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Dachstein West Ski Holidays

This isn't the best known ski area in the Austrian alps, but that's half the charm. Three small villages come together in Dachstein West, the biggest ski area in Upper Austria and a treat for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.





At a glance: • Short transfers • 3 ski villages

Great for: • Families • Quiet ski holidays • Intermediates

This isn't the best known ski area in the Austrian alps, but that's half the charm. Three small villages come together in Dachstein West, the biggest ski area in Upper Austria and a treat for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.

Dachstein West Resort

The Dachstein West ski area lies an hour away from Salzburg and slap bang in the middle of Austria, connecting the villages of Gosau, Russbach and Annaberg.

Belonging to the Salzkammergut region (Austria’s Lake District) Gosau’s a gorgeous part of the world, with traditional Tyrolean gasthof’s and spectacular sights of the Dachstein glacier and Lake Gosausee. Access into the ski area is via the Panorama Jet or Hornspitz Express lifts.

Pretty Russbach is known as “Salzburg’s Village”. Its pastel-painted main square is just over a five-minute walk from the Hornbahn lift, which takes you up into the very centre of the ski area.

The third village is sunny little Annaberg (often known as Annaberg-Lungötz), where the local’s claim to fame is that ski champion Marcel Hirscher was born there.

All three villages are linked by lifts, 119km of pistes and a ski bus as part of the Dachstein West region.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Salzburg region, Austria


Open: December - March

Downhill: 142km

View our detailed Dachstein West snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Dachstein West snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Salzburg (SLZ)70km, 1 hour
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 43km 36%

  • 69km 58%

  • 7km 6%

Top Altitude:1620m
Bottom Altitude:780m
Resort Altitude:767m – 813m
Longest run:4km
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:Yes

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 31cm
  • Base
  • N/Acm
  • Forecast
  • N/Acm

Web Cam

Dachstein West web cams
Downhill Runs:142km
Beginner slopes:36%
Advanced slopes:6%
Lift Pass Price: €150 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Gosau, Filzmoos, Werfenweng

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Dachstein West

The beginner areas near the Gosau and Russbach villages are the perfect place to pick up the basics, before you head higher up to ski the local blues.

The bulk of the area is suited to intermediates, with red runs from every lift, merged with blues here and there to keep the pace cruisey. We love red #17 into Astauwinkel and could easily spend hours doing the rounds from the Torleck chair in the middle of the ski area.

There are only a couple of black graded pistes here - #9b, a steeper detour on the blue #9 and #5c from the Höhbühelbahn. The Höhbühelbahn area also has some good ski routes, including the Rock n Roll and Wilde Hilde. You’ll find more challenging descents from the Angerlift, where 16a and b are black rated powder runs. For the ultimate powder trip, get a guide to lead a descent in Zwieselalm, Krippenstein or Obertauern.

A new addition to the area (and a brilliant one) is the Panoronda ski circuit, a 44km long route cramming in the best views in the valley - wolf down a hearty breakfast, pack your camera and have an absolute ball touring the area.

In the freestyle department, the main snow park can be found in Russbach with small and medium kickers and jib lines. There’s also the playground snowpark in Gosau and a kids park in Annaberg for mini shredders.

Adding a bit of extra excitement to the slopes, Skigeocaching is popular here, with 30 geocaches hidden around the area to hunt down.

Dachstein West Apres Ski

Annaberg’s freeride-BAR is a good spot for drinks and snacks, while Schirmbar Gipfeltreff has deckchairs and cracking views – but overall, the vibe is more family-focussed than party mad. If skiing has left you hungry, Gosau’s Gasthaus Echo is an excellent restaurant for families with a little play area and relaxed environment. On the home run to Russbach, the Franzl Alm has a terrific choice of meals with lots of outdoor seating to enjoy the views from.

If you’re itching for something to do once the lifts close, there are oodles of other activities to get stuck into. Set off to explore the landscape on a horse-drawn sleigh ride from Gosau, Russbach, Annaberg or Bad Goisern or zoom down the toboggan runs in Lungötz, Lammertal, Abtenau, Gosau and Russbach. There are some incredible winter walks through Gosau, Obertraun and Hallstatt and Annaberg has a good ice rink. For something adventurous, head to Hallstatt for ice diving. And when it calls for a break from the great outdoors, there’s an indoor swimming pool in Gosau or the amazing Aqua Salza centre in Golling.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Dachstein West

Best time to visit & ski Dachstein West

With the area’s relatively low pistes in mind, the best time to visit for snow conditions is the middle of the season as the open pistes can be limited in December and from late March onwards. Investments in artificial snowmaking have helped reduce the risk of this, now covering 122km of the area. If you do find the snow lacking, the nearest snow sure areas are Obertauern, about an hour and a quarter away and the Dachstein glacier – just under an hour and a half’s drive away.

Peak Dates

Spend Christmas in Dachstein West for a traditional Austrian setting, an hour away from the Salzburg markets. Look out for the small Advent market in Russbach village square and Christmas mass in the local churches.

Look out for events like the Children’s Snow Festival in Brumsiland Gosau over the New Year in Dachstein West.

The ski area tends to see some of its best conditions over Half Term in Dachstein West.

The snow isn’t usually Austria’s finest over Easter in Dachstein West, but you always have Obertauern and the Dachstein glacier within 1.5 hours drive if you want more snow sure conditions.

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Families in Dachstein West

The Spatzennest kids club (by the Hornbahn Russbach base station) looks after tiddlers from one year and up, and the same goes for the Fuxi’s club in Annaberg. They’ll enjoy indoor and outdoor fun in the hands of qualified staff, while you head off and explore the ski area. Gosau is home to Brumsiland and Russbach, the Bear Camp – two kid’s areas by the Hornspitzbahn and Hornbahn valley stations where youngsters can learn the skiing basics in safety. If your children are more confident skiers, spend days geocaching on the mountain and enjoying the best of Dachstein West. When it calls for a different activity, we love the Aqua Salza centre in Golling which has a kids pool, four seasons pool and spa facilities.

GroupsGroup Holidays Dachstein West

Groups looking for good intermediate level skiing and a quiet, friendly base will have a whale of a time in Dachstein West. That’s not to say advanced skiers and boarders are left wanting, with the Russbach Snow Park and freeride terrain at the likes of Zwieselalm and Krippenstein. Mountain huts are dotted around the pistes for handy meeting points, while activities like winter walks and tobogganing are great fun to enjoy together. For a day trip, head an hour out into Salzburg to explore one of Europe’s most wonderful cities.

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