Kühtai has a relatively small ski area but has long remained a secret favourite of locals because of its altitude and proximity to Innsbruck. Although the drive up from the Inn valley can be problematic in bad weather, Kühtai is a dream resort in sunshine after a fresh snowfall.
Kühtai Ski Area
Cable Cars: 1
Skiers arriving at Kühtai via the Sellrain valley from the direction of Innsbruck will see the skiing before they see the main resort.
There are two medium-length draglifts on the left side of the valley which serve a number of black runs. With this being the shadier side of the valley, there are often interesting bumps on or to the side of the runs and, after a snowfall, some good powder options.
To the right, on the sunnier side of the valley is a beginner draglift and the base station of the first big lift, the Hochalterbahn chairlift.
This serves runs which are typical of Kühtai - long cruising intermediate red runs with spectacular mountain scenery above the treeline.
Most day visitors arriving by car will be parking at the side of the road near the base of these lifts. (The other option is lower down at the other end of the resort near the base of the Alpenrosenbahn chairlift.)
Those arriving by public transport or those who are staying in the central part of the resort will often find themselves using the short but very useful Startbahn chairlift, which allows access on skis to the base stations of most of the other lifts. This is also a favourite lift for ski school groups, so care should be taken if skiing down to the bottom station.
Remaining on the sunny side of the slopes, at the bottom of the resort near the reservoir is the short Sonnenlift drag with a couple of easy slopes and the Kaiserbahn gondola, the only one in Kühtai, which offers a variety of lengthy red routes.
The gondola is also one of the way to access the Schwarzmoos draglift, which serves some high easy runs and has the Kaiser Maximilian mountain hut at the base of it.
Back over on the shady side at the bottom of the pass near the reservoir the long Alpenrosenbahn draglift and the Hohemutbahn four-seater chair serve long reds and blacks where the snow is frequently in excellent condition. Again, in good snow there are opportunities to try some powder if conditions are safe.
The base of the final lift, the Dreiseenbahn chairlift, is slightly higher than those of the previous two but can be easily reached via the runs from the top. This lift takes the skier up to the slopes above the top end of the resort and, again, there are long reds back down to the village or the bottom of the chairlift or the option of cutting off onto one of the black runs mentioned at the top of the page.
Kühtai is an excellent resort for the keen intermediate skier and, in good conditions, experts will enjoy themselves as well as long as they are not expecting masses of terrain and a different place to ski each day. Although there are beginner slopes and easy runs and the runs can be easily accessed from the accommodation, the altitude and general nature of the resort doesn't make it the perfect spot for those who are looking to get onto the slopes for the first time.
The lift pass also offers the option of skiing just down the valley in Hochoetz when purchased for more than one day. The small resort is a bit lower but around the same size as Kühtai and is connected by a regular ski bus.