What is the Inferno Race?

The Inferno Race in the Swiss Alpine resort of Mürren was organized for the first time in 1928 by a group of "ski-crazy" Brits. Today it is the largest amateur skiing race in the world.

This spectacular annual event is so popular that participation has to be limited to "only" 1850 competitors - a few hundred applicants are still being rejected each year. The course covers 14.9 kilometres of contrasting terrain and topography, and is open to the skiing public at other times of the year.

The Inferno Race is particularly suited to allround skiers. As the official documentation explains: "The upper part of the course demands downhill turning technique and an optimal line. The middle section calls for an ideal downhill position and fast gliding. From the "Kanonenrohr" to the "Höhenlücke" technically superior skiers come into their own. Over the stretch from Maulerhubel to Winteregg, skating step and arm power can be all-important. And from Winteregg-Spriessenkehr to Lauterbrunnen optimal equipment, a clean downhill position and - not least - mental stamina can be the key to a fast final time."

Briefly, the course can be summarised as follows: The Start is located just below the 'Kleines Schilthorn'. From here, the course continues through the Engetal to the Schilthorn Hut. Then follows a long drawn-out "S" to just below the Muttlerenhorn, followed by the challenge of the Kanonenrohr. Next comes a further "Double S" and a sharp right curve. The course climbs into woodland, crossing below the Maulerhubel chairlift. A slight ascent then leads to Winteregg over the Winteregg Bridge, joining the forest trail in the direction of Lauterbrunnen.

This attractive course can be covered by competent skiers in about 45 minutes. The winner of the Inferno Race takes less than 15 minutes.

Important race dates:

First Inferno race in 1928
Start at Schilthorn 2970 m
Finish line Lauterbrunnen 800 m
Difference in altitude 2170 m
Length of course 14,9 km
Record holder men Kuno Michel (13.20.53) 2013
Record holder women Nicole Bärtschi (14.46.43) 2013

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