Nordkette Ski Resort

Nordkette Ski Resort, Innsbruck Tyrol Austria
The solo cable car up to 2256m Hafelekar at Nordkette ski resort
Nordkette ski resort
Incredible views & vertical from above Hafelekar at Nordkette
Nordkette forms a spectacular backdrop, looming 1750m above Innsbruck,
Nordkette is one of Innsbruck's 'home' mountains
Nordkette has several famous steep couloirs off Hafelekar
There are good freeride tree runs at Nordkette on the lower mountain down to Hungerburg
During spring, the locals go Firngleiten (or Figln) through the deep, softening snowpack at Nordkette
Seegrube (1905m) is the main centre of Nordkette ski resort

Nordkette Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Nordkette

Nordkette3/51
Nordkette3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Wagner Custome Skis

Innsbruck Ski Resorts

Axamer Lizum
Kuhtai
Nordkette
Oberperfuss
Patscherkofel
Schlick 2000
Stubai Glacier

     Nordkette Ski Trail Map
  • Nordkette Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    860m – 2,256m (1396m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (7)
    1 Funicular
    2 Cable car
    2 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Late November to Mid-April
    8:30am to 5:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 19km (incl. routes)
    Longest run – 5km
    Advanced - 28%
    Intermediate - 65%
    Beginner - 7%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Adult – approx. €36.50
    Child – approx. €21.90
    Child u/6yr - Free
    Innsbruck (Olympia Ski World) Ski Resort Map
  • Innsbruck Ski Resorts Map

Nordkette Ski Resort Austria

Nordkette is a small, steep & spectacular ski resort above Innsbruck, Austria. Sun-soaked, strange & brilliant all at once, skiing Nordkette is unique in all the world. Whilst not a standalone ski destination, a visit to Nordkette is a must for anyone coming to Innsbruck & makes a great addition to an Austrian Alps ski safari.

Pros & Cons for Nordkette Ski Resort

Pros

  • Long skiable vertical (1400m);
  • Superb off-piste freeride runs & steeps;
  • Stunning views;
  • Skyline terrain park in a splendid location;
  • Excellent north-aspect backcountry opportunities from above Hafelekar;
  • Great après ski at Seegrube around the Cloud 9 Igloo bar & down at Innsbruck;
  • Accommodation options are almost unlimited with Innsbruck at Nordkette’s base;
  • Close to huge number of other awesome ski areas – perfect as part of a ski safari;
  • An amazing ride on public transport & cable cars up from the centre of Innsbruck.

Cons

  • Limited piste trails with very little for novices;
  • Slow double chairlifts plus a single cable car to Hafelekar limits capacity;
  • Lift lines are possible on weekends;
  • Lower sections of pistes to Hungerburg can lack snow early & late in the season;
  • No ski-in ski-out accommodation & only limited lodgings at Hungerberg.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Good on its day, but not a destination ski area on its own – best combined with other local ski areas like Schlick 2000, Axamer Lizum, Stubai Glacier & Kühtai;
  • Cheap lift pass price if skiing the steeps & park, not so cheap if just skiing the groomed;
  • Terrain within the resort is all south aspect, sun-soaked & can warm up quickly – great for parties in spring, not so great for snow quality;
  • Limited car parking at Hungerburg (take the funicular up from Innsbruck instead).

Nordkette Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Nordkette has a deserved reputation for the steeps dropping in from its summit ridge. The chutes & couloirs are steep, but still eminently skiable. Ski route 6 – Seilbahnrinne runs spectacularly under the cable car with Innsbruck laid out beneath you. A broader slope is skiers’ left of the top station providing less sphincter puckering & more fun turns. Ski Route 5 Karrinne, plus several un-named chutes line the ridge to the skiers’ right are arguably better but appear more avalanche prone. The skiable vertical on the steeps is around 300m. From top down the bottom of the Seegrube double chair the vertical is 600m(ish). From Seegrube there are various groomed & freeride lines down to Hungerburg, but at only 860m elevation & south facing the lower end can be sketchy at times. Nordkette’s entire 1400m vertical is skiable in one hit & would give Innsbruck locals the perfect ‘morning jog’ equivalent on a powder day!

See the Nordkette ski trail map here.

Ski lifts at Nordkette have an interesting history outlined in a museum dedicated to them! The Hungerburg-Seegrube-Hafelekar cable car stations were first build in 1927. They are still used today, but with modern cable cars that were introduced with new funicular in 2007/8. The Hafelekar cable car has only one cabin, with the other side merely a counterweight. Definitely worth being in the first trip for a powder day as the wait for the return journey if you miss it is excruciating. The chairlifts are doubles that are so slow they are perfect to progress a romance on a sunny day! One ‘Sunkids’ conveyor is for novices.

Where is Nordkette Austria?

The Nordkette ski resort is perched above the world’s best ski city, Innsbruck. The ski lifts to the resort effectively start on the northern edge of the ‘Innenstadt’ (old town), where the funicular to Hungerburg begins its journey at ‘Congress’.

Innsbruck is in the heart of the Tyrol (Tirol) and is perfectly located to access not only Nordkette, but some of the best ski resorts in Europe. The city is only 150km south of Munich but nearly 500km west of the Austrian capital Vienna, & 300km east of Zurich. Gateway airports are Innsbruck (INN)(for European & UK flight origins) or Munich (MUC) (for everyone else). Search for the best airfares to Innsbruck here.

Travel from the Innsbruck airport into the city centre is easy & cheap via the Route F bus from the front of the small terminal building. From airports further afield, if you want to POW (Protect Our Winters), travelling to Innsbruck is recommended by train. From Munich, a local train from the airport to Munich Ost station will link to a direct train for Innsbruck Hbf – a journey time of just over 2.5hr. From Zurich airport a local train is best to Zurich main station for a direct journey to Innsbruck in less than 4hr.

Search & book train tickets to Innsbruck here.

Getting around Innsbruck is easy on its integrated bus, tram & train system. To get to Nordkette, buy your lift ticket at Congress funicular station & head up to Hungerburg. A short walk will see you at the cable car to Seegrube. If driving to Nordkette, the tight winding road climbs to Hungerburg, where the parking is limited & has a fee.

Nordkette Accommodation

Whilst Nordkette might dominate the skyline, Innsbruck dominates the valley. Nordkette’s cable car base at Hungerburg village has a few good places to stay. If you have a car try the 2 Chalets Innsbruck - rustic, quiet, perfect. If you don’t, the traditional Café Pension Alpina guesthouse is just opposite the cable car & funicular station. All lodgings at Hungerberg have stupendous views across the valley.

Search & book all Nordkette ski accommodation here.

The Innsbruck 'old town' (or Innenstadt) is sensational. With views up into the mountains & loads of nooks & crannies to explore, staying overnight here is worthy of a night or two on any Austrian ski trip. For the full old town experience, one cannot go past the gorgeously ancient Gasthof Weisses Rössl. This fabulous hotel guesthouse has around 600 years of history within its walls. For alternatives, try the Hotel Maximilian & Hotel Grauer Bar.

Après Ski & Other Activities

On Nordkette all the non-ski activities involve some walking & drinking. Drinking in the views, drinking in the sun & just plain drinking. On a clear day, foot passengers should ascend the lifts to the top at Hafelekar, then climb the short vertical to the cross-bearing 2334m peak that overlooks the Inn valley & surrounding Alps. Lunch at the Seegrube restaurant & then a few drinks are mandatory outside. The Cloud 9 Igloo bar is legendary for good reason whether for après ski or just an afternoon convivial – views, tunes & a buoyant vibe. They even do extended party sessions on a Friday night til 11pm (cable car runs til late). A good bar is at the cable car station in Hungerburg as well.

Nearby Ski Resorts

Nordkette is above Innsbruck, & Innsbruck is centre stage for a huge range of Austrian and even Italian ski resorts, making it a perfect starting point for awesome multi-resort ski safaris by train or car. It is a train transport hub that allows easy travel east to the Zillertal (with Mayrhofen, HochzillertalHintertux Glacier) and further to Kitzbuhel, Skicircus Saalbach, Kaprun & Zell am See.

Perhaps head west to St Anton & the huge Ski Arlberg area, or the brilliant Pitztal Glacier & the monstrosity that is Soelden in the Oetztal. Also in the Ötztal is the fabulously named Obergurgl Hochgurgl – well worth the journey to the upper end of the valley, but only if you have a car.

A short(ish) drive or train trip south are the Dolomites. The northern resorts are close & include PloseGitschberg-JochtalKronplatz & 3 Peaks - not to mention all of the other Dolomiti Superski resorts. The beautiful town of Vipiteno & its lovely small ski resort of Rosskopf (Monte Cavallo) plus the intriguing little Bergeralm are either side of the Brenner Pass just south of Innsbruck.

Everything is so close. That is why Powderhounds loves skiing Austria & visiting Innsbruck.

Reviews

The Powderhounds observed the utterly bizarre ski & snow proclivities of the Innsbruck locals whilst reviewing Nordkette in late March 2019. Click on the review links on this page for more info, photos and insights.

Tours in or near Nordkette

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 1,642
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Nordkette here
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