Bichlalm – Kitzbühel’s secret freeride area

27th January 2020, by Dave Watts

Kitzbühel’s Bichlalm area is great for freeriding and ski touring (pic: Michael Werlberger)

Kitzbühel’s Bichlalm area is great for freeriding and ski touring (pic: Michael Werlberger)

Most people who ski Kitzbühel stick to the big main ski areas. But if you enjoy off-piste skiing or ski touring, the small and little-used separate Bichlalm area is well worth a visit.

It is accessed by a double chairlift that goes to mid-mountain and the smart Bichlalm Hutte restaurant and hotel. From there a half-hourly snowcat ride that stops early afternoon takes you to the top.

A solitary blue blue piste runs from top to bottom of the chair. But the real attraction of the area is the off-piste and the ski routes – and they are the only way down from where the snowcat drops you.

A snowcat ride takes you from the top of the chairlift to the summit (pic: Michael Werlberger)

The ski routes are not groomed or patrolled but they are avalanche protected (but only approximately 5m each side of the poles down the centre of the route –stray beyond there and you are in unprotected off-piste).

The area is also a paradise for ski tourers, for whom there are lots of possibilities.

Because of Kitzbühel’s smooth grassy slopes, it only takes 50cm or so of snow to make freeriding and powder skiing possible.

To get the most out of the area, it’s best to book an off-piste guide from one of the ski schools. They will know the best routes and the best snow. Obviously, if you go off-piste the right equipment – avalanche transceiver, rucksack, probe and shovel – is essential. And never go off-piste on your own.

The snowcat’s grooming is perfect but the top of the mountain is just off-piste or a ski route

There are also weekly freeride and ski touring safety training courses during part of the season.

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