I had a date with Glungezer. Last time I was here, I went to the trouble of skiing most of the way up this 2677 meter mountain near Innsbruck, Austria only to be shut down by a whiteout so dense the resort skiers on the approach piste were pinging off each other like a physics experiment — with me as the random particle collision. Barely made it out of that one alive.
Glungezer is one of those easier summits you find rising southerly from the Inn Valley autobahn, south of the greater Innsbruck area. You can see these mountains as you roll, up there all glistening white. Some have high roads you can use for access, for others you hike the resort piste or avoid the grunt by purchasing a cable ticket.
The weather had been funny lately, much colder than normal and recent new snow. Theory today is that powder will remain skiable on northern reaches such as those of Glungezer. Time to find out if that’s true.
I should mention that during valley to peak snow coverage, hardcores do this Glungezer tour from the Inn Valley floor as one HUGE slog. I’m told once is enough, as most of the ski is up low angled pastures and you’re “walking walking walking — seemingly forever.” Perhaps we’ll try that some day, but the quality skiing portion of this route is easily accessed via a classic steep road that winds up through a bunch of farms and pastures, to terminate at the Gasthaus and resort lifts. For those of you who get serious about this tour, the access road starts from the Hall West exit off the A12 Motorway, road map makes it obvious.
Map below shows Glungezer location. And yes, you can enjoy a hut near the summit.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.