The Harakiri in Mayrhofen is the most demanding slope in the Zillertal and our list could not fail to include this run, one of the best known in the Alps.
Mayrhofen is a ski town in the Zillertal in the Austrian state of Tirol. Located approximately an hour by car from Innsbruck, near the Hintertux glacier, the ski domain is divided into two ski areas: Mount Ahorn and Mount Penken with the three ski resorts of Finkenberg, Rastkogel, and Eggalm. Thanks to 58 modern lifts and 142 kilometers of perfectly prepared pistes of all difficulty levels, everyone from beginners to pros will have a variety of ways to have fun skiing.
We visited Mayrhofen to ride the piste which claims to be the steepest slope in Austria: 78 percent! With this slope, the Harakiri is even steeper than a ski jump and if you fall, for sure you are not going to stop until you reach the bottom of the piste.
The Harakiri Run is located in the Mount Penken ski area in the Horbergtal. To reach it you must take the 6-person Knorren Chairlift.
The legendary Piste 34 was opened in the 2003–2004 winter season. The overall length of the Harakiri is 2 kilometers but the steepest part is about 400 meters long.
The difficulty of this run is increased by the conditions in which we will normally find it.
The run is north-facing so most of the time is in the shade, and because of the artificial snow, the steep gradient, and the skidding of other skiers, you will often have to deal with icy riding conditions.
Grooming the slope is only possible with a winch and a special snow groomer that has a 430-horsepower engine, a weight of 9 tons, and a pulling force of 4 tons.
Dark and icy, sometimes is a little more dangerous because of the people. It’s a piste for experts only, but sadly you will find a lot of skiers and snowboarders, attracted by the fame of the slope, who aren't ready to tackle the harakiri, with not enough skiing skills to face the challenge.
So, I recommend you stop at the top of the steepest part of the run and wait until it's clear to find your line and enjoy your downhill.
And if you want, and only after skiing the run, you can buy a Harakiri T-shirt from one of the ticket desks to show off to your friends, you were able to ski Austria's steepest slope!!!