Soelden: The ski resort with a James Bond museum

Skiing's World Cup racing circuit kicks off in the Austrian resort of Soelden this weekend, and there is mor...

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 9:05 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2018 9:05 PM

Skiing's World Cup racing circuit kicks off in the Austrian resort of Soelden this weekend, and there is more to this Tyrol treasure than timing gates and skin-tight lycra.

Soelden, which offers some of the highest skiing in Europe and was used as a location for the James Bond movie "Spectre," lies at the southern end of the Otztal valley, famous for the discovery of "Otzi," the 3300 B.C. mummy found frozen in ice in 1991.

Arts and entertainment

Austria

Environment and natural resources

Europe

Glaciers and icebergs

Landforms and ecosystems

Movies

Snow skiing

Sports and recreation

Western Europe

FIS Alpine Ski World Cup

Sports events

Destinations and attractions

Endurance sports

Museums and galleries

Running and jogging

Points of interest

READ: Vonn's historic quest, Shiffrin's time to shine?

READ: American great Lindsey Vonn to retire

Early-season skiing, including the men's and women's World Cup-opening giant slalom events, takes place on the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glaciers above the traditional village on October 27 and 28.

Here's what you need to know about Soelden:

The ski area

Soelden, which lies about 80 kilometers from Innsbruck, is home to 144 kilometers of slopes stretching from 1,350 meters up to the twin glaciers at a high point of 3,250 meters.

Tiefenbach glacier features broad, gently rolling slopes, while Rettenbach, which has been home to the World Cup circuit since the 2000-2001 season, has more challenging terrain. The glaciers are connected by both lifts and the Rosi Mittermeier road tunnel -- the highest road tunnel in Europe which is named after the famous German skier.

Soelden's 420 hectares of groomed runs cater mainly for beginners and intermediates with 20% designated advanced terrain, although there are myriad off-piste options on the Gaislachkogl mountain.

Skiers and snowboarders with strong legs and lungs can walk an extra 20 minutes above the Schwarze Schneid II gondola up Rettenbach to access the Schwarze Schneid viewing platform at 3,340 meters.

The reward is spectacular 360-degree vistas from the Dolomites in the south to the nearby Wildspitze -- at 3,770 meters the second highest mountain in Austria -- and the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, in the north.

From here, the longest run in the region is a leg-jellying 15 kilometer, 2,000-meter descent back down to Gaislachkogl.

The resort features 31 lifts in all, including the state-of-the-art Giggijoch 10-person gondola which is capable of transporting 4500 persons per hour from the base area up to 2,284 meters.

The well-known Obergurgl resort, which sits at the end of the valley, offers joint lift tickets with Soelden.

Other attractions

Adventurous skiers and boarders can tackle the Big 3 circuit, a 50-kilometer trail taking in three peaks higher than 3,000 meters -- the only resort in Austria where this is possible.

The four-hour-plus route ticks off the Gaislachkogl (3,058 m), Tiefenbachkogl (3,250 m) and Schwarze Schneide (3,340 m).

The new James Bond museum at the Gaislachkogl summit tells the immersive story of the making of the 007 films in a cutting-edge installation. The rooftop terrace is connected to Gaislachkogl peak by a suspension bridge which accesses a platform 20 meters above the glacier snout.

Above the Tiefenbach glacier, a 15-meter pyramid stands sentinel over a steel and glass footbridge which extends 20 meters over a gaping abyss with the glacier far below. It offers up-close views of the Wildspitze.

Restaurants and entertainment

There are about 30 huts and mountain restaurants dotted around the ski area, with some of the highlights including the contemporary glass-fronted Ice Q at the top of Gaislachkogl, the rustic Gampe Thaya, and the sunny Heidealm.

In the town, Restaurant Corso receives good reviews on TripAdvisor, while there are fine-dining options at places such as Hotel Bergland and Ötztaler Stube.

Soelden is a lively apres-ski spot with the party starting on the mountain -- possibly at Eugen's Obstlerhütte on Giggijoch or at Bubi's Schihütte on Gaislachkogl -- before moving onto numerous bars in town, such as Schirm Bar and Fire and Ice.

READ: Mikaela Shiffrin: Training an Olympic champion

Off the slopes

The Freizeit leisure center features a landscaped indoor swimming pool with gym, wellness center and sports halls.

Visit CNN.com.skiiing for more news, features and video

Soelden also boasts the Aqua Dome thermal spa center, an ice rink and a five-kilometer floodlit natural toboggan run.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 297321

Reported Deaths: 6805
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19814231
Hinds18949395
Harrison16886282
Rankin12842265
Jackson12750234
Lee9720163
Madison9516204
Jones8035148
Forrest7289138
Lauderdale6872228
Lowndes6061140
Lamar593381
Lafayette5767114
Washington5232130
Bolivar4630124
Oktibbeha443095
Panola433698
Pearl River4212132
Warren4144115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall405995
Monroe3996129
Union397174
Neshoba3848171
Lincoln3624104
Hancock352978
Leflore3400121
Sunflower320986
Tate303974
Pike302697
Scott296171
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292066
Itawamba290675
Coahoma283069
Tippah280065
Copiah279959
Simpson277581
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255641
Leake254172
Covington250280
Grenada248878
Adams235778
George232745
Newton232753
Winston222179
Jasper214145
Tishomingo213266
Attala206971
Chickasaw201954
Holmes182870
Clay179452
Stone173429
Tallahatchie171739
Clarke170773
Calhoun158628
Smith153833
Yalobusha145736
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123235
Lawrence121421
Carroll119425
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99824
Claiborne99030
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91423
Quitman77514
Franklin76420
Choctaw70117
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499411

Reported Deaths: 10149
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719951403
Mobile36396741
Madison32674469
Tuscaloosa24391423
Montgomery22789523
Shelby22250219
Baldwin19915289
Lee15070161
Calhoun13961296
Morgan13785255
Etowah13413327
Marshall11458215
Houston10121264
Elmore9509190
Limestone9435139
St. Clair9050228
Cullman8993183
Lauderdale8628214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7643165
Walker6600260
Jackson6551104
Autauga634492
Blount6252128
Colbert6007121
Coffee5261104
Dale4680107
Russell407534
Franklin400779
Covington3996107
Chilton3911104
Escambia379473
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3428142
Pike292973
Marion288796
Lawrence285787
Winston258568
Bibb246058
Marengo244657
Geneva240270
Pickens225757
Barbour213851
Hale212569
Fayette202657
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165141
Washington157036
Macon147845
Crenshaw146755
Clay146254
Cleburne140141
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123225
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter100832
Coosa90324
Greene88732
Choctaw55723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 64°
Columbus
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 62°
Oxford
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 63°
Starkville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 61°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather