Not long ago, nature seemed to have extended the summer in Carinthia. It was mainly skiers who were sad about it, waiting impatiently for cold days and reopening of the only glacier in the region. But the last September weekend arrived with temperatures below zero so dozens of snow machines could get started to help natural snowfall. And the result? Mölltaler Gletscher opened the 2020/21 winter season on 2nd October.
“This time, we prepared ourselves for the opening very well. We used not only natural snowfall and man-made snow but also a huge amount of snow stored from the previous season. The pile just had to be uncovered and spread all over the slopes, which made the grooming process much easier and faster,” explained Max Gottfried, the general manager of the Mölltaler Gletscher resort. “And to make it complete, the basic snow layer got some rainfall during a short warm wave, froze afterwards and was covered with fresh powder snow in the end. A true fairytale, I can tell you,” said Max Gottfried with a smile on his face.
The opened pistes, i.e. Schareck 1,2,3 between the altitudes of 3122 m and 2716 m, are covered with a mixture of natural and man-made snow at the moment, which promises great conditions for skiers. One day before the resort opening, they were tested personally by Marcel Hirscher, a double alpine skiing Olympic champion, seven-time world champion and eight-time World Cup winner.
By the way, it is not so rare to meet well-known personalities of the world skiing scene at Mölltal at all. This summer, national teams from Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were training there as well. Skiing stars have always felt great in the resort, which a special gallery in the entrance hall of the panoramic EISSEE restaurant reminds of, with photos and notes of Ivica Kostelić, Tina Maze, Felix Neureuther, Maria Riesch and many others.
When talking about the restaurant… This is the type of a mountain gastronomy facility where glazing and breathtaking panoramas make you completely forget about the typical home-made cakes, traditional schnitzel or delicious coffee in front of you. HUGE RESPECT to the architect that designed it!! Apropos food. It´ s clear that one gets hungry when skiing or snowboarding. The lunch menu offers something for everybody – schnitzel lovers, potato chip fans, vegetarians. What´ s more, the breakfast choice has been extended. Gletscher Frühstück and Eissee Frühstück are served in the restaurant from 8:00am to 11:00am and to be honest, with these energy foundations, every downhill is like a piece of cake. A warm croissant, eggs, fresh vegetables, yoghurt with muesli. General manager Max Gottfried calls it a truly “loaded breakfast”.
Although there haven´t been many nice autumn days since the opening so far and it was mainly professional skiers who have come, Max Gottfried is satisfied. “The most important fact today is to have Mölltaler Gletscher as one of few ski resorts in Austria marked green on the so-called covid traffic light system. We pay maximum attention to all restrictions and measures – cableways, ticket offices and the restaurant are disinfected regularly, all members of the staff wear face masks. These are obligatory also for skiers while travelling with cableways. Although the transport capacity is not limited in Austria these days, we have reduced it in our Mölltaler Gletscher Express by 50%, i.e. to 120 passengers and to guarantee more comfort and safe distances, we operate more often,” added Max Gottfried.
The latest weather forecast says another massive snowfall is expected which together with a cold wave should help make more snow and open more pistes. Piste no. 8 and the Panoramabahn 2-seater chairlift have the highest priority, 2-kilometre-long piste no. 9 in the direction of the lower station of Gondelbahn Eissee should follow soon after.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Mölltaler Gletscher resort is a popular final destination of many Slovaks and Czechs because the resort operator, i.e. the TMR company has added it to the PREMIUM Smart Season Pass offer, which guarantees skiing in TOP resorts in Slovakia (Jasná, Vysoké Tatry), Austria (Mölltaler Gletscher, Ankogel), the Czech Republic (Špindlerův Mlýn) and Poland (Szczyrk).