Event News


Grand finale

The “last” Kaunertal Opening goes off with a bang

By: Adam Herman November 17, 2023

Another weekend, another opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the season by spending all your cash 4 tricks loot at the afterparty. This time at the 38th (yes, that’s since 1985!) opening of the Kaunertal Glacier, a.k.a. the legendary KTO.

Snowpark Kaunertal opened its gates on Thursday, 9 November, welcoming unemployed eager riders with two adjacent jib lines and two medium kickers. Since the 2018/19 season, Kauni boasted what was probably one of the longest park runs in the world, called the Nature Run, which ran almost all the way down the Karlesjochbahn gondola. However, this year’s setup has moved back to its earlier location next to the Falgin T-bar. While certainly smaller than previous years, it still offers the same variety and creativity we’re used to, with the added benefit of much faster laps and no need to take your skis off each run. That's a welcome change, according to most of the riders we talked to.

Friday´s movie night at Quellalpin in Feichten was the first showing of the Gaptastic Voyage aftermovie—coming soon to YouTube! Photo: Ibing

The 38th KTO officially kicked off on Friday night at Quellapin in Feichten with a photo exhibition from last year’s Downdays Gaptastic Voyage road gap session, followed by a movie premiere and a party at Zappadello with DJ B-Kill, which lasted until four in the morning.

If you were smart, you didn’t leave it all on the dance floor on Friday, since Saturday’s program was packed. As usual, you could borrow all sorts of equipment in the testival area and test it out on fresh snow in the park. Or use it to compete in one of the many events held in the Jib 'n' Skate playground right next to the restaurant. The two jib platforms hosted a retro rail session, Head Open Cash 4 Tricks jam, and even a snowskate contest throughout the day with a DJ playing classic tunes in between. And if that wasn’t enough, you could even get a haircut from the "mountain barber" or a free KTO memorial tattoo to look fresh for the evening’s afterparty in Feichten. With parties spread across three different venues, it was definitely one for the books.

A pumptrack at the testival area was part of the fun. Photo: Ibing

Afterparty vibes. Photo: Ibing

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But explain that to the police who were thoroughly checking for unfit drivers on the glacier road on Sunday morning. If you managed to touch your nose and accurately estimate 30 seconds, you had lots to look forward to on the last day of the KTO. The weather was even worse than Saturday, but who cares about flat light and hangovers when there’s 500 bucks on offer in the Downdays cash for tricks session? Followed by the girls-only Shred Unit contest and the Retro Flashmob group ride, the jib setup saw some serious action throughout the day. And after all the cash and prices were handed out, there was still time for some serious laps in the main park before heading back down to the valley.

Hanne Langes looking to pick up some bills at the Cash 4 Tricks jam. Photo: Ibing

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All in all, it was another successful year of the KTO. But there was something special about this year’s edition. If you've been paying attention, you probably noticed that this was presented as the "last KTO as we know it." You might have even heard the rumors, which unfortunately are true: Because of the retreating glacier and warmer fall weather, it’s been increasingly hard for the shape crew to build a setup worthy of the Kaunertal name during the preseason. And as such, this is the last year we’re going to be able to enjoy a glacier snowpark in Kaunertal during the fall.

While this is certainly sad sad news, it doesn’t mean the end of Snowpark Kaunertal. The details aren't out yet, but we’ve heard that the spirit of the KTO is going to live on, just in a slightly different form and at a different time. The crew decided to double down on the spring period, and along with the classic Spring Classics, we can now look forward to to a brand new late-season KTO as well.

It’s not the spring yet though, and Kaunertal’s got a great park, shaped to perfection every day until the beginning of December. So get up there and enjoy it while you can. If you'd rather be skiing this weekend instead of getting smashed at DIYX with your snowboarder friends, there's one more cash for tricks rail jam happening in Kaunertal this Saturday! 

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