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At 2020m, Kühtai is one of the highest ski resorts in Europe, certainly in Austria where many of the famous resorts are comparatively low lying by modern standards. Indeed the highest lifts at a few of the world's best known Austrian resorts do not reach the height of Kühtai village, at the base of the local runs. Considering its long history, this is a very convenient resort with slopeside lodging and most facilities a few steps from all accommodation. There's a friendly, relaxed and intimate feeling to the place. It's also very easy to reach in under an hour from Innsbruck. Kühtai is referred to for the first time in the records of the Counts of Tirol in 1280 as "Chutay". Emperor Maximilian purchased the hunting rights in Kühtai in 1497. Around 1622, the construction of a princely castle was begun and in 1624, a road was built through the Sellrain Valley. The Hunting Lodge survives to this day, converted in to a rather nice hotel, the Jagdschloss and still managed by a descendent of the Austrian Archdukes.

One of the highest resorts in Austria with a long history dating back at least to the fifteenth century when Emperor Maximillian hunted here. Today it retains a rather exclusive reputation and is one of the best places for touring through forest terrain.

Mountain

Kühtai is one of the highest and most snowsure ski areas in Austria and the Alps, with skiing from December through to May in a normal year. It is also typically quiet on the slopes, making lift queues a rarity. Much of the lodging is slopeside for easy access to the runs. Kühtai's altitude, low-pressure slopes and convenience make it a good choice for beginners throughout the season. The ski school meets in the village centre, a short walk from virtually all accommodation and the new magic carpet conveyor lift. The advantage over some other resorts include the fact that Kühtai's high altitude mean beginners should be able to use the village-side nursery slopes throughout the season; wheras there is often inadequate snow cover on lower slopes at the ends of the season in lower resorts. You are also less likely to be used a slalom post by an expert skier finishing their run down the mountain at Kühtai and the magic carpet is definitely an advantage over a T Bar for first timers. For more experienced skiers there are 40 kilometres (25 miles) of skiing and boarding piste served by a selection of drag lifts, one double chair and three quads with weather-protected pull down hoods, the newest accessing terrain on the Hohe Mut. Much of the terrain is red category, ideal for intermediates. Experts have three blacks plus extensive guided off-piste and ski touring opportunities. In 2004-5 the resort joined seven other resorts to become part of the established 'Glacier Lift Pass', including as it does the glacier lifts on the Stubai, open 365 days a year for guaranteed skiing. Night skiing is available thanks to 10,000 volts powering up the floodlighting runs served by the Hochalter quad every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:30 to 10pm. Cross country skiing is also popular around the resort with 15km of loipe, again benefiting from the snowsure altitude.

Families

Children are especially welcome in Kühtai which offers specially tailored programmes for young families. Kindergarten is available for children aged two and older from Sunday through Friday, in the all-purpose room of the Tourist Association. Registration should be made at the 1st Ski School Kühtai. For those aged four and older ready to ski, the Kids Club in Kühtai has friendly instructors from the 1st Kühtai Ski School who supervise children on special practice slopes located just a few metres from the hotels. A second ski school, Ski School Top 2000, also offers classes. A third option is to join classes with Follow-The-Ski-School.

Eating Out

Kühtai has a dozen eateries in resort serving a good selection of largely Austrian, Alpine and Tyrolean dishes. Italian is available however in the Pizzeria Rustica. The dining rooms in the Jagdschloss, "Fürsten- und Jägerstube" ("prince and hunter"-lounge) and the "Veranda-Restaurant"offer a fantastic winter panorama, sophisticated culinary creations and top wines.

Apres

Apres can be lively as soon as the skiing day ends in traditional cafes like the DreiSeen-Hut or at the Yellow Umbrella or Yeti Bar. Larger crowds tend to arrive from Innsbruck at the weekend boosting the party atmosphere. In the Hotel Tyrol try the wood lined Fiasco or more sophisticated Toni's Bar. One popular option is a trip up to the Kaiser Maximilian Hut by chairlift for a warming Jagatee and a breathtaking view of the illuminated village below - this is open in the evening several times a week when the resort's night skiing is open. Anotyher restaurant, the "Graf Ferdinand Hut" is open every night. You do have to walk there or take a shuttle but after your meal you can take a toboggan back down on a long illuminated run.

Boarding

Kühtai has a small fun park for boarders to enjoy and there's plenty of off-piste powder to enjoy with a local guide to show you the way. The resort is also quite a good choice for first time boarders thanks to the convenience of facilities and beginner slopes, magic carpet lift and the high standards of the local ski and board school.

// HIGHLIGHTS //
Vertical drop
500m
Ski area
37
Resort height
2020m
Airport
Innsbruck
Train station
Innsbruck
beginner
19%
intermediate
60%
expert
21%