On sparking skids: The most rewarding toboggan runs in the Olympiaregion
The traditional sport of tobogganing is probably as old as we Tyroleans ourselves. In the past, wooden and horn sledges were often the only means of transport in steep terrain. Today, the winter sledding sport is once again enjoying increasing popularity as a versatile and inexpensive alternative to ski slopes. Also in the Olympiaregion Seefeld, where natural toboggan runs offer connoisseurs and hobby sports(wo)men numerous opportunities to experience the fun-filled snowsport up close. There are plenty of good reasons: Demanding ascents are rewarded with excellent huts and breathtaking views, followed by versatile descents through picturesque mountain landscapes and snow-covered winter forests. We have searched – and found – the most beautiful toboggan runs in the region.
Tyrolean Sleds: Rodl, Rutschblattl & Zipflbob
A perfect tobogganing experience needs reliable equipment, because every alpine sport involves natural dangers. The basic equipment therefore includes helmet, gloves and your favourite hot drink in an insulated flask, but real tobogganing pros will also pack a headlamp, snow chains (for boots) and ski goggles. The choice of the right “hardware” depends on your style and experience: On the practice slope, a small plastic plate (traditionally a “Rutschblattl”) is often enough, with a handle you can already go further down the slope (traditionally a “Zipflbob“), only with the classic “wood buck” or a flat luge you then venture onto one of the beautiful natural toboggan runs in the Olympiaregion.
How to Rodel
Knowing your skills makes sure you stay safe during the ups and downs, respect and caution go without saying on a toboggan run. The ascent takes place on the outer edge of the toboggan run to not disturb both descent and ascent. Where there is no floddlight on the toboggan runs in the evening, we recommend starting early enough, leave in time or turn back if necessary. You can previously practice the correct handling and technique on the two beginner-friendly toboggan hills in Leutasch and Seefeld. The information offices of the Olympiaregion and the snow report provide all information on the current snow situation, opening times of the cabins and possible track closures.
For connoisseurs: Lifting at Katzenkopf
The toboggan run at the Katzenkopf is the only toboggan run in the Olympiaregion that provides a ski lift. If necessary, toboggans can be borrowed free of charge at the valley station, ascent and descent are family- and child-friendly and a stop at the Katzenkopf Hütte is always a delicious recommendation.
Ascent: 40 minutes from the valley station or via lift
Descent: 2.5 kilometres with 12% gradient over 250 metres of altitude
Character: family- and child- friendly
Night runs: Tuesdays from 7 pm to 9:30 pm
For friends and families: Hämmermoosalm
From the last parking spot in the picturesque Gaistal valley, almost all paths lead to the Hämmermoosalm. Depending on which one you choose, the ascent can vary from easy to sporty and takes between 20 and 40 minutes through wild-romantic woodlands. At the charming Hämmermoosalm you can sometimes meet the harp player Albert, the ascent-by-foot can also be done in a horse-drawn sleigh on request.
Argument: Easily accessible, delicious food
Ascent: 20-40 minutes from the car park in the Gaistal or via horse-drawn sleigh
Descent: two kilometres over 167 metres of altitude
Character: perfect for beginners and families
For gourmets: Toboggan run Rauthhütte
The natural toboggan run Rauthhütte is one of the most beautiful and challenging runs in the Olympiaregion Seefeld. The ascent is demanding, the descent racy and the culinary delights at the Rauthhütte are even recommended by the French gourmet guide Gault&Millau. For particularly sociable evenings there are plenty of places to spend the night and pets are also welcome in the traditional parlour with its crackling fireplace.
Argument: recommended by Gault&Millau
Ascent: 80 minutes from the Rauthhütte car park in Moos
Descent: three kilometres over 420 metres in altitude
Character: medium to sporty
For a challenge: Natural toboggan run Wettersteinhütte
The natural toboggan run from the Wettersteinhütte knows it all: Wide hiking trails, narrow forest passages, impressive landscape rides and biting steep sections. However, you have to earn your reward of delicious refreshments and a thrilling winding downhill run, as the ascent might make you sweat. Those who can’t get enough of the view of the Wetterstein mountain range can simply stay overnight in the “Kuschlhitte” (literally: “snuggle cabin”) and enjoy an alpine breakfast in the morning with a breathtaking sunrise at 1717 metres above sea level.
Argument: Kaiserschmarren, spare ribs and blue gentian
Ascent: 100 minutes from the Stupfer car park
Descent: Three kilometres over 577 metres of altitude
Character: sporty and challenging
For summiteers: Reitherjoch Alm
One of the most challenging toboggan runs in the region leads from the car park of the Rosshütte cableways to the picturesque Reitherjoch Alm. The ascent is steep and runs with numerous hairpin bends through sparse woodland until it reaches the rustic stop at the Reitherjoch. With a gradient of 18%, the descent is one of the steepest routes around Seefeld – beginners may therefore prefer to look for easier alternatives.
Argument: nice and fast
Ascent: 60 minutes from the car park of the Rosshütte cableways
Descent: 2.5 kilometres with 18% gradient over 290 metres of altitude difference
For less traffic: Tips without cabins
Also those looking for peace and quiet will find suitable sled stretches in the Olympiaregion: The natural toboggan run on the Mühlberg is a hardly frequented insider tip, also on the toboggan track at the Kreidegraben you hardly ever meet other riders in Scharnitz. And if you are looking for a challenge without competitors, you will find it at the Hoher Sattel. At all these places you are alone with yourself and nature, if you bring your snacks yourself you can relax in the sunshine withouth any hustle and bustle. After a hearty panoramic picnic, you can enjoy the ride down to the fullest. If you like, you may take on another round, or treat yourself to an excellent wellness experience in the Olympiaregion on your way home.
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Fotos: Tessa Mellinger, Johannes Geyer, Robert Maybach, Laura Zobernig