Every January, the world’s fastest skiers take on Kitzbühels’ Streif, a notorious downhill run featuring 85-degree steeps and testing jumps. Once the snow melts, it turns into a 3.8 kilometres hiking path showcasing the race’s famous sections like the Mausefalle and the Hausberg.
It’s one of the toughest ski races in the world, and a highlight of the World Cup circuit. Every January the world’s fastest skiers take on Kitzbühel’s Streif, a notorious downhill run featuring 85-degree steeps and terrifying jumps. But you don’t have to be on skis to enjoy it. Once the snow melts, it turns into a 3.8 kilometres hiking path, highlighting the race’s famous sections along the way.
The best skiers make it down the Streif in less than two minutes, but on foot it takes 2.5 hours to negotiate the 900 metre drop in altitude. It begins at the race’s start house, close to the top of the Hahnenkamm Gondola, with views over the green pastures of the Kitzbühel Alps all the way to the jagged peaks of the Wilder Kaiser region. From there, the hike passes through spots like Mausefalle (mousetrap), an 85-degree jump that tests the nerves of the world’s best skiers and Steilhang, a steep section that has ended many a skier’s World Cup dreams. The Streif hike ends in the valley just after the Hausberg, a jump known for being one of the hardest in skiing.
Each of the sections are marked with racing gates detailing insightful facts about the event and infoscreens along the route show archive footage from races past. By the time you cross the finish line, you’ll have more respect than ever for the skiers who hurtle down the race course in 120 seconds flat.