Two things mark out Hochzillertal-Hochfugen. One is the sybaritic, sun-drenched scene on the terrace at the Kristalhutte on the Hochzillertal side of the ski area. The other is the way you can develop your off-piste skiing skills over in Hochfugen. The little valley in which it’s set has a snowy microclimate, a wide-variety of off-piste terrain, and a strong freeride culture which seems to belong more to North America than the Alps.
So if you want to develop your off-piste skiing skills, in a supportive, and innovative environment, it’s a great place to come – not least because of the tuition on offer at Top Private, which specialises in off-piste skiing. As well as offering low-cost, 90-minute freeride taster sessions in collaboration with the lift company, the school specialises in private clinics. Kevin Benk, one of the instructors, is a fluent English-speaker, and we rate him highly.
But where to learn in Hochzillertal-Hochfugen? There are three other ski schools on the Hochfugen side of the ski area – Skischule Aktiv, Skischule Total and Skischule Kostenzer. They are overwhelmingly Germanic in flavour – but the high level of competition for such a small ski area has kept prices low for Austria.
However, if you want to learn how to ski on groomed pistes rather than on powder, we suggest you stick to the Hochzillertal side of the ski area, as the slopes are more open and more forgiving. There are two ski schools there – Skischule Hochzillertal and Skischule Optimal. The latter is the better bet for English-speaking skiers. But better still would be to book your holiday in Mayrhofen a little higher up the Zillertal, which is a better holiday destination for piste skiers and a more international clientele.