We Reached the Top of the World Together

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: the 70s family, that actually wasn’t a family, but may have been in a pear tree

We are regular winter skiers in the Zillertal valley and in the 2017/18 season we had some incredible days at the Hintertux; a ski resort whose glacier opens all year round for skiing, so we though we’d try summer skiing.

In November 2017 the snow came early and was plentiful, the skies were laden with snow and there weren’t that many people about. Of course ALL the people there were about, were up at the glacier as it was the only ski area open. Locals were telling us that it was the most snow they’d seen at the start of a ski season for a generation.

Skiing from 3,250m Down to 2,100m

The Hintertux Glacier is not a huge ski area, but it has plenty of pistes to keep you entertained. With regular dumps of fresh snow the piston bully drivers were working hard to move the snow around and open more pistes. The top of the resort is at 3,250m and is usually a bit windswept; not a place for hanging around, but there are several wide, long runs down to choose from. The run right to the bottom wasn’t open, but the runs are quite long enough without it.

The routes on the actual glacier are served by drag lifts and are a bit dull – 1. You have to use the drag lifts, and 2. The pistes are quite short, straight and quite flat. We prefer the routes from the Tuxer Fernerhaus at 2,660m down to the Sommerberg at 2,100m or the routes off the Tuxerjoch chair lift at 2,460m returning to Sommerberg.

The Tuxer Fernerhaus is also where we like to take a break. It is a vast, modern complex with a self-service restaurant, a serviced restaurant, a huge terrace, a pic-nic room, loads of loos and free wi-fi. It is also the complex favoured by the many ski sports teams that use the Hintertux for training. Many teams rent their own changing/equipment room in the complex, but many don’t, so this means it can get very busy in the pic-nic room with lots of gear being left around.

Summer Skiing in May

Our return trip to the Hintertux was at the other end of the season in May 2018. All other ski resorts in the valley were closed and we were actually in valley to do some hiking, but as our 2017/18 Tirol Ski Pass was still valid it seemed rude not to slip in a couple of summer skiing trips.

This time there wasn’t any fresh snow and the snow that wasn’t glacial was disappearing fast. This meant that the first run of the day was a bumpy, teeth clattering ice-run. By about 11am every run was a slush puppy run, bordering on pond skimming! The best ski conditions were on the glacier; the runs down the Olperer and Kaserer drag lifts. As mentioned previously these runs are a bit dull, on the upside there was sunshine and blue sky. What’s not to like?

In conclusion. If you are in the Zillertal valley at any time of year and have your ski gear with you; get yourself up to the Hintertux for at least a day; why wouldn’t you? If you are on a ski training course to hone your skills, the Hintertux is a great place to do it year round. If you are planning a ski trip in the Northern Hemispere’s summer, plan to head to the Southern Hemisphere!

pop trivia: From 1970 to 1974 ‘The Partridge Family’ featured ‘Shirley Jones’ as Shirley the family’s mother and ‘David Cassidy’ as Keith the oldest and lead singer of the group. The family were a feature of prime time TV. The line is from ‘Summer Days’ written by Tony Romeo and released in 1971.