Wengen Vertical Up

The title of this race doesn’t trip off the tongue exactly, but whatever it is lacking in linguistic style it makes up in difficulty.

The Lauberhorn is of course the longest downhill race on the World Cup circuit.  It has some steep and tricky sections, even when skied at a “normal” pace.  However, why waste the mountain on a couple of races a year?  Two or three years ago, someone had the idea that the race could be done in reverse, on skis (any variety), snow shoes or on foot. So the Wengen Vertical Up came to pass and a pretty pass it is too.

Vertical Up racers, close to the Lauberhorn start hut

For the World Cup skiers, it is two minutes and a bit down to Innerwengen.  For the leading racers in the Vertical Up, it is the best part of an hour in the opposite direction. Why would anyone do this?  When George Mallory was asked why he would climb Everest, he said “because it’s there”.  The Lauberhorn may not be Everest, but it is there, so why not?

A chilly day, spent going down hill only in the traditional Wengen fashion, brought 11,218 vertical metres in 24 lift rides.


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