SkiWelt Stats: 90 lifts, 290 kilometers of trails – Austria’s
largest ski resort
Summit Elevation 1829 meters, 6,000'
90% snowmaking with 1600 snow cannons, 69 snow groomers, 22 Ski Schools, 77
Austria’s largest night skiing on 13 kilometers, 4 terrain parks SkiWelt Photos l
Everyone thinks of Kitzbühel and
St Anton as the
top ski resorts in Austria. Turns out
SkiWelt is the largest… yet most have never heard of it. Pronounced shee velt –
SkiWelt actually translates to Ski World, and it is a big, gorgeous world of
ski slopes, modern lifts, 9 interconnected mountain villages - very global in
its appeal. Located just an hour from Kitzbühel, under two from Innsbruck, in
the Tyrol Alps, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental has 90 lifts that connect 290
kilometers of ski terrain across nine villages. Its astoundingly scenic from the
summit as you look across the Kitzbühel valley to the Wilder Kaiser mountain – the highest peak from the north at 2,344 meters (7,690’).
The base village that comprise SkiWelt’s terrain are Brixen, Elmau, Going,
Hopfgarten, Itter, Kelchsau, Scheffau, Soll and Westendorf. We started our
day at Soll, as many do – closest to Innsbruck, a long modern
gondola takes you to mid mountain Soll, and another gondola delivers you to the
panoramic summit of Hohe Salve at 6,000’, where a 1589 Brixen church dominates
the peak – the new gondola lands discretely below and an escalator whisks skiers
up to the view. From here you can ski in seemingly all directions.
SkiWelt is a conglomerate of 7 lift companies, working together to provide the
ultimate alpine experience on one ski ticket, it actually borders Kitzbühel and
you can buy a combined ticket for a ski safari of 100-kilomteres in a day.
What’s brilliant about the lift (bahn) companies is they all invest to compete,
so SkiWelt’s lifts are constantly improving, for 2016 $51 million went towards
a new 8-passenger heated bubble chair and a gondola with Wi-Fi.
SkiWelt is incredible family friendly – kids often ski free with parents. SkiWelt has 22 ski schools, all up on the mountain, even daycare is reached via
gondola. There are fun parks and animated ski penguins and mascots around the
ski resort. Also there is so much grooming, daily, with 69 snowcats, SkiWelt
grooms 21 pistes that go all the way to the nine valleys below daily. Or you can
even valet your skis at the end of the day at the top and enjoy a gondola ride
down, returning to the summit and grabbing your skis the next day for
convenience (read: no carrying).
SkiWelt also has the most authentic ski huts for ski in lunch and aperitif, 77
huts, all family owned with their unique recipes served in farmhouses where they
spend summers with their herds, but host skiers in winters for extravagant
lunches in their cozy chalets, or on large sun terraces with views of the Wild
King and Kitzbühel peaks. The Rubezahl Alm is perhaps the most famous hut in the
Ellmau ski region, just off the slopes – this is the place to see and be seen by
the big fireplace, the bar on cowhide barstools, or at a rustic corner table.
Just be sure to duck as you enter and exit this 1778 farmhouse.
SkiWelt's Alpine Igloo village is created each year, you can ski here for a
tour, enjoy the ice exhibit, schnapps at the Ice Bar, or come for fondue
dinner seated on fur skins and enjoy the illumination. You can even stay at the Iglu Hotel if you want to chill overnight.
SkiWelt is great for families with affordable ski packages, kids under 15 ski
free with parents certain dates. SkiWelt also offers night skiing, Austria’s
largest night ski area, Thursday – Saturday. Each of the nine village that
connect via lifts to comprise SkiWelt have just a few hotels, ski shops and
services. None are big ski resort towns, and they all remain 50% local to
provide genuine Austrian flavor and authenticity. Soll attracts more German
clients, due to its proximity to Munich for example.