Mayrhofen Ski Stats:
Summit Elevation 2,500 meters, 8,202’
52 trails/pistes, 136 kilometers of prepared terrain
57 lifts between Penken and Ahorn Mayrhofen Ski Photos l
The Tyrol of Austria is home to the highest concentration of ski areas anywhere
in The Alps, and that is most true in Zillertal – the Ziller River valley that
includes Mayrhofen - Penken/Ahorn, Rastkogel, Eggalm, Finkenberg, Kaltenbach –
Hochzillertal/Hochfügen, Zillertal Arena, Spieljoch and
Hintertux Glacier. From
the village of Mayrhofen, you have a choice two mountains on either side of town - Penken and
Ahorn – for a big total of 136 kilometers of prepared ski slopes, and 57 modern
lifts and cable cars to whisk you around and up in every direction imaginable.
At the base is Mayrhofen village, a ski town of about 4,000 Austrians with its
own charm – not quite Kitzbühel or
St Anton, but lively and friendly for
From downtown Mayrhofen, high speed high capacity lifts head up to the ski
slopes, this is Doppelmayr country, 8 and 6 passenger chairs with heated seats
and bubbles are everywhere, along with gondolas, and combinations of the two.
Penken is reached by a gorgeous new 3S Cable Car from Mayrhofen village up to
mid –mountain, holding 24 passengers with panoramic floor to ceiling windows,
and Wi-Fi (a $50 million lift added in 2015) if all this scenery has you wanting
to facebook post and make your friends jealous. Up at Penken is plenty of
well-prepared ski trails, blue, red and black, family friendly terrain, ski
schools, and plus countless off-piste bowls, gullies and fields. There are
endless possibilities for low angle gorgeous off piste skiing just next to the
groomed trails, you can easily scope your line and return to a lift at the end.
Six and eight passenger chairs with bubbles and heated seats flank most every
side of the mountain here. The Rastkogel is the highest point at 2762 meters,
9,061’, reached by the 150 tram (indicating the capacity), with more great
terrain, so much off piste terrain too from crazy steep at the top of the bowl
to more mellow as you ski along the ridge of this vast bowl, it is all highly
scenic as well.
Horberg peak is very popular, with lots of well-prepared fun runs, a cool
mountaintop pyramid lodge serving lunch with a panorama. Horberg also serves up
offpiste skiing galore, with so much ungroomed, natural, snowy side terrain
delivering you back to the mid-mountain section and the Schneecar.
If you are a high level skier at Mayrhofen, you must ski The Harikiri, Austria’s
steepest groomed ski slope, a 78% grade, but they measure their angles
differently in Austria. It certainly deserves a black diamond rating for the
steep but short pitch. Mayrhofen has lots of snowmaking, assuring good ski
conditions as their elevation is not so very high. However because much of the
terrain is grassy farm land in summer, they don’t require tons of snow, as say
The Rockies which are aptly rocky as they sound.
Lunch at Gschosswandhaus is perfectly situated and charming, and slightly off
the beaten path – this beautiful blond wood chalet hut serves all the essential
Tirolean greats like Austrian cheese noodles and goulash soup, and spinatknodel
dumplings... in a very authentic setting with views of the 3S gondola and beyond
– the big peak of Ahorn. Next time I want to lodge here at Gschosswandhaus in
their guest chalets, which look so cozy, how cool to be up on the mountain at
night looking down at the lights of the valley of Mayrhofen below, knowing you
get first tracks before first gondola.
Eggalm is yet another ski region at Mayrhofen toward Hintertux Glacier, with
mores lifts, great terrain and you can ski to more charming chalets, summer
farms that serve to skiers in winter. The Lattenalm serve goulash soup and their
homemade schnapps in a delightfully peaceful chalet.
It must get busy here at Mayhofren, but the lift lines are well handled.
You can escape the skiers by going off piste, easily accessible and easy to see
from the lifts and slopes, just know before you go and hire a guide to as
avalanches are a real Alps issue.
Across the valley in Mayhofren is Mount Ahorn which looks
daunting, with its A shape and craggy top, but here there is an upper mountain
plateau of family oriented terrain. Ahorn offers wide and sunny skiing up at
2,000 meters with great views of town and the surrounding peaks, making it very
family friendly. Another gorgeous tram car, Austria’s largest holding 160
skiers, brings you up to this great skiing served by an efficient eight and six
pack lift. It’s a winter wonderland up here with an Iglu village, where you can
walk through the beautiful ice caves of this glowing glacial ice igloo. You can
stay the night here, or just drink a schnapps at the ice bar, eat fondue, or
just chill in the chaise lounges at the outside White Lounge with a great view.
After skiing the upper mountain terrain of Ahorn, we were ready for the long
black diamond Ahorn Valley Run all the way back to Mayrhofen. This run takes you
down a full 4,500‘ vertical, 5 kilometers with pitches, run outs, twists and
turns and phenomenal views of the village below. Beginners can download to town
on the Ahornbahn.