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The black mamba in Kaprun

New runs are something of a rarity in the Austrian Alps, or anywhere in Europe, indeed new advice from the Austrian Lift Operators Organisation following an investigation on piste length by German ski journalist Christoph Schrahe may mean the total published piste kilometres in the country is about to drop (it’s already happened at Mayrhofen which has fallen to 133km after having around 159km the past decade or so). New black runs are even more of a rarity, with the handful that have appeared in the past 10 years mostly restricted to the Dolomites where resorts were keen to offer more challenge. But this season, the Kitzsteinhorn ski area above Kaprun has announced a new advanced run will be unveiled, and they’re so excited by it they’re giving it an exciting name “Black Mamba” – although on the map you’ll see it marked as run number 14.  The kilometre long groomed slope will pitch at up to 63% and drops 290 vertical metres in altitude. The run starts at the valley station of Kristallbahn at 2,265 metres and ends at Langwiedboden. “(The run) …is venomous like a mamba – perfect for all experts who love it steep!” said a statement from the resort, “From now on the “Black Mamba” lurks at Kristallbahn, offering an additional run that snakes over several curves and steep slopes down to Langwiedboden. From winter 2013/14, there’s only one motto for all expert and courageous riders at Kitzsteinhorn: Do it!”

Ski chalet Kaprun