Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau
The Wildschonau Valley, which is located in the Kitzbuheler Alps, is home to a number of traditional Austrian resorts. Niedrau, Oberau, Thierbach, Alpbach and Auffach may all seem on the surface to be to small to bother with, but first impressions are often deceptive. Okay none of the resorts that make up this part of the Tirol are extensive or in any way adventurous. However, what this collection of novice and intermediate mountain retreats do provide, is an area that's relaxed, void of any crowds, very laid back and with out any of the hustle and bustle of the bigger and more popular destinations favored by the tour operators and ski crowds.
The recent addition of a gondola connecting Alpbach and Auffach has also increased the linked terrain to an impressive 145km of pistes serviced by 47 lifts. The Wildschönau area itself is still not fully lift linked, so you'll need to jump on a ski-bus to visit some of the smaller areas however buses are free, frequent and reliable and it takes no more than 20 mintues to visit any of the resorts on the ski bus routet. Once in the resort make sure you pick up the free Wildschonau Winter Pass this gets good discounts for a number of activities within the area and most importantly gives free access to the Ski buses and Night buses.
From a riding point of view this collection of resorts would be idea for a family or a group of friends wanting a laid back trip whilst visiting a few mountains. If your looking for miles and miles of pistes or very lively nightlife then you should look elsewhere. One massive plus for the area is it is relatively easy to get too from Innsbruck the transfer takes just over an hour by road and rail option also arrive at nearby town of Wurlgl. On the piste there are only a couple of black graded runs, but proficient riders will be able to take advantage of the reds that are wide not too steep and free of crowds. If lift queues annoy you then the Ski Juwel is really worth checking out as no one queues up long around here either so you can quickly build up the miles without having the stressful queues of more mainstream resorts.
Resorts in the area
Auffach is part of the larger Ski Juwel area it's a good resort for intermediate riders with plenty of wide open pistes. There are also number of easy red pistes which should do wonders for those wanting to step up form blue pistes. The new Gondola links up to Alpbach as well so the terrain has increased dramatically over the last few years.