The renowned Styrian piste quality seal, also known as the “Oscar of cable car companies”, was awarded on November 14, 2023 in the “aiola upstairs” on Graz Schloßberg. Section chairman Fabrice Girardoni congratulated this year's winners for their commitment to the highest quality, safety on the mountain and investments in infrastructure and sustainability. A total of 14 ski areas were honored with this coveted award, including two first-time winners and a number of established and popular “old hands” who regularly undergo strict follow-up reviews.
For the first time, the Schöder ski lift community is among the winners, bringing together a team of 50 people around chairman Philipp Stolz. This year we are starting the 4th season with the new team. With its dedicated “children’s lift” and the popular ski courses, it has dedicated itself entirely to the “little ones”. It starts with a free ski day on December 24th. The skiing fun continues until the end of the semester break. And there is a lot for the young guests to experience, because the infrastructure has been brought into shape: the snow groomer is new and has its own shelter, the water supply for snowmaking has been expanded, and the power supply is secured. The Kassenhütterl and the Lifthütterl are currently being completely renovated. The lift has been around since 1974 – and everything is going very well, according to the chairman.
The Rieseralm Obdach is also a newcomer. In the family ski area, winter fun for young and old awaits right on your doorstep, including family slopes, mogul slopes and forest paths. The Seetal Alps invite you to ski touring. But snowshoeing, winter hiking and tobogganing are also on the program, if you don't have to have “two boards”. These include “uphill tobogganing”, the Rieseralm children’s area with a button lift, a training slope and the snow-making system. Five drag lifts take guests up the mountain, with a total of 12 kilometers of slopes waiting.
The Obdach ski lift has been awarded for the second time, where a drag lift and two completely snow-covered slopes with around 2.8 kilometers of slopes await guests. Everyone really gets their money's worth here: there is a ski school on site, young and old enjoy variety with jumps and hills. And for the professionals there is a closed training slope, FIS homologated, and designed to be safe for everyone who wants to take part. The optimal infrastructure was also convincing: the valley station is in the middle of town, there is a large parking lot, restaurants at the valley station, and all of this within short distances. In Obdach you don't just learn to ski - you can also meet one or two professionals!
The Kaiserau ski area can also be happy about its second award. The small but beautiful ski area on the beautiful high plateau of the Kaiserau, with its three lifts and magic carpets, offers ideal conditions for learning to ski or snowboard - or for a spontaneous ski holiday for a few hours. The Admont ski shuttle is available to every ski guest and is free for season ticket holders. For cross-country skiing fans, there is an extensive and idyllic cross-country ski trail area around Kaiserau Castle. Anyone who wants to learn to ski has come to the right place in the Kaiserau ski area: whether it's the first attempts at skiing or snowboarding for beginners, technique lessons to improve carving turns or enjoying deep snow off the piste: the Gesäuse ski school offers the best conditions for that safe, playful and quick learning success.
The Kreischberg / Murau is included in the piste quality seal for the 6th time. You can enjoy carving and boarding on the World Cup mountain and the ski area is undoubtedly one of the trendiest in the region. It impresses with its wide, well-maintained slopes over 42 km, from 860 to 2,120 meters above sea level. The popular Kreischberg “extras” include the speed track with speed measurement, the permanent race track, the tubing arena and the Kreischberg snow park. 13 cable cars and lifts ensure a comfortable climb, the hit being the new Kreischberg 10-person gondola. The high-altitude cross-country ski trail at 1,800 meters above sea level and three winter hiking trails between 1,600 and 2,000 meters above sea level provide additional winter experiences.
The family ski mountain St. Jakob im Walde, this year for the third time, has been in operation since 1961. With 6 slopes over around 4 kilometers, two drag lifts, a button lift and a practice lift, the ski resort specializes in families with children. Highlights include night skiing and uphill tobogganing. A drive-through toilet has been installed for little racers.
The Turracher Höhe mountain railways are also included in the piste quality seal for the third time. Opened in 1975, the ski area has a total of 43 kilometers of slopes. The new 6-seater chairlift “Wildkopfbahn” will open in December 2024. On the Turracher Höhe, people are particularly proud of the excellent gastronomy and hotel industry. And the attractions are impressive: the piste butler, kids slope, fun slope, fun cross and fun park are waiting for the guests. In the future, we want to rely even more on renewable energy and expand photovoltaics. Separate quarters for employees are also being planned.
The Brunnalm - Hohe Veitsch ski area, awarded for the third time, offers 18 perfectly groomed slopes with a length of over 12 km, a 4-person panoramic chair lift, three drag lifts (Sonnkogel lift, Brunnalm lift, Mulden lift), the Gams magic carpet and the Mugl Magic carpet. Since last winter, guests have been able to look forward to the new valley gastronomy “Die Gams” with a spacious panoramic terrace. The checkout area including the medical room is also new. There is also the mountain rescue center, the ski school and the ski rental - everything is of course barrier-free and connected to an elevator.
Fog-free panoramic views of Ausseerland and the Dachstein Glacier can be enjoyed in the Loser ski area in Altaussee. And of course that's not all: 34 kilometers of slopes at an altitude of 1,000 meters attract primarily families and second home owners. The 7 km long, prepared panoramic road is prepared as a family run and is also ideal for tourers and winter hikers who want to enjoy the run with their toboggans. Guests without winter equipment can access the Loser for winter fun using selected lifts. A new winter hiking trail invites hikers and snowshoe fans to take panoramic excursions into the snow-covered area of the Loser high plateau.
The Riesneralm, often referred to as an “insider tip”, has been awarded for the sixth time. The 1. “Austrian children’s ski area” includes 32 kilometers of slopes, 4 valley runs and extensive freeride terrain. This means that every family member gets their money’s worth! This year the terrain of the “Ski Movie” race track has been improved, making it a real highlight for hobby racing enthusiasts. In addition, the Riesneralm is ecologically “on track” and relies on 100% electricity from its own hydroelectric power generation.
The Reiteralm, a top destination in the 4-mountain ski area Schladming and a training mountain for international ski teams, is one of the “veterans” of the Styrian piste quality seal. Already awarded seven times, the Reiteralm offers 32 kilometers of groomed slopes with 15 lifts, long and wide runs and guaranteed snow all season long, as all slopes can be snowed. The sunny Reiteralm children's area at the Silver Jet mountain station, the Speed-Check shooting range, the Crosspark Reiteralm, where you follow in the footsteps of the ski cross professionals, the Skiline Photopoint at the highest viewing point and the "Cool- Running”, a permanent race track with time measurement. The Reiteralm is popular with sporty ski fans as well as recreational skiers. The Schoberbahn 6-seater chairlift is brand new and is perfect for children and families. The offer is rounded off by the excellent ski hut cuisine, from modern to rustic. And of course by looking at the triumvirate of the Dachstein massif.
Among the “old hands” this year is the Hohentauern ski area, which has also been awarded for the 7th time and has been particularly popular with families since 1949. With its 11 kilometers of perfectly groomed slopes and a total of 30 hectares of slopes, everyone from beginners to experienced professionals can have fun there. Thanks to the snowmaking systems - the snowmaking pond was recently significantly enlarged - the ski area offers top snow security from the valley station (1,250 m) to the middle station (1,550 m).
With this year's 7th award, the Präbichl ski arena is a real favorite among the ski areas. Experienced and inexperienced skiers and deep snow fans alike will get their money's worth there. And parents can take turns in the snow with their little ones comfortably and without worry. For advanced skiers there are good grip conditions on the well-prepared carving slopes. There is also a constantly growing children's ski area at Präbichl, which is already one of the largest in Styria. In the spacious children's area with magic carpets and a ski carousel, you can learn to ski with ease.
Quality and sustainability for winter sports
Fabrice Girardoni, chairman of the Styrian cable car companies, emphasized the versatility and attractiveness of Styria as a winter sports destination, which impresses with its quality, diversity and consistently high standards in the area of safety. “With the numerous awards, Styria shows itself to be a diverse and high-quality winter sports country that focuses even more on sustainability, for example through renewable electricity production,” says Girardoni. He thanked State Councilor for Economic Affairs and Tourism Barbara Eibinger-Miedl for continuing the quality offensive, which enables small and medium-sized ski areas in particular to make necessary infrastructure improvements, for example in the areas of energy efficiency and sustainability.
State Tourism Councilor Barbara Eibinger-Miedl underlined the importance of Styria as a traditional winter sports destination and praised the variety and quality of the offerings offered to locals and guests from home and abroad. The Styrian Slope Quality Seal is a visible sign of this quality and diversity, and she warmly congratulated all the award-winning ski areas.