Gasthaus Bacher - great food in a cosy & rustic atmosphere
This is another great place to have lunch or dinner once you're down in the Gurk Valley. Like most of the other places it is a family business. The house in which the restaurant is located was built in 1763 and now it's the fourth generation of the family operating the business. They have a small but incredible menu. Eating there is like my grandma cooking for me. Try a variation of Kärtnernudel or the mixed grill. And be sure to have a dessert like Apfelstrudel.
Night sledding at Sonnenbahn
Every Tuesday and Thursday from 20:00 to 21:30 the Sonnenbahn takes you up to the start of the sled run. If you don't have your own sled, there are some for rent at the valley station for EUR 6 for adults and EUR 4 for kids. You can also reserve sleds at Intersport Brandstätter: +43 (0)4275/8342 or email@example.com
The well-lit sled run is about 1km long, so you can go up and down several times. We often do races to see who is the fastest. In the end we return the sleds at the valley station of the Sonnenbahn and go to MeiZeit for a hot drink.
If you can't get enough of night sledding, you might also want to visit Bad Kleinkirchheim. On Wednesday night there is also night sledding at the Kaiserburgbahn from 17:30 to 20:00.
Go sledding shortly after 4 pm
This is a true insider: We once stayed too long at the Almzeit. It was 10min past 16:00 and so we missed the last chance to go down with the Nocky-Flitzer. We were lucky and met a friend who led us his sled and so we went down the slope number 9 and followed slope number 1 and 6 to get back to the Turracher Lake. It was a lot of fun because we were the only ones on the slope, as all the skiers and snowboarders were gone.
You can go up with the Panoramabahn and your sled shortly before 4:00 pm. Be sure to go down shortly after, because the sun goes down quickly and then the snow grooming vehicles start preparing the slopes.
By the way: most of the time you can enjoy a great sunset.
AlmZeitHütte - Delicious Carinthian Food at 1.968m
When we go up the Panoramabahn for the Nocky Flitzer the AlmZeit is a must-stop. Operated by Hotel Hochschober you can get a taste of great Carinthian classic meals. If we are more than two we order the variation of almost all meat specialities for a price of about EUR 40. This XL dish is just amazing. Other things I can recommend is Kirchtagssuppe (a special cream soup with four variations of meat) and Reindling (a special cake), Brettljause, Schweinsbraten (roasted pork) and Kaiserschmarren. But to be honest everything is amazing, generous portions and all for a reasonable price.
Be sure that you don't go there during the rush hour 12:00 to 14:00 without having a reservation for a table. Sit in the back of the chalet near the tiled stove. The waiters all wear Lederhosen and are very friendly. In the chalet you can also discover old ads of the Hotel Hochschober.
Eisstockschießen - Groups go curling
Usually in front of Hotel Jägerwirt there is a curling track on the Turracher Lake. Curling in Carinthia is a bit different than curling you may know from TV but it is also more fun. You do that usually at night in groups of at least 10 people. 2 teams of 5, play against each other. Each player has one "Eisstock". The goal is to bring your Eisstock into the rectangle on the other side of the course and closely to the "Taube" (the black ring in the middle of the rectangle). If one shoots the ring out of the rectangle it is put into the middle again. As long as it is in the rectangle you don't move it. The Eisstock closest to the ring is the leading team and brings 3 points. Each additional Eisstock that is closer to the ring than an Eisstock of the other team brings 2 points in the end. An Eisstock that is not in the rectangle doesn't count. You usually play up and down the number of team members before the game ends. In the end all the points are summed up. Get equipment at your hotel.
On the Turracher Lake they usually prepare an ice rink. Due to the snowfalls it is not always easy to prepare the ice properly. So better check if the ice rink is open at the website ("Natureislaufplatz", green light).
The Turracher Höhe is a true paradise for cross-country skiers. There are four different tracks with three different levels of difficulty, metros in altitude and length. Check the link for a detailed view of the tracks.
All tracks are well marked, so you can never get lost. Starting from the Turracher Lake where there is an extra lake round (track number 1) you can reach every other track easily.
This is the only Alpine Coaster in Carinthia and it is open in winter and summer. You go up with the Panoramabahn to almost 2.000m. The track is about 1.600 m long with 3 spirals, 2 jumps, 15 waves and 1 bridge. I really enjoy it every time, although it is a little bit expensive. Anyway it is worth trying it at least once. The uphill ride with the cable car and the toboggan ride down costs EUR 10,00 for adults, EUR 8,00 for kids between 6-14 years and EUR 3,00 for kids between 3-5 years. If you go up by foot or have a ski pass anyway you just have to pay for the ride down which is EUR 8,50.
The track meets the latest safety requirements and is TÜV certified. Here is a video:
If you're at the Turracher Höhe in the beginning of March, check when the Ice-Polo Trophy takes place. Together with the company Jacque-Lemans the Turracher Höhe organizes a Polo tournament every year. In the middle of the lake noble horses and their riders show who is the best team.
In 2013 even the European Championship took place right there on the lake.
You can go and watch the tournament for free and see countless HP working on the Alpine Lake. It's really a great show!
If you want to be right in the middle of all the action, there are some special VIP Tickets available for € 190 per person, including a daily skiing pass, entry to the VIP area with catering and drinks, entry to the VIP terrace and of course entry to the players-night with a EUR 50 voucher for drinks. Here is also a short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D_90qY8dE3U
19 January 2013
K-Alm - The modern ski chalet
The K-Alm is located at the valley station of the Kornockbahn and also has an Apres Ski Tent. In the night you can't miss is it because of the special colorful lights.
The K-Alm has also a "Ski-Drive-In". You can keep your skis and snowboard on and go there to order little snacks like Leberkässemmel or Bratwurst and drinks.
And you should definitely have a look inside, because they have a Speck-Humidor, like the ones you know for cigars. This is a room with a special climate for bacon.
Since 2013 the Turracher Höhe also offers a Funslope. It is a great alternative to the Snowpark for those who are looking for alpine action but are not familiar with freestyle tricks. A funslope is a marked-off slope and hybrid of normal slope and funpark. There are little jumps, tunnels, bridges, banks, giant snake, etc.
Frigga - The locals' breakfast for winner
If you have an apartment with an own kitchen you should try to cook "frigga" as breakfast. All you need are eggs, cheese (I prefer Gouda or Emmentaler), salt, pepper and of course Carinthian Bacon (you can also use smoked ham, but with the bacon its way better). For two persons I would recommend 4 eggs, 150g cheese and 150g bacon. You can also mix in some cooked potatoes, fresh onion or chives if you like.
First slice the bacon into thin stripes (about 2cm long but not bigger then 1-2mm). Do the same with the cheese. Then but the ham in a frying pan and roast it gently. Then put the cheese over and let it melt. Beat the eggs over it and stir it up. Fitting to one's own taste add a little bit salt or pepper.
As a supplement you can eat black bread with butter.
This will give you the kick for the day ;)
How-to-Guides for freestyle snowboarders
I'm both snowboarder and skier, but for freestyle tricks I prefer my snowboard. I thought for a few of you it might be helpful to list some sources to improve your skills.
SnowboardProCamp: Great youtube channel for beginners to learn tricks: http://www.youtube.com/user/SnowboardProCamp
Protest - How to snowboard: A great youtube channel with good explanations: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAB7E9B3EA87A8516
A collection of over 100 tips: http://snowboarding.transworld.net/category/how-to/
A list with all common snowboard tricks and explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_snowboard_tricks
Freeski taster sessions
On every Sunday starting on December 29th the "Living Room" at the valley station of the Kornockbahn is the meeting point for all who like to learn freeskiing. Four times are available: 9:30, 11:00, 12:30 and 14:00.
The Turracher Höhe offers a free 1,5 hours taster sessions with professional freeski guide and rental ski. This is the optimal opportunity to get a first feeling for freeskiing and see if you like it.
Freeskiing is defined as a subcategory of freestyle skiing. The terrain may be off-slope, fun park or urban areas. Here you can see what free skiers do at Turracher Höhe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQTc7YMf8Ng
For a few years now the Turracher Höhe has a great team of experts that build and shape the Snowpark. It is definitely one of the best ones I know in the area, with a great park setup. They offer more than 20 obstacles.
Their website is always up to date and gives you all information you're looking for. For smartphone users they also offer an app.
The park is usually located on the the slopes right next to the Paulilift.
Apres at Plan B
Plan B is THE legendary Apres Ski bar at Turracher Höhe. While the typical party music is playing, enjoy some Zirbenschnaps and other local specialities.
18 January 2013
Vastlhütte am Sam und Hochsinner
This is another great snow shoe walk are something for cross country skiers.
Start from Hotel Hochschober and head to the Grünsee, go further east to Karlhütte and then you can either follow the cross-country ski track to your left or right side, it's a round taking you to the Vastlhütte am Sam (operated by Hotel Hochschober) and to Hochsinner at Saureggen. Hochsinner is Carinthia's highest farm on 1.616 m. The farm is over 300 years old and is operated by the family Grabner all the year round. It is common in Austria that a farm has a "Vulgo" Name. It's the name the people call the farm without taking in account what the last name of the family is. You can rest there or at the Vastlhütte (but check at Hotel Hochschober if it is open or not).
The whole walk takes about 3-4 hours.
Carinthian Cuisine III - Have a break
If you want something quick and not warm try a "Brettl-Jause": Variations of ham and sausages are served with bread on a wooden plate.
The other very special thing about Austria is that you can get freshly prepared snacks in almost every super market. You decide which kind of bread or sandwich and what you want inside. I prefer "Kornspitz" or "Semmel" with "Extrawurst" (a type of Austrian scalded cold cut) with pickles and cheese or go for a "Leberkässemmel" (a type of meat loaf with ketchup or mustard in a roll).
Carinthian Cuisine II - The sweet side of life
On the sweet side you should try "Kaiserschmarrn" which is a scrambled pancake named after the Austrian emperor Kaiser Franz Joseph I or "Apfelstrudel" or "Germknödel" a delicious yeast dumpling filled with plum jam.
If you leave the safe slopes and walk off-slope with your snow shoes or do a skiing tour, always check the danger level for avalanches first. Check your equipment, wear a helmet and a transceiver, ideally also take a shovel and an avalanche probe with you and never ever go alone. Also tell someone when you started and plan to be back. If you're inexperienced or don't know the area, go to one of the skiing schools and ask for a guide.
This is a true insider tip for all who want to experience the ultimate Alpine Hütten-Cuisine and the legendary hospitality of the Carinthian people. The Karlhütte is a small and quiet chalet near the Grünsee. The two lovely owners Astrid & Martin make everything by themselves. The food is fresh, from regional farmers and you can even sit in the kitchen and watch. I really like the so-called Selchwürstel. It is a sausage made of smoked meat often served with Sauerkraut, mustard and black bread. Usually they offer a few seasonal meals. About 25 people can sit in the chalet, but when the sun is shining you can also sit outside.
I usually go there when making a skiing tour to the Schoberriegel (the mountain in the back) or going cross-country skiing. Still, you can also reach it by foot in about 20 min following the path to the Grünsee. Make sure you check if it is open before. During 21st December to 06th January it is usually open from 11:00.
Carinthian Cuisine I: Kärntner Nudel
I thought it would be helpful to give you some insights about what we eat here. Like everywhere in Austria meat in form of Schnitzel, ham, sausages, etc. is the main part of our meals, but somehow some of the most popular meals are vegetarian, like "Kasnudel" or "Kärntner Nudel".
You can imagine these "noodles" like a large Ravioli filled with farmer's cheese, mint and other herbs. "Nudeln" which are filled with minced meat are served with Sauerkraut and are called "Fleischnudel". "Nudeln" which are filled with dried pear, cinnamon and sugar are called "Kloaznnudel". And last but not least there are "Polentanudeln" which are filled with cornmeal which is cooked into a porridge.
It is a tradition that girls learn how to make these "Nudeln" from early on. Especially finishing up after filling, so-called "krendeln", is a true art.
Weitental - Peace and Quiet
If your looking for some peace and quiet, do a snow shoe walk into the Weitental. Start from the Sonnenbahn and go up to the Schwarzsee (Black lake), then follow the cross-country skiing track around the lake going further east. After crossing the Weitentallift and the second slope you reach the Weitental. You can follow the slope farther or walk a bit off-track. When you go further east you find some wooden huts, this is your turning point. The name of the valley means broad valley and that's pretty much its characteristic. The tracks are all rather flat and there is usually a lot of snow - a real winter wonderland. Go there in the morning. In the afternoon there is not that much sun. Be sure to take something to drink with you. A nice stop when going back is also at Sonnenalm at the Schwarzsee beside the skiing slope.
Best tracks down Rinsennock
The Rinsennock is the highest mountain of the Turracher Höhe (with 2.334 m). From there you have an amazing view over the Nockberge. The lazy ones can go up with the lift; the Kornockbahn takes you up to peak in front (2.193 m). From there it takes about 10-15min to the summit cross. Still, the two most beautiful ways are the one via Schafalm starting at Paulilift and the one starting from the village Winkel where the Nockalmstraße (the panorama street across the national park) starts. There you follow the south ridge up to the summit.
Then there are three possibilities to go down:
(1) you go down to Winkel again if someone can pick you up,
(2) you follow the north-east ridge to the summit station of the Kornockbahn and then follow the steep (south)-east ridge (you may have to jump over a fence) and then through the woods to a street. Follow this street direction to the valley station of the Panoramabahn, or
(3) you go down the normal slope. (image credits: Kärtner Bergrettung)
Hike up Schoberriegel (2.208m)
This is my favorite mountain for a skiing tour or snow shoes walk. You start from the MeiZeit Hütte and go up the slope of the Sonnenbahn. Once you've reached the top station of the lift you turn right. A bit above the top station of the Weitentallift starts the trail up to Schoberriegel. It is a bit steep but it's worth it. From here you'll reach the top in about 15min. If you're an experienced skier you can ski down the draw about 50m further west going down south. In the end you will reach the cross-country skiing track a bit behind the Grünsee (Green Lake) at the level of the Karlshütte. If you like it a bit flatter you can move on to the Gruft (the next peak, where the Nazis started their bomber gliders during World World ll) and then drive down south. Just follow the slope back into the direction of Grünsee. A third possibility and the by far most challenging one is going down on the north edge down to the Weitental.
17 January 2013
A true Wunder Restaurant
If you go down to Bad Kleinkirchheim to visit the thermal bath you should stop here for lunch or dinner. It is one of my favorite places to go after a great skiing day. Wunder means "wonder" in German and as the name of the owner already says, this place is fantastic to get large portions of delicious Carinthian food for reasonable prices. During rush hours their parking lot is always full, but usually there is enough place inside. Also a lot of locals meet at the bar.
When you go in, take the first door on the left, cross the bar and there you are in the restaurant. I really like the "Grillteller" (mixed grill) but they also have a lot of seasonal offers so ask the waiter (usually the owner himself) what he recommends.
The fine arts of cooking at Schlosshotel Seewirt
The cuisine at the Schlosshotel is a true gourmet temple. From Wednesday to Saturday the award-winning restaurant "philipp" of chef and junior host Philipp Prodinger opens daily with cooking times from 12:00 to 21:00. To be sure to get a table call there at least a week ahead and make a reservation. Treat yourself with delicious seasonally and regionally inspired meal compositions using locally sourced fresh ingredients.
As a true fan of fine cuisine I truly fell in love with this place and all the new creations you can taste. Before opening his own restaurant at home, Philipp learned and cooked all over the world with top chefs like Joel Antunes, Stefan Matz, Roland Trettl or Johanna Maier.
I usually go to this thermal bath. It is a bit older and smaller than the Römerbad but therefore also cheaper and much more quiet. The spa is located in the center of the valley.
Adults pay EUR 18 for the whole day in the thermal bath and EUR 24,50 for both thermal bath and sauna. Again they offer discounts for families, children, students and seniors.
I don't think they have a special evening, half-day or hourly prices like the Römerbad, but it is much cheaper anyway.
In Bad Kleinkirchheim there are two thermal baths. The Römerbad was rebuilt in 2007 and is the biggest Thermal Spa in the region. It is directly in front of the skiing arena of Bad Kleinkirchheim. So you can swim in the outdoor pool and watch the skiers and snowboarders coming down the hill. It also offers 13 different saunas. I would say it is more for families. The entry fee for the whole day is EUR 20,50 for the thermal bath only and EUR 35 including the sauna area. If you're going there just for the evening 3 hours before closing time you pay only EUR 14,50 or EUR 25. They have discounts for families, seniors, students (up to 26 years) and children between 6 - 14 years. Children under 6 are free.
The first and highest Hamam in the Alps
There are a few wellness packages that you can buy to take a first look inside one of the finest hotels in Austria. You should get a voucher online and make an appointment a few weeks ahead. I recommend one of the HochschoberN vouchers for EUR 125 which include a breakfast, entry into the wellness area and one treatment. The Hamam only costs EUR 62.
I was lucky and got this treatment as a birthday present from my parents. It is really an experience of a lifetime. I took Hamam treatments two times before in Antalya but the one at Hochschober beat those by far.
It is a beautiful bath made out of rose marble and all typical characteristics. The bath keepers, the so called "Telaks" learned their trade in Istanbul. You lie down on warm marble when the Telak scrubs your body with a special glove the so called "Kese" very carefully. Then you get a great massage with spume and the Telka lets alternately cold and hot water flow over your body. After that you can get a oil-massage and relax.
16 January 2013
This lovely chalet restaurant and bar on the east side of the Turracher Lake, next to the Sonnenbahn is spelled [my-zite] and translates to "my time". They have a huge terrace to sit outside if it's sunny. You have a great view over the Turracher Lake. Inside it is really rustic and of course there is a well heated tiled stove. There is enough place for a bigger group of people, which is why we often go there for some drinks - be sure to try the Zirbenschnaps. A special schnaps made out of stone pine cone, which smells and tastes like poor wood - great! If you're hungry, try Berner Würstel or one of the soups.
Late Night Skiing
At the Übungswiesenlift (a T-lift) you can go Night-Skiing every Wednesday from 08:00 pm and 09:30 pm. The slope is not very long, but if you're staying over night and can't get enough of skiing, go there with some friends. There're usually not many people and Plan B is not far. On 0.5km the floodlights along slope number 7 turn the night into a sunny day.
Furthermore, it is also included in the day ski pass.
Lake Taxi (See Taxi)
To get from the Übungswiesenlift on the west side to the Sonnenbahn on the east side of the lake or vis versa you can use a reconstructed snow mobile - the so-called Lake Taxi. About every 5min you can get a free ride to the other lakeside. You can leave your skiers or board strapped on and grab one of the holding bars on the sides of the snow mobile. When everyone is ready the Taxi driver starts the engine and you are pulled over the snowy ice-shelf to the other lakeside.
See Taxi is pronounced: [say-Taxi].
Seebachhütte - Georg's Einkehr
A sweet little chalet restaurant is located at the bottom station of the Turracherbahn. It's great for a stop if you need to recharge your batteries or heat up a little if the weather is rough.
When you go down slope number 20 you will find it on the left side near the station. Its name comes from the small river running beside the slope. Although there is slightly any sunshine during the day, it is a cosy place to enjoy good food for reasonable prices. If you want to sit inside you shouldn't go there during lunch time. Inside it's small and if you're not lucky you'll have to wait. They offer a few local dishes. I prefer "Selchwürstel" and Apfelstrudel with hot chocolate to warm up before exchanging the joyful warmth of the hut with the joyful snowy slopes again.
Turracherlift - The selective slope
The Turracherbahn offers the longest and most selective downhill slopes. Plus you can easily switch to the slopes of the Zirbenwaldbahn. Both are six-person chairlifts equipped with heated seats and wind shields that bring you back on to top of the hills quickly. The slope number 20, is also an approved FIS slope and was regularly venue for FIS European-Cup races. Also the ÖSV (the Austrian Skiing Team) and other skiing teams often come to the Turracher Höhe for Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super-G training.
Engländer Lift - Slalom Training Slope
On the left side of the Kornockbahn is a small ski tow, the Engländer Lift (Englishman's Lift). It is named after the English, who were the occupying force in the region. They've built the first lift on the Turracher Höhe after World War ll, in 1946. First it was for the soldiers only. 2 years later a first single chairlift was built and rang in the touristic area of the Turracher Höhe.
Today the Engländer Lift is mostly used by professional ski racers for practicing slalom on the short but steep slope.
Slope Butler (Pistenbutler)
The by far most prominent person at Turracher Höhe ist the slope butler. The early birds will first see him in the valley station of the Kornockbahn, the so-called living room. There he lits the fireplace and gives away Styrian apples to the first skiers. Then he will start his “butler mobile” and heads out onto the slopes. There he makes stops at different spots and puts up a service bar in no time to provide tired and snuffy ski heroes with dextrose and hankies, treats kids with sweets and raspberry juice and even serves their parents a glass of sparkling Prosecco. Best slope service ever!
Kornockbahn and get ready in the living room
The Kornockbahn was the first double chairlift built in 1976, today it is a six-person chairlift equipped with heated seats and wind shields. It goes up to the highest point of the skiing area, the Kornock. The top is part of the higher Rinsennock (2334m). Coming up with the chairlift the top is on the left side where you can see the summit cross. You can easily walk up there to take a photo.
With the Kornockbahn you can discover almost the complete western part of the Turracher Höhe; including 4 slopes (#1-4), a mogul slope (#10), a speed slope (#14), the Snowpark and some off-slope tracks.
At the valley station is the so called "Wohnzimmer" which translates to living room in German - a cosy room with an open fireplace. When I park there I go in there to put on my boots or skiing shoes or heat up a bit before leaving. There are always free Styrian apples, water and hankies available for free.
My personal daily TH round trip
Panoramabahn - Kornockbahn - Wildkopflift - Zirbenwaldbahn - Weitentallift - Sonnenbahn - Übungswiesenlift - Kornockbahn - Hüttenexpress - Panoramabahn.
I like starting at the Panoramabahn, because usually there are more free parking spaces left than at the Kornockbahn where most of the daily visitors are parking. After reaching the top I drive down slope number 9 and follow number 1 to the station of the Kornockbahn. I usually go up and down there several times. Afterwards it's easy to move on to Wildkopflift to reach the Zirbenwaldbahn, but you could also use the small trail to come down slope number 28. From there you can switch to the Turracherbahn. After a while the Weitentallift is perfect to reach the Sonnenbahn to enjoy the last sunny minutes of the day. From the station of the Sonnenbahn you can take the Lake Taxi to cross the lake. Take the Übungswiesenlift to reach the Kornockbahn and then go down to the Hüttenexpresslift and take your last ride down the Panorama slope.
Rent your equipment
If you're not coming with your own sports equipment or if you want to try new skies or snowboards you have the possibility to rent everything on site. You have three possibilities directly at Turracher Höhe: The prices for 7 days are usually around EUR 70 - 120 depending on the equipment. Always be honest with your skiing/snowboarding level to help the staff to select the right material.
1.) Huskys at Kornockbahn: www.snowboardschule-huskys.at/verleih
2.) Sportshop-Skiworld at Kornockbahn: www.skiworld.at/verleihpreise.html
3.) Intersport Brandstätter: www.intersportrent.at/shop/en/price-list/index/select_dealer/12547#/priceinfo
P.S.: Check the websites for discounts. If you're renting equipment on site for more people also ask for a discount, usually you get one. You may get a broader selection of equipment in the bigger towns nearby: e.g. Feldkirchen.
Turracher Höhe Map
The following map will help you to get an overview. The Turracher Höhe offers 14 lifts and over 30 slopes with about 38km length. The lifts are open from 09:00 to 16:00.
The map is also part of the iOS app. This could be pretty useful during the first days if you get lost.
15 January 2013
Alm - Butler
If you're staying at the Turracher Höhe the first time in one of the mentioned businesses you can take advantage of the Alm Butler service. This special program is a great opportunity to get to know the area. With the Alm Butler guiding you to special places and giving you true insider knowledge, providing refreshments and joking around, you can enjoy your stay to the fullest. Check the website or ask the hotel stuff for more information.
Useful words and phrases
In Austria the people usually speak English quite well. Still, they love if tourists try to speak a little bit of German, or better: Austrian German. It will definitely help you making some good friends.
We have many dialects, and if foreigners try to imitate our way of pronouncing the words, we simply love it:
Hello - Servas [ser-wus] or Grias di [greec de]
Good Bye - Ciao, Servas, Pfiat Gott [pfeet got]
Thank you - Donk schen [donk shane]
Where is ... - Wo is [woo is]
Order a meal: I'll take the ... - Für mi bitte die ... [Fyr me bet-a de]
Stone pine schnaps - Zirbenschnaps [Zeer-ben-schnaps]
Cheese Pasta (looking a bit like over-sized ravioli) - Kasnudel [kus-nudal]
I like you - I mog di [ee-mog-de]
A-Road Number 95 - Turracher Bundesstraße
Today the pass road has a maximum gradient of "only" 23% today on a short section on the Carinthian side. It is well cleared in the winter and only has to be closed very rarely. But that had not been the case until a few years ago. The steepest Alpine road in Europe at times, with a gradient of up to 34% at kilometre 60 (reckoned from Klagenfurt), was also sometimes a test stretch of the automobile manufacturer, Porsche. In January 1978, Audi presented the newly developed Audi Quattro to the company leadership on the Turracher Höhe, where the performance of the new all-wheel drive could be convincingly demonstrated on the steep, curvy and snowy road of the pass.
Get the Mobile App
The Turracher Höhe is definitely going with the time. They offer a useful mobile app to check the weather, slope plan, etc.
Unfortunately it is only available for iOS devices and in German.
Turracher Höhe Live on the Web
It's always good to know about the current weather and snow situation. You get all the details for today and the next 5 days directly on the website of the Turracher Höhe and 7 webcams deliver a picture every minute.
Although the Turracher Höhe is a quite small skiing area the ski passes are rather expensive. Anyway the service compensates for that by far, but you have to make use of it! They offer special passes for kids, teenagers, students and senior citizens and passes for multiple days, which are a bit cheaper. Also check if there is a package offer of your favorite hotel including the ski pass. If you have a ski pass for the Austrian regions Carinthia or Styria you can also ski at the Turracher Höhe.
You get the ski pass at Kornockbahn, Turrachbahn, Zirbenwaldbahn, Panoramabahn, Übungswiese and Sonnenbahn. You can pay either cash, with EC-card, Visa or Mastercard.
For more information check the link.
Supermarkets for self-caterer chalets
If you choose to cater yourself you need to know that there is no supermarket in the village. The next bigger supermarket is 12min away by car, in Carinthia, in a village called Patergassen. When you're coming from Turracher Höhe you drive down the hill direction Feldkirchen. In Patergassen you turn right at the crossway to Bad Kleinkirchheim. There is the "Billa" on the right-hand-side. It is also open on Saturdays and Sundays (08:00-13:00/15:00-18:00).
Skiing and Snowboarding Schools
There are four Skiing and Snowboarding Schools at the Turracher Höhe. The prices are about the same everywhere. The Huskey is a snowboarding school only but it is also a great place to try and rent new skis or snowboards. Quite new in most of the offers are special courses for free-style, off-slope and ski-tours. If you're inexperienced in those areas and don't know a local with experience this is definitely worth trying.
Alternative hotels - Jaegerwirt
This hotel I got recommended by two friends of mine. Like the Hochschober it is directly located on the Turracher Lake, but on the Styrian side. They are very kids oriented and offer special services for them.
Alternative hotels - Schlosshotel
I want to mention two other hotels, which I think are also very very nice and are definitely amongst the Top Three at Turracher Höhe. First the Schlosshotel. I stayed there before the summer season for a weekend. They may not have the wide range of services like Hochschober but definitely everything needed for a fine stay: Nice rooms, wellness area with indoor swimming pool, water beds and different saunas and - the highlight: delicious food. The kitchen has one toque and the chef is the son of the owner.
Stay at one of Austrias finest hotels - Hochschober
The hotel is known for being one of the best hotels in Austria. It is an oasis for everyone who is seeking high-quality service, food, inspiration, sport and wellness in the Alps. I think the quality comes from the people working there. They simply love what they're doing with all their heart. I've been there several times to enjoy the wellness area and my parents stayed there over a weekend. You can indulge yourself in the original China tower while drinking tee and listening to a reading of a famous author. While enjoying wellness in the Turkish Hamam, swimming in the outdoor pool in the Turracher Lake or treat yourself with some fine food whenever you want. During the few days I've spent in this hotel I never wanted to leave - it was just too amazing. The Hochschober has always been a family business, now run already in 3rd generation by family Leeb - all lovely people.
Some other chalets for rent
All over the Turracher Höhe you can find chalets like Andrea's. On the official website they offer an overview of all chalets with pictures and contact details.
Sleeping in your own chalet
I'm lucky to have relatives who have their own house at Turracher Höhe. My second cousin Andrea and her family are super nice people and rent out two apartments. The chalet is very charming and a little bit 60ies-like. :) The apartments are really cosy inside. Each has an own kitchen, bath room, sleeping room, a living room with dining table, a couch, tiled stove, TV and a balcony with an awesome view over the village and the highest mountain in the area - the Rinsennock. The chalet also offers a sauna and a bar/party room in the cellar. It is located a bit above the famous hotel Hochschober and 2min from the bar and restaurant Meizeit and the ski slope. Behind the house the cross-country skiing track to the Grünsee (green lake) passes by.
If you have any questions or need something special Andrea and her family are always happy to help you. They also have a lot of snow equipment to borrow: snow shoes, sled etc.