Solden, The Worlds Most High-Tech Ski Resort?
Most ski resorts follow a quite traditional pattern, with luxury chalets, après ski bars and beautiful alpine views. But Solden in Austria is now adding technology to its list of attractions.
Solden can be found in the Ötz valley leading up to Obergurgl. It is approx. 1 hour from Innsbruck airport and 2.5 hours from Friedrichshafen airport. It boasts 145km of pistes and the highest lift takes you to 3250m. It’s more of a town than a picturesque village but is also renowned for its après ski scene, the 30 mountain huts are testimony to this. In addition Solden is Austria’s largest year round ski destination. But Solden is gaining a reputation for technology and general ‘coolness’, why is this?
The World’s Fastest Ski Lift
Solden now boasts the world’s fastest ski lift. The new Giggijoch mountain gondola can take an incredible 4,500 people up the mountain every hour. The mono rope gondola has 10 person cabins and the base station is also very eye catching. At the top station you will find a funky foil coated steel construction that offers a sports shop and ski storage area. Travel from the valley at 1370m, go through the middle station at 2174m to the very top at 3058m. The lift even has WiFi
James Bond and Ice Q
James Bond Spectre was filmed here and you can see why it was chosen. The panoramic Glacier Road with Europe’s highest road tunnel is amazing viewing. The ice Q restaurant which opened in 2013 is also viewed by many as one of the most spectacular alpine buildings. It has 900m squared glass facades offering breath-taking views of the Otztal Alps. This features heavily in Spectre as a futurist hospital. You can choose to eat here, it even has its own wine PINO 3000.
Automatic Snow Making Machines
The resort is peppered with snow making machines which create snow automatically based on surrounding temperature, pressure and humidity. A nearby reservoir pumps water into them where it freezes and is then sprayed across the slopes looking like falling snow. So you are guaranteed snow, albeit not always the real stuff.
Solden offers skiers a number of apps that offer a completely different dimension. You can get all the latest snow resorts, another app will track your movements so that it can even time you across different points to see how fast you are.
Getting To Innsbruck From The UK
So if all this sounds like your place to ski then Innsbruck is the best place to get to for a short transfer. You can fly from London airports with Monarch, easyJet and British Airways. You can also fly from Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle.