Lake St. Moritz

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Lake St. Moritz
St. Moritzersee
Lej da San Murezzan
St. Moritzersee 2006.jpg
Location Engadin, Grisons
Coordinates 46°29′40″N 9°50′45″E / 46.49444°N 9.84583°E / 46.49444; 9.84583Coordinates: 46°29′40″N 9°50′45″E / 46.49444°N 9.84583°E / 46.49444; 9.84583
Type meromictic
Primary inflows Inn River, Ovel dal Mulin
Primary outflows Inn River
Basin countries Switzerland
Max. length 1.6 km
Max. width 0.6 km
Surface area 0.78 km²
Max. depth 44 m
Surface elevation 1,768 m
Frozen December - May
Settlements St. Moritz

Lake St. Moritz (German: St. Moritzersee, Romansh: Lej da San Murezzan) is a lake near St. Moritz, Switzerland. With a surface of 0.78 km², it is smaller than the main lakes of the Upper Engadin valley (Lake Sils, Lake Silvaplana).

Every January or early February, Polo matches are held on the lake. Compared to polo played in the summer, a slightly larger and lighter red ball is used that is easily visible in the snow.

For three weekends every February, horse races are held on the frozen lake. This races called "White Turf" are held since 1907 and brings the wealthy tourists to the lake for champagne and betting. This is also the location, where sports enthusiasts invented the sport of skijoring. In this type of race, thoroughbred horses compete without riders on their backs, but instead skiers in tow. While the sport is also played in other alpine countries, it still is mainly found in the region in which it as originated. The sport has evolved since the first race in 1906; the race as held on the road from St. Moritz to Champfer and as won by the President of Alpina Ski Club Philip Mark and his horse Blitz (German for lightning). Today, the race is run similar to other horse races, with all horses starting at the same time and running around the track. Steering is very difficult complicating the race significantly requiring great strength and skill on behalf of the athletes. The skier with the most points after the three races on consequitive Sundays is crowned the "King of the Engadin Valley". In addition to skijoring, traditional flat and trotting races over different distances are held. Until recently visitor parking was also located on the lake, but this practice has since been prohibited.[1]

The first ice cricket tournament took place on the frozen lake in 1988. English cricketer David Gower parked his rental car on the ice in January 1990; overnight it broke through the ice and sank.

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