365 Tage Skivergnügen
Der Hintertuxer Gletscher ist Österreichs einziges Ganzjahresskigebiet und bietet Wintersportlern an 365 Tagen perfekt präparierte, schneesichere Abfahrten und ein faszinierendes Naturerlebnis.
10er Gefrorene Wand
The 30 year old “Gefrorene Wand 3a” double chair lift with two glacier support towers on the Hintertux Glacier has been replaced by the world’s first 10 EUB Gefrorene Wand lifts with heated seating from the Doppelmayr Company.
As of November 2008 the Gletscherbus 1 is in operation at the Hintertux Glacier. 3281 persons per hour are transported by the glacierbus 1 to the snow-sure pistes of the Hintertux Glacier. In only 5.25 minutes one glides from Hintertux (1,500 m above sea level) to the Sommerbergalm (2,100 m) from where Austria’s most attractive and impressive all year round ski region can be discovered.
The first bi-cable cablecar in the eastern Alps
The Gletscherbus 2 has been transporting our guests from the Sommerbergalm to the Tuxer Fernerhaus since 1996. The travel time is only six minutes, and you can enjoy a splendid panoramic view underway, fully protected from the wind and weather. Zillertaler Gletcherbahn developed this Funitel, the first in the eastern Alps, in 1995 in collaboration with Doppelmayr. Since then, the Gletscherbus 2 has more than proved its worth!
With the Gletscherbus 3, which is surely the most spectacular cablecar in the Alps as well as the highest bi-cable cable car in the world, you can now travel from the Tuxer Fernerhaus directly to the Frozen Wall in just five minutes. The extreme geographic situation of the Gletscherbus 3, with its lower terminal at 2,660 m and its upper terminal at 3,250 m, formed a special challenge to the engineers, builders and fitters. This lift, which is our showpiece, has been in operation since 31 December 2000. Major revision works took place for this reason during May and June 2012. Both lift drives were removed and sent back to the manufacturers and all 4 motors were completely overhauled. The clamping cylinder was removed and replaced and the disc bearings at the base station of the lifts have been renewed.
Ever since the 23rd December 2001, the “150-er Tux” cable car has connected the Rastkogel/Tux ski area with the slopes at Penken/Mayrhofen, thereby creating the largest inter-linked ski area in the Zillertal Valley: „Ski & Glacier world Zillertal 3000“. 2 cabins with a maximum capacity of 150 persons each and a top speed of 12 m/s whisk skiers in only 5 minutes to a whole new dimension of winter fun.
Essential factors: Wet-bulb temperature, temperature, humidity
Additional factors: Air pressure, water pressure, water temperature, drop height
„To define, the wet-bulb temperature is the temperature a parcel of air would have when water is evaporated into it at a constant pressure level until saturation. The enthalpy of evaporation process thereby deprives it of air." Simplified: More water can evaporate at lower humidity. The energy required is extracted from the ambient air and leads to cooling – thus enabling artificial snow to be created at lower humidity levels and at warmer temperatures.
Snow making facilities are used on the downhill run from the Tuxer Fernerhaus to Sommerberg, the entire Sommerberg ski area and the “Schwarze Pfanne” downhill run to the valley. 246 lances (York Co.) | 246 snow towers | ca. 640 valves in the towers on the slopes regulate the snowmaking | max. production quantity by a York Rubis lance at water pressure of 50 bar: 13,300 litres of water per hour yield ca. 33 m³ of snow per hour.
Snow making facilities are used from the top station of the glacierbus 3 lifts down to the Tuxer Fernerhaus. 26 FM | snow making towers (with 2 lances each) | 7 FM lances | 2 Sufag fan guns | max. production quantity by a FM tower at water pressure of 60 bar: 34,200 litres of water per hour yield ca. 85 m³ of snow per hour.
Depending on the conditions and type of snow making machinery, between 40 and 120 canons can be in operation simultaneously. The system can be automatically adjusted when there is only the slightest change in weather conditions (e.g. wind) and switched to alternative snow canons.
Our pistes in Hintertux are located in high alpine territory and mostly on glacier terrain. For this reason it is imperative that you observe all barriers, restricted areas and warning signs. The glacier pistes are secured using wooden poles with rope stretched between them. Never leave the marked piste area. Outside the secure ski area dangers associated with high alpine terrain prevail – no liability will be accepted by the lift company!
Piste and rescue services only monitor and control the marked and open pistes. Accidents are to be reported to any one of the cable car offices in the ski area! The final inspection run by the piste control service takes place at16.00 hrs. Please, therefore, take note of the lift closing times displayed at the cable car stations. We are equipped with the RECCO avalanche beacon search devices!
To refill the reservoirs from Kunerbach.
The majority of water needed is created during the spring thaw and is stored in the 2 reservoirs without necessitating the use of pumping mechanisms. The melt water is taken from an area close to the Tuxer Fernerhaus. Likewise, the ponds are filled surplus supplies of natural spring water. The Tuxer Fernerhaus Restaurant drinking water supply is controlled using the snow making facilities, but flows through its’ own designated pipe system.
Storage capacity 70.000 m³
(70 million litres of water)
Storage capacity 22.000 m³
(22 million litres of water)
Summer Revision Work by the Snowmaking Teams
Spend an unforgettable day on the slopes of the Hintertux Glacier while your car charges from a renewable source of energy? 8 charging points and signposted parking spaces in the underground carpark!
The world of ice at the Hintertux glacier is a true miracle of nature, that enchants every visitor to this unique visual backdrop. Most people know that you can even ski and snowboard on the Hintertux glacier during the summer. Many people are probably aware of the fact that snow turns into ice after a certain period. But there are few who actually know what it looks like inside the ice giant.
The snow of yesterday turns into ice and moves within the glacier from the surface area down into the core below. It is there that we find the oldest ice – up to 1,000 years old on the Hintertux glacier. The duration of an ice particle‘s journey from the Firn region to terminus of an alpine glacier depends on the size of the glacier and can range from anything between 100 to 1,000 years! The ice at the Hintertux Glacier is between 500 and 1,000 years old.
The Hintertux glacier is up to 120 m deep in places. The Gefrorene Wand Kees and Großes Riepenkees area covers around 6.3 km². From Gefrorene Wand (3250 m) up to the Tuxer Fernerhaus (2660 m), the glacier is 4.1 km in length. The Hintertux glacier consists of about 190 million cubic metres of ice – in turn corresponds 171 billion litres of water.
Glaciers move at varying speeds depending on the underlying terrain; for example over rocky ridges or around corners. These accelerations in glacier speed cause tension and can initiate a crevasse at or near the glacier‘s surface. The average depth of a crevasse in alpine glaciers is usually about 30 metres.
The existence and survival of glaciers depends long term on a fine balance of sustenance. In the accumulation area more snow remains lying on the ground than actually melts. After about 10 years the compacted crystals of Firn snow turn into watertight ice. The former snow now has a density of approx. 900 kg/m3 and can be termed as glacial ice. In comparison, water has a density of 1,000 kg/m3. Surprisingly, air temperature in summer is not a decisive factor regarding glacial melt – up to two thirds is caused by natural radiation! Rocks ranging in a size of approx. 15 cm and upwards actually protect the glacier from solar rays. Smaller stones are heated up by the sun and sink into the top layer of ice forming cylindrical melt holes, known as cryoconite holes. For this reason it is very important that it snows often in summer on the Hintertux Glacier, so the glacier surface is white and damaging sun rays are reflected.
According to the size of the glacier and climate conditions, alpine glaciers shift between 1 m and 200 m annually. Glaciers in Greenland and the Antarctic can move thousands of metres per year!
Shifts of up to 60 metres per year have been measured at the Hintertux Glacier. 61 supporting struts of our facilities stand on glacial ice. Because of the movement of the glaciers, the locations of these facilities move and have therefore have to be constantly repositioned, sometimes up to three times in a year.