In the beginning of the Zillertal you will find the small village of Kaltenbach. It does not have the traditional Tyrolean ambiance, like most of the ski villages in this part of Austria, but the skiing is good. Since it is also part of the Zillertal 300 lift ticket it is a popular place to go skiing. Interconnected with Hochfügen, the ski resort is called Hochzillertal.
Pros and cons of Kaltenbach
Although the village itself is situated on only 550m above sea level the snow conditions in the resort are mostly good cause the peak of the resort lays on almost 2,400m. The valley run, named after the famous Austrian Downhill skier Stephan Eberharter Goldpiste is a nice long run with spectacular views. Though later in the season and on hot days the snow quality on the lower parts can be bad.
In total you can enjoy almost 90km of groomed runs and there is a Snowpark. The Betterpark Funpark is a small park with lines for all levels. It has its own lift to bring you back, but there are only two kickers per line.
Interested in reading about more ski resorts in Austria: an all time favorite is Ischgl, Mayerhofen is not my favorite really. My favorites are Solden and Saalbach Hinterglemm. For a weekend trip I recommend Kaltenbach or snowbiking in Obertauern.
Because the ski resort is located in the beginning of the Zillertal it’s a popular resort, though I never stumbled upon long queues. There is a huge parking spot down at the base, but there are two gondolas next to each other to handle the peak hours. It is a family resort and some runs can be packed with loads of beginners and kids. This is not the resort where you will find yourself alone on the tracks!
Have a drink in the Kristalhütte in Kaltenbach
The highlight of this resort is one of the huts on top of the mountain. The so-called Kristalhütte is a lovely place to chill out and one of my favorites in a least the Zillertal. With splendid mountain views this place is a popular spot on 2,400m. The food is good, prices are affordable and there is relaxing club music on the background. If the weather permits they have a DJ playing some funky tunes outside and loads of beach chairs are lined up facing the sun. If you are lucky enough to find a free lounge-bed I think you will call it a day! Its possible to watch the sunset, they don’t throw you out and from the hut its possible to ski all the way back to Kaltenbach, which is about 8km.
Après ski in Kaltenbach
This is not the party town, like others in the Zillertal. They do have some options to party right after the skiing. Down at the base there are a couple bars next to the gondola. Your best bid will be the Postalm. Actually if your only serious option turns out to be a fun place, you don’t need alternatives. No, the après ski in Kaltenbach is not booming, but the Postalm definitely can be! For better apres ski in the Zillertal head to Mayrhofen.