Stubai Alps Ski Touring
4 days skiing

Maximum Group Size
8 skiers with 2 guides

Required skills

Booking info

Guiding Fees

Equipment list

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See also:
Ski programs overview
Alps skiing advice
Valle Maira, Italy
Queyras, France
Lofoten, Norway
Albula, Switzerland
Ortler, Italy
Haute Route Verbier
Haute Route Plateau
Mont Thabor
Gran Paradiso
Zermatt to Saas Fee
Berner Oberland
Vanoise Haute Route
Tour du Ciel
Tour du Soleil
Chamonix off-piste
Private ski tours


Climbing up to the Daunjoch on Day 1.

Not far from Innsbruck, just a few kilometers to the southwest, are the Stubai Alps, winter play playground for for Austrians, Germans, Italians and even a few English-speaking folk. The Stubai are known for fine skiing and often there is more snow and better conditions than other parts of the Tirol.

In spite of its proximity to Innsbruck, the Stubai has a wild feel to it. Unlike some Alpine valleys, which are often broad, open and high, the lower valleys of the Stubai are deep, rugged and occasionally dark under a canopy of tall fir trees. The area is more reminiscent of the mountains of the North Cascades or the Interior Ranges of British Columbia. Even though summit elevations are not as high as those in the Western Alps, the terrain is steep and impressive.

Starting at the Stubai Glacier ski area, this tour travels west then north, linking the ski area with the Amberger and Franz Senn huts. The ski area and both of the huts is located in a different valley, necessitating crossing a high glaciated pass each day as we travel from one to the next. The Franz Senn hut is a large, hotel-like lodge, with comfortable and spacious dining areas. The Amberger is somewhat smaller, but still quite comfortable.

This is a great tour to add on to either our Silvretta tour which preceeds it, or the Ortler tour, which follows (or both!).

With Ischgl, Saint Anton and other Innsbruck area ski resorts nearby, consider spending a few days before this tour enjoying the best of Austrian downhill skiing.

Stubai Ski Touring Itinerary

Day 0

Travel to Neustift, which is located down-valley from the Stubai Glacier ski area. We plan to rendezvous in our hotel in Neustift at about 6pm on the 26th. A good plan to get over jet lag and warm up those skiing legs is to ski the area on the 26th, the day before the start of the tour, then rendezvous with the group that evening, at the hotel. There is a free ski bus, with frequent departures that goes from the ski area up and down the valley.

Neustift and the Stubai Glacier ski area can be easily reached by bus from Innsbruck. From the main train and bus station, catch the Stubaital bus and follow it to Neustift-Kampl (for the hotel) or to its terminus at Mutterbergalm for the ski area. There are about 9 departures daily, from about 7 am to 4 pm. The ride takes slightly less than an hour and a half.

Our hotel is the four-star Rastbichlhof located in Kampl, one of the "suburbs" of Neustift, and about 3 kilometers downstream from the center of Neustift. For more information see their website.

Hotel Rastbichlhof, in Neustift-Kampl.

Day 1

On the morning of day 1 we catch the ski bus, then ride the Stubai Glacier ski area lifts to apporximatly 3000 meters (depending on what lifts are open). After a short downhill on the pistes, we begin by skinning up to the high pass of the Daunjoch at 3057 meters. An ascent of the nearby Hintere Daunkopf, 3235 meters, is possible. We descend down to the Amberger hut, at 2135 meters. By Austrian standards the Amberger hut is small with only room for 59 skiers.

Day 2

Powder skiing on the Alpeiner Ferner on our second day.

On day two we ski to the Franz Senn hut, a large and well equipped hut. On this day we pass through the Wildgratscharte, a 3168m high pass before descending the Alpeiner Ferner to the hut at 2150 meters.

Day 3

We plan on two nights at the Franz Senn hut. And on this day, day 3, we have many day ski options from which to choose. We'll return to the Franz Senn hut for the night.

Day 4

The ski down to the valley is fairly quick, so with an early start we have time to squeeze in one more peak ascent before heading out to civilization. We return to the hut after our morning's adventure, pack up our hut shoes and ski down-valley until the snow runs out. With the help of a taxi we return to Neustift. We plan on spending the night back in our in a hotel.

Climbing over the Wildgratscharte on Day 3.

Skills Required

This tour requires a high level of fitness and very good skiing abilities. On a number of days the total elevation gained is over 3000 feet. Being in good shape will ensure you have enough energy to manage (and have great fun as well!) on the long descents which follow. The reason that skiing skills must be at an advanced to expert level has more to do with the conservation and expenditure of energy over a long day than the absolute technical difficulty of the skiing. There are a few steep sections, but for the most part the slopes are not overly steep. The challenge comes in managing poor snow conditions (heavy wet snow, crud or breakable crust) and not losing too much energy or risking injury in the process. Great skiers look like they are hardly working, and this is in fact the case. If your skiing is not up to par you will spend far, far more energy than a better skier.

Ski skills required;

  • Ability to turn comfortably through the fall line in difficult deep, heavy snow, or bad breakable crust.
  • Ability to execute hop parallel turns or pedal-hop turns on 35° firm snow.
  • Ability to ski the fall-line with short-radius, rhythmic parallel turns in deep light snow.
  • Ability to side-slip, both forward and backward, on firm 40° slopes.
  • Ability to skate on level ground.

Skiers who regularly enjoy black or double black runs in most western American ski areas should do fine. If you like to get off the piste and into the crud, ski the trees, and in general look for the steeper shots, you'll probably have a great time on this tour. If you tend to stick to the groomed slopes and find the wild untracked a bit intimidating you should think twice about this option. We will likely encounter all different kinds of snow, from the best to the worst, and you need to have sound, energy-efficient strategies to cope with them.

A good gauge of your ability can be found in mogul skiing. If you are good in the bumps and seek them out, then you most likely have developed the rhythm and balance needed for steep or difficult snow. You must be able to ski moderate bumps in good conditions, skiing rhythmically and fluidly, following a line near the fall line with good speed control. If you have any doubt about your ability to manage the skiing on this tor, please contact us to see if we can answer your questions.

Previous ski touring or mountaineering skills are useful, but not required. If you are a good skier, you will not have difficulty picking up these new skills, as you will already be comfortable on steep slopes.

The gang in 2008, about to enjoy a good meal in the Amberger hut.

Kathy Cosley & Mark Houston
UIAGM Internationally Licensed Mountain Guides

AMGA Certified • SNGM members
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The Amberger hut.
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