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Ski touring in the Austrian Alps


Ski touring is one of the most popular sporting activities in the mountains of the Austrian Alps. The Tyrol and Vorarlberg regions offer magnificent scenery and varied itineraries for ski touring enthusiasts.


In this article, we'll explore the Austrian mountains and the resources for ski touring. We'll also offer a few safety tips for enjoying the mountains, the snow and ski touring in the safest possible conditions.


The mountains of the Austrian Alps

The mountains of the Austrian Alps are world-famous for their beauty and diversity. They offer breathtaking scenery all year round. The Austrian mountains are also a prime location for winter sports, such as off-piste skiing, freeriding, freerando and ski touring.


You'll find welcoming and fairly inexpensive guesthouses, comfortable refuges and even a few hotels nestling right in the middle of the mountains, ideal base camps for day-long ski touring trips. Skiing is the national sport here.


Landscapes of the Tyrol

The Tyrol is one of the most popular regions for ski touring in Austria. The scenery is varied and magnificent, with snow-capped peaks and breathtaking views over the valleys below. The Tyrolean mountains also offer slopes for all abilities, from beginners to experts.


Starting points for ski touringv

There are many ski touring spots in the Tyrol. One of the most popular is the St. Anton region. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, access to countless routes and a view of the vast glaciers of the Silvretta. The ski touring routes in the Tyrol are generally well-marked and offer outings for all levels.


There are plenty of guidebooks and maps to help you plan your outings. However, there is no substitute for being accompanied by a professional mountain guide (Bergführer) or ski guide (Schiführer). It's also important to check with the local authorities before setting off on a ski tour, to find out which routes are the safest and what the snow and weather conditions are like.


Our resources for ski touring in Austria

Ski touring requires a certain amount of preparation and specific knowledge. Here is some practical information to help you make the most of this activity.


The ideal season for ski touring

The ideal season for ski touring in Austria is from March to April. During this period, the mountains are covered in snow, the days are longer than at the start of winter, the snow cover has often stabilised, temperatures are mild and there is usually a good night-time refreeze.


However, it's important to remember that snow conditions can be unpredictable in the mountains, so always check the weather forecast and the avalanche risk bulletin (ARB) before setting off on a ski tour.


Itinerary ideas

The Austrian Tyrol and Vorarlberg regions offer a wealth of routes for ski touring enthusiasts. Here are some of the best spots and routes:


  • Arlberg : The Arlberg region is famous for its ski resorts, but it also offers a number of ski touring routes. One of the most popular routes is the Arlberg traverse, which runs from Stuben to St. Christoph. This two-day hike traverses snow-capped mountains and offers spectacular views of the Austrian Alps.


  • Silvretta : The Silvretta is a mountainous region in Vorarlberg, famous for its snow-capped peaks and glaciers. The Silvretta Pass is one of the most popular ski tours in the region. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and is accessible to ski tourers of all abilities.


  • Lech : Lech is a small town in Vorarlberg, offering ski touring routes for all levels. One of the most popular routes is through the Zug valley, with its views of snow-capped peaks and frozen lakes.


  • Kühtai : Kühtai is a small ski resort in the Austrian Tyrol, which also offers ski touring routes. One of the most popular routes is the hike to the summit of Widdersberg, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding valley.


  • Stubai : The Stubai region offers ski touring routes for all levels, from beginner to expert. One of the most popular routes is the traverse of the Stubai glacier, with views of the surrounding mountains and glacier.


  • Rofan : The Rofan region in the Tyrol offers ski touring routes for all abilities. One of the most popular routes is the traverse of the Eggalm summit. The route is 12 km long and requires a good level of fitness.


  • Montagne du Hohe Riffler : Located in the Tyrol, the Hohe Riffler mountain has a challenging but rewarding ski touring route. The route starts at the Pitztal ski resort and climbs to the summit.


  • Paznaun : The Paznaun region has numerous ski touring routes for all levels. One of the most popular routes is the traverse of the Grinner pass, which takes around 3 hours to complete.


  • Vallée de Tannheim : The Tannheim valley in Vorarlberg offers ski touring routes for all abilities. One of the most popular routes is the traverse of the Gimpel summit, which takes around 4 hours to complete.


  • Zillertal : The Zillertal region in the Tyrol also offers ski touring routes for all levels. One of the most popular routes is the crossing of the Gamshutl pass, which can also be completed in 4 hours.v

Ideas for refuges

The Austrian Tyrol and Vorarlberg have many ski touring refuges for mountain enthusiasts. Here are some of the best refuges, with examples:

  • The Wiesbadener Hütte refuge : Located in the Silvretta region, this refuge can be reached by a 4-hour hiking trail or by helicopter.


  • Heidelberger Hütte refuge : Located in the Arlberg region, this refuge can be reached by a 3-hour hiking trail or by cable car.


  • Hanauer Hütte refuge: Located in the Lech region, the Hanauer Hütte refuge can be reached by a 2-hour hiking trail or by cable car.


  • The Pfeishütte refuge : Located in the Innsbruck region, this refuge can be reached by a 4-hour hiking trail.


Ansbacher Hütte refuge : Located in the Rofan region, it can be reached by a 2-hour hiking trail or by cable car.


It is important to note that hut availability may vary according to the season and weather conditions.


Our safety tips

Ski touring in the mountains can be dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken. Here is some advice on how to enjoy this activity safely:


  • It's better to go off-piste with a guide or ski instructor.

  • Always inform someone of your itinerary and expected time of return.

  • Check the snow and weather conditions before setting off on a ski tour and adapt accordingly.

  • Make sure you have the specific equipment you need (warm clothing, a pair of touring skis, touring ski boots, poles, sealskins, shovel, probe, etc.).

  • Avoid areas with a high risk of avalanches and check with the local authorities for the safest routes.

  • Follow the rules of mountain driving and respect the environment.




In conclusion, ski touring is a popular sporting activity in the mountains of the Austrian Alps. The Tyrol and Vorarlberg regions offer magnificent scenery and varied itineraries for ski touring enthusiasts.


However, it is important to remember that this activity can be dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken. By following safety advice, using an off-piste ski instructor or guide and checking with the local authorities, you can enjoy this activity in the safest possible conditions.


Don't hesitate to contact an agency specialising in ski trips, such as PowderWeGo. Our instructors take ski tourers through the Austrian Alps.



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