Those who crave more Alpine adventure this winter can head to the ski area of Saas-Fee, Switzerland, on Saturday for a day out that includes more than the usual skiing and boarding.
The 10th edition of the Glacierbike Downhill kicks off at 8:30 a.m., when a couple hundred brave bikers will gather on the Mittelallalin, some 11,500 feet above sea level, to face down a steep, curving track covered in snow and ice. The race finishes in the village of Saas-Fee, itself at a height of around 5,900 feet. An awards ceremony takes place immediately following.
For a glance at what the race looks like, see http://tinyurl.com/b6my9xa. Those not content to view from the sidelines can find sign-up information at http://files.gadmin.ch/57630. On-site registration is possible, although an additional fee of 20 Swiss francs (about $22) is tacked onto the entry cost of 70 Swiss francs. For information, call the Saas-Fee tourist office at (+41) (0) 27-958-1858. English is spoken.
Also on Saturday, the Ziebel village lift in the nearby village of Saas-Grund will host the Horn Sledging Races. This non-competitive event is for teams of three, although in a pinch, just two sledders can make a go of it. Race winners are determined on the basis of two runs — teams with the least amount of time difference between the results of their two descents win. Fortunately, those without horn sledges of their own are welcome to use those provided by the organizers. Participation in the race costs 10 Swiss francs, and all those taking part are rewarded with a small gift. Races begin at 7:30 p.m.
Organizers urge advance registration by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. German speakers can sign up by calling (+41) (0) 79-433-2805.