Welcome to the Ski Germany page, providing a regular round-up of the skiing conditions and current snow reports for the main ski resorts in the country. Over recent years some of the best piste and off-piste powder conditions in Germany have been reported at Oberstdorf-Fellhorn and Garmisch-Partenkirchen-Zugspitze although of course during any given week the best slope conditions may be found at any of the country’s resorts. Check out the reports below if you are planning a trip at short notice.
Germany is one of the world’s leading ski nations with more than 500 ski areas spread right across the country, and an even larger number of individual ski lift operating companies.
Of course most of these ski centres are small village drag lifts but the range of German ski resorts goes right up to international destination resorts like Oberstdorf and Garmisch Partenkirchen (Garmisch-Partenkirchen-Zugspitze), the latter a former winter Olympic ski resort and more recently host to the 2011 Alpine Skiing World Championships.
Its ski area includes the Zugspitz, Germany’s highest peak with skiing and boarding up to 2,830m. The glacier on the top has been a summer skiing and boarding venue in the past but stopped operating outside the regular winter season a few years ago. However it remains snowsure and in January 2012 reported the biggest snowfall of any resort in the world with 2.4m (eight feet) of snow falling in a week there.
With Garmisch itself down at 720m there appears to be a fairly impressive 2100m vertical between the top of the lifts and the resort but in fact the two are separated by some kilometres of funicular train track and a couple of unskiable precipices on the way back down. An area lift pass includes the local ski area and several others over the border in Austria.
However Gamisch is one of about a dozen German ski areas that can offer a lift served vertical of more than 1,000m alongside famous names like Reit im Winkl, Grainau, Mittenwald/Dammkar and Berchtesgaden.
Many of Germany’s biggest and best known ski areas are in the Bavarian Alps along the country’s southern border, but smaller hills are located all over the country including in the former east Germany and with many in the Black Forest.
In the north west of the country the Winterberg ski region up close to the border with the Netherlands brings together more than a dozen separate ski areas which are very popular at weekends with up to 50,000 visiting Dutch skiers and boarders, as well as Germans from Cologne 140km away, who throng the slopes which are floodlit to 10pm, despite sometimes marginal snow cover, and the bars and night clubs later on.
Germany has one of the largest populations of skiers in the world with at least 12 million German skiers, many of them filling resorts in Austria and Switzerland as well as their domestic ski areas. Cross country skiing, biathlon and ski jumping are also very popular in Germany.
The country is also a claimant to being the probable location of the world’s first dedicated ski lift, created in the Black Forest in the 1890s and using green energy – a watermill – to pull a sledge up a slope that skiing pioneers could ride up on.
In the modern era Germany is famous for its indoor snow centres, of which there are now six, including some of the world’s largest. One is home to the world’s biggest conveyor type lift at over 400m long, to get skiers and boarders back up the hill indoors.
Germany: latest snow conditions round-up
GERMANY The sole featured German resort still open is Oberstdorf (0cm/190cm). There is limited skiing with only 5/48 spinning. Spring conditions were certainly visible with more and more snow melting and temperatures potentially reaching +12C.
Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Germany.