New lifts, new runs and the biggest ski party in the Alps, reports John Hill
The ultimate winter sport fun resort of Zell am See-Kaprun is moving ahead at breakneck speed this season with a series of new innovations, including
• A new and amazing downhill run from Zell’s Schmittenhöhe local mountain
• New zellamseeXpress continuous cable car.
• Kaprun’s Kitzsteinhorn glacier delights with the highest chairlift in Salzburg region.
• Plus a nonstop party weekend for the third WOW Glacier Love Winter Opening.
The zellamseeXpress is a new 10-passenger cable car opening soo on the Schmittenhöhe to enable wintersporters to access a 3.5 km downhill run toward the Glemmtal Valley. The popular old ski downhill run is reopened thanks to the zellamseeXpress, which leads from a corner terminus above the village of Viehhofen in the Glemmtal Valley to the upper terminus on the 1,920m Salersbachköpfl. Skiers can enjoy a red piste equipped with state-of-the-art artificial snowmaking on the same piste which delighted skiers from 1930 to 1980.
zellamseeXpress begins a new era in skiing on the Schmittenhöhe and takes the first steps toward the connection with the Glemmtal Valley.
Construction of the second section leads to Viehhofen, and planned for the near future. The connection with the Glemmtal Valley, allows access to the Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn Ski Circus, is already available this winter via a ski route ending in Viehhofen. From there, skiers can use the 680 bus to return to Zell am See or to travel on to Saalbach Hinterglemm.
Dr Erich Egger, chairman of the Schmittenhöhebahn, told us : “The trend goes toward large-scale ski resorts. The times when one was using a lift 10 to 20 times are definitely gone. With zellamseeXpress, we provide a connection that offers guests an incredible choice. This will vault the entire region into a new dimension and promises joint success for many years to come.”.
Early-birders are out skiing and touring on the Kitzsteinhorn already, being warmed by the Schmiedingerbahn – an 8-seat chairlift with weather protection hoods and heated seats and it offers more comfort for skiing pleasure at almost 3.000 metres.
Overall the area offers 41km of piste, three snow parks and Austria’s biggest super pipe, five specially designated freeride routes. The most exciting challenge for experienced downhill artists is the infamous “Black Mamba“, a really-tough and narrow 1,000metre long piste with a gradient of up to 63%. Meanwhile the new “Eagle Line”, a fun piste with wave-line, small jumps and banked curves, offers even more skiing fun for all winter fans this year.
The Schmittenhöhe panorama mountain has set new standards for winter sport fun with the new zellamseeXpress. Even the latest charts are always available on the 10-passanger continuous cable car: from December guests can ride in one of the six Jukebox gondolas with multimedia sound system. Simply log into free WiFi with smartphones and you are automatically linked to the Jukebox app. Simply select your favourites and play.
Ski ’n’ Brunch
Turnstiles to the Sonnenalm on the Schmittenhöhe are preparing for the new Ski ’n’ Brunch service on December 2, January 2 and 6, February 27 and 6 March.
Action on the Fun Slope, night skiing with romantic views, learn-to-yodel workshop on the mountain and an audience with the King of the Forests. All this in Winter wonderland Zell am See-Kaprun
The Schmitten Fun Slope run near the Hochmaisbahn with exciting tunnels, jumps and banked curves and a length of 1.300 metres, offers the ultimate individual fun as Fun Slope conquerors can record their rides on video with the SpotOn video app
Piste No. 17 at the Ebenbergbahn comes back to life in a sea of spotlights late every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday- 6.30 pm to 9.30pm from 27 December till 3 March.
Thursdays is for ski tourers: guided ski touring to the Tristkogel at 2,642 metres. Tourers ski deep-snow slopes in pristine open terrain, then tour with a certified mountain guide.
The kids slope at the Glocknerbahn takes young skiers into an exciting ski adventure world with a combination of obstacles, waves, tunnels and slalom obstacle course. Kiddie Olympics are staged on 26 March 2017.
All this fabulous fun begins at the WOW Glacier Love in Zell am See-Kaprun when the Third edition of the biggest Winter Opening Party Weekend in the Alps kicks off 6 November.