Austria is home to more than 800 glaciers but at present skiing is possible on only 8 of them. Of these, the Hintertuxer Glacier has the largest summer ski area - the glacier there is the only one in Austria which is open 365 days a year and offers skiing and boarding throughout all of the summer months. All the other glacier ski resorts close at some point in May, June or July and then open again for skiing in September or October. Of these other areas, Solden is extremely well known, with two glaciers - the Rettenbach and the Tiefenbach. It's also become the traditional location for the opening world cup ski race of the season thanks to it's good early season snow record.
One of the lesser known summer ski areas amongst British skiers, the Kaunertaler Valley's summer ski area was developed on the glacier below the peak of WeiBseespitze back in 1980. You can drive right up the 29 bends of the famous Kaunertaler Glacier Road from the village of Feichten to the car park at a height of 2750m and then take one of the 9 different lifts into the glaciated ski area. Located in the Tyrol in western Austria, the nearest resorts to the glacier are Fendels, Serfaus and Fiss, all approximately an hour away from Innsbruck.
Austria's largest summer ski area is found above the Tyrolean village of Hinterux, in the Tuxert valley. A gondola from the village provides access up to the glacier, which features over 20 lifts and has access to 15km of pistes even in the height of summer (this rises to 50km in spring and autumn, and up to 200km in mid-winter). A top altitude of 3250m can be reached from the highest lift.
Hintertux is one of Europe's top summer ski destinations, and the glacier itself provides much greater variety than many of it's Alpine rivals, with pride of place going to one of the steepest glacial areas in Europe - Gefrorene Wand (German for 'Frozen Wall'). Hintertux is also the only ski resort in Austria which is open 365 days a year and offers skiing throughout all of the summer months. All of Austria's other glacier ski resorts close in either May, June or July and then open again for skiing in September or October.
Summer skiing is available on two glaciers in the surrounding peaks - the Rettenbach Glacier and the Tiefenbach Glacier. The Rettenbach has slopes from 3250m down to 2675m whilst the Tiefenbach has slightly less vertical, going from 3249m down to 2795m. The two glaciers are linked by a ski tunnel that can give access from the Rettenbach to the Tiefenbach whilst there are 10 ski lifts to move everyone around, made up of 5 T-bars, 2 chairlifts and 3 gondolas. The ski area on the Tiefenbach Glacier had quite gentle and wide slopes, making it ideal for beginners, whilst the Rettenbach is more suitable for advanced skiers and is home to the FIS World Cup race that normally kicks the season off in late October. The two glaciers provide a total of just under 37 km of slopes, 27km of blues, 6km of reds and 4km of blacks.