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Glacier Ski Area Opens Steepest Slope in Austria

The Kaunertal Glacier will open what they claim is the steepest marked ski run in Austria this weekend.

The ‘Black Ibex’ pitches at an average 41.3 degrees and has a gradient of 87.85% according to the resort’s marketing department, which also enthuses,

“It is steeper than the Streif and the thought of it makes the blood freeze in the veins.”

There has been a bit of a battle to open the steepest slope in Austria, with the scariest sounding name, just as the country sees its biggest ski areas get bigger and bigger as they lift-link to try to claim the ‘biggest in the country’ title.

The Harakiri piste in Mayrhofen, which opened back in 2004, is popularly regarded as Austria’s steepest slope.  With a vertical drop of 375m it reaches an inclination of up to 78%.

However the Lange Zug “extreme ski route” in the Arlberg, with a total length of 4.7km and which is prepared daily, has a maximum gradient of 80% at its steepest part.

Other steep Austrian slopes include the Black Mamba at the Kitzsteinhorn glacier which has a 63% incline and Diabolo at the Golm ski area in Montafon which has a 70% slope.

In ski racing the Streif in Kitzbühel over which the Hahnenkamm downhill is raced each January  reaches an 85% gradient and the Kandahar at Garmisch pitches at up to 92% gradient, 3300m in length.