Kaprun (Kitzsteinhorn) Ski Resort Austria
Skiing in Austria wouldn’t be complete for Powderhounds without a visit to wonderful Kaprun and skiing the breathtaking Kitzsteinhorn. Linked with the nearby Zell am See
ski resort and part of the broader Salzburg Super Ski Card and Kitzbüheler Alpen All Star Card areas, Kaprun - Kitzsteinhorn provides something for everyone in a beautiful high alpine glacier environment.
Snow-sure within the upper ski area reaching to 3029m, Kitzsteinhorn offers ‘winter’ skiing from mid-October to the start of May. Kitzsteinhorn has great off-piste and powder days, perfect groomed slopes for all levels, Austria’s biggest half pipe, modern lifts and glorious views across to Großglockner and the entire Hohe Tauern National park. This is Austrian skiing at its best. The town of Kaprun at its base comes complete with castle and enthusiastic après scene. Add a smaller ski hill accessed directly from town (Maiskogel) and stunning lakes nearby to the area’s charm and it is placed firmly in the ‘must do’ category.
The Powderhounds will be reviewing Kaprun in 2017. Stay tuned for more detailed information.
Kaprun Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain
The three Kaprun ski areas of Lechnerberg, Maiskogel and Kitzsteinhorn offer vastly different skiing and boarding experiences. Beginner tows called the Lechnerberg are right in town and great for first timers and families. Maiskogel’s lower run ends right in Kaprun. Maiskogel rises a respectable 960 metres above town, with two chairs (4 and 6 person) making their way up to the top at 1730m elevation. A limited number of pistes to suit all snow riders wind their way back down to Kaprun. Maiskogel is a great option for bad weather days on the real ski hill, Kitzsteinhorn.
Kitzsteinhorn has 41km of piste skiing available from 1976m up to 3029m, and a ski-able vertical of 1053m. The piste terrain is mostly suited to intermediates, but is also known for its huge half pipe and extensive park. Five freeride routes ranging in vertical drop from 250m to 700m allow for some safe exploration. Wide open off piste powder fields, bowls, natural halfpipes and rock gardens await the more adventurous. A new 8 seater chair replaces some old surface lifts from season 2016/17. It adds to the funicular, cable car, 5 gondolas and 3 other chairlifts. Several surface lifts servicing the glacial areas make up the remainder of the lifts.
The upper glacier area of Kitzsteinhorn is open in June and July for a short summer skiing season. Terrain is limited but good enough to have a bit of fun or learn to ski in the relative warmth.
Kaprun Snow and Weather
Whilst snowfall statistics are difficult to acquire, the high elevation and northerly aspect of Kitzsteinhorn will generally guarantee quality snow conditions – a pleasing thought for all Powderhounds. With its resident glacier, Kitzsteinhorn has a long season, effectively from mid-October to end of July, but can be susceptible to poor weather conditions. The lower elevations of Maiskogel and Lechnerberg, leave them vulnerable to high temperatures early and late in the season.
Interlinked with Zell am See
The Kaprun ski area is interlinked via a short bus ride to delightful Zell am See
ski area (also known as Schmitten). The combined Kaprun-Zell am See ski area covers the slopes of Kitzsteinhorn, Maiskogel and Schmittenhöhe. The difference in vertical from the base near Zell am See (760m) to the top of the ski-able area of Kitzsteinhorn (3029m) makes for an impressive 2269m vertical across the resorts – shame you can can’t ski it all in one hit! It does however provide access to a total of 138km of trails and 50 ski lifts. As an added bonus all piste runs at Zell am See are covered by high tech snow-making.
Where is Kaprun, Austria?
Kaprun is in Salzburg province and is located 110km south of Salzburg in central Austria. Kaprun is close to Austria’s highest mountain – Großglockner (3798m).
Closest major gateway airports are Innsbruck
(142km) and Salzburg. Another option would be Munich, but it is much further afield. For all airport transfers click below.
Public transport options abound. Trains run regularly direct to neighbouring Zell am See. Zell am See is 8km by road north of Kaprun. Most train journeys to Zell am See from Innsbruck
take around 2 hours (change at Wörgl) and from Salzburg about 1½ hours. Regular buses, free for anyone with a ski pass, regularly connect Zell am See and Kaprun.
A host of nearby ski resorts can be conveniently reached by car, bus or train from either Schuttsdorf or Zell am See stations. Ski resorts accessible by train include the vast SkiCircus
at Leogang , iconic Kitzbuhel-Kirchberg, the huge SkiWelt – Brixental , Wildkogel at Bramberg , Weiβee Glacier World and resorts in the Zillertal via Krimml. Buses also connect to SkiCircus
at Saalbach and Hinterglemm, and if skiing under the new Zellamseexpress gondola at Schmitten, you can continue all the way to the valley bottom near Viehhofen (also part of Ski Circus Saalbach) and catch the bus back to Zell am See and Kaprun (buses run every hour).
The village of Kaprun is a real town that is focused on tourism. It has a mind-boggling array of accommodation available. Once in Kaprun you can put the car away as you can walk or take a bus everywhere you will need to go. There are no real ski in ski out accommodation options in Kaprun.
Some accommodation favorites in Kaprun include:
– Highly rated, superb, modern and stylish accommodation in the centre of Kaprun. Family owned, it has a large range of room configurations and apartments available. Next to ski bus stop and shops. Underground parking, Wi-Fi, delicious breakfast and Tauern Spa entry included.
Tauern Spa Hotel
– Unique hotel located a short distance from Kaprun. Beautiful rooms, all with balconies, complimentary beverages, access to 25 different pool, spas & saunas on site plus a buffet breakfast without equal make this a stand out in Kaprun. Half board also available.
– A short walk from the centre of town, Hotel Kaprunerhof has lovely rooms and suites, with or without half-board. The food is exceptional and the pool and spa facilities first rate.
– Beautiful apartments configured with one, two or three bedrooms. Centrally located close to ski bus stop and shops. Covered parking, Wi-Fi and great breakfast buffet included.
– Great Value fully self-contained chalet apartments all with mountain views. For couples or families. Full kitchens, large sitting rooms, comfortable bedrooms. Free entry in to Tauern Spa complex.
– Our secret location for those who prefer a relaxed and quiet country location, Haus Salzachblick is only 10 minutes from Kaprun above the small town of Walchen. You will love the comfortable apartments and expansive views up and down the valley.
Kaprun Accommodation Listings – options for lodging only.
Kaprun, with its population of around 3000 people has a full range of services, shops, bars and restaurants including ski shops to hire ski or snowboard equipment.
The nearby Tauern Spa complex will soothe anyone’s cares away.
Maiskogel can be skied like a moving feast. Seven bars and restaurants line it slopes from top to bottom. Kitzsteinhorn has food options placed in its 4 major hubs from top to bottom.
Summary of Pros and Cons
Guaranteed snow any time of the season on Kitzsteinhorn.
Variety of terrain and link with Zell am See.
Breathtaking views from Kitzsteinhorn.
Huge range of accommodation available.
If weather poor (low visibility) , lower elevation skiing available on Maiskogel or at Zell am See.
- Easy access by train to Zell am See.
- Close to vast number of other ski resorts in the region.
- Variety of other non ski activities to do in area.
Not many true ski in ski out options.
No direct foot access to Kitzsteinhorn ski lifts from town. Shuttle bus required.
Base areas at Maiskogel and Lechnerberg vulnerable to vagaries of climate warming.
Pros or Cons (depending on your perspective!)
- Kitzsteinhorn is very exposed when the winter blizzards roll in, but hey, it doesn’t snow when the sun shines!
Lively après scene.
Tours in or near Kaprun