Mayrhofen is all about keeping a balance - and yet there are some aspects of the ski resort that do not fare as expected. Beginners are not served that well, regardless of the great tuition on offer: blue runs on the primary Penken ski area are only a few and far between, while those on the Ahorn face are neglected because of their inaccessibility. And while seasoned skiers will get more than their fair share of fresh powder off-piste, those searching a complete collection of black runs better look elsewhere.
Perhaps the biggest gripe refers to accessibility: Mayrhofen has no prescribed runs back into the ski resort. Its piste network is entirely above the treeline, and while this makes for snow conditions that are generally excellent, it also leads to late-afternoon crowds as punters jostle to take the last lifts going down. The pros dominate the cons for intermediate riders. The lift areas are extensive; connected with the Rastkogel arena (which also connects to the Eggalm zone), they're also larger than ever, and there's always the recurrent snow of the Hintertux Glacier hovering in the distance when local conditions are poor.
The main ski area in Mayrhofen is the Penken (630m-2,095m), which is always crowded in peak times (lines of up to 45 minutes are normal; to avoid the crush, ride the bus to either Finkenberg or Hippach, both of which have gondolas that take you to Penken). A network of mostly red runs weave their way back from Penken toward the valley, lending you some stunning scenery as they go. There's also a nice black plus some good reds going back to the midway point of the Finkenberg gondola; the runs are longer all throughout, although the same can also be said about the queues getting back up.
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