5th December 2022 | James Cove, Innsbruck, Austria.
PlanetSKI has started its winter with a week long visit to the Tirol. We’re now in Innsbruck – sampling the city life & the ski life. Today it’s a visit to the Stubai glacier. NEW
Stubai is the nearest glacier ski area to Innsbruck and an easy journey of 30 minutes or so on this City+Ski trip of mine.
There is a free ski bus from the city that gives access to the 110 kilometres of pistes on Austria’s largest glacier ski area.
Leaving the city offered spectacular views of Innsbruck and the ski area of Nordkette that perches above it.
The road up to the Stubai glacier near Innsbruck was another winter wonderland scene, with snow dripping off the trees.
It was a similar to Kuhtai that I visited from Innsbruck earlier:
Stubai is usually one of the first resorts to open and this season it fired up some lifts at the end of September with some excellent snow conditions.
We reported at the time on PlanetSKI:
However, a warm October and November has led to a less than spectacular autumn ski situation – until now.
There have been some decent falls over the past few weeks and cold temperatures.
On my visit I was one of about 5,000 people out on the slopes.
Many people were out despite the limited visibility.
The weather didn’t quite play ball with winds gusting up to 90 kms per hour at some points during the day.
As well as experiencing skiing from the city of Innsbruck I was also testing out a few skis, courtesy of Intersport.
Some readers will know that if you take out a top of the range package from Intersport you can change your skis as many times as you want.
Maybe you want to change as the snow conditions alter across you holiday.
Or maybe, like me, you want to test a few pairs with a view to trying before you buy.
The beauty of the Intersport shop at Stubai is that it’s at the top of the main lift right by the slopes.
The set up and lay out means you don’t even have to take you boots off.
I first tried a pair of Volkl all mountain skis (they’re the ones leaning up with the snow on) and then opted for a pair of Stockli slalom skis.
After that it was some Volkl Race Tigers – a GS ski that pulls no punches and my favourite for the day.
Earlier this season there was the Intersport Snow Day in Stubai, where over 4-days you can test skis and snowboards, plus all manner of gear.
There are also a series of events running alongside the testing including ski touring, snow shoeing and yoga on the slopes.
Autumn is an important time for Stubai and it sees as many visitors as in the middle of winter.
Showing me round the slopes of Stubai was the media manager of the resort, Michael Gstrein.
‘We have something for everyone in Stubai,” Michael said.
“We have nursery slopes that are ideal for families with covered magic carpets, plus children under 10-years old can ski for free with an adult and we have special children’s area in the main restaurant.
“There are many slopes for intermediates and then a snowpark that has a line for pro-riders.
“Some of the best free style athletes in the world come here to train.
“There is also plenty of challenging off piste when the conditions allow, and we recommend you take a guide as it is a glacier area.”
Of course no ski trip to Austria is complete without some apres.
People in every resort go at it with gusto.
Here’s Stubai’s early season offering:
Now I had planned for Stubai to be the last resort on my City+Ski visit.
But I heard it was opening day at one of my favourite small resorts in the Tirol – the wonderfully-named, Schlick 2000.
It would be rude not to change plans and pay my respects.
I’ll be updating later from Schlick 2000, so do check back.
The weather finally behaved itself and the clouds lifted as Schlick 2000 opened.
Intersport Fact Box for winter 2022/23:
Intersport has over 700 ski hire shops across the alps, renting award-winning skis and snowboards.
Why rent in resort?
Because you can save money on the airline baggage fee, have less to carry to resort, have up-to-date equipment that’s serviced every rental by qualified professionals.
Swap and change your skis and equipment as conditions demand, and get your feet accurately measured with the Boot Doctor scanning machine – guaranteed comfy, new boots.
Average rental is €8 per day including skis, helmet, poles and boots.
Book via www.intersportrent.com