Ski & Snow

Enjoy Holidays Where Others Do Hard Training

Sölden is famous for grooming its glacier slopes at a world-class level right in time for the ultimate Ski World Cup Opening.
As well early birds can enjoy superb conditions thanks to this big sport event. What’s best, the ski slopes are almost empty while the race areas are crowded.

Glacier in the spotlight

Scenic Rettenbach Glacier high above Sölden is the pivot of all autumnal activities and sports highlights, including the Alpine Ski World Cup and the season’s first skiing competitions. Both the women’s and men’s giant slalom race are in the center of attention as about 350 media representatives and thousands of fans get together in the finish area at 2675 meters above sea level.

But also the glacier slopes are examined critically by the experts. The professional athletes and their service teams give all their attention to the snow conditions and racing circumstances. The equipment suppliers as well meet for extensive material tests in the Ötztal, even weeks before the races take place.

Präparierte Gletscherpiste für den Skilauf im Herbst in Sölden
View of Rettenbach Glacier.
© Ötztal Tourismus / Photo: Isidor Nösig

The entire Alpine skiing elite is working hard on tuning up their material better than all others for the coming World Cup winter. A stone on the slope or a deep scratch on the ski can dash all dreams and also the highly coveted best time. The Bergbahnen Sölden Lift Company will do the best to avoid these inconveniences by guaranteeing perfect snow conditions on the race track.

Perfection Stands For The Solution

The mountain lift company as the host of the World Cup Opening plays an important role for the races. Opinion leaders of the winter sport industry, members of the ski associations and reporters watch the event like a hawk. “We are absolutely aware of all special requirements and try to do our very, very best to ensure ideal conditions and surroundings,” explains Isi Grüner with understatement.

In actual fact, the efforts and challenges are enormous. The former skier cross pro and current race track director is responsible for an immaculate World Cup ski slope. He knows the difficulties of an autumnal race track better than anyone else. “What we need is simple perfection. And fairness. On the race day all female and male athletes should have exactly the same conditions. That’s what we are working hard for,” Grüner states.

Skifahren mit perfekt präparierte Gletscherpisten in Sölden, Tirol
Skiing on immaculate glacier slopes offering perfect conditions.
© Ötztal Tourismus / Photo: Rudy Wyhlidal

World Championship slopes for early birds

Already in spring, Sölden’s mountain lift staff creates large snow storage areas in secluded spots. In May and June the snow-grooming machines pile up the remaining winter snow on the icy surface. Then the storage areas are covered with sun-reflecting foils. In 2016 Sölden’s snow grooming experts covered no less than 11 hectares of snow storage areas, twice as much as in the years before.

In September the snow is spread again over the whole glacier ski slope. A truly unique advantage not only for professional ski stars but also for average skiers since the glacier ski mountains are perfectly prepared for the rest of the autumnal season.

Schneekanonen und Pistenbully auf dem Gletscher in Sölden
Snow-grooming machine and snow-making devices on the glacier slopes.
© Bergbahnen Sölden / Photo: Arnold Ritter

Mother Hulda at the touch of a button

At the same time, the Bergbahnen Sölden Mountain Lift Company has invested in state-of-the-art snow-making systems for the long term. 25 snow guns go into operation at the touch of a button, temperature permitting. Artificial white gold! Last summer the snow-making system was extended at Tiefenbach Glacier – Sölden’s second fabulous glacier ski mountain.

Once again, all ski guests benefit from these great efforts on occasion of the Alpine Ski World Cup. They enjoy the same top-notch conditions as professional athletes who practice training units on the same ski run. “It seems to be a synergy effect. Both the professional skiers and our ski guests are looking forward to first-class conditions on the ski slopes,“ reports Grüner, World Cup race track director.

Skiing Plus Sun Galore

Skiing aficionados can hardly resist: thanks to the ski racing event in late October, the ski slopes are more tempting than ever. While temperatures are still mild the snow layer is already solid enough for superb skiing fun during the golden autumn weeks or weekends. Sometimes you will find quite crowded ski slopes but without any lift lines, of course. Choose from ten glacier ski lifts and gondolas offering enough space for prime carving on fresh snow. The ski mountains on both glaciers cover incredible 34.5 slope kilometers attracting also the cream of the international skiing scene. Probably you will share a gondola cabin with Lindsey Vonn! A wonderful paradox: skiing in an internationally renowned winter sport resort which is still an insider’s tip in-between the seasons.

Peace and quiet are unknown on the World Cup race weekend. The two giant slalom competitions attract not only ski stars and former sport heroes to Sölden but also a colorful crowd of enthusiastic fan clubs and charming party people. Unlimited skiing sports fun is celebrated on three days in a row.

And this is exactly the reason why so many sports lovers travel to lovely Ötztal for splendid glacier skiing in autumn.

Let’s Go To The Glacier

Spaß beim Skifahren - Sölden, Tirol
Explore the superb glacier slopes of Rettenbach and Tiefenbach Glacier on skis! No matter if you plan your next ski vacation or a fine hiking weekend – The Hot Spot in the Alps offers lodgings for all preferences and pocket books! Hotels of varied categories, apartments & chalets, B&Bs, private guesthouses, inns, holiday houses and quaint mountain huts cater to all tastes – just like the Ötztal valley itself.

The convenient Online Booking Platform run by Ötztal Tourismus guarantees a quick, easy and safe booking process! You can take full advantage of exclusive deals and holiday packages. If you have further questions, the experienced team can help you in planning your measure-made holiday as only local specialists will provide you with useful insider’s recommendations.

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Author Gastautor

... varied guest authors write about their adventures and experiences in the Ötztal / in Sölden / in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

More posts by Gastautor

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