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Stubai Glacier Review

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Stubai Glacier Review

Rating: ★★★★ 7.4 out of 10 

“Stubai Glacier (Stubaier Gletscher in German) is the highest glacier resort in Austria. Having said that, you can expect high snow reliability, as it usually opens in October and closes in June. Stubai has a great snow park which is used as the base for preseason preparations of pro athletes. It is situated only 45 min by car away from Innsbruck. Pistes are wide and excellently groomed, best suited for beginner and intermediate skiers. It is not too big (62 km) so it can get boring after several days. Also you won’t find too many options for accommodation on the spot (you will need to find an everyday transfer to the resort).“

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PROS: Season which lasts almost the whole year, good snow reliability, great snow park, beautiful views… 

CONS: small, lack of on-site accommodation

SLOPES

Easy 21 km (34%)
Intermediate 14 km (23 %)
Difficult 5 km (8 %)
Ski routes and park 22 km (35%)

 

Stubai Glacier resort has 26 modern lifts and 62 km of groomed pistes. You will start your day there on the huge parking. It is so big that it has its own public transportation system. If you arrive there by car you will have to park and catch a bus (everything is well organized). The bus will leave you at the base station where you are going to buy your ski pass.

Be wise and use automatic teller machines instead of counters with live employees, because you will save a substantial amount of time, especially in the morning. The ski pass is not cheap considering the length of slopes (one day pass is around 45 EUR). From the base station you will have to catch the gondola. Surprisingly, there are no long queues, especially if you take into consideration huge parking, number of visiting people and the fact that it is the only way up. The resort invested heavily (the biggest ski lift investment in Austria) in the new 3-lines gondola. It was completed in November 2016, resulting in even shorter waiting times. 

At the top of the gondola, there is also the middle station, where you will find the rest of lifts which will take you around the resort. The top of the resort is situated at 3,210 m. Pistes are really wide, well maintained but there are no wooded areas. It can get bitter cold in December and January (due to the high altitude). Owing to the amount of space on the glacier, slopes never get crowded. Beginners and intermediate skiers will enjoy Stubai the most.

As I said it is not too big, so you might get bored after several days. But don’t despair, because you will be in a resort-rich part of Austria so you can go to other spots in the neighborhood. Be aware that it will cost you more money because you will have to buy shorter ski passes which are more expensive to buy on a daily basis.

You won’t need to use the gondola in order to get home, since there is a route which will take you down all the way to the base station. Be careful at the end of the day because the route can get crowded. Take special caution if there is a lack of snow, because after a day of use without grooming, and with tired legs, it can get tricky.

Season 2017/18 started on the 16th of September.

 

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Photo courtesy of Bookiraj.com

 

FREE RIDE AND TERRAIN PARKS ON STUBAI GLACIER

The big open spaces on the glacier will provide you with a lot of free ride opportunities. There are also 12 free ride slopes marked on the map. People from the resort have prepared a free ride map with all the required information. The longest slope will take you from the Gamsgarten area to the base station. There is also the Free ride Center Stubai, which has specialized in guided tours around the glacier. For around EUR 100 they will show you around the mountain and advise you how to ride in off-piste conditions.

There is a great snow park called Stubai ZOO. It has 3 lines with different difficulties, jibs and slope style elements. You can chill out at the base of the park, where you can grab a deckchair and listen to a DJ. Due to its early opening in the season and good snow conditions, Stubai ZOO is a favorite practice ground for pros from all around the world in October and November. Every year during the opening weekend (usually at the end of October) they organize a small festival called Stubai Premiere, which features demos, gear tests and free concerts.

 

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Photos courtesy of Bookiraj.com

 

HOW TO GET TO STUBAI

Stubai Glacier is situated in Tirol province (Austria) only 45 km away from Innsbruck. You will need around 45 min to get there by car from the city. Visitors can park at the huge free parking.

You can also use the bus to get there from Innsbruck, and there are regular departures in the morning (stops: Innsbruck, Neustift im Stubaital, Mutterbergalm) from the main train station.

If you prefer to travel by train or airplane, the closest station or airport is in Innsbruck and you will have to catch a bus or hire a car to get to the resort.

 

Stubai Glacier Panorama

Photos courtesy of Bookiraj.com

 

WHERE TO STAY ON STUBAI GLACIER

You won’t have a great choice of accommodation, since there are only 2 places where you can reside on the spot (Mutterberg near the base station and Dresdner Hütte near the mid station). Nevertheless, there is a large number of villages in Stubai valley where you can get accommodation. Small family pensions are the most affordable, but maybe the best choice would be to stay in Innsbruck or somewhere around it, because you will be able to visit other ski resorts in the area.

 

Inn River Houses in Innsbruck

 

WHAT TO DO AFTER A DAY ON SNOW (APRES-SKI) ON STUBAI GLACIER

You can take a breather during your day on the snow in several places. Die Jocohdohle is the highest restaurant in Austria. Try the Viennese schnitzel there (which is as big as an elephant’s ear). Marktrestaurant Eisgrathas has a nice terrace and you can enjoy their pasta made on the spot (highest pasta factory in the world).

If you want to get out in the evening you should go to village called Neustift, because it is the liveliest place in the valley, but don’t expect too much. In this department Innsbruck stands out again. It is a beautiful alpine city full of narrow streets, and you will never get bored walking around. There you can find a substantial number of restaurants, bars and shops (there is even one of the 10 Burton flagship stores in the world there). If you are there around New Year’s Eve you might visit the world-famous 4 Hills Tournament.  It is ski jumping event which has a stop in town.

 

 

 

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