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KITZBÜHEL OPENS - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Wednesday October 11, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The first non-glacier resort in the Alps opened on Saturday. It's been snowmaking recently & using stockpiled snow from last winter. UPDATED

 

 

It all got underway on Saturday 14th October.

"We have started 😎 with amazing sunshine and incredibly good slopes! We wish you all a great season 2017/18." said the resort on Facebook.

And this is what it looked like:

Kitzbühel in the Tirol in Austria is a low altitude resort with a reputation for unreliable natural snow, but it's often the first ski area in the Alps with no glacial terrain to open up.

How?

Firstly it makes huge amounts of snow at the end of the season and, along with natural snow left over from the winter, it then stores it under taupalins over the summer months.

It has a state of the art snow making system and a giant operation has been going on in recent weeks to make snow, store it and then lay it out over some slopes.

55 snow guns have been installed in recent years and a huge reservoir was constructed in an €11.65m project.

The piste bashers have laser guided controls to ensure an even spread and that none of the precious white stuff is wasted.

It was quite a sight as preparations were carried out in the run up to the opening.

Kitzbuehel, AustriaKitzbuehel, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitzbuehel, AustriaKitzbuehel, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some though question the point, and the cost, of opening some slopes at Kitzbuhel in the middle of October.

Especially with much of Europe in an unseasonal heatwave.

Here is one comment over on the PlanetSKI facebook page:

"Temperature today 22 degrees, as always Kitzbuhel is wasting their money for a headline."

Some of its highest slopes were able to open for snowsports in October last year and have done so again in 2017.

Kitz-Ski FB postFacebook post, 10th October

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The resort posted this video of the snow on 22nd October 2016 as a teaser:

The Resterkogel/Resterhöhe area is operating at the weekend and hopes to open on a daily basis from 21st October.

And here are the preparations:

Webcam imageWebcam view of preparations, 11th October

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Starting from October 26, 2017, you can also take your first turns in the snow with a view of the Gamsstadt at the Hahnenkamm (in the Walde area)!" it says on its website.

The Austrian ski team often travel to Kitzbühel in the autumn for training camps.

KitzbühelKitzbühel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It comes as the French resort of Les2Alpes announces that there's not enough snow on its glacier to open later this month.

So, where is it best to ski at the moment?

Here is the view of our resident snow expert, Fraser Wilkin, from weathertoski.co.uk:

"In France, the only option for the next few weeks will therefore be Tignes. In Italy, you can currently ski on the glaciers at Val Senales and Passo Stelvio, with Cervinia set to join them (at weekends only) this weekend and next, before opening daily from 28 October. In Switzerland you can ski in Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Engelberg.

However, the best snow conditions are in Austria where all the glaciers are open - Dachstein, Kitzsteinhorn, Stubai, Sölden, Hintertux, Pitztal, Kaunertal and Mölltal. Of these, Hintertux currently offers the greatest extent of skiing, with 35km of pistes served by 14 lifts."

Find out where else to ski at this time of year

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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