Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
    Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm ski trail map
  • Skicircus Saalbach Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    795m – 2,100m (1,305m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5 - 7m
  • Lifts (70)
    29 Gondolas / cable cars
    22 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    December to mid April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 270km
    Longest run – 7km+
    Advanced - 10%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Beginner - 50%
  • Lift Pass Prices (Day Ticket 18/19)
    Adult - €38.50 to 55
    Child - €19.50 to 27.50
    Child u/6yr - Free
    Saalbach Hinterglemm Ski Trail Map
  • Saalbach Hinterglemm Trail Map
    Leogang Ski Trail Map
  • Leogang Ski Trail Map
    Fieberbrunn Ski Trail Map
  • Fieberbrunn Trail Map

Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn Skiing & Snowboarding

Our jaws dropped as we sat in the bus traveling to Skicircus Saalbach from the train station at Zell am see. Glistening in the sun along the valley all the way to Saalbach, we saw endless broad tracts of off-piste powder snow from a storm three days previous, tracked now through the pastures and between the trees, hay barns and houses. In town, a rustic rambling pedestrian zone, bustling with satisfied skiers and snowboarders descending off the hill via ………… elevators. What the..?? Saalbach is so geared to everyone’s winter skiing and snowboarding needs that there are pedestrian lifts (elevators) to move the more infirm snow riders from the piste to the street level and vice versa. That’s a first for this Powderhound.

Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn piste trails ramble across 5 different valleys on all aspects and grades. The trails are all long and wide, groomed to perfection. This is where one notices Skicircus Saalbach’s only real terrain deficiency - advanced piste terrain. Thankfully all is forgiven due to the powder laden off-piste terrain and marked routes, plus massive and easily accessible backcountry. It is true that if the temps are cold, the off-piste terrain at Saalbach has freshies available many days after the last snowfall.

Biggest problem in the Skicircus is that Fieberbrunn is now included. Would have been wonderful by itself. For good reason, a massive crowd from all points of the Skicircus head to Fieberbrunn most mornings, but thankfully the majority stay on piste.

See the Skicircus ski trail map here.

Ski Lifts at Skicircus Saalbach

Any ski resort with 29 gondolas is serious about their lift infrastructure and the good people at Skicircus Saalbach are VERY serious about their lift network. Few ski resorts (if any?) have this amount of gondolas in a single ski resort anywhere in the world (happy to be corrected). The gondolas allow the passage (by up and download) of beginner (and/or tired/drunk) skiers and snowboarders to all points of the resort, moving large numbers of people efficiently and avoiding the creation of lift queues. The Powderhounds generally dislike gondolas because we hate taking our skis off. Got to admit though, they are nice on a cold day.

 

The gondolas trump the chairlifts at the Skicircus. A piddling 22 chairlifts (note to Skicircus management – that was a joke!) with at least 13 of them 6er or 8er. That’s putting the F, into Fantastic lifting capacity!

A great revelation at the SkiCircus (particularly when compared to some ski resorts in France that shall remain nameless – La Rosiere for example, oops) was the convenient placement of toilets around the resort. Just about all major lift bases and top stations have toilets in them, which is wonderful (for females in particular) in such a huge place.

Naturally the tal (valley) station of the TirolS gondola has of all things …..,,. two lifts (elevators) to get one back up to the gondolas from the Fieberbrunn side. Hells bells this place has some serious infrastructure. Of course, you could do it the old-fashioned way and climb two flights of stairs. Are you hard or soft? You choose……..but we are watching!

Lift Tickets

SkiCircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn has lift tickets available at all major gondola base stations throughout the resort. Comparative to other Austrian ski resorts and the combined lift infrastructure, quality of the piste and general facilities, we rate it very good value.

The SkiCircus is interlinked with three major lift ticket enterprises which if planning on skiing for two weeks or more in the region might make sense to purchase.

The Ski Alpin Card is a season pass for SkiCircus Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang, Fieberbrunn, Schmitten (Zell am See) and Kaprun (including Kitzsteinhorn).

The Salzburg Super Ski Card - 25 skiing regions, 925 cable cars & lifts, 2,790 km of slopes. The Salzburg Super Ski Card covers the largest ski network in the world for day passes & flexible tickets .

The Snow Card Tirol - 91 ski resorts (including five glacier ski resorts) over 3,000kms of piste trails and 1,100 ski lifts. The card is valid for all ski resorts in the Tirol and some Salzburg resorts and is only sold a season pass from Oct 1 to mid-May.

Beginner Skiing at Skicircus Saalbach

Skicircus Saalbach has around 50% of its piste terrain rated as blue for 'beginner' skiers and snowboarders. This is great news for a huge cohort of snow riders. Note that many of the longer piste trails rated blue, are in fact bordering on red 'intermediate' pitch.

In Saalbach, Hinterglemm and Leogang, much of the real 'beginner' terrain on the lower mountain is in shadow for a large percentage of the day in winter and so can be extremely cold. Conversely, these areas, serviced by a range of conveyors, button lifts and T-Bars, are delightfully sheltered when the weather up top is heinous. Luckily some sunny alternatives for beginners exist – one of the Skicircus’ strengths – it is so vast there is always an alternative.

The beginner terrain at Fieberbrunn is great at the Oblingleiten T-Bar. Progression can then occur up to the Streubӧden area. In Saalbach the Turm 6er chair (orange hooded) provides the beginner with the goods and is the preferred learning ground if you must choose. Another Saalbach alternative is to go up the Bernkogel gondola and spend the day on the Bernkogel 6er chair (blue hooded). The ski rental and ski/snowboard school at Luis Alm make Bernkogel an attractive proposition for beginners. In Hintergelmm, once you have your legs go to the Spieleck or Zehner 6er which are in elevated sunny positions on opposite sides of the valley.

Any beginners progressing to the cusp of intermediate have a huge array of choice. Runs off the Magic Chair are glorious. But the long top to valley trails (many closer to intermediate piste) are the real business. Piste 2a into 2b from Schattberg Ost to Vorderglemm, drops over 1000m vertical and gets the chocolates for the best blue piste, particularly first thing in the morning. For a bit of adventure, number 68 down to Viehhofen will prepare newer skiers for bigger and better things to come.

Some high traffic areas into Saalbach (trail 46) and Hinterglemm (trails 32a and 33a) can get a bit skied off and busy after lunch – be wary.

Intermediate Ski & Snowboard Terrain

Interestingly for the intermediate skier and snowboarder, most of the longer blue pistes at Skicircus Saalbach are, at least in part, pitched steeply enough to be rated 'red' intermediate piste. This makes decisions as to where to ski or snowboard at Skicircus relatively easy as the entire resort is covered in these super highways.

The pick of the intermediate piste at the Skicircus is in Fieberbrunn on the F11-F12 combination – long and fast. Similarly, the 900m vertical trails 13 and 14 off Zwolferkogel are spectacular and will make your eyes water if you go fast enough – not that we condone fast skiing - we just prefer it!

For the Family/Kids

A range of trails & ski-related activities are available for families. The ski movie, fun park and night slope under the Unterschwarzach gondola in Hinterglemm is the prime example. Snow trails, fun slopes and terrain parks are all options as well (see below).

Terrain Parks & Funslopes

Six different terrain, fun and freeride parks are dotted across the Skicircus Saalbach ski resort. Most have a range of features to suit beginners, intermediates and advanced riders. Hinterglemm has the best range of options. The Night Park until 9pm under the Unterschwarzach gondola in Hinterglemm provides the most interesting experience. Note - no pipe in the Skicircus.

Advanced Skiing in Skicircus Saalbach

A small number of advanced on-piste runs exist at Skicircus Saalbach. Far & away the best of them is the long 1000m+ vert on north facing terrain from Schattberg Ost (East) into Saalbach. Nothing else compares. All the remaining advanced riding is effectively on the marked freeride routes and in the huge off-piste.

Expert Terrain

All the expert skiing in the Skicircus is in the off-piste trees or backcountry.

Off Piste Skiing & Snowboarding at Skicircus Saalbach

Where to begin and end? Put simply, there is off piste skiing everywhere in the Skicircus. The main caveat is that much of the north facing off piste tree areas are closed for wildlife protection (refer to trail map). Regardless, alot of theses closed areas get skied. The Powderhounds respect these closures – there is plenty of open terrain.

Some of the finest off piste is the ‘rural’ and lightly treed south facing slopes between Hinterglemm and Viehhofen from ridge to road. Wherever you hit the road, walk left or right until you get to a bus stop. Ski around farm buildings and look out for the odd fence and other obstructions. It is OFF piste after all.

The major ‘official’ off piste areas are off the Fieberbrunn lifts, particularly the Hochhӧrndl quad chair. From the top at 2020m, skiers left gets you F33 (Hump Shot) and then a hard right extends you all the way to the bottom on F34 (Big Dude) and F35 (Big Mom). The latter two are the best off-piste runs in the resort.

Also in Fieberbrunn, at the top of the aptly named Larchfilzkogel gondola, marked route F30 (Son of a Beach) shoots straight down the summit through the avalanche fencing. Climb a bit up to skiers’ right from the top station & you get a massive bowl back to the Reckmoos Nord (North) gondola, or ski down the first section of F1 piste until the end of the fence & cut hard left into steep larch forest. Recon the exit though or risk getting stuck.

Seriously there is some ground to play on. Only use the marked routes until you feel safe and have got your navigation (i.e. exits) sorted. All marked routes have excellent groomed return trails to a lift base (assuming you exit at the right spot). The trails can be a bit flat near the base of the TirolS, so snowboarders should keep up their speed all the way to ………………… the elevator up to the gondola. NOTE: we took the stairs.

Under the TirolS drop left into F36 Heavens Cake. North facing with lots of fresh lines to be had. There is plenty more. Just explore and find a way.

Skicircus Backcountry Skiing

Access to backcountry areas is a cinch. A couple of great areas are easy if you are properly equipped. The easiest is along the ridge from the top of the Spieleck 6er chair above Lengau. Head west along the ridge and shoot any lines down to the road. Access to the resort is down valley via the Hochalmbahn.

A more serious adventure is off the backside from the top of the trusty Hochhӧrndl quad chair in Fieberbrunn. The Freeride World Tour has an event here on the flanks of Wildseeloder. Exits here are a reasonable undertaking. Plan your routes accordingly.

If in doubt, get a guide or stay inbounds!