the top of the tow, there is still more ascent required (some skiers will hate this bit) before dropping into the valley run again. I opted to wait for the old yellow Dach-Kripp III cable car to haul me back up the summit as the viz was getting better & I had the whiff of powder tantalising the olfactory nerve. Shame the cable car only goes every 20min. I arrived just as it docked. 20min it was then. Try & avoid the use of this cable car.

Back on the summit, using braille I descended the first section of Variante Angeralm & found a pleasing amount of fresh. Viz improved & the route became as obvious as it would ever get. After an initial roll over into a small bowl, the route goes hard right into a broad section of creamy powder (was a tad chumpy truth to tell – wasn’t the coldest day anyway), before arriving at another step below the cliffs of Krippenstein. There are options either side, but I elected to go hard up against the cliff into an obvious defile flanked by a huge wind drift to skiers’ right. Bliss. The couloir opens up quickly into a broad apron of easy pitch alpine meadow & glade on the left. Powder was deep here & only lightly tracked. The good stuff ends at a precipitous gully with a lonely sign on a tree pointing to the exit. Traverse hard left into the trees & enter the world of steep skied off bumps. The snow level was about 1400m on this day, so no snow had landed in this section, only rain. Zig & zag left & right a few times before getting spat out onto the valley trail. Wonderful stuff. A ski run that had it all.

The café at the valley station serves bier & cheap local treats like slices of leberkasse pikant on bread rolls (a baked mystery meat loaf with cheese & a bit of chili through it that is freshly sliced to order).

Staying at a guesthouse in Obertraun, I took the bus up to the cable car on this particular early -March weekend. On both trips I was the sole occupant of the bus. Bit of an indication of crowds or was I the only one without a car! Looked to be a bit of both, but skier numbers at Krippenstein are low.

Obertraun has more than enough accom to satisfy everyone – most are traditional pensions & guesthouses. A night on the mountain can be had at Gjaid or right on the summit at the Lodge. Gjaid has a distinctly remote feel & will appeal to those looking for a night in the ultimate traditional Austrian mountain hut.

The second day dawned cold & clear. Being able to see was a blessing. The views were stupendous and the powder deep & crisp to the cable car mid-station. With the clement weather, numbers of off-piste skiers had also increased & the untouched terrain from the previous day was relatively quickly tracked. Ski toured towards the Dachstein Glacier & visited a few of the non-ski ‘tourist’ spots on the mountain. The Five Fingers viewpoint over Lake Hallstatt is magnificent & worth the walk. The resort makes a fortune selling it as a snowshoe trip, but ski boots are sufficient for the job as the trail is fully groomed.

Even though the snow wasn’t perfect, we love the idea of Krippenstein. It is not a family ski hill. It is not a week-long ski holiday destination in & of itself. It does however deserve a visit for a few days by every Powderhound when the snow is low & deep for freeriding or the days are long & cold for ski touring up the Dachstein Glacier. If nothing else, you will be able to say you skied the La Grave of Austria.

A parting word of advice - don’t ski here for the first time in zero viz!