St Wolfgang ski resort
About St Wolfgang
St Wolfgang is not your regular ski resort: there's no big ski centre next to the village and no short, ski boot shuffle to the slopes. But the beautiful 12km (7.5 miles) of shoreline along Lake Wolfgangsee has attracted poets and artists for centuries and it's an inviting starting point for beginners.
Here, it's a case of jumping on the ski bus each morning for a short ride to the nearby Postalm ski area, a spot ideal for beginners and early intermediates, but will have limited appeal for the experienced. There are, however, bigger areas available through a joint lift pass. The only question then is: why stay in St Wolfgang when you could just stay slopeside at one of them?
Well, St Wolfgang is a very appealing little town with an atmospheric centre and the wonderful Pilgrimage Church of St Wolfgang, which houses priceless artworks. It is surrounded by enticing shops, cafés and restaurants, and has plenty to do when the ski boots are off.
St Wolfgang lies on the northern shore of Lake Wolfgangsee in the Austrian Alps. The resort is close to Salzburg and is in the heart of the Salzkammergut region in northwestern Austria.
St WolfgangResort Elevation: 540m
Top Elevation: 1550m
Base Elevation: 1200m
On the slopes
St Wolfgang's Postalm ski area has one of the lowest altitudes for a major Alpine destination, so snow cover is only truly reliable between Christmas and late March. There is, however, limited snow-making in some key areas, which helps if natural snowfall falls short.
The Postalm area is a 20-minute bus ride from the town and has 17km (11 miles) of runs, a fraction of the amount of skiable terrain in most other resorts in the Alps. However, this is more than adequate for beginners, early-intermediates and undemanding skiers who may prefer having the small, unintimidating ski area all to themselves. There are nine blues and eight reds, while the only black run (the Rudi Nierlich 1 piste) takes up the full vertical of the area.
If conditions are good, more demanding skiers will find touring routes on the Postalm or they can sign up for the Dachstein ski pass, which offers around 160km (100 miles) of pistes at multiple centres throughout the region. These resorts include Gosau and Zwölferhorn, but bear in mind the closest of these is an hour away by bus.
Back at Postalm, there's a popular terrain park for freestyle skiers and boarders, and the area has three cross-country ski loops. These runs range in difficulty and length but can be tackled together in one 22km (14-mile) merged route – part of 40km (25 miles) of tracks in the wider ski area.