Positive Snow Control on the Streif and Ganslern Slopes
Snow conditions on the Streif and Ganslern slopes are excellent, with yet more forecast to fall over the coming days. Two weeks before the first Downhill, everything is set for a successful execution of the 84th Hahnenkamm Races.
The FIS snow control on Friday on the Streif and Ganslern racecourses proved to be a very pleasing event. FIS Race Director Hannes Trinkl was delighted with the condition of the two racecourses, meaning that nothing now stands in the way of the Downhill races on 19th and 20th January, or the Slalom on 21st January. “We have excellent snow coverage - also in terms of breadth. The preparatory work is sensational - thanks to Bergbahn Kitzbühel, the entire Organising Committee and all staff,” said a delighted Hannes Trinkl, adding: "According to forecasts, Mother Nature is going to deliver yet more snow very soon."
The positive snow control was a source of joy and affirmation for Anton Bodner, CEO of Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel Cable Car Co.: "We always strive to do everything we can to make the Hahnenkamm Races a memorable experience. This year, the early onset of winter helped us a lot and we were able to start work on the Streif and Ganslern very early," said Anton Bodner at the press conference in the Red Bull Zielhaus. Bergbahn Kitzbühel produced a total of 200,000 cubic metres of artificial snow in the Streif area (together with the parallel Family Streif): "Conditions at the beginning of December were excellent, as is our team," he said in glowing praise of his staff. From Monday, five snow groomers will be in operation on the racecourses.
"The drivers of the piste machines are true masters of their craft. You would be hard pressed to find others with similar prowess throughout Central Europe," eulogised OC Chief, Michael Huber. Only the most experienced pilots work on the steep key sections such as the Traverse or Mausefalle, and the Bergbahn Cable Car Co. has seven such specialists. Michael Huber was very relaxed about the FIS snow control this year before it even happened: "Because I knew we’d already had a great start to the winter. Now the green light has been given, my overriding feeling is one of happiness.”
On average, the snow depth on the racecourses is some 80 centimetres. If the amount of snow forecast actually falls, it will be worked into the slope or swept to the side where necessary.
But it's not just the weather forecast that gives the Organisers cause for optimism, ticket sales are also positive: "We are very satisfied, 25,000 tickets have been sold so far," said Michael Huber. VIP tickets for Saturday are already sold out, while a limited number of tickets are still available for Friday and Sunday.
Once again this year, tickets for the general standing area are available exclusively via the web shop. There will be no on site ticket sales. Children (born 2010 and younger) enjoy free entry, the youth ticket costs € 15, while adults pay € 30 (Friday and Sunday) or € 35 (Saturday). Kitzbühel Ski Club members receive free admission on all race days, upon presentation of their current membership card.
And what does OC Chief Michael Huber wish for over the next two weeks? "I'd like beautiful powder snow now, followed by cold temperatures and sunshine during Race Week."
Photo © K.S.C./alpinguin