Garmisch – Partenkirchen skiing range is spread across the vast Bavarian Alps and stretches all the way into Austria. The ski resort all together makes up 280 km (175 miles) of trails. 30 lifts service the entire area. Full access to the ski resort is granted via the purchase of the ‘Happy ski card.'
Garmisch is considered one of the best resorts in Germany, comparable to ski resorts in the Western US. The resort is comprised of three dominant ski terrains, the Classic area (combination of three mountains Alpspitze, Kreuzeck and Hausberg), the Zugspitze (Germany’s
highest and only glacier ski point) and the Wank area (terrain overlooking Partenkirchen).
The medium-sized, snow-sure skiing areas with long pistes, well-groomed runs, and great glacial slopes make it appealing for beginner and intermediate skiers.
The ski resort features a lot of on-piste areas reserved for intermediate level skiers. Experts usually prefer the challenging terrain on Zugspitze’s glacier which is accessible by the cogwheel train.
Although Garmisch is mostly preferred by skiers, there are a lot of options for snowboarders too. There are a lot of snowparks and freestyle terrain around the Zugspitze area that can provide great opportunities for freestyle enthusiasts.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Skiable Terrain for Beginners
The resort has a variety of well-maintained, accessible to moderate skiing slopes which are perfect families and novice skiers. Draglifts which starts from the exit point of the train and cable cars helps nervous newbies get acquainted with the area.
The Hausberg area provides a large number of blue pistes that are served by a quad chair and a handful of surface lifts. The summit station also has a dedicated ski area for kids. Some pistes are located higher up the mountains with dedicated lifts too but may involve running red pistes.
Heaven for Intermediate Skiing
Intermediate skiers love Garmisch. Most of the slopes are located in the Classic Area. This ski area is 4,265 ft. (1300 m) from the uppermost of the Alpspitzbahn towards the base.
The Classic area’s long pistes span through immense vertical drops, branding the resort as a must-go for intermediates. The Zugspitze area’s above-treeline glacier sprints are not to be missed on sunny days.
Three former downhill runs (Olympia, Kochelberg, and Tonihutte) all offer a 600m continuous drop. The Olympia run hosted the 1936 Olympic downhill. In addition to this, is the famous Bernadine’s run. Enabled by its own surface lift, this run pushes through a narrow opening in the mountain leading to an extensive piste between two huge rockfaces.
The Zugspitze range is an intermediate's heaven. The glacier has 16km of calm, open skiing. The ranges are a bit on the easier side of the red scale, and determined beginners will find them within their comfort zone. There are no highly complex runs on the glacier, so intermediates can discover the whole mountain without getting into serious trouble.
When taking the Zugspitzebahn through the mountain to the summit, make sure to check out if Riffelriss run is open. The Riffelriss run takes you back to Eibsee train station. Something which is missed by many.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Skiable Terrain for Experts
Even though the majority of the pistes in the resorts are for intermediates there are some exhilarating runs advanced skiers can try out too.
Long runs, like the Kandahar downhill course leading to the valley, will surely challenge most experts. Experienced skiers can also venture to the Kreuzeck slopes or the Alpspitz’ higher area and discover some off-piste runs.