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Ski holiday in Kaprun and Zell am See, Austria

Day 1: fantastic snow on Kitzsteinhorn

We spent a week skiing in Austria.  We stayed at Hotel Tauernhof, in Kaprun, with Crystal holidays .  We are off there again skiing this year also,  Hooray !

It had snowed the week before so we were hopeful.  But having been before to hotels in Schüttdorf and Schmittental we were ready to accept whatever the ski snow conditions might be.  Previous trips had varied from sheet ice slopes to slush and wet grass ending in the valley with warm spring weather and flowers coming up.

See the snow now on live web cam. Live Kameras: Kitsteinhorn-Sonnenkar-KaprunAlpincenterMaiskogel-Kaprun, Zell-am-Zee web cam

Ski bus towards Gletscherbahnen

base of ski lift at Gletscherbahnen

Alpinstation ski lifts on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier

Ski down from top of Kitzsteinhorn

We took the free bus from near the hotel to the Gletscherbahnen lift (10 minutes) and then up to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier followed by the lift to the Alpin Centre at 2452m.  From there there were plenty of easy runs including up and down from the top Gipfelstation at 3029m.  All sun and blue skies with nice fresh snow everywhere.

Frost on the trees in the valley near the Kaprun

Loud music at Schmittenhöhe

Restaraunt at Schmittenhöhe

Ice sculpture of boat at Schmittenhöhe

The free bus service takes about 15 minutes from Kaprun to the Areitbahn lifts at Schüttdorf, which give access to the Zell-am-See ski area.  On the way, you cross the flat valley floor where the moisture from the river evaporates and coats the trees with frost. 

From Schüttdorf bus stop, where there is a big car park alongside the main road and a commercial area, you take the Areitbahn 1, 2, 3 lifts up to the top of Schmittenhöhe mountain at 2000m.  There is a nice outdoor bar at the top with good music and it is good rest stop for lunch with great views back down to the partially frozen lake. The ski route down is blue runs to start and then red back to Schüttdorf.  If you want blue all the way down you can turn left, on route 12, into the Schmittenhöhe valley and follow a very gentle winding track down for several miles.  You finish up a little below the bus stop at Schmittenhöhe where you can get a bus down the valley to Zell am See.  Change at the Zell bus station to get back to Schüttdorf or Kaprun.

Tauernhof Hotel, Kaprun

View of carpark from Tauernhof Hotel, Kaprun

Across the road from the hotel

Ski bus stop in Kaprun

We stayed in the Tauernhof Hotel on the main street of Kaprun about 100m west of the centre.  Good location near ski bus stop and shopping centre.

Ski down from top of Kitzsteinhorn

View down from Kitzsteinhorn

Eric in dazzle ski outfit

Ski down from top of Kitzsteinhorn

On the morning of the last day there was fresh snow everywhere and it was snowing so we went to the top of the highest mountain at Kitzsteinhorn.  Reaching the top was quite dramatic with howling gale, white mist, blizzard and no air.  We made our way down bit by bit in the fog, that made navigating difficult.  You could not tell which way was down and could not even tell if you were moving or not.  It was nice to get back to the Alpinstation to warm up.

► Page created 20 Feb 2005, amended 25 Feb 2022.

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