Pitztal Glacier4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
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Pitztal Glacier ski resort overlooks the beautiful Wildspitze.
Pitztal Glacier ski resort overlooks the beautiful Wildspitze.
Brilliant off piste powder skiing alongside crevasses at Pitztal Glacier.
Brilliant off piste powder skiing alongside crevasses at Pitztal Glacier.
Pitztal Glacier's Wildspitzbahn gondola is Austria's highest lift at 3440m.
Pitztal Glacier's Wildspitzbahn gondola is Austria's highest lift at 3440m.
Wide open piste trails for beginners & intermediates at Pitztal Glacier ski resort.
Wide open piste trails for beginners & intermediates at Pitztal Glacier ski resort.
Pitztal Glacier is accessible by bus from the Imst-Pitztal train station.
Pitztal Glacier is accessible by bus from the Imst-Pitztal train station.
Pitztal Glacier ski resort is a Powderhounds playground.
Pitztal Glacier ski resort is a Powderhounds playground.
Hinterer Brunnenkogel lookout and cafe at the top of Pitztal is amazing.
Hinterer Brunnenkogel lookout and cafe at the top of Pitztal is amazing.
Broad pistes, powder fields and steeps off the Wildspitzbahn at Pitztal.
Broad pistes, powder fields and steeps off the Wildspitzbahn at Pitztal.
The Taschachtal variant has heliski quality skiing on its 10km+ length.
The Taschachtal variant has heliski quality skiing on its 10km+ length.
This incredible solar array sits above the Pitztal Glacier ski area base.
This incredible solar array sits above the Pitztal Glacier ski area base.
Quality food and drink options are at the base area bar, cafe and restaurants.
Quality food and drink options are at the base area bar, cafe and restaurants.
The Brunnenkogel T-Bar has wide cruising trails and some sneaky powder!
The Brunnenkogel T-Bar has wide cruising trails and some sneaky powder!
Gentle powder fields, perfect for learning, abound at Pitztal Glacier.
Gentle powder fields, perfect for learning, abound at Pitztal Glacier.
Mittelbergbahn gondola has long intermediate trails, powder and steeps.
Mittelbergbahn gondola has long intermediate trails, powder and steeps.
Face shot anyone? BYO snorkel to Pitztal Glacier ski resort.
Face shot anyone? BYO snorkel to Pitztal Glacier ski resort.
Rifflsee ski resort shares a lift ticket with Pitztal & has quality terrain options.
Rifflsee ski resort shares a lift ticket with Pitztal & has quality terrain options.
Beautiful and quiet Taschachtal Glacier is accessed from Pitztal.
Beautiful and quiet Taschachtal Glacier is accessed from Pitztal.
Skiing Taschachtal is a Pitztal Glacier ski resort highlight.
Skiing Taschachtal is a Pitztal Glacier ski resort highlight.
Pitztaler Schihutte. A great bar & the only ski in ski out lodgings at Pitztal.
Pitztaler Schihutte. A great bar & the only ski in ski out lodgings at Pitztal.
Put your mark on Pitztal Glacier ski resort, a Powderhounds Paradise.
Put your mark on Pitztal Glacier ski resort, a Powderhounds Paradise.

Pitztal Glacier

Pitztal Glacier & Rifflsee Ski Resorts, Tyrol, Austria

Pitztal is a beautiful valley in the Tyrol of Austria offering wonderful skiing and snowboarding at Pitztal Glacier & Rifflsee ski resorts. Pitztal Glacier ski resort has Austria's highest glacier skiing at a lofty 3440m. Pitztal is one of the most snow sure ski areas in Europe with a season running from October through to May.

Combined with the nearby and family friendly Rifflsee, Pitztal has an eye-watering vertical of 1760m. That is enough to turn the thighs of the most hardened campaigner into mush. A haven for powder seeking off-piste ski junkies, the new Wildspitzbahn will get you to a nose bleeding height of 3440m.  The panoramic views of the impressive Wildspitze will be appreciated by intermediate skiers and ignored by the powder hunting experts as they harvest fresh line after fresh line.

Summary of Pros & Cons for Pitztal Glacier Ski Resort

Pros

  • Quality snow & deep snow pack;
  • Amazing views and glacial features;
  • Wide open piste trails for beginners and intermediates;
  • Sensational off-piste powder;
  • Uncrowded, no lift lines;
  • Great value for money when combined with Rifflsee;
  • Good place to learn powder skiing for intermediates;
  • Backcountry ski variants are simply superb.

Cons

  • Difficult to ski during poor weather;
  • Limited on mountain restaurant & bar options;
  • Limited nearby accommodation;
  • Relatively small ski area if unable to ski variants;
  • Poor set up at exit point of Glacier Express funicular.

Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective

  • Very quiet base area at Mittelberg & Mandarfen;
  • Valley has a high base, is in shadow & very cold;
  • Best combined with other ski areas like Hochzeiger.

Pitztal Skiing & Snowboarding

Pitztal Glacier is a relatively small ski resort spread across two high alpine bowls, but it skis BIG. The lifts are perfect for the terrain. Both gondolas are quite spectacular. The funicular from the base is the main let down as it is a slow loading process, a cramped impolite journey, topped off with a ridiculously designed exit with day lockers &their users blocking all egress.

For most visitors to Pitztal, the potential 1760m of skiable vertical will never be touched. The reality of Pitztal Glacier ski resort is that the main lift served terrain is only around 650m of vertical. The other 1100 odd metres of skiable vert is in the variants that depart the upper resort area & find their way down to the funicular base at Mittelberg or the Rifflsee base at Mandarfen.

Piste trails suitable for all abilities, particularly when combined with the adjacent Rifflsee (same lift ticket, access via a regular bus and then ski back from Rifflsee to the base of Pitztal Glacier resort). Terrain may be limited for advanced riders if the off-piste is cruddy (really!) or avalanche prone. In powder the inbounds off piste terrain is great for new powder skiers on broad gentle terrain and for everyone else in well pitched bowls. Steeps & chutes for experts can be found off the top of both gondolas. Scoping it out from the gondolas is easy enough before taking the plunge.

The freeride & touring options at Pitztal Glacier are exactly what skiing Europe is all about. Brilliant stuff! The 10km long Taschachtal variant is sensational, but snowboarders may struggle on the last 4km without a splitboard, skins or at least poles. The skiing is heliski quality minus the helicopter, guides and other people! Have a celebratory drink at the Pitztaler Schihutte near the end.

The best fall line descent is the 1400m+ Mittagskogel variant which involves a small climb (boot pack or skins) and then a great ski down nearly all the way to the base of the funicular. Crevasse hazards on the glaciers area real and should not be taken lightly.

Pitztal Snow & Weather

The high elevation of Pitztal Glacier provides abundant snowfalls & a consistently good snow quality long after the last snowfall that is becoming more & more difficult to find around the world. It is not unusual for the resort to have 6m+ snow bases by the middle of the season. 

However, skiing or snowboarding during poor weather is quite the chore at Pitztal, and not recommended for any but the most hardened campaigner. A more splendid location in sunshine, one will struggle to find. Ski Pitztal when the visibility is good, otherwise head to the significantly lower Rifflsee or Hochzeiger further down the valley.

Where is Pitztal, Austria?

Pitztal Glacier ski resort is splendidly located deep in the Pitz valley (Pitztal!) near Austria's 2nd highest peak, the glacier clad Wildspitze. Pitztal is part of the Tyrol and the ski resort is 52km southwest of Innsbruck (as the crow flies!). That said, Pitztal isn't the easiest place to get to, but is absolutely worth the effort.

Gateway airports for Pitztal are Innsbruck (from within Europe & UK) and Munich or Zurich (for everyone else).

The nearest major town is Wenns at the start of the valley, 28km by road to the north of the ski resort.

From Innsbruck or Landeck, Pitztal is a short train ride to Imst-Pitztal and then the route 4204 bus (hourly) from the train station. Journey time from Innsbruck is about 1hr 40min. Got a car - a lot quicker. Rent a car from Innsbruck or other Europe location here.

Pitztal Accommodation

The Pitztal is a long narrow valley lined with numerous small hamlets (under the overarching name of Sankt Leonhard im Pitztal) providing an excellent range of hotels, apartments and guesthouses. There is no accommodation in the actual ski resort, but near the Glacier Express funicular lift base is one ski in (from Rifflsee) ski out option with bunk rooms and meals (the Pitztaler Schihütte). Two hotels are within walking distance to the funicular in Mittelberg. A beautiful new resort style apartment complex is opening in June 2018 at Mittelberg, the Pure Resort Pitztal. Could be the place to stay when skiing the area.

Next down the valley in Mandarfen at the base of Rifflsee ski resort, several ski in guesthouses and hotels are conveniently positioned. Other hamlets with numerous hotels and apartments are further down the valley are at Tieflehn and Plangeross. Both are within 5min drive (or short local bus ride) of the ski resort.

Failing all that, or if looking for a base to ski the entire valley, including Hochzeiger, the large town of Wenns and the smaller Jerzens offer alternatives with all the services required for a longer stay. Numerous excellent self contained apartments at local farms provide a wonderful local holiday experience. Both towns have regular bus services to Pitztal Glacier.

See all Pitztal Glacier Accommodation here >>>

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    Innsbruck (Olympia Ski World) Ski Resort Map
  • Pitztal Glacier & Rifflsee Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1680m – 3440m (1760m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    10m+ 
  • Lifts (13)
    4 Gondolas/cable cars/funicle
    4 Chairlifts
  • Ski Hours
    Oct* to early May (*mid Sep if conditions allow)
    8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 86km
    42km piste trails & 44km variant routes
    Longest run – 11km
    Advanced - 59%
    Intermediate - 25%
    Beginner - 16%
  • Lift Prices (Day Ticket 18/19)
    Adult - €39 - 51
    Child - €23 - 30
    Child u/10yr - Free

    Hochzeiger Ski Trail Map
  • Hochzeiger Ski Trail Map