Sölden

Sölden

By Michel Côté, GendronSki bilingual Group leader   

Sölden was chosen as the filming location for the latest James Bond film, Spectre because of its stunning scenery.  Add to this the hosting of the FIS World Cup opening season race each year and Sölden reputation as a world renowned ski destination is well know the world over. Add to this that Sölden is the only ski area in the European Alps to have four skiable peaks over 3,000 meters in altitude, two of which are on glaciers. Of course, where there are high mountains, there are also long ski seasons—the next of which is slated to begin in October 2016 with the first world cup race of the 2016-2017 season.

After the spectacular modernization of the Gaislackkoglbahn gondola leading to its 3,048 meter summit and to the restaurant featured in the James Bond movie, it’s now the Giggijochbahn turn to be completely rebuilt for the 2016–2017 season. This Giggijochbahn leads to the Rettenbach Glacier (3,247 m), the Tiefenbach Glacier (3,249 m) and the Schwartzkogl (3,048 m) summit.  Sölden incredibly varied terrain is perfect for skiers of all levels and tastes. The Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glaciers as well as the alpine meadows of the Giggijoch boast wide, even terrains. Groomed or covered with the new morning snow, these runs are perfect for everyone. The many couloirs spilling down each side of the Schwarze Schneid (3,370 m) and between the trees running down from the Gaislachkogl mid station are great if you are hungry for the added off-piste challenge during your stay (certified guide recommended).

When it comes to après-ski, Sölden is unlike any other: DJs on the outdoor mountain stage or at night spots on the Wohlfartstraβe, the village’s main drag, will keep the party going until the wee hours.

To add even more variety to your vacation, head over to the sister resorts of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl, just a 20 minutes free bus ride away on the Italian border. You can visit a new lift, which features a restaurant and motorcycle museum housed in the most stunning architecture, completed in the winter of 2016.

At over 3,000 meters, the panoramic view of the neighboring summits is simply breathtaking. With the naked eye, you can see the peaks of Italy, Switzerland and Germany that leave us speechless. There are simply no words to describe the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds us as we stand at the top of the Austrian Alps. You need to experience this for yourself!



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SPECTACLES

Text from 2014-2015 ski magazine

 

Sölden, crowned with three glorious peaks over 3,000 m high, is part of a very exclusive club of high alpine ski resorts. The Gaislachkogl (3,048 m), with its new lift and a new ultra-modern belvedere/restaurant, towers over the village of Sölden, which lies 2,000 m below. Then there’s the Schwarze Schneide (3,247 m) behind which stand the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glaciers, looking something like a head with two arms. The last and steepest of this trio of peaks is the Schwarzkogl (3,012 m). Thanks in part to this BIG 3, Sölden is granted the honour of hosting the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup opener every October. This prestigious first race officially kicks off the ski season, and its timing is truly testament to just how long and reliable the ski season is here in Sölden.

Try out the Big 3 Rally, which doesn’t include Schwarzkogl, but which I personally think really should. You’ll be skiing between 2,000 m and the peaks of Sölden, and well above the tree line. The trails on the glaciers, consistently steep and wide, provide groomed or powder skiing that is perfect for skiers of all abilities. Remember to take your safety harnesses and something to stay hydrated wherever you go in Austria, especially in Sölden, known for its dizzying heights and abundant snow. When the weather gets stormy, you can access the trails on the lower half of Gaislachkogl. These slopes, surrounded by forest, offer a variety of more protected trails outside of avalanche zones.

The town of Sölden itself is young and vibrant and comes alive at night with countless clubs and several outdoor stages set right in the mountains. Day trips outside the Öztal Valley, albeit not the easiest, are nonetheless possible by combining a bus and train ride that will get you to Innsbruck, located about an hour and a half outside the village.

Obergurgl and Hochgurgl, two other ski resorts located in the upper valley, are a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Sölden (a day of skiing is included with the same ski pass). These sister resorts both provide incredible views of the Italian Alps which straddle the border.

You’ll be blown away by Sölden’s breathtaking mountain views as your eyes travel from the peaks of Italy, Switzerland, Germany and, of course, Austria.

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Ski stations Accommodations Snow Conditions
TEMPERATURE (CELSIUS)
Month Min. Max.
January -5 2
February -3 5
March 1 11
April 3 15
May 7 20
June 11 24
July 14 26
August 15 25
September 8 20
October 3 14
November 2 5
December -2

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