Open downhill race set for Saas

12th April 2010, by Chris Gill

Glacier start. [Saas Fee tourismus / D Emery]

Glacier start. [Saas Fee tourismus / D Emery]

Saas Fee is preparing to stage the 28th Allalin open downhill races between 16 and 18 April, the world’s highest glacier racing.

The Allalin races are open to all and a popular end-of-winter-season attraction for the Swiss resort. The course starts at 3,600 metres on the glacier and finishes 1,800 metres below, at the Kalbermatten sports ground – so that is a pretty decent vertical! The daring tackle the high-speed 9 km run that crosses the glacier terrain and descends through narrow passages, such as the infamous Kanonenrohr (gunbarrel). Anyone is invited to have a go, skier or snowboarder – amateur or pro.

There are four different racing categories that participants can enter: the Team Race, the Fun Team Race, the His and Hers Race, and the individual men’s or women’s races. For families or groups of friends fancying a more relaxed approach the Fun Team Race involves stopping at the various mountain restaurants along the way; fancy dress is actively encouraged too. Some teams in this category have apparently taken over five hours to “race” down to the finish line.

By contrast, the competitive athletes who take part in the individual men’s or women’s races can complete the course in less than five minutes! There is plenty of other entertainment on offer too – Saas Fee has a lively après-ski scene. Lift passes are reduced during the race week too, with two-day tickets available from 99 CHF.

Current snow conditions in Saas Fee are pretty good too, with a few light showers forecast on Monday to give a possible dusting up top. Generally, though, it is spring skiing now.

The Allalin Race schedule is as follows:

Friday 16 April 2010

  • His & Hers Race
  • Team Race
  • Fun Team Race

Saturday 17 April 2010

  • Individual Women & Men’s Races

Sunday 18 April 2010

  • Reserved day in case of poor weather

Links: Allalin races

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