Crazy ways to get down the hill
Posted by HannahEngelkamp 4th April 2012
Out comes the sun, and everyone goes a little bit crazy in the mountains. Suddenly just skiing or snowboarding seems a bit last month, and instead schemes are devised to make the downhill route a bit more exciting, dangerous and flamboyant. Check out three of our favourite unusual things going on in the mountains this spring
Åre, Sweden, and the Red Bull Home Run
There’s fancy dress, there’s giant Swedes, everyone’s tanked up on taurine. It’s all a big excuse for a monstrous après-ski party in the Åre afternoon sunshine, but that sounds just fine to us.
Starting after the slopes empty for the evening, the Home Run is an all-out race from top to bottom. Participants begin with a run to their skis or snowboard, followed by an 840-vertical-metre drop, as everyone barges their way to the bottom. Last year 200 people took part, many in fancy dress. Åre is a great fun resort any time of the year, and the reindeer burgers, bright wooden cabins and wide-open landscape make a refreshing change from the Alps.
If you’ve ever experienced Swedish après-ski you’ll know that it’s pretty upbeat. Add this maverick way of getting there into the mix and it’s bound to be one not to tell the grandkids.
Saturday 8th April, register at www.redbull.se
Red Bull Home Run video. It's in Swedish, but you get the idea of the sheer bonkersness
Chill Factor, Manchester, and the Avalanche
For some mayhem on home turf, the indoor snow slope Chill Factore in Manchester has masterminded a new way of getting down their hill: strap into a 4m diameter inflatable ball, and roll down at 30mph, with 4Gs of force acting on you, of course. It’s the first time that ‘sphering’ has been done on ice, and to deal with the lack of space for a gentle run out they’ve had to build a kind of metal scoop to catch you, which looks thrillingly dangerous.
Book at www.chillfactore.com
Bamiyan, Afghanistan, and the Afghan Ski Challenge
A 7km backcountry ski-touring race, and trip of a lifetime. Skiing through the beautiful 5000m mountains of dry and untouched powder is just the start. The real experience is being part of a project bringing the fun of a ski race to an area downtrodden by war and poverty. The founders of this unusual ski event were a bunch of Swiss skiers who taught ten local Afghans to ski and compete. This will be the second event, and international entrants are welcomed.
Date TBC, register through www.afghanskichallenge.com
This article was written by MadDogSki and first appeared in Sport magazine
About the author
Hannah Engelkamp is MadDogSki's editor, which involves a pretty decent balance between trawling around behind the scenes of this website you see before you, and zipping around the pistes and bars of the Alps. Please email me if you've got any suggestions about things you'd like to see on here, and I'll see what I can do (especially if you demand stories on heli-skiing, the world's best spas or vin chaud tests, personally researched. Well, it would be rude not to).
- A glass snowboard? It'll never work! - 21st February 2013
- French mountain comfort food for cold January days - 23rd January 2013
- Ischgl goes Deep Purple - 23rd January 2013
- Come on then, winter! Show us your best! - 12th December 2012
- Win ski show tickets! - 12th October 2012
Find it quick
- Get news!
- Get prizes!
- Sign up here!