Zeller See and Schwarzsee
The valleys of the Kitzbühel Alps embrace two very charming lakes - the little Schwarzsee (779m/2,556ft), enchantingly situated below the cliffs of the Kaisergebirge, and the Zeller See (750m/2,460ft), one of the most beautiful lakes in the Salzburg Alps, with the glaciers of the Hohe Tauern mirrored in its waters.
The Zeller See lies to the north of the Grossglockner in the Middle Pinzgau, surrounded by commanding peaks. The lake is 4km/2.5mi long, 1.5km/ 1mi wide and up to 69m/225ft deep; the temperature of the water in summer can be as high as 20 deg C/68 deg F. Around the lake and in the little towns and villages reaching up into the valleys are facilities for a variety of sports. The well-equipped resorts of Zell am See, Saalbach and Kaprun have combined to form the "Europa Sport Region", linking the interests of advertising, public services, planning and transport. As well as providing facilities for winter and water sports, riding, tennis, golf and ice skating enthusiasts are also well catered for. In Zell am See there is a gliding school as well as four ski schools.
Above Zell to the west rears the Schmittenhöhe (1,965m/6,447ft), easily accessible by cableway; on foot the climb takes some 3.5 hours. The Schmittelhöhe is one of the finest lookout points in the Kitzbühel Alps; to the south can be seen the Grossglockner (with the reservoirs in the Kapruner Tal in front of it) and the Grossvenediger, to the north the Calcareous Alps from the Kaisergebirge to the Dachstein. Near the upper station of the cableway stand a hotel and St Elisabeth's Chapel. A beautiful ridge path leads in 45minutes to the Sonnkogel (1,856m/6,090ft), from which there is a chairlift down to the Sonnenalm (1,382m/4,534ft) and from there a cableway to Zell.
The Schmittenhöhe is the starting point of the Pinzgau Walk (Pinzgauer Spaziergang), a six to seven hours' walk at an altitude of about 2,000m/6,500ft without any noticeable gradients and with superb views all the way, ending at the upper station of the Schattbergbahn above Saalbach.
To the east of Thumersbach looms the Hundstein (2,117m/6,946ft; Statzerhaus, accommodation), with beautiful panoramic views and good skiing country. The climb by way of the Rupertihaus (1,654m/5,427ft; privately owned) takes about four hours.
To the north of the Zeller See the Glemmtal, through which flows the upper Saalach, turns westward. This is an excellent skiing area, with many ski lifts and mountain huts, and it is also popular with walkers in summer.
The chief settlement in the Glemmtal is the well known skiing village of Saalbach (1,003m/ 3,291ft). A cableway ascends to the eastern summit of the Schattberg (2,021m/6,631ft) and a chair lift to the western summit (2,095m/6,874ft); in addition there are chairlifts to the Kohlmaiskopf (1,794m/5,886ft) and the Bernkogel (upper stations 1,224m/4,016ft and 1,389m/4,557ft). A ski lift provides a link between Saalbach and Leogang, near Saalfelden.
Saalbach (Hinterglemm - Skiing)
These twin villages are known not only for the great skiing but for the raucous, fun-loving après-ski activities as well. As host of the 1991 World Championships and host of various World Cup races, this area features some 60 lifts serving a wide range of terrain, much of it perfect for the intermediate skier. The 200km of trails are designed to form a ski circus with skiing on both sides of the long valley in which the twin villages are located.