ZELL AM SEE RESORT GUIDE
Zell am See has a charming, traffic-free medieval centre and sits on the shore of the picturesque Lake Zell. The major through-road was moved into a tunnel a while ago which means the resort is much quieter, but it can still get busy at the start and end of the ski day. There is loads to do away from the slopes, making this one of the top family-friendly destinations and perfect for a groups containing non-skiers.
The Kitzsteinhorn glacier is the jewel in the crown for both Zell am See and Kaprun – a high, snow sure area with lift-serviced skiing between 3030m and 1978m.
The glacier area is open from early October to early July, providing one of the longest ski seasons in Europe. In the late autumn, winter and early spring there’s a lot more to do than cruise a few red and blue pistes. From mid October, there's a big terrain park on offer here – home to Austria’s largest super-pipe.
Meanwhile, after a dump, off-pisters will find a number of tasty descents through the powder, close to the pistes. In fact, the area is actively promoting freeriding, with information boards, and a transceiver-training area. Every Monday morning from late November to early May, you can also sign up for two and a half hours of off-piste training, with classes for first-timers as well as more experienced powder hounds.
In a further bid to boost its hard-skiing image the Kitzsteinhorn opened the Black Mamba piste. At a maximum gradient of 63 degrees it's a pretty steep piste, but doesn't quite match the Harakiri piste (78%) over in Mayrhofen, Austria.