Nordkette Ski Stats: Summit Elevation 7,401’, 2,256 meters, Vertical 4,580’
5 lifts, 14 kilometers of trails, terrain park, night skiing
Igloo and Alpine Zoo Nordkette Photos l
Innsbruck is a great Austrian city for skiers wanting a vibrant urban and
historic atmosphere for après ski, with 9 ski resorts to choose from just 45 minutes
away, on free buses
included in your Olympic Ski World pass with Nordkette being the closest - you
can walk to the lifts from the Old City. Other Innsbruck Ski Areas include Stubaier Glacier, Kühtai,
Axamer Lizum, Patscherkofel, Glungezer, Mutteralm, Schlick 2000, and Rangger
Kopfl, all on the Olympia Ski World pass. See our review of
Innsbruck's best ski lodging and things to do
in Innsbruck, and our Innsbruck Photos.
Nordkette is the most convenient ski area from Innsbruck, the ski funicular
starts downtown, a decent ski boot stroll by Saint Jacob’s Church and the
centuries old Golden Roof, which feels so wrong its right – carrying your skis
Nordkette is called the Jewel of the Alps, as its ski slopes sparkle above
Innsbruck's palaces and church steeples, you can even spot the Nordic Olympic
jump across the valley at Nockspitz. Nordkette rises steeply above Innsbruck,
accessed by three amazing lifts - from the Funicular Hungerburg to the Seegrube
Tram and finally the Hafelekar – a single cable car to 7,400 feet reaching a
free skiers paradise.
The architecture of Nordkette’s lifts, dating to the 1920’s, is extraordinary,
recently updated by Zaha Hadid. Nordkette also hosts Austria’s largest nature
park for sightseer who don’t bring skis –which accounts for up to 85% of the
lift riders. Otherwise Hafelekar is all expert summit terrain, arguably the
steepest in the Alps with just two controlled and monitored routes, everything
else is "ski it if you dare" NFT- no fall terrain, with views to Germany’s
Bavarian Alp and dropping, literally, to Innsbruck below. With a quick hike you
reach “scare the schnitzel out of you” chutes, big bowls of extreme, natural,
untouched, untamed steep skiing. Nordkette skiers be warned, and walkers
planning to explore this nature park terrain at Hafelekar, its precipitous and
unmarked in winter, as the danger signs indicate.
For tamer ski terrain, Nordkette's mid-mountain Seegrube is a white wonderland,
with terrain park and 5 prepared ski trails, served by two chairlifts. For a
super scenic lunch, Seegrube’s Alpine Lounge is super-scenic, as is the Cloud 9
outdoor bar and sun terrace. There’s even an Iglu- the largest in the Alps.
Seegrube’s terrain is open for night skiing – which must be extraordinary as you
look down on the lights of Innsbruck.
There’s not a ton of skiing at Nordkette,
just 5 prepared trails, but the off-piste is off the charts, rivaling
Verbier. To end your day skiing at Nordkette, download, or take the longest
of Nordkette’s runs back to the funicular for your ride back to Innsbruck.
We loved Nordkette for the views, the serious vertical skiing down to Seegrube's
base, and the crazy steep terrain (confession) but we are expert skiers.