Visitor reviews for Speikboden Ski Resort
Ski Resort Rating: Rate Speikboden
January 12, 2012
Rob Davies from United Kingdom
Speikboden is a medium-sized resort in the Italian Tirol, located close to the border with Italy. It's on the same lift pass as Klausberg, a similar resort located about 30 minutes further up the valley. A frequent free ski bus links the two resorts. If you are here for more than a day or two, you will certainly want to ski both areas.
Like neighbouring Klausberg, Speikboden is an efficiently run place served by 4 modern chairs and 2 cable cars. It's marginally the bigger of the two ski areas, and being located closer to the main highway, more popular. There is no doubt the infrastructure can cope with the demand of even the busiest days so you are unlikely to experience lengthy queues here.
Most of the skiing is above the top of the first cable car. Another cable car and four chairs access a very wide east-facing basin that straddles the tree-line. A reasonable mix of pistes in this basin are all a bit steep for beginners and a bit too gentle for experts so this is primarily intermediate skier terrain.
The view from the top of the highest chair, looking south towards the Dolomites is very impressive and many 3000+ peaks of the Tirol are close at hand. Indeed, the whole setting and mood is typically Tirolean; much more Austria than Italy.
Off-piste skiing is very good, and much more challenging than the pistes. We were pleasantly surprised to find that some of the best lines had not been skied out three days after snowfall and the elevation and aspect had preserved the snow quality better than at Klausberg. There are any number of routes through trees, including all the large patches of woodland in the main basin. The stand-out areas were the boulder field below the far west chair, which after a deep cover of fresh had been transformed into a playground of jumps and challenges, and the far western basin, accessed by a slightly windswept and rocky traverse from just below the top chair at 2400m.
This quiet area provides a number of steep to very steep bowls and gulleys that all converge on a narrow trail that contours back to the main ski-area, passing an excellent rustic mountain restaurant that sees very few visitors compared to the much bigger eateries in the main basin. In January, it's sunny here too - well worth the effort.
Other off-piste possibilities are to skiers left of the top chair, but these were skied out by the time we go there. Far too conspicuous to go ignored for long. Last, at the back of the main basin, a large and fairly gentle off-piste area is accessed by a traverse on skiers right. Again, untracked three-days after snow.
The long run back to the valley, and the toboggan track variation, are typical Z-tracks with a chances to skip bends and explore steeper off-piste variations, either in the woods or under the cable car. Taking a run all the way from top to bottom covers about 1.5km of vertical and the lifts should get you back at the top within 20 minutes.
All in all, a very nice ski area to spend a day or two or combine with Klausberg for a varied and enjoyable week.
The weather pattern here is much closer to that experienced by the nearby famous Austrian glacier resort, Hintertux, than the Dolomites, which means that Speikboden and Klausberg sees the same northerly/northwesterly snow that generally misses resorts further south, but lighter here than in Austria.