Mayrhofen Ski Verdict
Mayrhofen is a fun village with access to a substantial local area and further extensive skiing on the expanded Zillertal pass. Despite major investments in infrastructure, its deserved popularity means that there can be sizeable queues for access lifts at peak periods. However, the standard and scope of the skiing on offer, and the resort atmosphere more than make up for the inconvenience of the busy bottom lifts.
The Ski Area
Cable Cars: 7
The main Mayrhofen skiing starts on the Penken area above the town and is reached by the lengthy Penkenbahn cable car.
Immediately at the top is a crowded area with the meeting places of the various ski schools, a couple of beginner drag lifts and two chairlifts leading to the top of red runs and the links to the Finkenberg area. The Penken Express chairlift also offers the option of heading off to the right at the top and down into the busy Horberg valley, lined with lifts around all sides.
The cable car from the village of Hippach also deposits its skiers here, but the variety of lifts in the area means that there are plenty of options for the crowds to choose from.
Up on the northern edge of the area the Schneekar chairlift leads up to the Horbergkarspitz peak and the red runs down to the bases of the Gerent and Unterbergalm chairlifts - as the return from these runs involves a red or black run, and they are not part of the main valley, these can be a quieter place to ski at busy times.
Returning to the main valley once more, the Tappenalm chair takes skiers further up to the head of the valley and the stunning and speedy Tux 150-person cable car. From the top it is possible to ski over onto the open red and blue runs on the Rastkogel area and, eventually, to take the route down to the valley near Vorderlanersbach and cross to the Eggalm ski area.
The red route down, which leaves from the bottom of the Lammerbichl chairlift, is not particularly challenging but passes some beautiful scenery and rural country huts on the way to the base of the Eggalm Nord chairlift.
Rising on this lift, the lengthy red runs on this flank can be easily spotted, while at the top there is the option of heading to the Beilspitz draglift or continuing down to the Eggalm hut at the top of the Eggalm gondola. The return to the main ski area is made via the blue route into the edge of the village and the base of the Rastkogel gondola.
From here the Horbergjoch and Wanglspitz chairlifts mark the route back towards Mayrhofen (these connections can get busy later in the afternoon).
At the top of the latter chairlift there is the option of taking a red panoramic run around into the Horberg valley again or using a short draglift up and catching the massive Tux cable car down again. Skiers who are not confident on red runs should consider taking the cable car, as the panorama route can be bumpy and busy with tired skiers heading back to their base at the end of the day.
The runs on this side of the Horberg valley are normally in shade, so generally have snow in a better condition, but also a little bit harder when there has not been a fresh fall for a while.
Those with some kilometres left in their legs may prefer to take the Nordhang chairlift up and over into the skiing above Finkenberg - characterised by open sunny slopes and a mixture of all levels of run.
Skiing is normally down to the middle station of the cable car which rises from the village below. At the top of the cable car is a wide open area which is perfect for beginners and early intermediates.
Skiers can return to the Penken gondola area via the Hasenmulden draglifts at the top of Finkenberg and then a traverse around the side of the mountain, or by descending into the Horberg valley again and taking the Larchwald chairlift to return to the top of the red runs above the gondola complex.
On the other side of Mayhofen is the somewhat isolated area of the Ahorn, which can be reached via regular ski buses. The Ahornbahn cable car gives access to a sunny plateau of easy red and blue runs, with a long and exhilerating red run down to the valley floor.
It should be noted that ski passes above four days also give access to the other resorts in the Ziller valley and to the glacier skiing at Hintertux, all of which can be reached by an extensive public transport system.
The live webcam stream below is taken from the top of the Ahornbahn. A number of other Mayrhofen webcams, including a view of the resort, are available by clicking the buttons above the live stream.