Sillian-Hochpustertal

Sillian – Hochpustertal (Thurntaler) Trail Map – Click on Trail Map to Enlarge and View in new browser

In Austria’s East Tirol, Sillian – Hochpustertal ski area offers skiers a special and unique combination, Italian views and energy, with Austrian ski tradition. Sillian is a beautiful village in East Tirol, practically on the Italian border. Here the ski resort Hochpusteral emanates up to great big mountain skiing at 2407-meters (7,900′) with sensational panoramas of the Alps and the neighboring Dolomites of Italy.

From the village of Sillian, you may only see one ribbon of snow dropping down to the base. Ride the long Thurntaler two-stage gondola up 3400’ vertical feet (1000-meters) and you arrive at a grand sunny snow-covered peak with a wide variety of skiing.

Our first ski run at Sillian, we chose to ski back down to the gondola base as Trail #1 was in the sun. It is a wonderfully pitched long 3400’ vertical groomed trail to the base. Next ride up, we ventured right over to the modern 6-passenger bubble covered chairlift – called Thurntaler and headed for the 2407 M (7,896’) summit.

This six-pack is a key lift accessing Sillian’s best upper mountain terrain. At the summit, the views are phenomenal of Italy, the jagged Dolomites peaks, and the surrounding Alps. Its breathtaking, for picture taking.  We took several laps (1,500’ vertical each) on Trails 1, 4 and 5 here, very well groomed with soft carvable snow despite how sunny and warm it can get here in the South East Tirol.

Trail 6 was another fun long run to a separate base, descending well below the six-pack lift, to a small alpine farm, with just one lodge and a perfectly cozy chalet hut – The Pistentreff. A speedy quad chair brings you back up to midmountain. On our third lap of this favorite Trail 6, we stopped at Pistentreff chalet for a hot Gluhwein and an Almdudler (an herb-infused Austrian soft drink Heather loves) to refresh before more big ski laps in this sunny wonderful playground.

A ski day or several at Sillian is a treat. This highly scenic mountain has great terrain. While its not huge, we basically only rode 3 lifts, and about 7 runs, the trails have good pitches, amazing views and reliable snow. Plus there’s a fun snow park with jumps and a skier cross.

For free riders, Sillian has plenty of open snowfields you can easily reach with good snow between the trails. To venture off-piste, you should always hire a guide to go off-piste safely, especially to ski the Hochalm or other adventurous unmarked ski routes.

The place to stay when skiing Sillian Hochpustertal is the Dolomiten Residenz Sporthotel Sillian, a four-star resort hotel perfectly situated just across the road from the gondola. This large, lovely property has beautiful modern alpine rooms, a wonderful spa, a beautiful setting with views, and everything you need on ski holiday – ski and boot room, a bar and lounge, multiple saunas in the grotto, pool and jacuzzi. We loved booking half board with buffet breakfast and 5 course dinner included. See our review of this ski hotel at Sillian.

Sillian Hochpusteral is in the East Tirol which also includes – St Jakob im Defereggental, Lienz Zettersfeld Hochstein, Obertilliach, Kals Matrei – Grossglockner.

Sillian-Hochpustertal Ski Stats:
Base Elevation: 1100 M (3,609′)
Summit Elevation: 2407 M (7,898′)
Vertical: 1307 meters, 4,288-feet
Lifts: 7
Trails: 22 km of prepared pistes plus miles of renowned Freeride terrain