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Monday December 11, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The Inferno Race in Murren this year turns 75. It's the world's oldest, longest amateur downhill ski race that attracts fierce competition. A spectacle worth catching... NEW



Entry for the race closed back in September, so it's a spectator sport year for those just now checking in to the Murren Inferno.

But something to watch it is...

This year it's to take place between 17th - 20th January, 2018.

The first Inferno race was in 1928 in the Swiss resort.

It was founded by some "ski-crazy" Brits in the Kandahar Ski Club in 1928.

1,850 participants are taking place this year.

That's its max and many hopefuls have been turned away.

The length of the course is a massive 14.9km, starting at the Schilthorn at an altitude of 2,970m with a serious descent of to end in Lauterbrunnen at 800m.

Here are some shots from last year's race:

Inferno Downhill 2017Inferno Downhill 2017














Inferno Downhill 2017 Inferno Downhill 2017














Inferno Downhill 2017Inferno Downhill 2017














Vanessa Fisher in 2017's InfernoVanessa Fisher in 2017's Inferno, writing for PlanetSKI















Another crazy PlanetSKI Brit actually takes part in the downhill race and has done for some years.

She is Vanessa Fisher and will be doing it again this coming season.

Her thoughts on the infamous race:

"The inferno in Murren has been a highlight of my skiing season for many years, as terrifying as it is, and I am excited to have entered a team for the new Sir Arnold Lunn event which takes place this winter as part of the Inferbo's 75th anniversary."

"I also have my own 'first' this season, as I have been accepted to take part in the Super 3 ski race series, one of which is the Inferno- the other two I'm a race virgin for, the Belalp Hexe and the Saas Fee Allalin."

Watch this space for Vanessa's reports from these Swiss races here at PlanetSKI, and catch up on her experience last year here:

The 2017 Downhill Final:

The race attracts fierce competition from around the world.

But it has more than just the downhill.

Further races take place over the course of three days and the processions and celebrations that feature the flaming devil have come to represent the events.

Wednesday 17th January will see the evening cross country race - 6km in the village - at 4:30pm.

It is the 34th year of this event with more festivities and prize giving during the evening.

Thursday 18th January will see the giant slalom event kicking off at 10am.

On Friday 19th morning there is the special anniversary "Sir Arnold Lunn Cup" team race on the Inferno course.

And that evening the famous procession and Devil's dance will go on for anyone who can last until 1am.

Saturday is the big day!

08:50am marks the start of the legendary Inferno Downhill

You can keep in the Inferno-know here:

Inferno 2017Inferno 2017














Inferno festivitiesInferno festivities














Inferno festivitiesInferno festivities














The record holder for the men's downhill race is Kuno Michel (13.20.53) in 2013, the year that also saw the ladies' record set by Nicole Bärtschi (14.46.43) in 2013.

Is 2018 the year it's all get faster?

The downhill is not all down... there are flats and uphill sections too.

Here's a little interesting excerpt from the offfical guide books:

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.

Inferno 2017Inferno 2017














Sieger, Flavio In Albon. Credit Foto GertschSieger, Flavio In Albon. Credit Foto Gertsch















Thrill seekers, this race is for you.

Next season, that is...

But the Swiss Jungfrau area and Murren ski resort have some more adrenaline-raising activities if this is the year.

PlanetSKI was there last season to ski, climb, and abseil. Check out what went on:

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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