A group of friends visited recently from the UK, and I became concerned as the date of their arrival loomed because the snow in the valleys was fading fast, the snow higher on the mountains was thin, and there was no sign of an imminent snowfall on local weather forecasts. However, I need not have been concerned. Not only did we have a snow fall on the third day, but the artificial snow production and piste preparation in this part of Austria are so fantastic that the snow may have been limited, but the skiing was great.
A view of St Johann in Tirol from Ellmau
We warmed up in St Johann on the first day before heading to the SkiWelt on the second day, visiting the middle station above every resort, and checking out the valley runs to Ellmau, Sheffau and Söll (they were all in good condition). Next, it was on to Fieberbrunn, where we had a slow day while new snow fell.
Snow falling in Fieberbrunn
On the penultimate day of their holiday we went to Kitzbühel, a resort famous for its impossibly steep Hahnenkamm downhill race, but also a great place for an intermediate skier to cruise the blues.
For their final day’s skiing we were up early and drove half an hour down the road to Leogang, from where you can access the Saalbach-Hinterglemm ski circus. Those who wanted a relaxing day skied ventured no further than Saalbach, while the more adventurous circumnavigate the whole area.
Panorama of the skiing at Scheffau
For your next ski holiday, why not hire a car (or use local transport) and visit a few resorts in the neighbourhood of your base. Many ski areas offer a pass that covers multiple resorts, such as the Kitzbühel Alps All Star Card that we used last week.