The Great ‘Ski Circus’ in Austria Gets Even Bigger

After years of delays, the famous Ski Circus area in Saalbach, Austria, will finally be connected with the neighbouring Zell am See-Kaprun with a new ski lift.

This means that the already gigantic winter sports resort will soon become Austria’s biggest on-piste skiing area!

The Background

Saalbach-Hinterglemm is a municipality in the Austrian Alps close to the German borders, famed as a winter sports destination.

Its skiing area, also known as ‘Ski Circus’, is actually a vast four-piste network stretching across a long valley and encompassing four resorts, namely Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Fieberbrunn and Leogang.

Ski Circus already is the second largest ski area in Austria, covering 270 km of ski slopes in total, on both sides of its beautiful valley: the north side is popular for its sunny weather and off-piste skiing, while the opposite side boasts better snow cover, especially in the spring.

Seasoned snowboarders also love the place because of the challenging kickers and jibs of the Leogang snow Park, while less experienced ones usually opt for Hinterglemm’s smaller snow park.

The great number of runs, suitable for all levels of skill and experience, along with its extensive off-piste area and great snow cover soon made Ski Circus one of Austria’s most celebrated Alpine skiing areas.

It has even hosted international skiing events, like the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship and the British University Snowsports Championship.

© saalbach.com, Tina Roos

The growing number of visitors inspired the idea of a new lift that would connect Ski Circus with Zell am See-Kaprun and offer access to more than 130 extra kilometres of pistes – a total of 408 km.

For several reasons, though, the thought never came to be – until now.

The New Lift Connection

Ski Circus representatives recently announced that the plan will indeed materialise before the New Year.

The Zell am See Xpress lift is scheduled to open on December 7th.

The two-stage 10-person gondola will start from the Glemmtal valley at Viehhofen and end at Salersbachköpfl, at a height of 1,920 metres.

The lift down will be followed by a new red run too.

Another great addition this year is the K-ONNECTION, due to open by the end of November, which will provide direct lift access to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, at a height of 3,200 metres, from the centre of Kaprun – something never done before.

The whole area, namely Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang, Fieberbrunn Zell am See-Kaprun, and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, will be accessed with a single lift pass, the Ski ALPIN card.

The new lift makes Ski Circus the largest on-piste skiing area in the country, putting Ski Arlberg (incorporating the resorts of St Anton, Lech-Zürs, and Warth) into second place.

Arlberg will remain the biggest totally lift-linked area in Austria, allowing you to ski around it without having to use a car or a bus, while skiing the whole Zell am See-Kaprun/Ski Circus area requires the use of the lifts and two buses.

The 408 kilometres of ski slopes, the glacier, and the array of attractions are more than enough to further boost the fame and popularity of Ski Circus over the next years.

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