The Challenge is the longest ski circuit of the Alps with 65 kilometers, 12 400 vertical meters and 32 lifts, which you should do in one day if you want to win the prize. Ok, I’ll give you a minute to take this in. It was our 3rd time (Jure’s 4th time) in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fierbrunn, when we decided to try to do it.
The beauty of this Challenge is, that you’ll visit all the villages in the Skicircus: we started in Saalbach, then skied to Leogang, from there to Fieberbrunn, at the end we admired Hinterglemm, before returning to Saalbach.
This was our (tight) itinerary:
Start in Saalbach
We were a bit late – we started at 8:46 at Schattberg express in Saalbach. When you arrive at the top, the views are really marvelous, especially in sunny weather. The run down is quite long with 7 km, but really rewarding. After that we got on the Schönleiten Bahn and from the top you start the Leogang circuit.
Leogang with our favourite lift
From the top you ski down a very long slope all the way to the bottom and start your way back up and ride one of the most photogenic lifts – The Asitzgipfelbahn. From here you descend to Saalbach take the Bernkogel lift and Reiter-Ost 6er and you are on the way to Fieberbrunn.
Fieberunn: welcome to Tyrol
Fieberunn was connected to the Skicircus a couple of years ago and it made the ski resort one of the biggest in Austria. In Fieberbrunn you’ll also find the only t-bar lift you have to take during the challenge – all the other lifts are chairlifts or gondolas. After Fieberbrunn we continued our journey counter-clockwise (if you look at piste map). Again on top we descended right in the direction of Hinterglemm.
Hinterglemm – last village, I can see the finnish line
For me it was bitter sweet to know that our hotel is soooo near, but we still had to ski all the way to Saalbach to complete the Challenge. Anyway, complaining didn’t help, I’m to stubborn to quit now. When we came to the top of Schattberg West at 15:05, I was relieved. We just had to ski down to the last lift we had to take, which closes at 16:15, and then just casually descend the mountain. This means, we had enough time for food. Finally. I was starving, I was so thirsty I ate some snow on the way. Just a tip for vegetarians and vegans – the Westgipfelhütte had some good food options 😉
We safely arrived at the bottom with sore legs and red cheeks. We just had to collect our prize – beautiful red tin cups perfect for outdoor activities.
Here are 7 tips for you for a better and easier Challenge
1. Start early
It’s a tight schedule, so don’t be late in the morning.
2. Be physically prepared
You will be actively skiing for around 6 hours. Be sure you are well prepared, if you want to walk the next day. 😉
3. Know where you are going
Prepare yourself – study the ski map, make a plan, know which slopes you have to take. Missing one lift or doing extra km could result in not completing the challenge.
4. Bring some snacks
First of all enjoy a proper breakfast. Then pack some protein bars, chocolates or something you’ll get energy from.We waited with our lunchbreak till the bitter end – around 15:00, before taking the last lift and when we were sure, we have enough time, we sat down in a ski hut. If you decide to refuel earlier, don’t take more than 30 minutes.
5. Check opening times
Some lifts open early and some close later. We learned that the ideal starting point of the challenge is Schattbergx-press because it opens early and the Limberg 4er (the last chairlift) closes at 16.15.
6. Weekday is better than weekend
We did the Challenge on a Sunday, which was ok, but I’m sure it would be more comfortable during the week. While planning the right day be informed about winter holidays in Austria – in those 3 weeks the slopes are quite full also during the week.
7. Don’t forget to pick up your prize
Don’t forget to print out your daily statistics (which have to have a check mark on it!) at the Skiline machine and collect the prize at one of the Skicircus ticket offices.
Of course we filmed a Vlog on this day, which you can watch here:
I hope we could motivate and help you for completing The Challenge in the marvelous Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberunn.
As we visit this ski resort almost every year here are a few more information, you might like:
❄ Skicircis for families
❄ Our 10 favourite activities in Skicircus Saalbach Hintergemm Leogang Fieberunn
❄ 356487 reasons you have to visit the Skicircus Saalbach Hintergelmm Leogang Fieberbrunn