In the Austrian state of Salzburg, the skicircus of Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn is a huge ski area. It stretches over the mountains of the Glemmtal on both sides of the valley and has a connection to Leogang and Fieberbrunn in Tyrol. The Tyrol is among the top-five ski-resorts.
What is this large ski area like?
Set in a long, forested valley called the Glemmtal, Saalbach and Hinterglemm are surrounded by steep, intermediate-friendly pistes connected to the Fieberbrunn Tyrolean resort creating a total of 270 km of pistes. In contrast, Fieberbrunn is more of a family destination, with some excellent freeriding that contributes in a very beneficial way to the overall terrain.
The valley is an ideal destination for an enthusiastic community of skiers who want to ski all day long when the snow is good. It’s not easy to ski, and many people find the reds and blues steeper here than in other resorts. The altitude could be the only real problem. Nearly all skiing is under 2000m. Although this allows for a softer, more stunning landscape than the high-alpine resorts.
In the immediate area of Saalbach, the favourite pistes are those around Hochalm peak, which is ideal for carving. Kohlmais town is the best spot to catch the sunset. Challenge yourself, on the black slopes on the north face of Zwölferkogel peak or the north descent of Schattberg peak.
Overall, skiing is perfect for adventurous intermediates who want a new ski adventure every day. Beginners are also well catered for, with all four resorts having nursery slopes. The primary circuit consists of slightly steeper than average blue and red-rated pistes, and there are also a few good blacks, especially back to Saalbach from the top of the 2020 Schattberg Ost. It falls over 1000 vertical metres, called the Nordabfahrt, and faces north.
Ski lift systems
Also, few areas in Austria can equal the modern lift system, which is being upgraded continuously. This involves the 10-seater Tirol-S gondola to Fieberbrunn in Tirol, which produces a giant 270 km ski circus from the four medium-sized resorts, suitable for intermediates want to put huge miles under their feet every day.
As a result, a piste of 3.5 km with a vertical of 780 m was developed with top-to-bottom snowmaking. Two gondolas give access from the Fieberbrunn valley. It is also connected from Zell am See to the valley below, from where you can take a five-minute bus ride through the ski area of Saalbach.
Fast skiing pistes
If you’re lucky in a good, cold, snowy winter, and you’re not hunting for off-piste, you’re going to have a blast. But if it’s warm and sunny, you’ll find a rapid deterioration of the slopes on the northern side of this long valley (which faces south).
So if you’re looking for very high-quality on-piste skiing, make sure you’re in the middle of winter, or book a last-minute trip when you know that the snow is going to be good. Don’t forget to make a detour down to the village of Leogang, north of Saalbach in the next valley: the runs are north-facing so that their snow is well kept, and they are much quieter than the primary circuit.
There are nice powder runs right along the valley above the tree-line when the snow is substantial and some nice descents into the valley. But Fieberbrunn itself (along with Chamonix and Verbier) is no newcomer to the freeride scene: 4,000 people come to watch the Freeride World Tour here every year.
Freestylers can choose between a terrain park right above Hinterglemm and a second, better park above Leogang. Above the village of Vorderglemm, there is also a ski cross course. Steinplatte Waidring-The ski area of Winklmoosalm is separate from Fieberbrunn and is a family-friendly ski area for Salzburg and Bavaria situated on the Tirol border. It has a piste of 42 km, which is mainly simple to moderately difficult. At 1.5km, the Triassic Funline in Snowpark Steinplatte is one of Austria’s longest.
The 270km area puts the ski resort of Skicircus in ninth place in the world ranking. Fieberbrunn offers a lot more off-piste opportunities to the intermediate zone. Saalbach village has a superb après-ski scene. Altitude: 790m from Fieberbrunn, 788m from Leogang, 1003m from Saalbach/Hinterglemm
Top lift: 2100m
Area of skiing: 270km of pistes