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The Weisse Rausch

The finish line

Racers collapsing after negotiating 1500m of vertical


The last weekend of skiing in St. Anton is always celebrated with a big race called the Wiesse Rausch.  This is a race unique to the area and involved over 550 competitors this year.  The men’s category had 383 alone.  The 9km race down 1500m of vertical begins at five o’clock pm sharp from the top of the mountain at Valluga.  The race is divided into two heats; first men less than 35 years of age, and second men older than 35, all women, telemarkers and snow boarders. 

It is quite the spectacle watching 383 people in the first heat start a race simultaneously onto a piste that has not been groomed which narrows quickly so there is not enough room for all the skiers.  There are big crashes every year with the lucky ones making it first to a 100m hike before dropping off the back of Schindler down more bumpy piste towards happy valley. 

The race continues down happy valley and leads the racers towards the final pitch where about 1000 spectators cheer on the madness.  To add insult to injury there is an obstacle course that the racers must pass through while carrying their skis to make it to the finish.  This years race was won yet again by Paul Scharwzacher in a time of 8:14.  It was his 7th title on skis.

Here is a link to some fottage of this year’s race.  If you can make it to watch it in person you’ll certainly gain a fuller appreciate of this awesome race.

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