Hans-Peter Schwaiger has been with the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel for over 30 years and is currently manager of the ski slopes in theso called core ski area and knows the ski slopes and the snow like almost no one else.
The working day begins for Hans-Peter, the piste manager, at around 7:30 am. If snowfall is expected, of course, it starts a lot earlier. Then the first telephone calls with the team of pistenbully drivers are around 5 a.m.. Here Hans-Peter receives precise information almost every minute about how the snow situation on the mountain will develop during the night and where they currently have to push out snow or whether avalanche blasting is necessary.
"The special thing about snow is that it is actually different every day."
Not all snow is the same and to ensure the best surface on the ski slopes of KitzSki, not only the white snowflakes from the sky are enough. Mrs Holle is supported by 45 pistenbullys with around 60 drivers. Every night anew, the team of piste machine drivers is out and about on the ski slopes of KitzSki, spreading the snow on the slopes and conjuring the slopes back into top condition. If Mother Holle does not allow enough snow, the snow guns, of which there are 1,200 in the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel ski area, provide support. The team of 20 "Schneier" then ensure that the snow is produced at the right time and in the right place.
Competence Centre Streiteck
Hans-Peter almost goes into raptures when he talks about the piste machines. The cost per machine is about EUR 500,000.00. The proud weight of a winch machine is about 12 tonnes, and all the machines are also equipped with GPS - so every piste machine operator can see how much snow is under the machine on the piste. The most important part of the piste machine, however, is still the tiller. It simply has to make a track image that then conjures up a good piste for the guests in every type of snow.
In addition to the garage for the snowgroomers, the Streiteck Competence Centre also houses the workshop for the snow guns and the filling station for the snowgroomers. The snow guns and also the piste machines are constantly overhauled and checked. The mechanics on site know every machine down to the last detail. When the piste machine team starts work, the entire team meets for a meeting in the Streiteck Competence Centre. This is also where the allocation of the individual piste sections is discussed.
The biggest challenge
The rescue team on the mountain is also part of Hans-Peter Schwaiger's team. The info team and the rescue team comprise a total of 35 people who are out and about in the entire ski area. The info team starts in the morning at the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel ticket offices to inform guests accordingly, to clarify any ambiguities immediately and to avoid bottlenecks at the ticket offices. By noon at the latest, the entire team is ready for action on the slopes...
In his 30 years at Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel, Hans-Peter Schwaiger has experienced a lot. The biggest challenge was the construction of the three-cable gondola lift. The 3S lift between Pengelstein and Talsenhöhe, which opened in 2004, was a world first at the time and had never been built anywhere before. Hans-Peter was at the forefront of this project in the preliminary planning and also during the two-year construction period. Hans-Peter also mischievously tells the story about the Formula 1 driver who drove his car on the Hahnenkamm on snow equipped with snow chains on the course on the Waldehang.
The Kitzbühel Formula
Alpine lifestyle and idyllic nature, rustic tradition and a modern attitude to life: hardly any other town combines these contrasts as skilfully as Kitzbühel. The sports capital of the Alps became world-famous thanks to the legendary Hahnenkamm races, but that is only one facet of the Kitzbühel myth. Rather, it is the incomparable charm of the region with the villages of Kitzbühel, Reith, Aurach and Jochberg, the excellent infrastructure with top hotels and gastronomy, the multitude of sporting opportunities and the fascinating landscape that make Kitzbühel so unique.