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Cresta Run, St. Moritz

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St. Moritz, Cresta Run - Clubhouse

ABOVE: The Cresta Run's clubhouse is located at Junction, below the aptly named Church Leap.

A ride for the fearless

In The Cresta Run 1885-1985*, Roger Gibbs describes a ride down the ice chute on a skeleton toboggan:

In order that as much riding as possible can take place each day, before the fierce sun softens the ice, races start as early as 8:30 a.m. At that hour in the morning it is usually bitterly cold. The competitor waits his turn at the top of the Run, with a feeling of apprehension and excitement. The bell tolls. Although now committed in the Run he is relieved the waiting is over and he is on his way. The first hundred yards are relatively uneventful but the rider knows only too well that the drop in the next three-quarters of a mile is 514 feet, a fall of 1 in 7.7, with his eyes only four inches above the Run.

Soon he is under the road bridge just before Church Leap doing about twenty miles an hour--then a sheer drop of one in 2.8 into three very tight corners--Curzon, Brabazon and Thoma. In a matter of seconds his speed has increased to 50 mph as he flashes past the Clubhouse at Junction, down the straight on his way to the right-handed corner Rise, steadying the toboggan before taking the next bend, Battledore.

Diving off Battledore into the low, raking, notorious corner of Shuttlecock, round Shuttlecock and into the right-handed bend of Stream before speeding on his way down the long straight toward s the road bridge at Bulpetts--doing nearly 70 mph; under the railway bridge at Scylla, left-handed out of Scylla into the final corner Charybdis and down the last leap, crossing the finishing beam at a speed in the region of 80 mph [129 km/h]. An expert completes this course in about fifty-three seconds or even a little less. To win any race on the Cresta is a fine achievement for all races are highly competitive, but there are riders who think that even to arrive safely at the Finish at all is a miracle--and in some instances it is!

And now, it's your turn.

You, too, can risk life and limb on the Cresta Run--providing you're in St. Moritz during the season (which normally runs from just before Christmas through the end of February) and can afford a "Supplementary List" or "SL" membership in the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club.

The CHF 600 payment entitles you to a beginners' booklet, a quick introduction to the basics of skeleton toboganning, and up to five rides down the Cresta Run with equipment supplied by the club. Each additional ride costs CHF 50 if you're age 28 or over, or CHF 35 if you're younger than 28.

Related Web site and article

St. Moritz Tobogganing Club
The SMTC's comprehensive site has a page of information for non-members who want to ride on the course.

Winter Resort Report: St. Moritz
You don't need a fortune or a title to enjoy Switzerland's oldest mountain resort; a platinum card will do.

Back to: Cresta Run - Introduction and history

The Cresta Run, 1885-1985
    Roger Gibbs
    Paperback, 64 pp., 1985
    Henry Melland Limited
    ISBN 0907929109

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- Forbes and The Washington Post

Photo (c)

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