Freeriding, terrain parks and pistes
The Gaislakogel mountain is quite limited in terms of high altitude pistes with only one red run from the top, but it has the best freeriding terrain. There is a large area of off-piste right underneath the gondola in the Wasserkar valley. However, this is very avalanche prone, so check the risk level and your route before you shred it.
There are some good steep runs off the side of this peak down to the Ski Route, off run 1. Its easy to end up at the top of some very big cliffs so it is advisable to go with a guide! This area can slide as well taking you and everyone on the ski-route out, so make sure you check out the danger first. The Solden Freeride centre offer a number of day trips and guiding. When the snows deep enough, instead of taking the ski route, you can head down the river bed but just be careful of the boulders lurking underneath.
From the top of the Rotkogl mountain either take the red-11 and cut right, or head under the 6-man chair for some nice shredding. This joins onto red-18 which with decent snow cover you can head right over and back down the other side of the valley onto the ski-route. If you stay high on run-18 before coming off there's a nice natural halfpipe to play in.
You can head straight under the Giggijoch gondola down the valley bed, after a short while you can take a left and head to the mid-station of the 2-man chair in Hochsolden, or continue down where it starts getting narrower with a few trees. Eventually you'll come to a road, walk left up the hill for 5 minutes and drop through the trees onto the black run that heads straight back down the bottom of the Giggijoch.
On the way to the glacier from the Giggijoch, be sure to try the Schwartzseekogl and make some tracks in the powder on either side. It can be a great run as it is steep and fast but look out for rocks. There is also a large mountain restaurant at the bottom of the run which gets the sun on its huge terrace all afternoon.
From the top of the Hainbachjoch chair lift you can head far left (as you look down the piste) and drop high and steep into some nice powder, or head left down the black and head into some nice easy freeriding terrain. There are some ice lumps occassionally to keep you focused.
The red run 31 on the Rettenbach Glacier is used every year for the opening event of the World Cup Skiing Championship. At the top near the gondola midstation it is quite steep, which makes it a great place to duck the ropes right for overhead powder spray turns, or you can venture left under the chairlift for some gentler terrain.
There's usually a nice easy area running parallel to the right of t-bar-34, just don't head too far down and miss the bottom of the t-bar. If you do miss the t-bar there is a route basically straight down that ends up onto the ski-route, but its not always stable.
If you head left from the top of the t-bar over to the blue-33 you can duck the ropes and get a few nice turns in. Be extremely careful not to venture too far into this area as its peppered with crevaces, and has some ice cliffs to get stuck on top of.
From the top of the gondola on the Rettenbach glacier, you can head right and board off-piste down to the base of the Tiefenbach but make sure you've checked it out from the other side first. If you go too far left you'll end up on an ice cliff, too far right and you're at the top of a jagged cliff, in the middle and you're in heaven. The Solden chopper squad are always lifting people from this area; the single fair is about 500 euros.
If you head through the ski-tunnel from the top of the Rettenbach gondola, instead of taking run-36 go straight over the side and head left. There's usually some excellent powder to be found and it runs all the way parallel to the gondola back to the Tiefenbach base.
Still on the Tiefenbach glacier, take the t-bar-38 (watch out its a steep one!) and go left at the end along the ridge. It ends up at the top of a top of a great bowl (you'll see it as you head up the t-bar on your left handside), where you drop in is your call. You can head all the way back to the bottom of the t-bar in powder, but do be aware of a few crevases.
Freestyle. Usually in the winter there is a large terrain park underneath the Silverstrass Express with 3 different lines of jumps and rails for differing abilities, but its been noticeable over the past few years seasons their declining interest in building things and its been years since they had a halfpipe.
The pro line always has at least 2 monster kickers, and a set of very long straight, kinked and rainbow rails including the classic one over a small gondola car. Entering into the beginner/intermediate area there's a set of rollers to get you started. Then on the left there's a few rails and a box, and on the right 2 kickers next to each other.
Away from the park you'll struggle to find any decent natural hits, there is a nice natural halfpipe off run-18 but you may want to bring a shovel with you.
Solden is a great resort for piste lovers, with lots of long intermediate trails but very few real testing black runs. The runs down to town get very busy and moguled at the end of the day.
The main runs at the top of the Giggijoch get very mogulled late in the day, but this is where most of the board schools will take you. For the best beginners pistes, proceed through the ski tunnel to reach the Tiefenbach glacier and its huge, wide, cruising blue run which is great for learners or trying out new ground tricks. There are also 2 T bars feeding quiet red runs and some steeper off-piste opportunities.
There's not many flat areas to contend with. The execeptions are the last bit of run-6, run-23, and part of the cat-track on black-20.READ NEXT: Village life, accommodation & nightlife
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