The Jump Returns to Kühtai for a Third Series

Channel 4’s reality ski show, The Jump, is returning to Kühtai for the next few weeks for its third series, and the line-up of personalities has just been announced. As before, the contestants are drawn from the worlds of entertainment and sport — though not from wintersports, naturally.

Kühtai is the ideal choice for the makers of the programme because of its altitude and therefore guaranteed snow conditions and also because of the close proximity to Innsbruck and its airport – just 35 minutes away.

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The Third Series

Series 3, like its predecessors, will be based in and around Innsbruck and Kühtai, the highest ski resort in Austria. The contestants are trained and tested in a variety of disciplines — previously including speed skating, bobsleigh, ski cross, skeleton and giant slalom — and the two with the slowest times face an elimination ski-jump.

The show will be presented by Davina McCall, returning to her previous role, and there’ll be the usual group of mentors. The full mentor line-up hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s known that Graham Bell and ski-jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards will be taking a role.

This year, though, will see one difference. For the first time, the contestants will share a house on air, so not all the excitement will be on the slopes and viewers will be able to get exclusive footage on how the various participants get on away from the slopes and wintersport activities.

Still, the winter sports are what this show is about at heart, and we’ll be waiting to see who’ll master the pistes and how they’ll handle those jumps.

The Contestants

Twelve contestants have been confirmed so far, though it’s not clear whether this will be the complete line-up:

Beth Tweddle — Olympic gymnast
Brian McFadden — former singer with Westlife
Dean Cain — star of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
James “Arg” Argent — star of The Only Way Is Essex
Linford Christie — Olympic gold medal athlete
Louisa Lytton — actress, formerly in Eastenders and The Bill
Mark-Francis Vandelli — star of Made in Chelsea
Rebecca Adlington — Olympic gold medal swimmer
Sarah Harding — former singer with Girls Aloud and actress in Coronation Street
Sid Owen — actor in Eastenders
Tamara Beckwith — socialite
Tina Hobley — actress in Holby City

Coming Soon

Channel 4 has already released the first trailer for the new series, in which the skies over Kühtai start raining celebrities, causing panic and a lot of screaming for a local family.  The reality, though, won’t be anything like that scary, and if you’re lucky enough to be holidaying in Kühtai right now then you may find yourself bumping into a celebrity or two, either up on the slopes or during après-ski.

For the rest of us, though, the question will be who’ll manage to jump furthest, will all the celebrities escape injury — and does Superman have an unfair advantage?

The opening of the Ski Season in Tyrolean Resorts

As holiday resorts that rely on sun and sea wind down towards the end of the season, ski resorts are gearing up for opening, if the season hasn’t already started.  Here’s some information about the season openings in three of the top resorts in Austria’s stunning Tyrol region.

Sölden – 10 October

Some of Sölden’s glacier runs are already open subject to daily snow conditions, with the lifts going up from 8 am till 3.30 pm and the last downward journey at 4 pm.  On the 10th  and 11th  October, the iconic Rettenbach Glacier opens with a celebration including free tests of top-branded ski and snowboarding equipment, not to mention a big party throughout the resort.  The offical Winter season starts on the 14th of November when more lifts will open.

One of Austria’s leading ski resorts, Sölden gives access to 146km of slopes for all levels of skiers, though it particularly suits the adventurous intermediate skier.  The Rettenbach regularly hosts the first event of the World Cup, the Giant Slalom, from the spectacular stadium on the glacier, giving holiday-makers the opportunity to rub shoulders with the world’s top skiers, whether on the glacier or at the resort’s lively après-ski scene.

Kühtai – 27 November

Although Kühtai’s higher slopes have snow to allow year-round skiing for die-hards and photoshoots, the season properly gets underway on the 27th November when all slopes and lifts open for the winter.  From then on, the lifts and pistes open at 9 am, with the pistes closing at 4 pm and the lifts a quarter of an hour later.

From Kühtai, you have access to 41 km of pistes slopes (80 km when you link to Oetz), consisting of blue, red, black and freestyle parks, offering everything from a safe environment for children to learn to real challenges for the experts, whether skiing or snowboarding.  The resort’s height, at 2,200m, means that you can always rely on good snow even on the bottom slopes from November right through to May.

St Anton – 4 December

St Anton has a justified reputation as a party resort with spectacular après-ski, that’s secondary to the main business of skiing.  The season kicks off on the 4th December with a three-day festival of skiing and music, with its highlight a concert on the 5th featuring 80s pop star Kim Wilde.

Properties in Austria - Kristall Spaces St Anton - Kim Wilde concert

Once the season is underway, St Anton’s 97 lifts and cable cars give access to 350km of managed pistes and 200km of challenging off-piste slopes.  There’s something for everyone.  Although the area is especially known for its expert-level slopes, it also offers some of the best children’s lessons in the Alps. And there’s always that lively après-ski scene in the evening.

Kristall Spaces has ski apartments for sale in all three resorts.  Contact us today in case you are visiting the area and would like to visit on of our developments.

First impressions of Kühtai

The drive up to Kühtai reminded me of Maine in the States: snowy roads and a small river running by the roadside; but it was the sense of being in the wilderness that really fires the imagination. I expected a moose to run across the road at any moment and yet we were only 10 minutes from the Oetztal Bahnhof. No wonder those Habsburgs liked the hunting round here so much.

My host for the day was a Kühtai connoisseur (a Chemistry teacher from Innsbruck who was born on skis in Sölden and thanks to his Tirol ski pass can pick any of the top resorts for a day’s skiing when he fancies). He and his pals favour Kühtai because “the snow is the best” as soon as you come off the very first lift (no uphill trek needed to find quality pistes); the atmosphere is never showy and for the abiding fact that your personal space is never invaded. I distinctly recall following him down from the top of the Dreiseenbahn to the foot of the Gaiskogelift and not once did I adjust my line or speed to avoid other skiers. “So, it’s true what they say: it really does feel like being in your own private ski resort,” I thought to myself.

The snow was excellent too. We only started skiing at 2:00pm but it was still cold and smooth as we flew down the pistes. No slush or sudden moguls here or those annoying piles of snow where skiers have scraped all the loose snow into a mini snow drift leaving a sheet of ice as a run-up. In fact, the piste is so consistent that you will see various ski teams (US and Austrian) training by the side of the slope.

And hardly any snowboarders sat around in groups philosophising over Jägermeister and Limp Biscuit. They’re all in the K-Park: supposedly Austria’s biggest half pipe with a series of big air kickers and gnarly looking bits of metal sticking out for them to slide over or do whatever they do. I quite fancied one of enormous kickers – maybe I would pluck up the courage to have a go later in the day.

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We skied down into the snow bowl in which the resort is positioned surrounded by white peaks which mostly lead to nowhere. We had been skiing on the North facing slopes and so ventured across to the South side where the night skiing had been the night before. No queues anywhere by the way as I reminded myself that this was a Thursday afternoon in March, so still high season.

It was like being in our own ski resort: there were even fewer people on this side! The runs down from the Hochalterbahn were pretty much ours. And the views were spectacular as we chatted over a Weizenbeer looking back down into Kühtai.  I was now talking up trying one of those kickers: the ones were you have to be traveling at over 60kms to get enough speed to make it over the 6-metre lip between the end of the ramp and the landing so steep it looks like the start of a speed skiing course. The science teacher explained these facts. Also, that I was 43, not wearing a helmet and he didn’t fancy hanging out in Innsbruck hospital.

So, overall impressions were very, very good. I have skied in countless, medium sized resorts and I was trying to compare Kühtai but it’s unique. There is a lot skiing of here and the runs are really smooth and nicely pisted. No grim moguls waiting round the corner – just wide motorways. I loved the fact that I felt like I had the piste to myself and there is definitely a different tempo here compared to the bigger, more famous resorts. It’s more relaxed and yet it’s only 35 minutes from Innsbruck and that’s a major attraction if you are looking for an Austrian property: quick access to the airport means you can land and be on the slopes the same day like I did.  It’s also close to the hospital if you get carried away in the K-Park.

Anybody can train in Channel 4’s The Jump winter disciplines

The new reality show, The Jump, sees celebs try a whole host of adrenalin-fuelled wintersports in Kühtai, Austria.

Taking inspiration from last year’s Winter Olympics, The Jump showcases eight disciplines including ski cross (see video below – most exciting FIS event), giant slalom, skeleton and ski jumping – all performed by 16 famous faces who are competing to be crowned snow king or queen.

Brave contestants include Made in Chelsea star Louise Thompson, former England cricketer Phil Tufnell and Joey Essex from TOWIE … or our favourite, Mike Tindall.

If you’re feeling inspired by the celeb efforts on the show, why don’t you give these challenging winter sports a go?

Here’s our summary of the most exciting and where you can try them for yourself on the slopes of Austria.

Bobsleigh

Fear factor: 3/5

Crammed into a steel pod only 3.8m in length in teams of two or four, participants make timed runs down a 1.5km narrow, twisting, iced track in a gravity-powered sled – reaching speeds of more than 80mph. Tantalisingly terrifying, but extremely fun.

Try it: Based near Innsbruck, Austria, at the kilometre-long Olympic bobsleigh track, you can learn to navigate a two-man bobsleigh through the track’s 14 bends: Olympiaworld Innsbruck (+43 512 377160 from €95 / £71).

Ski jumping

Fear factor: 4/5

Definitely not one for the faint hearted. Beginners should start with jumps of 10m and reach 20m after a day’s tuition.

However, whatever the size of the hill, it takes an extraordinary amount of courage to race down the icy runway on extra-long 2.4m skis and take that leap of faith – especially with the near-vertical ramp to start you off.

Try it: Towering high above Innsbruck on the wooded Bergisel Hill, the Bergisel Ski Jump offers the perfect opportunity to give ski jumping a go.

Skeleton

Fear factor: 5/5

Face down on a small sled just inches from the ice, participants hurtle down a frozen track reaching speeds of more than 90mph – with no brakes. Of all the Olympic adrenalin-fuelled sports, this has to be the scariest.

Tri it: Momentum Ski (020 7371 9111) offers a two-day Skeleton Experience with Amy Williams in Innsbruck, Austria, including a full track day with Amy, a passenger bobsleigh ride, two nights b&b accommodation, transfers and two dinners with wine from £1,500 per person.

Downhill and giant slalom

Fear factor: 3/5

In giant slalom, brave participants negotiate a series of widely spaced gates on a rock-hard piste at high speed. Downhill takes the game to a whole new level. It has only a few control gates and is over a much longer and steeper course. Plus, the surface is injected with water to make it icier.

Both disciplines require varying combinations of technique and bottle. You won’t learn either overnight – and downhill training is extremely difficult to acquire because it involves a whole section of the mountain being fenced off and closed to the public.

Try it: Snoworks (0844 543 0503) runs racing courses in Austria under the direction of expert instructor Phil Smith and Emma Carrick-Anderson.

Kühtai need-to-know facts:

Kühtai is situated at an altitude of 2,020 metres making it the highest winter sports resort in Austria;

It’s 35 minutes from the region’s capital Innsbruck and its airport;

Due to its almost guaranteed snow record, this season Kühtai has already hosted the first event of the Luge World Cup (Natural Track), an International Paralympic Committee World Cup race as well as two women’s World Cup ski races in Giant Slalom and Slalom;

EU and non EU buyers can now own a property in Kühtai thanks to the new Kristall Spaces 2020 Residences right in the middle of the resort with doorstep skiing.

Snow-sure Kühtai: the choice of the FIS to host the World Cup

The World Cup tour came to Kühtai at the end of December after the Semmering races were cancelled due to a lack of snow.

The FIS took the decision to relocate the two Ladies World Cup technical events to Austria’s highest ski resort in Kühtai thanks to its unmatched record of early and late season snow and ideal temperatures to ensure the best racing conditions.

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Another deciding factor was Kühtai’s proximity to Innsbruck the most important city in Tirol.

Kühtai is one of the first places the inhabitants of Innsbruck head towards when they want quality skiing and ideal snow conditions, all within a 35-minute drive.

Over 6,500 spectators made their way up to the resort at 2,020 metres to cheer on their favourites racers which included an all-star line-up of Sweden’s Sara Hector, home country favourite Anna Fenninger and USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin whose form had been on a slight downward trend in recent races.

The courses were set right in the middle of the resort facing the exact location where Kristall Spaces is developing the 2020 Kühtai Residences, a collection of 14 brand new apartments in Kühtai for next Winter.

2020 Kühtai Apartments Now Available to Investors

Venture Plus AG and Kristall Spaces are proud to announce a stunning new build of holiday apartments in Kühtai, Austria’s highest ski resort. This is a unique opportunity to invest in ski property in one of the most snow-sure resorts in Austria.

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Austria’s highest resort

At 2020 metres above sea-level, Kühtai nestles among the peaks and mountain lakes above the Ötztal valley — yet it’s only 35 minutes from Innsbruck airport. With snow on the higher pistes for most of the year, the resort has invested heavily in tourism, including a planned installation of a 100MB WiFi system, and it was voted by ADAC as Europe’s best value for money ski destination, as well as winning the SkipassIndex for 2013/2014.

2020 Apartments

The new 2020 apartments (named after Kühtai’s altitude) are being designed by one of Austria’s leading architects, with construction due to start in April. Designed for the luxury market, they’ll be ski-in, ski-out properties located centrally in Kühtai, with current prices ranging from €286,000 for a two-bedroom ground floor unit to €641,500 for a large, three-bedroom penthouse apartment.

All the apartments will be luxuriously fitted out, with traditional furnishings and underfloor heating beneath the Swiss parquet floors. Kitchen and bathroom fittings will be by designers such as Hans Grohe, Miele and Siematic, while they’ll be completely up to date with smart TVs and wireless LAN. Triple-glazed, floor-to-ceiling windows will allow you a perfect vista of Kühtai’s breath-taking scenery.

A unique investment opportunity

It isn’t often that this kind of opportunity becomes available in one of Austria’s top resorts. The authorities keep very strict control over holiday homes, and Venture Plus AG and Kristall Spaces have carefully acquired permission for a new build in such a premier location.

Kühtai’s winter sports season starts earlier than most other resorts and lasts a long way into the year.  There’s no shortage of snow at 2020 metres!  Whilst the summer offers visitors the chance to enjoy the breathtaking Alpine scenery with a range of activities suited to all ages, so there’s demand for holiday apartments all year round. Kristall Spaces will not only manage the apartments, but also arrange rentals through renowned tour operators.

With VAT rebates available on the properties and strong annual capital growth rates, they not only guarantee a good return on investment through rentals, but are also almost certain to appreciate in value.

You can reserve an apartment by putting down a deposit, but several have been sold already, and the rest are likely to follow quickly. Check out the details for a wonderful investment opportunity!  Download Brochure.

Channel 4’s The Jump Is Confirmed for Kühtai

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Channel 4’s hit celebrity skiing show, The Jump, will be back on the screens in the new year, and, like the first series last winter, it will be filmed in Kühtai.

This year’s line-up

heather mills 270610The line-up for the new series has now been announced in full. The competitors are:

• Mike Tindall, former England rugby captain and husband of Zara Phillips
• Sally Bercow, wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons
• JB Gill, singer with JLS
• Heather Mills, ex-model, formerly married to Paul McCartney
• Phil Tufnell, former England test cricketer
• Louise Hazel, Commonwealth gold medallist for the heptathlon
• Jon-Allan Butterworth, Paralympian cyclist
• Ola Jordan, from Strictly Come Dancing
• Dom Parker, from the TV show Gogglebox
• Ashley Roberts, former member of the Pussycat Dolls
• Joey Essex, from the reality show The Only Way Is Essex
• Stacey Solomon, contestant on The X Factor
• Steve-O, from Jackass
• Louise Thompson, from Made in Chelsea
• Louie Spence, dancer
• Lady Victoria Hervey, socialite

showbiz-joey-essexDavina McCall, who hosted the first series, will return for the second.

The contest

The Jump consists of a series of challenges between the contestants, using winter sports including ski cross, giant slalom, skeleton, bobsleigh and speed skating, with new events rumoured for this year. The two competitors with the slowest times or speeds on each event must go head-to-head on a ski jump, with the loser eliminated.

The contestants train hard, but the challenges are by no means safe. On the last series, Henry Conway, Melinda Messenger, Sir Steve Redgrave and Marcus Brigstocke were all forced to withdraw with injury — though, thankfully, none of them serious. The overall winner was singer Joe McElderry, who had joined the line-up as a replacement for Conway.

The venue

The various challenges are held in different locations around Austria, but the show’s home is Kühtai, the highest resort in Austria and arguably the most spectacular. Only 35 minutes from Innsbruck, Kühtai lies in a huge snow bowl in the middle of spectacular alpine scenery, with an impressive range of pistes on offer. The mixture of convenience, the quality of the slopes, the scenery — and, of course, the kind of après-ski that only Austria can offer — make it a favourite with everyone from families to professional skiers.

You never know. If you’re holidaying in Kühtai this winter, you might bump into one of The Jump’s celebrities, whether on the slopes or in après-ski. That would be something to make a great holiday even more memorable.

Testing New Skis on Austria’s Highest Mountains

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Early & late season skiing

Some Austrian resorts are high enough to make early season skiing well worth while. Kühtai and Sölden are perhaps the best of these, Kühtai being one of the highest resorts in Europe. Although early and late seasons don’t offer as full a range of skiing as the height of the winter season, it’s far less crowded, and the experience of hurtling down glaciers and high alpine tracks under blue summer skies is not to be missed.

Certainly, with the nearest winter slopes in the southern hemisphere, die-hard skiers flock from as far afield as Moscow to enjoy these locations. Kühtai is 2020 metres up, with slopes towering above the village, making it ideal for out-of-season skiing, and properties for sale in Kühtai are in great demand. Many athletes, such as Bode Miller and Lindsay Vonn, use it for high-altitude training all year-round.

Testing the skis

It’s to these resorts the industry turns to test the equipment they’re planning to sell for the following winter. This year, for instance, Kühtai hosted the Snowsport Industries of Great Britain ski test, while Sölden is popular for events held by individual companies including the Salomon Station on the Rettenbach glacier.

Testing carries on from the tail-end of the winter through to the summer and autumn months, going from determining which designs will be worth selling to familiarising employees with the strengths and quirks of each pair of skis. Typically, testers will be given the chance to try out equipment on the glacier and then fill in a report card, scoring the skis on criteria such as agility, ease of use and stability.

Completely new ski designs are rare, of course, and most of the new products are refinements or improvements of existing models and construction techniques. Manufacturers constantly test their products, so the skis are always evolving, though every so often a ski is produced that remains popular year after year, needing little change.

Different sidecuts, cambers and rockers suit different kinds of skiers and slope conditions. An intermediate who wants to turn more easily won’t want the same design as the dedicated off-piste skier who wants to float in deeper snow, though some models are made to be versatile.

Whatever the specifications, Europe’s leading ski manufacturers have the perfect setting to make sure their improvements work on Austria’s high alpine resorts found in Tirol.

Your Chance to Invest in Premium Austrian Ski Property

The Austrian authorities are careful about granting permits to build ski property in their top resorts, and demand is high when there is an opportunity. But Kristall Spaces has achieved a rare coup by obtaining permits to build in several resorts, including Saalbach, Galtür/Ischgl and Kühtai.

New luxury apartments

These two and three bedroom luxury apartments are brand-new builds, and Kristall Spaces is offering them as excellent chances for investment, since the scarcity caused by planning restrictions ensures that capital growth is high. Our new units are always heavily subscribed even before we start building, and it’s unheard of for any to remain to be sold by the time the project is complete. There are few better investments — with the current exchange rate, even holding sterling is less attractive to UK investors.

Top properties in top Austrian resorts

The resorts earmarked for the new developments are among the most attractive in Austria, chosen for guaranteed long winter sports seasons, together with wonderful golf courses and great opportunities for walking and alpine sports in summer. We offer properties that are central with private parking, and many with ski-in, ski-out locations.

  • Kühtai — only 35 minutes from Innsbruck airport, we offer ski-in, ski-out apartments in this beautiful, high-altitude resort.
  • Galtür — quite apart from the family-friendly skiing in a beautiful, tranquil setting, it’s only 10 minutes on a free bus to the more glamorous Ischgl, from where you can ski over the border into Switzerland.
  • Saalbach — just an hour from Salzburg airport, our properties in Saalbach offer ski-in, ski-out in winter and excellent golf courses in summer, guaranteeing a 5-year rental return of 5%.

A great investment

Our properties in these resorts are built, designed and furnished to exacting standards, each with at least two bedrooms, a large bathroom and a balcony. Kristall Spaces makes all the arrangements through the best tour operators for year-round rental, and the facilities on offer ensure the apartments will be in high demand both summer and winter. And, as if the opportunities weren’t enough, you can even claim a VAT rebate on your property.

Kristall Spaces will soon be announcing new projects in other Austrian resorts. For now, though, you can check out more about our apartments, priced from €280,000 to €334,500, in Kühtai, Galtür/Ischgl and Saalbach.

Snow in Kühtai before lifts open 28 November​

As Kühtai gets ready for the opening of the season on Friday 28 November, there’s already a good covering of snow.

We took a few photos of the awe-inspiring aspects from the 2020 Kühtai​ apartments which are situated right in the middle of the resort.

Most of the sunbathed apartments will have views towards the South and the lifts around the Graf Ferdinandhaus hut on the slopes of the Zwölferkogel.

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2020 Kühtai​ apartments view towards the Zwölferkogel

And towards the South West which is essentially the view down the main road and across to the peaks in the distance.

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2020 Kühtai​ apartments South West view

You can keep an eye on the pistes and the snow as more of it falls thanks to http://www.bergfex.at/kuehtai/webcams/