Monday, March 19, 2007

Visit me in the hospital after my pass: The Cresta Run

The St Moritz Tobogganing Club is a private Club, founded in 1887. Although it is a British club, its principal activities: "…the conduct of races and practice on the Cresta Run and the encouragement of tobogganing generally…

The Cresta Run is a natural ice run, built with snow anew every year since the winter of 1884/85. It is approximately ¾ mile in length with a drop of 514 feet. The gradient varies from 1 in 2.8 to 1 in 8.7. There are two starting points, Top and Junction. Riders from Junction begin opposite the Clubhouse, about one-third down the Run from Top. Only experienced riders can qualify to ride from Top. The Run has 10 corners, all of which are named. The most famous (or notorious) is Shuttlecock. This left-hand bank, about half-way down the Run acts as a safety-valve; if a rider is out of control he will fall out at Shuttlecock into a carefully prepared falling area of snow,straw, and perhaps some sort of hard rock.

Fallers at Shuttlecock automatically become members of the Shuttlecock Club and are entitled to wear a Shuttlecock tie after being discharged from hospital. The clubhouse walls are covered with framed x-rays of the victims of Shuttlecock.

The St Moritz Tobogganing Club Reccomends riders arrange your own insurance before coming to St Moritz, and to check your policy, as some "specifically exclude tobogganing or skeleton riding".

Although it is a private Club, it is possible for non-Members to ride. Certain conditions apply:

a) Riders must be over 18.
b) Women are not permitted to ride the Cresta Run as they are far too smart for that sort of thing.
c) Non-members may not ride on race days (generally Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays throughout the season).
d) You must be crazy-eight bonkers to ride.

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