Schladming is a small historic town located at the heart of the 4-Berge Skischaukel in the beautiful Dachstein Mountain region of the southern Austrian province of Styria
Set over 4 mountains, Schladming is one of Austria’s most well known resorts in eastern Austria which has attracted skiers of all abilities for many years. All 4 of Schladming’s skiareas are an intermediate’s paradise with red runs to challenge both early and adventurous intermediates. Basically the skiing is similar throughout the resort: fairly long, fairly steep gladed and immaculately groomed runs. Despite unremarkable heights the majority of Schladming’s slopes face north and keep their snow well ensuring conditions throughout the season remain good.
The heart of 4-Berge Skischaukel
Schladming’s four linked mountains are each served by a gondola from their respective villages. The main starting point is Planai gondola nearest to town. The town’s two home mountains, Planai (1,894) and Hochwurzen (1,850 meters), are sandwiched between Reiteralm (1,960 meters) and Hauser Kaibling (2,015 meters), with well over 120 km of slopes creating one of the most extensive inter-linked skiarea in Austria. The distance from Hauser Kaibling to Reiteralm is, as the crow flies, comparable to that of Val Thorens to Courchevel.
With a high proportion of runs rated red, Schladming is ideally suited to intermediates. Some might consider the runs a bit monotonous though. Nearly all the skiing in Schladming on both the Planai and Hochwurzen mountains is tree-lined, helping visibility stay good, plus there’s some good opportunities, in the right conditions, to find a bit of powder to play in. Don’t expect too many off-piste opportunities, there are hardly any. In general, more adventurous individuals should aim for the red runs at the top of the Hauser Kaibling and Planai sectors. More gentle cruising slopes can be found over on Hochwurzen and Reiteralm, however getting over to Reiteralm can take some time and access to it involves coming back down to valley level and using the link at Pichl. There’s stuff to keep the more advanced skier interested too – particularly popular is the challenging downhill used annually for the men’s World Cup night slalom. For experts there are not a lot of genuine black runs elsewhere in the 4-Berge Skischaukel arena, however a couple of difficult runs can be found at the top of Hauser Kaibling and Reiteralm.
Both of Schladming’s home mountains offer some of the longest uninterrupted runs in Europe, like the 4.6-kilometer FIS run or the endless 7.7-kilometer Hochwurzen valley run that will have even the most fit skiers looking for one of the many slope-side restaurants for a quick break. But in spite of these challenges, most of the skiing here is an early intermediates’ playground – an attractive prospect for most skiers, except perhaps for beginner, for whom the layout is a little awkward and the the beginner slopes difficult to get to. The nursery slopes are situated at Hochwurzen on the western end of the village at Rohrmoos. Those who have just started to progress from the nursery slopes should stay on the blue runs close to Schladming
Schladming hosted the World Ski Championships in 2013 and seriously invested heavily in modern ski lifts. This investment has been well worth it – queues are kept short and speedy lifts give you more time for the downhills.
The resort is well serviced by about 50 huts all in the alpine tradition of a warm cosy refuge, to savour a hot chocolate, goulash soup, Tiroler Grostl or any of the other many Austrian dishes. Prices are still reasonable. Schladming has apres ski to suit all tastes, it can get pretty lively. Starting early, there are many ski lodges to entertain you on the slopes. At the Planai there is the Almrausch which has a variety of events throughout the season, there is also the Schafalm and Hohenhaus Tenne there. On top of the Hochwurzen there is the Hochwurzenalm and at the middle station there is the Seiterhütte. Other lodges to try are the Tauernalm and the Schladmingerhütte.
The 4-Berge Skischaukel is part of the massive Ski Amade region with 760km of piste and 270 lifts, all covered by one lift pass, the largest ski area in Austria, which should be enough to keep even the keenest skier occupied! It is quite possible for experienced skiers to visit a different resort every day, all on the same lift pass.
Schladming is only 90 kilometers away from Salzburg, and is easily reached by train or bus.
With a transfer time of one hour it is viable choice for people travelling via Salzburg airport. Several low-cost airlines service Salzburg Airport. Dutch airline Transavia provides frequent flights to Salzburg from Amsterdam and Rotterdam. AirBerlin operates from Berlin. EasyJet is based on London Gatwick. Ryanair is based on London Stansted, Several Scandinavian airlines (SAS, Norwegian) are tied with Salzburg. Siberian airlines is operating from Moscow.
An inexpensive transfer from Salzburg Airport to the Schladming-Dachstein region is available