Once upon a time there was a small inconspicuous wooden hut high on the Hahnenkamm, this gained enormous fame over the last 75 years. Today it is probably the most famous start house in the Ski World Cup and is at least as famous as the Hahnenkamm race itself.
Up here, at 1,665 meters, legendary success stories were written and great skiing heroes were born. The start house belongs to the Streif, as do the key sections of the world's most difficult downhill run and the finish area in the immediate vicinity of the town. A place on the Hahnenkamm full of history around alpine ski racing. But how did it come about?
The origins are obscure, but the first mention of this place is an "air force barrack", a wooden shed that served for military observation of the airspace during the Second World War. After the war, in December 1946, the K.S.C. (Kitzbüheler Skiclub), as organizer of the Hahnenkamm races, was authorized to use the "barrack" for "purely sporting purposes" and was given "key authority" and the responsibility to maintain appropriate order. From there, however, it was still a long way up to the MOST APPROVED START HOUSE. In 1973 the K.S.C. modernized the "hut" for the first time. A start room with cellar was built as a storage for materials during the year for the race on the Streif. After another 13 years (1986) a club house was added by the K.S.C. with sleeping and sanitary rooms, kitchen and club room on the west side of the start room. The dormitory had to give way in 1996, but the start house was extended with a warm-up room and more sanitary rooms. At that time the small house was already a sight to see! Just a few minutes' walk from the Hahnenkamm mountain station, "DAS STARTHAUS" is a popular meeting place for guests and locals throughout the year. From here, the BEST skiers in the world start full of concentration, to the supreme discipline, the Streif downhill.
On the 160-meter-long and 51% steep starting slope of the Streif, the racers reach the mousetrap after only 8.5 seconds, up to 80 meters fly the athletes here. The rest of the course of 3,312 meters is no less spectacular and demands everything from the racers.
I was scared shitless, said Fritz Strobl (Olympic champion and holder of the course record, 1:51.58 minutes on the Streif) about his first Streif run. (Source www.redbull.com)
In winter, the Engergy Station is also located next to the start house; this is set up in the fall and dismantled again after the race. It serves the athletes as a preparation zone before the Hahnenkamm race.
When I was at the start for the first time, I would have preferred to leave the start house back to the back. But I also didn't want to be the one riding the gondola into the valley, said Didier Cuche, five-time Streif winner.(Source: www.redbull.com)
The athletes enter the start house fully concentrated, it is quiet as a mouse. No one is allowed to disturb them. Only the athlete, the trainer or coach and the start judge are there. He, the start judge, is as important as the start house itself, the man who sends the racers out from the start house onto the Streif. And not just anyone becomes a start judge, only a select few K.S.C. officials are given this honor and highly responsible task.
In summer, things are much more relaxed up there. The mountain hikers enjoy above all the fabulous view, from the Brixen Valley to the Leuken Valley, the mountain massif of the Wilder Kaiser enthroned in the middle, simply magnificent! Inside you can read the stories of the alpine heroes and admire the pictures. Sometimes there is also a real party up there, for example when the Hahnenkamm winner collects his gondola.
Our "Starthaus" has become a real gem, even a sight, over the years.
Just in time for the 750th anniversary of the city of Kitzbühel, it will be attractively and functionally remodeled after 25 years and expanded with premises. New toilet facilities as well as a recreation room "Legends Room" on the 1st floor are to be completed by the start of the winter season. Therefore, it will not be possible to visit the start house in the next few months.
Kitzbühel Tourism is TODAY already looking forward to the Startthaus in the NEW GLOSS and wishes a smooth and accident-free conversion!