Expert Skiing in Austria

Austria’s best steeps, deeps, moguls and more.

St Anton

Huge Arlberg area, Awesome après ski, Extensive powd...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Non skiers
  • Off-piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Ischgl

Some of Austria highest slopes , Awesome après , Fam...

Great for:

  • Snow sure
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kitzbuhel

World's most difficult run, Romantic Austrian charm, ...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Lech

Some of the best snow in Austria , Traditional charm...

Great for:

  • Luxury
  • High Altitudes
  • Powder snow

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Solden

Lively après ski, Free Wifi in ski area, 1 of Austri...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Après Ski
  • Events

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kaprun

Austria’s oldest skiable glacier, Austria’s bigges...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Late Season
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zurs

Great slope side après, Large linked ski area, Huge ...

Great for:

  • Heli skiing
  • Luxury
  • Relaxed après

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

St Christoph

Off-piste bowls and chutes galore , Quaint Austrian ...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Quiet getaway
  • Advanced skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Soll

Super-efficient lift system, Austria’s longest nigh...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Night skiing
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

Home to some of the world’s greatest groomers, deep powder couloirs and ski areas you’d have a job yodelling across, Austria’s the real deal when it comes to advanced skiing.

If you want to experience the nation’s most challenging terrain, these resorts will take your mileage, your heartrate and your love of the mountains to new heights - ten times over.

Austria: Top 10 ski resorts for Experts

St Anton has a reputation the world over for its masses of gruelling terrain. The range of blacks on Kapall, Galzig and Rendhl vary from World Cup runs (#35 from Kapall), to narrow couloirs (Kandahar, #2 from Galzig) and gloriously wide, thigh-burning beauties (#2a from Rendl). These are topped only by the 200km of marked powder runs winding across the mountain range – get a guide to show you the best of them, like the famously difficult #18 from Valfagehr, and Mattun’s mogul ridden #16. Beyond these markers, the off piste offerings seem to go on, and on, with the iconic Valluga being home to some of the most formidable descents we’ve skied. Take your pick from either the classic north face drop into its massive bowl, or the bridge couloir – each as technically challenging and thrilling as the other. If this really gets your juices flowing, the White Thrill Race is open to any brave (or bonkers) soul who’s daring enough to enter the 9km race from Valluga’s peak into the centre of St Anton - 1300 vertical meters of ungroomed track, a 150m uphill section, and a mad dash to the finish line.

One word: Harakiri. Named after a Japanese suicide ritual, this run features a gruelling 78% decline (making it Austria’s steepest piste) and will see your speed soar. Short and wide, it’s a devil in icy conditions but a different run entirely in good snow, so say your prayers accordingly. It isn’t the be all and end all of expert skiing here though - Mayrhofen has many more black runs on the cards. The devil’s run (#12) from the Horbergkarspitz is one of our favourites –leg-achingly long and very steep towards the end. For a further stamina challenge, try the 5.5km route down the Ahorn (red #4 into black #5). With 300km of easily accessible freeriding terrain, Mayrhofen’s definitely not lacking in powder to shred – we can’t get enough of the two smooth bowls tucked underneath the 150er Tux.

The black runs here should come with a ‘highly addictive’ warning, especially the ones from the top of the Greitspitz where #14a has a whopping 70% gradient. Route Eleven also starts off here, an 11km valley descent of reds and blacks ending up in the town. The challenging blacks from Palinkopf shouldn’t disappoint either: #20 and #21 are some of the steepest Ischgl has to offer and as an added bonus, they have some nice powder stashes to the sides. For moguls, the Höllspitzbahn’s your chairlift – speaking of warning signs, this one comes complete with a ‘don’t drink and ski’ alert as you’ll need to be totally compos mentis to tackle these monsters! Head to the Paznauer Taya area for an excellent collection of reds and blacks that are often far quieter than the rest of Ischgl, so you might just find yourself riding corduroy carpet without a soul in sight. There’s plenty more off the beaten track - headed up by the superb Piz Val Gronda whose off-piste opportunities will exhaust you before you exhaust them...

Kitz is home to the Streif piste (#21) of Hahnenkamm Race fame, of which Franz Klammer famously said “every single racer who gets to the bottom is a winner”. The top section’s so steep and icy that you can easily rack up over 100mph within seconds, and there are sharp turns, jumps, steeps and bumps further down. But that’s during race season - a far friendlier alter ego takes over for the rest of the winter, when the piste’s usually classified red. More demanding descents are easily found: black #43 from the top of Ehrenbachhöhe is a narrow tree-lined couloir down into the valley, and for mighty moguls, take the run off the top of Pengelstein II. Pengelstein’s definitely the mountain to get the heart racing – another must-ski’s the Hochsaukaser trail, with its mix of rolling steeps. Off piste is in plentiful supply too and there are some smashing controlled but ungroomed Ski Routes – Pengelstein Süd snakes 6.8km down the mountain towards Jochberg and there are some fabulous trails on the Bichalm if you catch the shuttle up.

We could keep coming back to Lech and find new challenges every time. The local area alone’s a buffet of expert terrain, and then there’s the entire Arlberg region to tuck into. For starters, the marked trails are incredible - the Kriegerhorn has some spectacularly mogul-riddled runs to play on, like Südhang (#40) and Liezen (#44). Not for the faint-hearted, these untamed tracks can build into absolute monster mounds. If you prefer things steep and deep, Rufikopf holds the key to Langerzug (#37): shooting off the back side of the mountain, it’s one of the steepest descents in Austria and has seen record speeds of 155mph. On the piste, there are some terrific groomers over on Saloberkoph including the black Gamssprung, where you can dip in and out of the powder on either side. No self-professed expert can come here without completing the esteemed Weisse Ring circuit, host of the longest ski race on earth. Covering a mammoth 22km of piste and powder around Lech, Oberlech, Zürs and Zug, and a whopping 5500m vertical, it’s a test of endurance to rival the London marathon.

Not many ski areas have sole ownership of three peaks that tower over 3000m, with two glaciers for good measure. Hardy skiers can cover all of these magnificent features in one 50km route - the ‘Big 3 Rally’ - which on a good day takes 4 hours to complete. It’s the most rewarding tour of Sölden you can do, especially when you take the final gondola ride up to Gaislachkogl for some spectacular 360° views. The toughest run around is the black #3 down from Wassaker (which is longer than it used to be thanks to a new chairlift) and there are some marvellous moguls under the Hainbachjoch and below Rotkuglhutte on 17. As you’d expect from a resort with such weighty claims, Sölden has amazing backcountry, from entry-level routes on the Hainbachjoch and Giggijoch to the steep and nail-bitingly narrow trails of the Gaislachkogl.

Standing at a massive 3203m and wearing a glacier encrusted crown, the Kitzsteinhorn’s certainly king in these parts. Starting at the top, the Maurer lift brings you to the #5a and #5b – two technical treats to warm up on, before the knee-knocking Black Mamba, which snakes down a 63% incline to Langwiedboden. Those with a penchant for powder can tackle the 5 ski routes (unpisted but marked) - two medium difficulty options are ‘Ice Age’ (under the Gipfel lift), which switches between steeps and gentler inclines over 2km, and the slightly shorter ‘Left Wing’ (from the left of Gletscherjet II), - a steep start and rolling in ridiculously good pow. Don’t forget the rest of the area - Schmitenhöhe above Zell am See has a healthy number of “expert only” markers, where Trassabfahrt 14 is renowned for switching up steeps and ice to keep you on your toes.

In the centre of the Arlberg, Zürs has access to all the pisted perks of Lech and Zug, but with some sterling terrain of its own. Thanks to the area’s heavy snowfall, the off piste routes are an absolute dream, and they’re handily divided into intermediate and extreme categories. Of the easier routes, #33 from Madloch is a 4.2km run into Zug – one of the Arlberg’s longest descents. It features as the only unpisted section of the White Ring, and it’s worth a ski whether or not you dare to tackle the legendary 22km circuit while you’re here. Red #3a at Hexenboden is another feature of the White Ring, a wide, open steep that’s perfect for cranking up the speed on those carving turns. Of the trickier ski routes, Ochsenboden (#8) is the steeper, snowier sister of red #7, which together make a monster ski from Trittkoph featuring narrow ridges and powder stashes to keep you on your toes. Keep the tempo high as long as the lifts are churning, ending the day on the gloriously sunny black #15 back to the village.

Forgetting for a moment that it lies over the mountain from St Anton, St Christoph’s terrain alone poses a challenge to seasoned skiers. From the village, try red #7 from the Galzig lift for a nice steep starter, then up your game on black #2 which is perfect for carving out your finest hairpins. Meanwhile route #18 (underneath the Valfagehr) is a decent test for those who like a little bit of powder in the mix. On that note, Schindler Spitze has some incredible drops off the back that are nothing short of epic: #15a and #15b are sure to test your stamina – the former drops to an unexpectedly steep treat to later join blue #4 in the valley. The off-piste list goes on… Powder hounds have really hit the big-time here with the Valluga and more world famous backcountry just a gondola ride away.

Get ready to send your mileage through the roof: Söll isn’t teeming with black runs (though there are some corkers on the Hohe Salve) – here it’s more about covering a mammoth distance as you ski far and wide over the elephantine SkiWelt. Day trips spent skiing over to Brixen and Ellmau take you over a massive 4 and 5 peaks respectively, via a cobweb of red runs, where you can link onto blacks to up the ante. It’s also possible to get a day pass to nearby Kitzbühel, for legends like the Streif and off-piste galore. To dabble in some powder closer to home, head out to Brandstadl and take the ungroomed ski route down into Scheffau, then get the lift back up to Hartkaiser for another one. Most of the best off-piste can be found on the main mountain, where you’ll find some lovely deep stuff and a host of natural hits to bounce off.

The definitive list for advanced skiers and snowboarders of the top 10 best expert ski resorts in Austria.

If you're looking to ski or snowboard somewhere special... and your skill level is up to it... the best Expert Austrian resorts will take your advanced skiing to the next level.

All of these expert ski and snowboard mountains have at some stage held titles like "best Expert Austrian resorts" or been included in the lists of top Austrian ski resorts such as "top advanced Austrian resorts" and "top Expert Austrian resorts in the alps"... they are simply the best Expert Austrian resorts.


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