Skiing in Axamer Lizum

Skiing in Axamer Lizum

Axamer Lizum’s ski area is all about quality rather than quantity, and is the highest of the eight ski areas surrounding Innsbruck, making it a firm favourite with locals as well as skiers from across Europe and the UK. The ski station itself, with its lifts and gondola, is set above the two villages, easily accessible by car or bus. The range of trails may be considered small by major ski resort standards, but the available pistes are top-class at all levels, catering for everyone from beginners through intermediate to advanced skiers happier with black runs or off-piste skiing with a guide.

Most of the mountain faces to the northeast, with only the nursery slopes getting the sun by the afternoon, with the majority of trails comparatively exposed, with few trees. An exception is the peaceful tree-lined run right down to the village of Gotzens, close to the valley’s hotels and chalets. The Olympic area here is home to challenging runs, including the blue Run 18 ladies’ downhill trail from Hoadl Haus. This is a fabulous piste, cutting though the mountain’s craggy rock faces with off-piste trails down to the base. The men’s downhill is equally impressive, running in the opposite direction down to the resort’s central area, again with great off-piste skiing throughout the descent.

For beginners, the wide nursery slopes offer plenty of easy trails ending at the base station, with slightly more demanding slopes nearby easily accessed via the gondola. The ski school here has a good reputation for installing confidence as well as skill within a short time. Intermediates will be happy here, with 25kms of specially groomed and often wider trails for mid-level skiing. Even a few of the extreme runs could be considered manageable at intermediate level on a good day.

Advanced skiers will enjoy the more challenging Olympic black level runs and the great selection of off-piste skiing and powder trails leading down from the heights of Hoadl, best attempted with a guide due to the possibility of avalanches. Carving on the wide intermediate runs is great fun for advanced skiers and there are a good number of jumps. For experts, there are only two challenging runs, numbers 10 and eight, but the Olympic giant slalom course provides practice for ski racers.

Snowboarders will find lots to enjoy on these slopes, with a snowpark for practising freestyle, great classes for beginners and bumpy runs or off-piste powder trails down from Hoadl for the experienced, again best accompanied by a guide. At the lower level of the villages, cross-country skiers will find two classic seven and half kilometre trails, and parents will be happy that every run ends at the same base station, ensuring the kids can’t get lost!