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New Steepest Piste in Europe Opens in Austria

What is claimed to be the steepest groomed ski run ever opened in the Alps with a pitch of nearly 88% (more than 41 degrees) has been unveiled this weekend at Austria’s Kaunertal Glacier.

The Black Ibex piste pitches at up to 87.85%, which the resort’s operators are keen to stress is steeper than the steepest part of the famous Streif slope used in the annual Hahnenkamm downhill races in Kitzbuhel (pictured below).

The Harakiri piste above Mayrhofen has built a reputation as Austria’s steepest slope for more than a decade.  It reaches a pitch of 78% over its 375 metres of vertical.

However the Lange Zug “extreme ski route” above Lech in the Arlberg, was already steeper with a  maximum gradient of 80% at its steepest part.

Europe’s other steepest slopes include The Grand Couloir above Courchevel with an 80% gradient and The Tunnel run at Alpe d’Huez which like Harikari reports a 78% pitch.

6 Comments
  1. Andrew

    24th February 2020 5:45 pm

    Harakiri is the most ignorant stupid slope possible,an advertising nonsense,which has claimed many lives,as is inappropriate and badly designed,and remains open…….
    Any slope should reflect a characteristic of the mountain area it is in,the black slope,nextbut two to the left,56,has a wonderful character,is not quite so steep,and is a real slope,and not dangerously constructed.Harakiri should be closed down.

    • Sally

      24th February 2020 7:02 pm

      I did the harikiri 5 times just after it snowed last week, and it was my favourite run of the mountain! Maybe it should only be run under very good snow conditions?

    • Ondra

      25th February 2020 11:30 am

      For those of us who have never skied there, can you explain in what way Harikari is “inappropriate .and badly designed”, does not “reflect a characteristic of the mountain area”, and is not “a real slope”?

  2. Mike

    24th February 2020 8:23 pm

    I have seen a lot of people end up completing the Harikiri without their poles or skis ,goggles etc if you start off wrong – oops too late –

  3. Sam

    24th February 2020 10:35 pm

    Yeah Harikari is steep but if you can’t hack it, then don’t do it. As with any slope.
    If you think for a second that you haven’t got it in you, or you think too long about going down a black run, you shouldn’t do it. By doing so, you only put yourself and others in danger. And that’s a dick move.
    Harikari is a great run if you commit to it.

  4. Peter scorgie

    24th February 2020 11:24 pm

    I skied the Harakiri 7 times in a row on my sit_ski without falling.
    I found it a challange but not dangerous. If you can’t ski it without falling you shouldn’t be there.

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