SkiWelt Hopfgarten/ Itter/ Kelchsau
Mon 10 January 2005 by Sime1Hopfgarten is a quiet town in the Austrian Alps. It's also home to the Contiki tour which attracts hoards of Antipodean travellers.
The mountain itself is linked to the greater Ski-Welt region which offers a great deal of riding possibilities. however, the lift system in Hopfgarten is slow at best. Expect to spend more time on a chairlift than you would actually riding - this makes exploring quite difficult as to actually get to other areas requires a great deal of planning.
The mountain isn't an ideal place for beginners due to the majority of red runs and quite crowded slopes. Intermediates will have it covered in a day or two whilst advanced riders will get bored easily. Freestylers aren't well catered for at all and freeriders won't find any challenging or interesting terrain at all. If snow falls you can expect the piste to be packed - a good time to go exploring. There is some decent off piste and a few powder stashes to be found but the chairlifts dampen the experience. The snow-making on this mountain is good and almost three quarters of the mountain is covered by artificial snow. The best places to check out are the runs going into Brixemtal, which although crowded, tend to have the most snow.
The town is very quiet and boasts two bars, The silver Bullet and Kramers Cocktail Bar. The Silver Bullet is home to just about everyone in the resort and is a lively place whilst Kramer's is a more subdued bar with a very friendly welcome from the management. O2 night club is next to The Silver Bullet and blasts out cheesey pop until the wee hours. Drinks are moderately priced as is the food.
All in all Hopfgarten is an average resort at best.