20:08,
Thursday,
18 October 2018.

Kaprun, Skiing & Snowboar...

The Zell Am See Kaprun ski area proves to be most suitable for skiers and snowboarders in the beginner to intermediate bracket. With more than half of the 130 kilometers of runs graded blue and nearly a third graded red that’s hardly surprising. Advanced riders aren’t totally forgotten though as several on and off-piste challenges await, however off-piste riding is somewhat restricted due to local conservation policies. A problem that has a simple solution – see below.

The ski slopes are not all joined up and in fact are split over three separate sectors. The largest area is on Schmittenhöhe above Zell am See and the other two are above Kaprun, one immediately by the village and the other further up the mountain on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier. A free bus service operates between the towns with average journey times being around 25 minutes.

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Beginner

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Beginner’s have several choices on where to start their sliding careers. At Kaprun there’s a small nursery area on the Lechnerberg beside the village and another slightly larger area just down the road on the slopes above the village of Schuttdorf. The third and largest is found near the summit of Schmittenhöhe above Zell am See while lower down by the base of the cable car station is another small area. Following on there are several good options for improvers above either Zell or Kaprun in the form of long wide blue cruising pistes. These are great for confidence building – under the watchful eyes of a good instructor of course.

Intermediate

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For intermediates life is pretty good on the slopes above Zell am See or Kaprun. There are many relatively gentle red and blue runs down through the trees on Schmittenhöhe above Zell while the same is true of the slopes of Kapruns’ Glocknerblick sector. The majority of skiing at Kaprun and it has to be said its’ best is found on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier. Again the runs are a mix a blue and red grades which are a real joy for cruisers and speed merchants alike on bright sunny days. In poor weather one can feel a little bit naked up here though and that’s when it’s best to head for Zell.

Advanced

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Advanced riders will find one or two challenges here with most of the on-piste action being found on Schmittenhöhe above Zell am See. There are several black runs on offer, some sporting testing bumps while others are good for a high speed charge. Off-piste as mentioned above is restricted in some sectors due to a local conservation policy put in place to protect the forests however, with the appropriate local knowledge this is not a problem. On the Kitzsteinhorn above Kaprun there are five marked freeride itineraries, the longest being the 2800 meter West Side Story. All are freely accessible although be warned as they are not monitored by ski patrol. If in doubt local mountain or freeride guides could be the solution. Of course a guide will be able to introduce you to much more than the tourist trails.

Freestyle, Skier and BoarderCross

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Kaprun is the place to be for airborne addicts. There are three parks boasting more than 80 installations, a 130 meter pipe with 5.6 meter sidewalls and the mountain itself – talking freeride Jump Run particularly – offers some great natural hits. Kaprun is without a doubt a top freestyle destination.