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Sölden

Sölden Ski Resort Guide

Sölden, Austria

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForIntermediates, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length141km
Highest Lift3,250m
Resort Height1,380m
 Nearest AirportsInnsbruck Airport and St. Gallen-Altenrhein
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Sölden

One of Austria's largest, liveliest and most popular ski resorts. It formerly offered summer skiing on its twin glaciers (one or the other was always open ) and whilst that has now ended it still has a long winter with ski-season opening festivals and the first northern hemisphere World Cup races each October and November. Snow is guaranteed thanks to the glacier back up.

Summary

The Austrian ski resort of Sölden is in the Austrian Alps at an altitude of 1,380m, with 141km of marked runs.

Sölden has direct access to 141km of downhill skiing, with 35 marked pistes, served by a total of 33 ski lifts.

With ski lifts as high as 3,250m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Sölden?

The next notable snow forecast is 8cm, expected on 24 October, with around 37cm forecast over the next 7 days.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Sölden
FriSatSunMonTueWedThu
Snow
to
1,702m
Snow
to
1,794m
Snow
to
resort

Ski Area Stats

Sölden Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
3130km
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
6151km
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
5769km
Downhill
Total Length
141km
Cross Country
Total Length
16km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
33

Altitudes

Sölden Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,250m
Lowest Piste1,380m
Resort Altitude (Sölden)1,380m
Max Vertical1,870m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Sölden
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Sölden Overview

Sölden operates an impressive ski area that includes the original village, the high-altitude station of Hochsölden and the neighbouring traditional village of Vent. The village of Obergurgl, further up the valley, is also included on the pass. The Ötztal Arena itself has seen a lot of investment in recent years in state of the art lifts, and these have now reached all the way up to Sölden's major assets - its twin year-round skiing areas on the Tiefenbach and Rettenbach Glaciers. These are some of Austria's highest ski slopes and open up one of the country's biggest lift-served verticals.

One of a handful of ski resorts able to offer visitors skiing on every day of the year, Sölden now closes its ski slopes for about six weeks each year from mid-May to end June. However it still uniquely operates two glacier skiing areas and always guaranteeing to keep one of them open. The glaciers, previously a 13km (8 mile) bus ride away, are the base for annual 'Ski Opening' festivals each October when the season officially begins and new equipment is available for testing. International ski stars also arrive to test their mettle before the northern hemisphere's racing season begins. The road between the two glaciers goes through a 1,750 metre (one mile) long tunnel, the Rosi Mittermaier - the highest road tunnel in Europe.

Formerly Sölden itself is has a 'Jekyll and Hyde' kind of existence - on the one hand presenting its traditional roots and the proud cultural heritage of the Ötztalers: on the other it's a cool, lively village with international clientele, although predominantly from Germany. At one point the resort's growth and success led it to become too lively for some residents and some German commentators, but steps have been taken to limit excesses of rowdiness.

The Ötztal region was originally inhabited by Bavarians from the north and Romans from Italy in the south. Tourism was introduced in the mid-19th century thanks in a large part to the efforts of Curate Franz Senn from Vent, who is credited with being the founder of both German and Austrian Alpine Associations and for cresting the first hiking tracks and mountain refuges in the area. Winter tourism began in 1945 and overtook summer tourism in terms of popularity a decade later.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Sölden is 15km long and the most difficult run is the 'Rosskirpl', which is 5km in length.

Skiing

The Sölden-Hochsölden-Gaislachkogl sector of the Ötztal Arena Ski Area has over 100km (60+ miles) of trails connected by a number of high capacity lifts and long runs, the greatest of which descends for 10km (6 miles) over a 1675 metre (5,500 feet) vertical. This however is now even bigger thanks to the lift link to the glaciers meaning that the 30 plus lifts, many of them state-of-the-art gondolas and chairs, links up to around 150km (90 miles) of runs. Another unusual aspect of the glacier skiing area is the Euro Test Centre where no less than 20 major international manufacturers have their latest designs available for rental to test, in autumn and winter

Sölden now has gondolas on three mountains more than 3000m high at the Rettencbach glacier, Tiefenbachkogl and Gaislachkogl. Each of these 'Big3' has a viewing platform at the top giving 360 degree views. There is also a 'B ig 3 Rally' to try, taking in more than 10,000m of vertical in around four hours of hard skiing.

The route starts at the base of the Giggijoch Gondola and continues through the 170m long ski tunnel that connects the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glaciers and takes you to the Tiefenbachkogl peak via the Tiefenbach gondola. On the Rettenbach glacier you can ski down a new route through the Rettenbachtal Valley all the way to the base terminal of the Gaislachkogl gondola. Once this lift has been taken and the descent made you'll have covered some 50km, but there's no reason not to keep skiing!

Otherwise most of the terrain is classified 'red' for intermediates and this makes it great cruising territory. Experts do have a choice of good blacks and plenty of excellent ski touring opportunities, beginners have slopes at the top of the village. Most of the ski area is at a relatively high altitude by Austrian standards, making it more snowsure than most - even without the glacier and extensive snow-making, again to state-of-the-art standards.

Theres a choice of three ski schools, with a further school at Vent, all offering ski touring and guiding off piste as well as a wide selection of competitive courses. Total cross country skiing opportunities extend to 18km (11 miles) over three loops.

Sölden offers good sking, particularly, for Expert and Intermediate skiers.

Snowboarding

Sölden is a great place for 'boarders, on and off the slopes. The terrain, open for ten months of the year, is served by more chairs and gondolas as a percentage of the total number of lifts than the vast majority of Alpine resorts.

There are two terrain parks above Giggijoch. The boarder park has a half pipe, some impressive kickers, a variety of rails, a 14 metres long spoine, nine metres high, a three metre wall ride, half pipe and a chill area. The easycross area has a boardercross course with good waves and jumps. In summer there's a park high on the Rettenbach glacier offering different camps and gear tests.

Location and Map

Where is Sölden?

This ski resort is in the Austrian Alps.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Sölden is Innsbruck Airport, 70 minutes drive away.

St. Gallen-Altenrhein, Friedrichshafen, Memmingen, Munich and Salzburg airports are all within three hours drive.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 33 ski lifts are able to uplift 60,693 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 120km of ski runs, with 158 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Sölden open?

 Opened : 24 September 2020.

 Closes : 1 May 2021.

Usual opening is mid September, and usual closing is Early May.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Sölden, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Sölden Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Sölden

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Sölden Webcams

The Webcams in Sölden are not always up-to-date. Please check the date on the image to ensure you are seeing current snow conditions.

Mountain Bike Hire

There is downhill mountain biking available and you can rent Mountain Bikes in Sölden.

Aprés Ski

Solden has a reputation for having some of the liveliest après ski in the Alps right from 3pm, and has about 45 bars, restaurants, cafés and discotheques in addition to the many restaurants to facilitate this. The local 'in' drink is the 'Flying Hirsch' (for the time being at least). More than 20 establishments are open past midnight - including the popular Bierhimml disco through to 4am, joined by the Stamperl and Lawine bars. Philipp's Kaminstubn disco closes its door at a more refined 3am.

Taking a lift up to a mountain hut for a meal and then riding down the largely illuminated five kilometre (three mile) toboggan run back to the resort is a popular evening activity, arranged by three hostelries - the Berggasthof Silbertal, the Gaislachalm and the Löplealm. Sleigh rides are also offered as is night skiing and the chance to catch a choreographed piste show.

Sölden