The Hochkönig Ski Resort Review
Guest post from Alison Carsley-Lebatard
The article on Hochkönig has been written by our guest blogger Alison Carsley-Lebatard, who, with her husband Jerome, own and run Haus Schneeberg holiday apartments in Mühlbach am Hochkönig. Alison comes from the north of the UK, and Jerome comes from Grenoble in France. They bought Haus Schneeberg at the end of 2012, when they fell in love with the beautiful scenery of the Hochkönig. They both love skiing, hiking, and biking, and can give you some great tips on the area!
The Hochkönig Ski Resort
The Hochkönig Ski resort is probably not a ski resort you have heard of before. It lies 60km south of Salzburg, and is part of the Ski Amade region. It is known as the most beautiful ski resort in Salzburg and features gorgeous alpine panoramas with views of the Hochkönig mountain and the Steinernes Meer (Stony Sea).
The Hochkönig area comprises the villages of Mühlbach am Hochkönig, Dienten, Hinterthal, Hintermoos, and Maria Alm, and has over 120km of pistes, 33 modern mountain lifts, and 60 pistes. There are 52km of blue pistes, 41km red pistes and 27 km of blacks, with 8km of free ride routes, so there is something for every ability! The ski resort’s lowest point is 800m, and the highest is 1900m, and is snow sure, with over 600 snow cannons covering 95% of pistes.
The Königstour takes you from Mühlbach am Hochkönig to Maria Alm via all the villages, and takes you over 6 summits, 35 km of continuous slopes, and 7,500 vertical meters. You do need to be able to ski red pistes competently to do the tour in full.
There is a separate smaller ski resort called Hochkeil, which is situated above Mühlbach am Hochkönig, and directly under the Hochkönig mountain, facing the beautiful Mandlwand. This area tends to be quieter, and has 5 drag lifts and a range of pistes, and off piste areas, for all abilities.
The Hochkönig ski area is renowned for it’s gastronomy, and has many mountain restaurants serving tasty traditional Austrian, and modern food. From a hearty farmer’s breakfast, to a fine meal of venison garnished with roasted vegetables, and drizzled with a red wine jus, to a delicious Kaisersmarren (Austrian fluffy pancakes), you can find something to suit you and your family.
The region offers “Culinary Königstours”. These are specially selected tours that take you and your taste buds from hut to hut on skis with culinary delicacies awaiting you at each hut. With different themes – gourmet tour, peak enjoyment tour, alpine hut tour, home cooking tour, winter magic tour– there is something to suit every taste.
There are also various events over the ski season, including the craft beer festival, the wine tasting gondola, the highest farmer’s market, and ski and wine weeks.
Along with 120 km of ski slopes, the Hochkönig region also offers 3 first-class snow and fun parks as well as a fun slope. Blue Tomato fun park in Mühlbach am Hochkönig is 1.8 km long snow park along the Kings Cab lift. And has over 50 jumps and jibs. There is a beginners fun park area in Natrun, Maria Alm.
Each village has at least one ski school, and at least one ski and boot hire shop.
The area is very much a family resort, and whilst there are apres ski bars, they are not the main focus of the resort. Families come back year after year, and even generation after generation, as they love the friendly feel to the resort and the magnificent views. There are no major UK ski companies that bring customers to the region, so it is not very well known with British skiers, and the Austrians, Germans, Dutch and Belgiums like to say it is their best kept secret! When British guests do visit, they realise how convenient and accessible it is, and what an amazing ski area it is. Less than one hour from Salzburg international airport, and offering great value for money, with snacks in the mountain restaurants from as little as €5, and a pint of beer starting at €3.50.
The area is also great for sledging, with various natural sledge runs in the area, and you can take a horse drawn sleigh ride if you fancy some time off skiing, or in the evening after skiing.
The area is part of the Ski Amade ski pass, with over 760 kilometers of slopes with one lift pass, 270 modern lifts and 356 of the best prepared slopes. This area includes the famous Schladming resort, Gastein, Salzburger Sportwelt (Flachau, Wagrain, Alpendorf/St Johann), Dachstein glacier, Grossarl, Zauchensee, amongst others! If you really like to shred the pistes, you can do a different resort every day – see this blog on the Ski Amade Ski Safari
Haus Schneeberg lies in the centre of Mühlbach am Hochkönig, 750m from the main gondola station, and 100m from the bus stop. You can ski back to 100m from the house, subject to snow conditions. Alison and Jerome will welcome you and ensure you make the most of your stay. There are 3 family friendly apartments in the house, each sleeping up to 4 or 5 people. You can contact them to organise transfers from the airport, and they will help out with any other requirements you have. You can book direct with them for the best prices at www.hausschneeberg.com