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Austria.
Hintertux:- I have only skied or snowboarded on the glacier at Hintertux in Summer and in my view it is one of the best,if not THE best Summer glaciers in Europe. It has more challenging slopes than what is normally found on a glacier and the snow is generally in good condition. The village of Hintertux is in a bleak setting at the head of the valley and really only consists of a small number of hotels and B&Bs as well as a car park and the lift station. In Winter it is very busy here when snow conditions in the nearby resorts down the valley are not too good. To access the glacier you take a selection of gondolas up to 3250 Metres.The first is an 8 seater to Sommerbergalm followed by a couple of bigger cabins. In all the trip takes around 25 minutes. There is a decent variation of slopes on the glacier including a couple of black runs. It is often common to find Ski teams training up here in Summer.
On our last visit we stayed down the valley in Mayrhofen where with a visit to the local tourist office you will find helpfull English speaking staff who will book you accomodation. There are lots of small Familly run guest houses which offer great accomodation at very reasonable prices.

Hintertux Website

Mayrhofen Website

Austrian Tourist Info

Kaprun:-
Price Paid
N/A
Booked Trip Through
Road Trip.
Times Visited
2-5 Times
Review Detail
While staying in Kitzbuhel in July we decided to have a days boarding on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier at Kaprun.
It had been a few years since we last boarded here and it had infact been a short while before the disaster with the fire on the funicular when a lot of people died. The track is still there but the tunnel entrance into the mountain has been blocked up.

The drive from Kitzbuhel takes you over the Thurn pass and down to Mittersill from where you head on towards Kaprun and up to the car park. It took us just over an hour to get there.
The Kitzsteinhorn was originally Austrias first glacier skiing region about 30 years ago.
The lifts open at 8am and there are two parallel gondolas (Gletscherjet 1 and Panoramabahn) from the car park that take you up to the first station at Langweid which is at 1976m. From there a 2nd stage gondola or a quad chair (Winter only) take you up to the Alpincentre (restaurant,toilets,shop) at 2452m.
On our visit in July you could ride all the way down as far as here from where you can either take the large Gipfelbahn cable car to the top station at 3029m or you can take the Gratbahn chair from where a couple of easy ,gentle runs on a decent covering of snow take you back down to the Alpincentre.
When you get up to the very top and get out of the cable car you have to then go down a few steps and get onto a short funicular railway (Gletscher shuttle) which takes you down to the Summer Ski/Board area.
There are about half a dozen drag lifts operating up here and the runs are mostly short and gentle but there are a couple of more challenging runs up towards the Maurerkogel peak.
There was a deserted fun park and when we went to take a closer look it was because the snow was so slow and heavy you could not get enough approach speed to any of the obstacles.
This was my first days boarding since i had my knee operation back in May and i was pleased to find that it was giving me no problems. We cruised around the slopes for a couple of hours then headed up onto the ridge below the impressive Kitzsteinhorn peak (3203m) to eat our packed lunches. There are some great views from up here looking towards Austrias highest peak the Grossglockner (3797m) and another 20 or so peaks over 3000m.

We spent another hour or so boarding before getting the cablecars back down to the base area and the car park. Down at the bottom it was a really warm sunny day as we got changed. We decided to go down to Zell am See and take a walk along the lake and have a bite to eat before heading back to Kitzbuhel via Saalfelden,Leogang and one of the prettiest villages in the Alps - Fieberbrunn.Back in Kitzbuhel it was 30c when we parked the car outside the Hotel next to the Schwarzee lake.
I had really enjoyed my day out to Kaprun and felt satisfied and confident that my knee was going to stand up to some more serious boarding in the next few days and in the Months ahead.
Sitting out on our balcony that evening with a few cold beers i really did think that the World was a great place.
Strengths
Great for a day or so in the Summer.
Brilliant scenery.
Weaknesses
Cant think of any!!
Similar Resorts Visited
Lots.

Kaprun Website

Kitzsteinhorn Website

Europasport Region Website

Solden:-
Price Paid
€30/day Lift Pass.
Booked Trip Through
Summer Road Trip.
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Solden which is about 40 mins drive up the Oetz valley has a quite busy road running through its centre as the village sprawls both sides of the fast flowing Oetz river which carries the melting snow down to the Inn valley from the villages at the head of the valley such as Obergurgl and Hochgurgl.
In Winter this place is very lively with a hectic nightlife mostly visited by Dutch,Germans and Scandinavians. There are strip and Go-Go Bars (which were unfortunately closed when we visited !!).There are lots of quite good quality Hotels with plenty of Bars and Restaurants.
One place i highly recommend for food is "Gustos" Pizzeria. We liked it so much we ate there for three nights out of five! Great service,great food and good prices. This was one of the best resort restaurants i have come across on my travels. The Chinese restaurant near the river also comes with my highest praise for the quality of food.
There is an indoor swimming pool in the village but from October a new complex will be open which will have all the usuall water slides etc etc. During our visit we spent an enjoyable day at the excellent outdoor pool down the valley at Langenfeld.

We arrived in town on Sat 24th July and after having had hot sunny weather for the previous ten days it was depressing to drive up the Otztal valley in heavy rain........worse, we still had the tent to put up !
The campsite here is open all year round and the facilities are excellent but at €130 ( 90) for five nights so they should be.
We found our place to put up the tent but decided to take a walk down the pub for a while to see if the rain would go off .We had a few beers in the "Otzi Alm" which is a place /shrine to Harly Motorcycles. Three hours later it was still pouring down so we just went for it and probably got the tent up in record time.
The rain eventually eased off and looking out of the tent the next morning i could see a clear sky and the sun shining on the snow capped peaks.

Solden has two glaciers, the Rettenbach and the Tiefenbach which until a few years ago were closed in the Winter.
To get up to the glaciers requires driving up a 15km toll road, the price of which is included in the lift ticket which in Summer costs €30.
In June, July and August only the Rettenbach glacier is open. The Tiefenbach glacier is open in the Spring and reopens again in September. Both glaciers are linked by a road and a piste tunnel and there are large car parks at both base areas.
The Rettenbach glacier is where the Ski World Cup kicks of in October with the first Slalom of the season and there is a huge viewing grandstand at the bottom of the piste. Also beside the car park you will find a shop and a large self-service restaurant.There is also a skatepark which was getting plenty of use when the snowboards were put away in the afternoon.

Snow conditions were pretty good for the height of Summer as the sun shone strongly onto the glacier.
Access to the slopes is via a two stage six person gondola. You either get off at mid station or head to the top at over 3000m. From here the runs are mainly gentle blues which steepen more towards the bottom. There is plenty of width to the slopes and the snow was in pretty good shape. On the slalom run near the carpark there were patches where the glacier was showing through the snow base in places.
One of the best runs down was to head to the right of the park onto a long,wide run which headed towards the Tiefenbach glacier before turning back to the base along a smooth and well groomed cat track.
The piste machines were working all day and it was always possible to find a freshly groomed run back to the bottom which allowed you to look up and admire your carved tracks.
Summer "Base Camps" are held here throughout July and this results in a mighty impressive park which had lots of rails (some 20ft high),boxes,tabletops and huge kickers.
There were no crowds on our visit and no waiting for the gondola.
Not many Brits in town either although we did speak to a couple of boarders in the gondola late on in the morning.
The lifts are open from 07.30 till 16.00 but by that time i would imagine most people have headed back down to the valley as the snow becomes pretty wet and heavy.
This is not the prettiest resort in the Tirol but there is plenty to do here and the glacier is certainly worth a day or twos riding. Better to come in May or Sept when the Tiefenbach glacier is also open.
Strengths
Being based here would allow you the possibility of visiting other Summer boarding areas if you have your own transport. The glaciers at Stubai, Hintertux,Pitztal in Austria and Val Senales and Stelvio Pass in Italy are all within reach.
Good restaurants - especially Gustos.
Good campsite.
Weaknesses
Not the prettiest resort in the Alps.
Similar Resorts Visited
Most European glacier resorts.

Solden Website

Camping Solden Website

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