An Inferno racer, overlooked by the Schilthorn - Photo: Bruno Petroni
The Inferno race, held on the slopes above the picturesque Jungfrau resort of Murren, is the most famous amateur ski race in the world.
As one of the birthplaces of organised ski racing, Murren is a fitting home to such an historic event, and the race has been held here since 1928.
At just under 16km long (approx 10 miles) it is the longest amateur downhill race of its kind, and along with the Allalin Rennen and Belalp Hexe races in Saas Fee and Belalp, it forms a famous trio of classic Swiss amateur ski races. The race is not all downhill, with a few sections of ascents, and a decent skier will find that it will take around 45 minutes to complete the race, with the race winners usually doing it in an incredible 15 minutes (the current record is a mind blowing time of just under 13 and a half minutes!).
The starting point of the races could hardly be more dramatic. The Schilthorn, best known as the mountain hideaway of Blofeld in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, provides a fitting location for such an amazing event. The skiers then hurtle down towards Murren and then into the valley of Lauterbrunnen. The altitude drop is 2170m, from 2970m at the Schilthorn to 800m down at Lauterbrunnen.
A summertime Inferno has also been introduced. The Inferno Triathlon runs the opposite way and sees competitors start in the valley of Lauterbrunnen before heading upwards and finishing at the Schilthorn summit. A great idea, but incredibly difficult on a hot summer's day !
The next Inferno Race at Murren will take place on 17-20 Jan 2018.
The official Inferno Race at Murren site is: www.inferno-muerren.ch