Kitzbühel readies for Hahnenkamm

10th January 2018, by Abi Butcher

Fans at the Hahnenkamm ski races. Pic: Michael Werlberger

Fans at the Hahnenkamm ski races. Pic: Michael Werlberger

The Austrian ski resort of Kitzbühel is counting down until the start of its famous Hahnenkamm downhill races — which start next week.

This year will be the 78th time the Hahnenkamm — probably the most famous ski race in the world — has taken place on the Streif downhill. The races take place from 14-21 January, and Britain’s Dave Ryding, who last January scored a second place Kitzbühel Slalom World Cup — the highest Alpine skiing World Cup finish by any Brit, in any discipline, for 35 years — is hoping to repeat the feat, or to better it.

Ryding, who is headed to next month’s Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, has started 2018 strongly. He finished fourth at a City Event in Oslo on New Year’s Day, then finished seventh in Zagreb, Croatia later that week. At last weekend’s World Cup event in Adelboden Ryding finished 12th.

The Hahnenkamm Super G is on Friday 19 January, the Hahnenkamm downhill on Saturday 20 January and the Hahnenkamm Slalom on Sunday 21 January (click here for the full programme). The Streif downhill is known as the most challenging race on the World Cup circuit. Outside of the race weekend, the run is open to the public for the rest of the season and used for hiking in summer.

While it’s nearly 80 years since the first Hahnenkamm, Kitzbühel itself is steeped in history — with another milestone to be celebrated later this season. 15 March 2018 marks 125 years to the day since Franz Reisch skied down the Kitzbüheler Horn, the first ever ski descent from the Kitzbüheler Horn. His experiences were published in the first issue of the magazine “The Snowshoe” in November 1893, which is thought to have been the trigger for the development of the Alpine town into a Mecca of skiing. In 1895 the first apartments were leased to skiers and hotels opened, and the first commercial ski lessons started. In 1902 the famous Kitzbühel Ski Club (KSC) was established, which organizes the Hahnenkamm races.

A six-day lift pass costs from €213 per adult and €106 per child. To book your visit to Kitzbühel this winter, visit

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