For the “deadliest downhill in the world” head to Kitzbuhel and enjoy the thrills and spills of the 79th Hahnenkamm Races.
First held in 1931, and a fixture of the men’s World Cup since its inception in 1967, the Hahnenkamm is legendary. Taking place over a week, the races include the disciplines of Super-G, downhill and slalom. The course, known as the Streif, is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world. Due to the diversity of its terrain, the Streif is regarded as the ultimate challenge. From high-speed jumps and steep slopes, to flat-out gliding sections, curves, compressions, spectacular bumps and even a short uphill section, the Streif has it all.
After launching out of the start, racers go from 0 to 55 mph in 8.5 seconds, plunging 805 metres of vertical in less than two minutes. The steepest point, known as the Mausefalle, has a gradient of 85 per cent and an 80-metre jump - even the best get injured here. If you clear the Mausefalle then you have to tackle the Steilhang, a narrow steep rock slope with teeth-chattering bumps, where you have to fight against the gravity of the hill not to end up in the netting. To make it to the bottom of the slope you then have to conquer the Zielschuss, a final jump taken at about 85-90 mph - not for the faint-hearted.
Tickets to the races can be purchased at all race entrance points on race days, giving access to the event finish area as well as alongside the entire racecourse. The finish area gives spectactors the opportunity to see the final 35 seconds of the race live as well as keep up to date with all the latest information. There are seven video walls and scoreboards, comprehensive entertainment and numerous food and drink stalls on site. The entire ski area (besides the Streif and Ganslern courses) is open during race week and there is up to 215 km of terrain to explore.
The Hahnenkamm attracts an average of 90,000 people to the former mining town of Kitzbuhel. With inspiring mountain views and a quaint, car-free centre with cobbled streets, Kitzbuhel has developed into a fashionable winter resort. There are several four and five star hotels and a range of luxury chalet and apartment options too. We recommend staying in Chalet Vic, an immaculate ski-in/ski-out chalet with spectacular views and excellent wellness facilities.
The 79th Hahnenkamm Races take place between the 21st and the 27th January 2019.