5 of 6 – winter well underway on the Austrian glaciers

Cool and wet weather has recently delivered snow across the higher peaks in Austria and much of the Austrian glacier skiing operation is now open for the winter.

Long before the ski expos of northern Europe take place, cars and ski buses are plying the valleys of the Stubaital, Ötztal, Pitztal, Zillertal and Kaunertal. Lifts are rolling on 5 of the 6 main Austrian glacier skiing areas. The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier is set to open on the 12th October, allowing the Salzburg region to kick-off winter.

Some of the highlights of autumn glacier skiing include the opening festivals featuring competitions, Oktoberfest, ski testing and open-air concerts. September conditions can sometimes be a little hit and miss, but in most years, glacier conditions from October onwards can be impressive, whilst November can offer some of the best skiing of the winter, with fresh snow, cold weather, uncrowded weekday slopes and the chance to ski non-glacial areas such as Ischgl or Obergurgl. Ski groups should particularly enjoy the Christmas markets and the wide range of accommodation options. For event planners, utterly demoralised by venue costs and limited options, then the Alps can offer a Christmas party that is seriously atmospheric, rich in quality and sure to be a company talking point for years to come.

Even without the activities off the snow, that feeling of early season skiing is truly special. Some residents of Tirol, Austria would have had as little as 2 months off the snow at the Stubai Glacier, whilst the die-hard Zillertal skiers and snowboarders may have been riding without break for years on the year-round skiing of the Hintertux Glacier. Fresh snow is forecast for the coming weekend and early next week. And next weekend it is 6 of 6, as the Salzburgers join the party.

Storm on the Olperer mountain on the Hintertux glacier.
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