Winter

Chalet Vista Local Information – Winter.

Guests will find plenty of info about fun pastimes such as the Fugen aquapark, the Arena Coaster (rollercoaster ride), what’s going on locally (such as concerts, festivals, fireworks), piste maps, train and bus timetables, ski and snowboard hire, lessons, service etc etc in the glass cupboards in the lounge. Feel free to help yourself, we update the contents regularly. If you want to plan your holiday and arrive already knowing what good times that await you, check out:

www.mayrhofen.at

The list of fun things to do is almost endless. Click on any of the hyperlinks for more information. The screenshot below gives an idea of what’s on offer:

660w Mayr winter

Or you can get the latest printed material yourself from the tourist office at Ramsau crossroads, (20m from the traffic lights by the Shell garage). They have a staff of four and speak good English. They’ll have details of all things on; big and small, locally and further afield. They’re a great place to get printed copies of bus and train timetables, piste, topographical and town maps, suggestions of things to do etc.

Free Ski Bus and Ski Area Above Mayrhofen.

In the winter the free ski bus leaves the bus-stop by the “Chalet Vista” sign at 8:32, 9:30 and 10:30; it will take you to the Horberg cable car (bottom right on the map below). At the top you step out onto the slopes of the Horberg, which then flows seamlessly into the Penken ski area (above Mayrhofen). This area contains about 170km of piste but if you fancy touring further you can do so from here. The lift system links through Finkenburg all the way up to Eggalm ( which is halfway to the Tux glacier). It’s a full day out but there are plenty of watering holes along the way in case you get thirsty (or hungry). At the far end of the tour is Hans Peter’s mountain bar, next to the top of the Eggalm gondola. This cosy bar is a favourite, due to the warm welcome and copious home-made schnapps which always make an appearance. Just make sure you don’t handicap yourself too much for the long journey home!

Overall this ski area is extensive and contains terrain for all levels and tastes. Several ski schools operate up here (see below for recommendations), slopes range from wide easy blues to 70+ degree north facing couloir pitches. There’s some excellent diverse off piste itineraries and the large Vans-sponsored snow park. Parents may wish to leave the rodeo twists to the younger ones and instead enjoy a tasty lunch at any one of many fine mountain restaurants.

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Our local backyard, Ramsberg is the mountain directly above Chalet Vista (to the left as you look out from the balcony). It is accessed via the Ramsbergbahn, the old-fashioned single (yes single!) person chair you can see from the balcony (1km in front of the chalet on the valley floor). This is the same lift you drive under on your way to or from Chalet Vista each day. 80% of the winter tourist to Zillertal are German. They tend to use only the fast high capacity cable cars and don’t bother with our Ramsbergbahn. That’s fine with us, as a result Ramsberg can be a real jewel of calm family skiing when the other areas are manic- Feb half term being a prime example.

So our advice would be don’t write Ramsberg off due to its old lift or limited size. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the top of the Ramsbergbahn, where you’ll find the first of the three mountain restaurants in the area, the Sonnalm. Above you you’ll see a wide rolling piste, red 2, which when taken at speed is like riding a roller coaster. Makes us grin! There’s several blues and other reds up here, a short black and some excellent north facing powder runs through the trees. The local schools teach Physical Education classes up here and one ski school, Pro Zell, provides lessons to holiday makers. When we have good snow cover in the valley (mid Jan to mid Mar) it is possible to ski from the free ski bus stop near Chalet Vista to Ramsbergbahn. This, and the surrounding areas, are both our home and our playground. We’re happy to show you the best bits if it fits with our commitments. If we can’t make it, we’ll tell you where to go (in a good way!)

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Zillertal Arena.

Arena is about 5km north of Chalet Vista, the opposite direction to Mayrhofen and is the large area shown on the map above.  It offers about 170km of mainly fast red runs and is a great ski touring area.  Start early if you fancy lunch in Koningsleiten, it’s a full day out for accomplished skiers.  Arena is accessed by two high speed gondolas (next to the Coaster), has a great board cross track, separate fun park and speed trap areas and loads of off piste potential.  DJ Hoody rocks the sun deck at Stefis several times a week, from here guests can tumble down the hill to the predominantly Dutch resort of Gerlos.  If you like smoking and partying it doesn’t get much wilder than Cin Cin bar.

Hoch Zillertal (aka Kaltenbach).

Further north, about 10km from Chalet Vista, is the Hoch Zillertal ski area.  There’s a large free car park at the bottom of the lift (as there is at all the ski areas) and again two high speed gondolas to take guests to the top in about 10 minutes.  The train line that runs along the valley floor (from Ramsau, below Chalet Vista) stops at Kaltenbach (a short walk from the ski lifts) so it’s possible to get to/from here without a car.  The ski area is again extensive, best suited to intermediates and advanced skiers in our opinion although there are some areas up here for beginners.  There are many bars and restaurants, our favourite lunchstop is Kristalhutte on the very far left of the piste map.  Stephan, owner of Mountain and Soul, brings Ibiza to the snow.  Soak up the sun on a day bed with a “Hugo” while DJs pump out some wicked tunes.  Run Z takes you from Kristalhutte to the gondola to downlink, or ski right the way to the valley floor on the Stefan Erberharter “Gold Piste”.  The multiple Olympic gold medallist is a local lad from the town of Stumm, opposite.

Hoch Fugen Piste Map 1

Out Of Season Skiing.

In Zillertal the ski (and snowboard of course) season typically runs 14 Dec until Easter.  It is of course dependant on how much snow has fallen and been made throughout the season, although we have a bit of an ace up our sleve with the nearby Tux glacier.  Here one can ski year round (yes, even in August!)  So don’t bother with snow insurance, just drive up the road and you’ll find snow, even when it’s 30C in the valley!  For more info click Summer Skiing On Tux Glacier (or go to “Summer” page) and scroll down to the last paragraph.  Skiing pre-season in the Autumn can be surprisingly good, with the resort organising competitions and after-parties.  The hotzone.tv video for last Oct camp in here.