The Stubai Ski Tour in the Austrian Tyrol offers high quality touring, glacial scenery and reliable conditions. This is a great ‘ski focussed’ touring week taking in north facing descents which often hold powder, as well as various summits along the way. The route is a part linear, part ‘star’ hut to hut tour that can be completed in most conditions, with lots of possible variations making it a great trip for novice tourers or anyone wishing to gain more experience. **Free safety equipment rental is included with this trip**
Due to the uplift available at the start of the week, there is more skiing down than skinning up on this tour, and when you do arrive at the huts you’ll find hot showers, comfy bars and full restaurant service – some of the most comfortable huts in the alps!
NB We meet in Innsbruck because it’s easy to get to and if you turn up early there’s good warm up skiing accessible directly from town. Onward travel to the Stubai is also much easier and quicker, as we are able to hire a private transfer minibus, rather than relying on public transport.
This is an intermediate level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 2-3 and Tech Level 2-3 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines). You need some previous ski touring experience to enjoy this tour – some day touring as a minimum, so you are familiar with the equipment, skinning technique and uphill kick turns. Typically there will be 500-1000m of climb a day, with options to take in extra summits along the way, so you can expect to be skinning for 3-4 hours a day. Type of ascent: we use 20% uplift and 80% skinning – approx 4500m skinning up, and 6200m skiing down, plus a lift assisted day tour/off piste skiing on day 1.
One IFMGA guide skiing with 6 clients, or occasionally 2:7, with one Aspirant guide joining the team too.
Included in price
- 6 days of guiding
- All guides expenses
- 2 nights accommodation in Innsbruck, including breakfast
- 1 nights accommodation in Stubai Valley including breakfast and evening meal
- 4 nights accommodation in mountain huts, including breakfast and evening meal
- Return transfers between Innsbruck and the Stubai
- Equipment hire: avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe, ice axe, crampons, harness
Excluded from price (see course factsheet for cost estimates)
- Evening meals in Innsbruck
- Lunches and drinks
- Flights and transfers
Our base in Innsbruck is the excellent Alphotel Innsbruck, conveniently located on a bus route direct from the airport, which stops right outside the hotel. The staff are super friendly and helpful, and everyone really enjoys their stay in Innsbruck: it’s a great way to end the trip, seeing the sights and having a nice meal out in the town. Rooms are provided on a twin (or occasionally triple) sharing basis, but if you wish to book a single room please let us know and we will confirm availability. Any extra luggage not required on the tour can be left until the end of the week. Hotel details can be found on our Accommodation page.
For overnights in the high mountains we will use mountain huts. The Austrian hut network is the finest in Europe – many have hot showers, a very well stocked bar and the food is usually excellent. For more info please read the Using Alpine Huts article which provides an overview of typical hut facilities, average costs to help you budget for lunches/drinks and general info on hut etiquette. Also, our Multiday Ski Touring FAQs page answers some of the most common questions we are asked about multi day ski touring and logistics etc.
You should arrange outward travel on Saturday, arriving by 6-7pm latest in time for the briefing at your accommodation. Your guide will run through kit checks and safety routines, as well as hand out any rental equipment, before going on to discuss the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our plans. We’ll have maps and guidebooks of the area to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up.
Overnight in Innsbruck.
AM Travel to Stubai Valley.
Warm up day – Stubai Gletscher
Off piste and glacier skiing, with a shorter day tour. Skills refreshment and safety training along the way.
The Stubai Gletscher lift system is surrounded by good off piste descents and shorter day tours – ie perfect for a first day. Numerous options are possible depending on the group, weather and snow conditions.
In the event of bad weather, this also a great place to ski powder for a day of two whilst avalanche conditions in the high mountains stabilise (ie way better than being stuck in a hut!)
500-700m ascent, a lot more of descent! ~5-6hrs
Overnight at a hotel in the Stubai Valley.
Daunscharte Col to Amberger Hut
AM Uplift through the resort. The traverse of the Daunscharte involves a short boot track from the top of the lift system, in order enjoy a 1400m north facing glacier descent leading to the Amberger Hut.
Part way down the descent we usually stop and put on skins, then head off to explore one of the side valleys or summits in the area, in order to hunt out some more fresh powder.
400-500m ascent, 1400m descent ~4-5hrs
Day Tour – Kuhscheibenspitze
The Kuhscheibenspitze is one of the best day tours from the Amberger Hut, with a long north facing descent.
The summit is reached from the ski depot by a short roped climb and gives an excellent viewpoint. Alternatively, the peak can be climbed via a snow gully on the south side to make a traverse of the mountain.
On the way down various options are possible depending on conditions, including some steeper variants down gullies and couloirs.
1000m ascent and descent ~5hrs
To the Franz Senn Hut.
In order to traverse between the Amberger and Franz Senn Huts, the watershed between the Otztal and Stubaital needs to be crossed.
This can be done at two points: the Schwarzbergjoch and Wildgratscharte – we’ll take whichever route is in best condition at the time.
Both traverses involve a roped climb on foot, leading to a long north facing descent down the Alpeiner Gletscher. This leads to the well equipped Franz Senn Hut – named after the father of Tyrolean ski touring, this a place of pilgrimage for local ski tourers!
1050m ascent and descent ~5-6hrs
Day tour from Franz Senn Hut.
Todays objective is the Wildes Hinterbergel (3288m), one of the best known classic tours in the range and an excellent viewpoint from the summit.
The ascent is mostly on south and east facing slopes, so an early start is required in order to catch good spring snow conditions on the way back down.
On the descent, a variety of good lines are possible, depending on conditions and the ability of the group.
1150m ascent and descent ~5-6hrs.
The final ascent of the week to the Kraulscharte is a great way to finish the tour.
This offers a very scenic ascent to a fine viewpoint, followed by a long, open north facing slope down the upper half of the mountain.
In good conditions, it’s often possible to do a short skin and boot track, which links to a second big north facing descent down to the lower valley – 1600m of skiing in total.
900m ascent, 1600m descent ~5hrs
PM Taxi back to valley + return to Innsbruck and the hotel.
Return travel should be arranged on Saturday morning, after your final nights accommodation.
Your trip starts and finishes in Innsbruck, the most convenient access point for touring in this part of Austria, on the doorstep of the Stubai, Hohe Tauern, Otztal and Silvretta ranges. Shuttle bus F runs every 15 minutes from the airport and stops right outside our hotel. After a comfortable stay in Innsbruck, a private taxi transfer gives quick access to the mountains to start the tour.
The most convenient way to reach Innsbruck in winter is fly directly to the city airport, then take a short shuttle bus journey into the city. Alternatively fly into Salzburg or Zurich and catch the train to Innsbruck.
Flights and transfers
- Fly to Innsbruck: check Sky Scanner website for best options.
- Shuttle bus F from the airport (every 15 mins) stops outside our hotel: www.innsbruck-airport.com/en/train-bus
- Or, fly to Salzburg or Zurich.
- Train from there to Innsbruck: www.oebb.at/en/ (excellent Austrian integrated train/bus timetable)
- Alternatively hire a car at any airport: www.arguscarhire.com / www.holidayautos.co.uk
Other travel options
- Driving from UK, take the ferry or Eurotunnel to Calais/Dunkerque, then 12-14 hours driving.
- Eurostar train from the UK to Paris, then TGV to Zurich, and onward train to Innsbruck: www.eurostar.com/uk-en
Further information and travel links can be found on our Travel Planning page.
To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 2/3, and Ski Tech Level 3:
Fitness Level 2
You do 2-3 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you should be happy doing either a 3-4 hr hillwalk, cycling 30-40 miles or mountain biking 2-3 hours without being exhausted. On foot: you should be able to walk from Ogwen Cottage in North Wales up Glyder Fach – Glyder Fawr – Y Garn – Ogwen in ~5hrs. Or in the Lake District Langdale – Bowfell – Esk Pike – Angle Tarn – Langdale in ~ 6hrs. On skis: you are capable of off piste skiing all day or doing a couple of hours skinning with out finishing up exhausted – ie you can do this for a number of days without taking a rest day.
Fitness Level 3
You do 3-4 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you are happy doing a 5-6 hr hillwalk, 50ml cycle or 3-4hr mountain bike ride without being totally exhausted. If you are into challenges – then the thought of doing a road sportive, or training to do a 1/2 (or maybe even a full) marathon, wouldn’t seem too ridiculous. On foot: you should be able to do the full Langdale Horseshoe: Langdale – Pike of Stickle – Angle Tarn – Bow Fell – Crinkle Crags – Pike of Blisco – Langdale in a day without finishing up exhausted. On skis: you can skin uphill at 300m/hr for 3-4 hrs a day (ie 8-1200m of ascent each day)
Tech Level 3
Confirmed Off Piste Skier. You can put down a reasonable set of tracks in powder, but difficult snow types – eg heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility or 40dg slopes – can all cause problems (though you can cope with them safely, if not elegantly!) *Equivalent to Ski Club of GB Off Piste Level: Purple – Advanced*
Likely to say: ‘I’d like to handle difficult snow/steep slopes more confidently in better style’
Our Advice: Off piste coaching still useful. Intermediate off piste weeks are at your level too. If you want to get into ski touring, try a touring course or intro level ski tour. If you’re an established ski mountaineer, then intermediate level tours are generally suitable.
To view all of our Ski Fitness Levels and Off Piste Technical Levels, please visit our Ski Ability page.
If you need to top up your fitness for this trip, please see our Ski Touring Training Advice page.
Hut to Hut Touring Equipment List
Just remember, every extra kilo on your back knocks 10% off your enjoyment on the descents – so try and keep the weight down!
- Waterproof Jacket – preferably lightweight and breathable
- Overtrousers/ski pants – preferably with side zips
- Fleece mid layer – or equivalent
- Socks – specialist ski socks or a warm loop lined pair of mountain socks
- Wicking thermal top – not cotton please…
- Thermal leggings or ski pants
- Thin inner gloves
- Warm ski gloves or mittens, if you suffer from cold hands
- Warm hat
- Spare fleece/lightweight duvet jacket
- Water container – at least 1 litre
- Personal medications and blister kit – regular meds, zinc oxide tape, compeed and painkillers etc
- Lightweight head torch
- Ski goggles
- Sun glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Wallet, passport, Alpine Club/BMC card (hut discount) and insurance docs
Hut Overnight Items
- Small wash kit
- Spare lightweight t-shirt/socks/pants
- Silk sheet liner
- Ear plugs
- (Hut slippers for indoor use, blankets/duvets and pillows are provided by the huts)
- Rucsac 35/45l – try and avoid ones covered in too many features, just ski and ice axe attachments required
- Ski mountaineering boots
- Skis with touring bindings – some ‘freeride’ bindings are also suitable
- Velcro ski strap – to keep skis together on your rucksack if we need to carry them
- Ski poles – with good size 5cm+ baskets (telescopic poles are not needed)
- Climbing skins – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
- Harscheisen (ski crampons) – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
- Metal snow shovel – must be a full metal shovel (plastic blades don’t work in real avalanche debris!)
- Avalanche probe
- Avalanche transceiver – must be a modern digital model (older analogue models are now obsolete)
- Harness, with 120cm sling and locking karabiner
- Crampons – lightweight model
- Ice Axe – lightweight model
Your guide will have all other safety kit, first aid and survival equipment.
Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website, where we publish an annual review of the years best new skis, boots and touring equipment, plus a range of other interesting tips and recommendations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!
Backcountry UK in Ilkley offer an excellent ski boot fitting service, one of the best ranges of ski mountaineering equipment in the UK and top notch advice.
Please visit our Equipment Hire page for recommended hire shops in your resort, and Alpine Guides hire equipment price list (safety equipment is provided free of charge on certain courses – please consult price inclusions).
For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for the following activities: off piste skiing and ski touring in glaciated areas requiring the use of ropes, up to 5000m altitude. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.
Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.
Insurance for UK residents
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This gives you reciprocal health care in European countries. You can apply for an EHIC card online here or from most Post Offices. You need an EHIC in addition to your travel insurance.
European residents (non-UK)
Austrian Alpine Club. Available to all European residents. AAC insurance is cheap and works ok for minor accidents and rescues, but is not as comprehensive as many other insurance providers. The medical cover included would not be enough for complex treatment or a prolonged stay in hospital. It also doesn’t include cancellation cover. If you choose to use AAC we recommend you take out extra medical cover with another provider, to ‘top up’ the AAC medical limit, as well as a separate cancellation policy.
Travelex. For US citizens – a range of policies with comprehensive cover.
For any nationality
Global Rescue. Cover offered to all nationalities via a combination of GR membership and their separate insurance policy.
If you choose an alternative provider, or if there is any doubt about the scope of your chosen policy we recommend that you send your insurer the link to the relevant Alpine Guides trip webpage, and ask them if cover extends to those activities and has the required components (search/rescue, medical, repatriation and cancellation). It’s worth mentioning that rescue and medical expenses in Switzerland can be significantly more expensive than in other countries, so a decent level of cover is required for Swiss tours.
We recommend that you send us your insurance details before the trip commences, and they must be brought to the course briefing at the start of your trip. However, we cannot check the detail of every individual policy, and it is your own responsibility to ensure you are adequately insured.
What happens to my deposit if I book a trip, but it isn’t confirmed to run due to insufficient bookings?
You may transfer your booking to different dates, a different course, or choose a full refund.
What happens if the weather or snow conditions are poor, or the avalanche risk is high?
We will make every effort to stick to the itinerary, but sometimes its necessary to change plans and ski in a neighbouring area or even further afield. Many of our itineraries are designed with flexibility in mind, and it’s usually possible to ski in most conditions with some careful alternative planning.
What happens about accommodation, if the weather is very poor and we end up spending extra nights in the valley instead of in huts?
We will make any necessary last minute bookings for the team. On trips taking place outside the Chamonix valley, any extra valley hotel nights will be on a BnB basis rather than half board.
Does Alpine Guides ski with customers from overseas, including the USA and Canada?
Who goes on our trips?
We climb and ski with a broad range of ages and experience levels, and a large number of our customers come back year after year. We’ve guided 10 year old Ollie up the Old Man of Hoy in Scotland – now the youngest person to climb it. And 70 year old David has climbed the Matterhorn with us, as well as out-skiing people half his age!
How do I book a ski trip?
For scheduled ski trips it’s easy to book online, directly from your course page. For hire a guide/bespoke courses please get in touch for a quote.
Is there an age limit on any of our ski trips?
Under 18’s must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. There is no upper age limit, but please get in touch to discuss suitability if you are concerned about your age, with regard to fitness and pace.
How do I rent ski equipment?
You can rent certain items of specialist equipment from us, and the rest can usually be hired in resort.
What happens if I need to cancel my course?
If you wish to cancel you must notify us in writing, where upon the following charges will be applied from the date we receive your notice of cancellation:
- More than 8 weeks (56 days) before start date – loss of deposit.
- Between 4 and 8 weeks (28-56 days) before start date – 50% of course fee or loss of deposit, whichever amount is greater.
- Less than 4 weeks (28 days) before start date – full course fee.
Can I book a single room on my ski trip?
Yes – this can be done during the online booking process. Please add the single room option to your order, and we will confirm availability asap.