Skiing in Tyrol Part II: Nordkette, Patscherkofel & Axamer Lizum

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Since we know that February is a month where lots of you are on skiing vacation enjoying the slopes, today, we’ll show you the second part of our winter outdoor series. This time, we’ll stay close to, or even in Innsbruck, to show you that outdoor fun is never far away here. 


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NORDKETTE. JEWEL OF THE ALPS

You might have already heard a bit about the Nordkette in previous posts, but now, we’ll focus more on the skiing possibilities you have here. Getting to the Nordkette is really easy. You simply take the Hungerburgbahn cable car from the city centre, or drive by car – there are 2 different parking areas, one is for free and the other one isn´t, but you’ll get your money back when buying a ticket to the Nordkette. Another option to get there is by bus – we’ll go into detail about why this is so great later. 

Then, you head up the mountain with the beautiful Nordkette cable car. On the way up, you already get to enjoy a beautiful view over the city of Innsbruck. If you want to have the best view ever, you’ll need to get even higher to the station of the Hafelekar cable car, and then walk about 30 minutes to the peak. We’d recommend you take hiking boots with you as the ice and snow make the short walk up there pretty hard and you should not try it with skiing boots!

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But now on to the skiing at Tyrol’s most famous mountain range. From the Hafelekar down, there are no slopes, just two ski routes that are really difficult and only suitable for expert skiers, but around the Seegrube (where you can go for lunch as well and where the igloo bar CLOUD 9 is located) there are a few slopes suitable for everyone, including beginners. Honestly, the skiing area is not very big, but it’s very famous for its fun park and of course the beautiful view. On days with good snow conditions, you can even ski down the whole mountain until the parking area around the valley station of the Nordkette cable car

If you want to stay close to Innsbruck and enjoy the slopes, and do not mind that you don’t have 50 different slopes to choose from but around 10, the Nordkette is definitely the right choice for you. And honestly – with a view like this, who cares about the number of slopes?

The SNOW CARD TIROL, FREIZEIT TICKET TIROL & INNSBRUCK CARD are valid for this resort.

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PATSCHERKOFEL

Now, let’s head to the other side of Innsbruck, the south side, and we’ll start by explaining why we mentioned the bus earlier at the Nordkette. The same bus line (called J) that brings you to the Nordkette, also brings you to the Patscherkofel. It is even called ‘from peak to peak’ and is a great way for people in the city to decide spontaneously which ski area they want to visit. You can get there by car as well, which takes you about 15 minutes from the city centre. 

The Patscherkofel is advertised as the “home mountain” of Innsbruck and the villages in the surroundings. The cable car is really new – about 2 years old and most locals are not big fans of it as it was really expensive and the Kofel (as the mountain is also called) is often exposed to heavy winds, or even storms (due to its location right where the Wipp valley meets the Inn valley), which means the cable car needs to get closed on those days. That was the case on the day this blogpost was written, for example, but you can easily check whether its open or not on their website. 

We went to the Kofel ourselves just a few weeks ago and we were really surprised. Natascha had never been there before and Sophie hasn’t been there for a long time and we really enjoyed ourselves. Despite, again, not having a vast number of lifts, cable cars or slopes, it is really fun skiing there as the location is beautiful and you are presented with a great view over the city of Innsbruck and the Nordkette and the slopes are way longer than they appear (so more time for fun).

A big plus: there are various lodges, huts and restaurants, as well as a little hut which can be reached when going a ski tour starting from the top of the cable car to the peak of the mountain – which offers you an even better view. 

We both really underestimated this resort and for us it was only plan B as we had to change plans because of heavy snowfall, but we’re so glad we did and now the Patscherkofel is ranked up pretty high on our personal list of favourites!

The SNOW CARD TIROL, FREIZEIT TICKET TIROL & INNSBRUCK CARD are valid for this resort.

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AXAMER LIZUM

Now to a skiing area we have already mentioned in part one of this series. The Axamer Lizum. We mentioned it when talking about how Natascha loves to head to the Kühtai, when the whole population of Innsbruck heads to the Lizum on sunny weekend days. Like we said back then, we wouldn’t recommend going there on the weekend, except for the case that you enjoy skiing with hundreds of people around you, but during the week or on not so sunny days you can really enjoy yourselves here as well.

The Lizum is located not even 20 km from Innsbruck, so it is easily reached by car, and there is a free ski bus from the city as well. While the Olympic Winter Games were in Innsbruck 1964 and 1976, all the alpine skiing events, except for men’s downhill (this one took place at the Patscherkofel), took place there, which is also why the famous cable car and the slope from there to the parking area are called Olympiabahn (Olympic cable car) and Olympiaabfahrt (Olympic slope). 

Here, you are also presented with a pretty nice variety of slopes and lifts, and the area is really popular among ski tour enthusiasts. The slopes vary from very easy to difficult, so we’re pretty sure everyone will find the right one. Also, there are a fun park and some fun slopes. There’s no way you get bored there for sure. 

One thing that is pretty fun: every year an ‘Ugly skiing day’ takes place there (where the area is even more overcrowded) but it’s so much fun!

The SNOW CARD TIROL, FREIZEIT TICKET TIROL & INNSBRUCK CARD are valid for this resort.