St Moritz is famous for the thrilling Cresta Run. Descending the ¾ mile long run at speeds in excess of 60 mph (the best riders approach 80 mph), your face just inches above the surface of the ice, is the ultimate in adrenaline fixes.
Beginners start from Junction, a point approximately a quarter of the way along the course and are encouraged to go down in a time of between 65 and 75 seconds. If beginners follow instructions, they will negotiate the Cresta successfully, but ignoring the expert advice will almost certainly result in total loss of control and an airborne exit at Shuttlecock Corner, the most famous - and feared - point of the Run.
The Cresta Run is a private club but Original Travel is able to offer non-member clients the chance to ride the world famous track. The Run is open from late December to the end of February every year, conditions permitting. We say conditions permitting because the Run is hand-built by an expert team every year and is dependent on low temperatures and ice quality. No refrigerated tracks here!
Original Travel recommends to ride the Cresta in the morning, then head off to an Alpine restaurant for a traditional meal. Some of the best restaurants are only accessible by horse-drawn sledge. Wrapped in a fur blanket, guests are pulled along the crisp snow under frosted fir trees.
St Moritz also has a range of alternative winter activities on offer, including skiing, dog sledding, snow-shoeing, or curling. In the evening soak up the resort's great nightlife and cosmopolitan ambience.
Why We Love It
It is impossible to describe the thrill of riding the Cresta Run. Riding the Cresta sits on many people's Bucket List but very few take the leap. We can help you!
Engadin Ski Marathon
The Engadin Ski Marathon has become a major international sporting event, attracting participants from more than 35 nations every year. While the idea of 26 miles of cross country skiing might not appeal to all, one of the Original Travel gang did it a few years ago and he has been virtually the first to apply every year since. Once you get over the fact that it's strange to be in the mountains and not be going downhill it's the most wonderful sport, a great challenge and a brilliant event in stunning surrounds.
St. Moritz is the oldest winter sports resort in the world, and has been host to two Winter Olympics and three Alpine Ski World Championships. The resort enjoys one of the most spectacular settings in the Alps, situated on the Upper Engadin lakes. Early every March St Moritz is roughly the half way point in the Engadin Ski Marathon. The first Engadin Ski Marathon took place in 1969, and it now attracts up to 14,000 participants each year. While there are thousands of people who come back year after year it also attracts plenty of newcomers.
We recommend that you head out to Zurich on the Wednesday night before the race, have two clear days of lessons, one day of rest and then take part in the race on the Sunday. Understanding the correct technique is crucial, and people in their eighties regularly take part and complete the course in not much more than three hours through good technique alone.
If it's a really top notch hotel you are after then the Kulm or Kempinski are great. Perhaps easiest though is to stay in Pontresina at the halfway point. This works very well in terms of accessing the start and from the finish. This is also a good place to be for event admin and practice.
There is a great chance of good weather too. The Engadin Valley is known for its good weather with an average of 322 days sunshine per year. The last couple years have seen near perfect conditions, clear skies, fast snow conditions and a light tail-wind.
Why We Love It
Classic or Skating? Classic is slow, a groin breaker and a blister breeding ground. Skating is faster, more rhythmical, far more pleasing and while needing you to be a bit fitter to get the most out of it, it is what 95% of people taking part in the event do (beginner or not).