Man and machine working at full throttle
First day of "all systems go" on the Hahnenkamm, especially for the five snow grooming machines, with plenty of fresh snow from the weekend needing to be processed. The weather forecast for the next few days appears favourable for preparatory operations.
Sunday’s tranquil scenes on the snow-covered Hahnenkamm are now a thing of the past, as grooming operations for the Downhill events on 19th and 20th January revved up intensively on Monday morning on Kitzbühel’s local mountain. Man and machine have been working at full throttle on the Streif, as it snowed again on Monday night – with up to 30 centimetres of fresh snow falling in the start zone.
"The snowfall we received at the weekend was great", says Mario Mittermayer-Weinhandl, "especially in the crash zones", explains the Chief of Race. Five piste machines from Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel were in action to either remove fresh snow from the course, or work it into the hill by adding water: "There is always a lot of air in fresh snow and we need a compact and hard slope for the races, which is why we employ the use of water," says Mario Mittermayer-Weinhandl, describing the process. Low temperatures forecast for the next few days will also help ensure ideal snow coverage in time for the first training session (at the latest).
On Monday, piste groomers focussed their operations on the Start Slope, Steilhang, Alten Schneise and two (working sometimes in spectacular parallel style) on the Hausbergkante and Traverse sections. While expert precision is required of the pilots in their cockpits, no less is demanded of the safety team working in the open air at minus 10 degrees, who painstakingly attach safety nets, fences and sliding tarpaulins by hand.
Those who haven’t yet purchased tickets for the two Downhill events and Slalom can access the webshop here. Admission is free on training days. Similar to 2023, tickets will only be available for purchase online.