The winter season proper has not even started, but high altitude Austrian resorts are open and killing it already! In addition to the favourites such as Stubai, Kaunertal and Hintertux, Kitzsteinhorn has just opened their superpipe and are already seeing visits from some of the world’s premiere pipe riders…
“With the kick-off to the Superpipe Training Weeks, the halfpipe action on the Kitzsteinhorn has also already begun several days ago! Numerous international top stars including World and Olympic champions are preparing for the competition season on the snow-sure glacier in Zell am See Kaprun, Austria, until December 3. Especially female riders such as Maddie Mastro (USA) and Cai Xuetong (CHN) enjoy the great training facilities at Kitzsteinhorn.
The Glacier Park on the glacier plateau currently offers a varied set-up with numerous rails, boxes, tubes and kickers, which will be constantly extended in the coming weeks depending on the snow conditions. Snowboarders can show creative tricks and enjoy themselves on a versatile playground.
The superpipe will not be open to the public until December, but pro riders have already entered it to work on their tricks for the upcoming competition season. The halfpipe, which is 150 metres long and 6.5 metres high, is again shaped by Alli Zehetner, who is regarded as one of the world’s best pipe specialists and who built the halfpipe for the 2018 Winter Olympics. “The Snowpark and the superpipe have special priority at Kitzsteinhorn,” the local says. “Thanks to my experience at the Olympics, I can now apply additional know-how to the construction of the pipe. Our early offer attracts the international elite to the Kitzsteinhorn already in autumn as they can prepare for the season in time.” The early construction of the superpipe was made possible by a large snow depot built in May and covered with fleece over the summer.
One of the female snowboard pros from all over the world taking part in the Superpipe Training Weeks is 2018 X-Games bronze medallist Maddie Mastro (USA): “So far it’s been super good. Trainingwise, you go up, you go down, there are just sleds waiting for you nonstop. That’s honestly just uncomparable to any other place, it’s one of the best things you can have.”
2017 world champion Cai Xuetong (CHN) added: “It’s my first time at Kitzsteinhorn. It’s a really good camp here, it’s very good for the training!” Further female riders enjoying the perfect conditions at Kitzsteinhorn are 2014 Junior World Champion Verena Rohrer (SUI) and 2-time World Cup silver medallist Queralt Castellet (ESP).
Participating males include 2014 Olympic snowboard champion Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI), double world champion and 2018 Olympic bronze medallist Scotty James (AUS), the fifth of the 2018 Olympics, Pat Burgener (SUI) and the fifth of the 2014 Olympics, David Habluetzel (SUI).
Further extension during the season
In the coming weeks and months, the snow parks at Kitzsteinhorn will be successively extended. Easy Park will open in December, Central Park in January 2019 and the new South Central Park in February”