My Favourite Ski Runs In Tirol II: Olympiaabfahrt, Patscherkofel, Innsbruck
I had many reasons to choose this piste and this ski resort.
First, Patscherkofel is my home mountain during #mywinterintirol.
Second, it meets all the criteria I exposed in my first post to choose my favorite runs. It's
Difficult, but in this case not especially challenging. It was an Olympic venue three times and you will be skiing following the steps of big legends of the Alpine Skiing history. And it is especially beautiful to ski down with the sight of the City of Innsbruck and the amazing mountain landscape around.
Known to Innsbruck residents as a “locals' mountain” (Hausberg) and a three-time Olympic venue, Patscherkofel is Innsbrucks Ski Paradise in the south: easy to recognize from its rounded shape and the prominent radio mast on its peak. Innsbruck locals appreciate the resort's proximity to the city, which is just 6,5 km away.
The ski area has 18 km with 100% area covered by snow-making facilities. A new ropeway with two sections, the Patscherkofelbahn, allows you to ski the whole mountain.
Patscherkofel hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976 as well as the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. The ski resort was the venue for the Men's Downhill race. The 3.020 km course had a vertical drop of 870 m and started at 1,950 m.
Here, in 1976, Austria ski legend Franz Klammer, then age 22, won his Olympic gold medal in the Downhill, dramatically edging out defending Olympic champion Bernhard Russi of Switzerland by 0.33 seconds. The most memorable image of the Games was Klammer with bib nº 15 wildly down the downhill course, barely in control, on his way to be the new Olympic Champion.
Egon Zimmermann, also of Austria, took the gold medal a dozen years earlier in the 1964 Olympic downhill. His winning time was 2:18.16, more than a half minute behind Klammer's (1:45.73).
The Olympiaabfahrt (Olympia Downhill) start is located at the top of the ski resort and to reach it you must take the Patscherkofelbahn cable car. From the bottom station (1,010 m.), you can reach the upper station (1,965 m) quickly, easily in 9 minutes.
From here, a magnificent view of the Inn Valley and the city of Innsbruck will accompany you during the descent. Another thing that makes this slope so special is all of it going down through the forest.
The first part (number 1 on the track map) is red. Then, near the Mittelstation at 1,716 meters, the track continues on a black (numbers 5 and 5a) to reach the final part (the Heiligwasserpiste, a red, number 7 on the track map) that will take us to the base of the ski resort.
The piste is perfect for skiers who love making carving turns. For me, carving is one of the best ways to enjoy and stay in control while skiing all over the mountain. Using your edges to carve is exhilarating and opens huge fun on the slopes. It is like a rhythmic dance!!!