God didn’t create the Alps for its beauty; God created the Alps, so the man could ski and get a taste of heaven itself. But the Alps are just too many places and peaks, and it’s never been easy to narrow down on one for a quiet getaway with your loved ones.
Base Elevation: 1250 m
Summit Elevation: 1600
Vertical Drop: 350 m
You definitely do not want to end up in a place where you’re always concerned about your little one teetering on some wicked slope or worse, coming in the way of a swarm of thrill-hungry skiers hurtling down that wicked slope. Skiing is an adventure, but it doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster ride.
Alparena Hochhaderich ski resort was created with that in mind. If you’re a family person looking to make priceless memories with your loved ones without paying a huge price, Hochhaderich is the place for you.
Where Winter Rules
Hochhaderich is the crown jewel in the earthly paradise of Bregenzerwald, Austria. With tracks spanning from 1,250 to 1600 m (4100 to 5250 ft) from the mean sea level, it lies snuggled between the picturesque municipalities of Oberstaufen Steibis, Hittisau, and Riefensberg.
The region gets heavy snow at the onset of winter and has a white snow carpet rolled out for you right from December to the onset of summer in the Easter season. So while skiers at other resorts are forced to pack their bags for the year under an ascendant summer sun, Hochhaderich holds out and gives its guests a pleasant extension to their skiing vacation.
Hochhaderich also gets extra points for sustainable practices. Owing to its natural snowmaking potential, it rarely relies on the ecologically taxing option of using snow cannons, so your trip to this resort will have a significantly smaller footprint.
The resort prides itself in its child and family-centric approach. Even as more popular and challenging expert tracks proliferated all over the Alps, Hoccaderich stayed committed to its goal of creating a skiing experience for the family. Many of the slopes here are gentle and groomed to be cakewalks, so you and your kid can enjoy a slow descent in peace.
It is a small resort. Despite this, it boasts of a great diversity of slopes and pistes and offers a perfect balance to accommodate skiers of all skill levels. Of the nine slopes that run a total of 9 km (5.6 mi), easy (blue) slopes make up 3.5 km (2.7 mi), while intermediate (red) slopes are about 5km (3.3 mi). Designed keeping children in focus, the intermediate slopes are easily navigable by older kids without the need for supervision. 2 km (1.3 mi) of the slope is expert level (black).
Here, you get a chance to watch your kids put on their ski shoes for the first time and take baby steps on the snow. Relish the delight on their faces as their uncertainty builds confidence.
At Hochhaderich, it is believed that the first steps have to be, more than anything else, fun. True to this principle, the practice terrain is quite spacious and is equipped with a lift, so the little ones don’t have to heave themselves up the slope. Experienced skiers can also head to the fun park. A panorama of snow white alpine slopes, picturesque runs, wide and sunny plateaus, and alpine forest- the location is a perfect blend of nature.
Hochhaderich is also home to a dedicated ski school. Kids of the age 3 and above learn to take their first turns with expert instructors guiding them. Emphasis is on making the learning process fun to ensure ski school feels like ski school and not boot camp.
The instructors are highly trained. The founder of the school is, in fact, an active and successful snowboarder and has twice served as the head of the German Olympic snowboarding team.
But it’s not just for the kids. If you feel your snow skimming skills have gotten rusty, or your best days are behind you, don’t worry. A little practice with the ski school guys and you’ll be back to being a ballerina on skis in no time.
If you’re more of a snowboarding person, the school offers courses on snowboarding and cross country skiing for you. Besides this, there’s a ski rental facility that will take care of whatever gear you need for your escapades. Cross country sets, snow blades, big foots, Snow boots, helmets, toboggans(sleds) and even back protectors are available. Safety is given due importance.
Fun fact: There’s a racing service to clock your speed.
The resort has a total of 5 operational lifts. Of these, one is a quad chair lift, and the rest are ski tows. The lifts cover all the slopes of the resort, and are quite inexpensive. The chairlift is ‘childproof’, as an additional safety measure.
For non skiers:
What makes Hochhaderich special is the possibilities it has in store for the non skier.
The resort offers a wide network of cross-country trek routes that meander through 30 kilometers (18.5 mi) of pristine nature preserved in centuries of frosty oblivion. You can choose to go on a gentle stroll, or on a snow trek if you wish to conquer the entire stretch.
If you’d rather live the moments with your loved ones, you can all jump on a toboggan, perhaps lose control and tumble into a mound of cushiony snow on your way down and end up with a jumbled, joyous mess. And you have the option of doing this under a starlit sky.
Those looking to hibernate away from the grind of everyday life can also find refuge in leisurely sunbathing and quietly recharge their batteries.
Hochhaderich is also the perfect place to be at with the special one in your life. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a warm blanket, your love snuggling into your arms as you stargaze under a night sky not marred by light pollution. Or imagine going on a torch trip with them, through the secluded woods. Still, think Paris would be more romantic?
Life in Bregenzerwald remains untouched by civilization in some ways. One example is the traditional horse-drawn sleighs. For ages, these were (the only) instruments of transport for the peasants in the region, today they’ve become instruments to hop back in time and get a taste of an era long gone. So don’t miss a chance for some time travel!
The rendezvous for the horse sleigh ride happens behind the umbrella bar, next to the cross-country course.
Head to the free flow restaurant to sample culinary delights and homemade delicacies. After day long skiing, nothing feels more rejuvenating than a cup of local tea at the restaurant. A round of brew at the nearby umbrella bar would warm you up well. Two or three would lull you to sound sleep.
Accommodation and Pricing
It’s not difficult to find family-friendly accommodation at affordable prices at the resort. A detailed breakdown of the cost and daily fee can be obtained from the official website, but most are affordable and offer great services.
The resort stays open from 09:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs.
Location and Access
Zurich, Switzerland (150 km/93 mi)
Munich, Germany (188 km/117 Mi)
The resort can be accessed via the Germany motorways ( Stuttgart- Singen- Meersburg- Landau) and (Munich-Kempten) and (Munich-Memmingen-Lindau).
Swiss motorways (Zurich- St.Gallen-St. Margrethen) and (Zurich-Wallensee-Sargans).
There’s ample parking space for your vehicle so that you can check it off your list of worries.
The region is connected by many direct trains.
A winter in this part of the world is truly a portal to a world you probably will not experience anywhere else. If you’re undecided as to your destination, you know where to be. So what are you waiting for? Awesome terrain, lovely weather, and holiday season all geared up at the same time. So plan your visit, book your tickets, pack your gears and head out straight for this awesome ski park with your family and friends and enjoy every moment spent here. Give your children the ski start they deserve. Have fun!
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