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Lauberhorn and Tschuggen.jpg
The Lauberhorn and its downhill course with the Tschuggen (right)
Elevation 2,472 m (8,110 ft)
Prominence 122 m (400 ft)[1]
Parent peak Tschuggen
Lauberhorn is located in Switzerland
Location in Switzerland
Location Bern, Switzerland
Range Bernese Alps
Coordinates 46°35′32.9″N 7°56′52.6″E / 46.592472°N 7.947944°E / 46.592472; 7.947944Coordinates: 46°35′32.9″N 7°56′52.6″E / 46.592472°N 7.947944°E / 46.592472; 7.947944

The Lauberhorn is a mountain in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland, located between Wengen and Grindelwald, north of the Kleine Scheidegg. Its summit is at an elevation of 2,472 m (8,110 ft) above sea level.

The mountain is best known for the Lauberhorn World Cup alpine ski races (German: Lauberhornrennen), held annually in mid-January above Wengen in the Bernese Oberland. The downhill course is the longest in the world; its length of 4.48 km (2.78 mi) results in run times of two and a half minutes (about 30–45 seconds longer than standard downhill races); top speeds approach 160 km/h (100 mph) on its Haneggschuss, the highest speeds on the World Cup circuit.

The Lauberhorn downhill run is surrounded by the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau above the Lauterbrunnen valley. It is known for run arrangements such as the Hundschopf, a signature 40 m (130 ft) jump over a rock nose, the Kernen-S (passing over a bridge at around 80 km/h (50 mph) and the Wasserstation tunnel (underpassing the viaduct of the local railroad Wengernalpbahn).

Lauberhorn ski races[edit]

The Lauberhorn ski races (downhill, slalom, and combined) are among the highest-attended winter sports events in the world, attracting around 30,000 spectators each year. An established attraction is the airshow by the Patrouille Suisse, the aerobatic demonstration team of the Swiss Air Force. The 2012 races were held January 13–15 (super-combined, downhill, and slalom).

The races in Wengen are held in mid-January, usually the week prior to the Hahnenkamm, in Kitzbühel, Austria, another classic downhill race run since the early 1930s.

Key sections[edit]

Many of the named portions of the course are due to historic falls or crashes by racers. The best known sections of the Lauberhorn downhill race are the following (in descending order):[2]

  • Russisprung (Russi jump), named after Swiss Olympic champion Bernhard Russi, in the upper treeless part of the course
  • Hundschopf (dog's head), the Lauberhorn's signature jump over the rock nose, about a third of the way down the course
  • Minsch-Kante and the long fall-away curve
  • Canadian Corner
  • Alpweg trail, very narrow and only 3 m (10 ft) in width
  • Kernen-S (formerly the Brüggli-S), consecutive right-left 90° curves separated by a small bridge), which reduces speed considerably
  • Wasserstation (water station), a small tunnel underpassing the local railroad Wengernalpbahn
  • Langentrejen where the slope becomes significantly flatter
  • Haneggschuss, a pitch after the flats where top speeds approach 160 km/h (100 mph)
  • Silberhornsprung (Silberhorn jump)
  • Österreicherloch (Austrian hole)
  • Ziel-S (finish-S) which is endurance challenging and finally a finish jump (reduced in recent seasons)


Karl Schranz in 1966, skiing in his third of four Lauberhorn downhill wins beneath the Mönch

The Lauberhorn downhill race began in 1930 and is one of the oldest continuously-held ski races. The Russisprung was originally built in the springfor a television show and was incorporated into the course by organizers the following year. The Minsch-Kante is where Josef Minsch fell in 1965 and was hospitalized for weeks. The Canadian Corner is named after two of the Crazy Canucks, Dave Irwin and Ken Read, who aggressively attacked this part of the course in 1976 and subsequently fell during the race. The Kernen-S was renamed for 2003 winner Bruno Kernen after his crash in 2006 at the former Brüggli-S. The Silberhornsprung was introduced in 2003 with the pyramid-shaped Silberhorn mountain in the background for television viewers. The Österreicherloch (Austrian hole) got its name in 1954 when almost all participating Austrian skiers (including Toni Sailer) fell there; 1960s Austrian great Karl Schranz later fell there as well.

In 1991, a tragic death occurred during training for the race at the Ziel-S (Finish-S). The young Austrian skier Gernot Reinstadler was not able to finish the S-curve properly and therefore jumped into the slope boundary (because he was too far to the right), where he hooked one ski in the security net and suffered severe injuries to the lower body. He died shortly after the accident from internal bleeding. The race was not held that year. In reaction to this tragic event, the slope boundary at that place was also equipped with rejection canvas and the gates were moved upwards and more to the left.

Snowmaking was added in the mid-1990s, and the combined race has been a run as a "super combined" since the World Cup debut of the format at Wengen in 2005. The super-combi consists of a shortened downhill and with a slalom run, both on the same day, instead of three runs (one downhill and two slalom) of the traditional combined. On the World Cup circuit, the traditional combined is usually not run as separate races, but determined "on paper" from the results of the primary downhill and slalom races, which are run on separate days. (The Olympics and world championships are the exceptions, holding separate races for the combined.) At the Winter Olympics, the super-combined format replaced the traditional combined at the 2010 Winter Games.

Facts and figures[edit]

Lauberhorn - Downhill
Vertical 1,028 m (3,373 ft)
Top elevation 2,315 m (7,595 ft)  
Base elevation 1,287 m (4,222 ft)
Lauberhorn is located in Alps
Location in the Alps of Europe
  • Longest downhill race in the World Cup circuit, with a length of about 4.48 kilometres (2.78 mi);
    typical World Cup downhill courses for men are 2.0 miles (3.2 km) or less.
  • The course's starting elevation is 2,315 metres (7,595 ft) above sea level;
    it descends 1,028 vertical metres (3,373 ft) to the finish at 1,287 metres (4,222 ft) in Wengen.
  • The course record of 2:24.23 is held by the Kristian Ghedina of Italy, who won in 1997 with an average speed of 106.33 km/h (66.07 mph), an average vertical descent rate of 7.1 m/s (23 ft/s).
  • Top speeds approach 160 km/h (99 mph) on the Haneggschuss, a straightaway 25–30 seconds from the finish. The highest speed ever measured in a FIS World Cup race was reached at this section in 2013 by Johan Clarey of France at 161.9 km/h (100.6 mph). Top speeds vary from year to year, depending upon snow conditions.
  • The average grade of the downhill race course is 25.3 percent (14.2 degrees).
  • The maximum grade is 87 percent (41 degrees) at the Hundschopf jump, one-third of the way down the course.
  • The largest crowd was recorded in 2009, when 30,000 observed the Lauberhorn downhill race.
  • Ten miles (16 km) of security nets are set up at the border of the downhill run, surrounded by around 1,000 m (3,300 ft) of high security nets and 800 m (2,600 ft) of rejection canvas.
  • The course was one of several featured in the 1969 movie Downhill Racer, starring Robert Redford and Gene Hackman.
    Redford's character challenges his rival teammate to a dual race at the end of practice on the Lauberhorn downhill course.
  • The record holders for the most wins are Karl Molitor of Switzerland, who won six times between 1939 and 1947, and Ivica Kostelić of Croatia, who won the slalom race 4 times between 2002 and 2012, and the combined event twice, in 2011 and 2012. Unlike most of the other major ski races, the Lauberhorn in neutral Switzerland was held during World War II; all of the events were won by Swiss racers. In the post-war era, the most notable multiple winners are three Austrians: Toni Sailer with four straight (1955–58),
    Karl Schranz with four (1959, 1963, 1966, 1969), and Franz Klammer with three consecutive (1975-77).
  • Austrians have won 29 times; Swiss racers have captured 26 victories (although 14 of these came before 1946).
  • The first non-European to win the race was Ken Read in 1980, the sole Canadian, followed by four other North Americans (all U.S.). Lasse Kjus of Norway is the only Scandinavian champion, winning in 1999.
  • The first American winner in the downhill was Bill Johnson, in 1984 on a shortened course; other U.S. winners include Kyle Rasmussen (1995), Daron Rahlves (2006), and Bode Miller (2007 & 2008). Miller and Marco Sullivan made the podium in 2009, taking second and third. Miller won the combined event in 2010, the second American to win the combined at Wengen and first in 52 years (Buddy Werner in 1958). Phil Mahre is the only U.S. racer to take the slalom event at Wengen, in 1982.

Winners list[edit]


Year Downhill Slalom Combined
2015 Austria Hannes Reichelt Germany Felix Neureuther  Switzerland  Carlo Janka [4]
2014  Switzerland  Patrick Küng France Alexis Pinturault United States Ted Ligety [4]
2013 Italy Christof Innerhofer Germany Felix Neureuther France Alexis Pinturault [4]
2012  Switzerland  Beat Feuz Croatia Ivica Kostelić Croatia Ivica Kostelić [4]
2011 Austria Klaus Kröll Croatia Ivica Kostelić Croatia Ivica Kostelić [4]
2010  Switzerland  Carlo Janka Croatia Ivica Kostelić United States Bode Miller [4]
2009  Switzerland  Didier Défago Austria Manfred Pranger  Switzerland  Carlo Janka [4]
2008 United States Bode Miller France Jean-Baptiste Grange France Jean-Baptiste Grange [4]
2007 United States Bode Miller --- Austria Mario Matt
2006 United States Daron Rahlves Italy Giorgio Rocca Austria Benjamin Raich [4]
2005 Austria Michael Walchhofer Germany Alois Vogl Austria Benjamin Raich [4]
2004 --- Austria Benjamin Raich ---
2003  Switzerland  Bruno Kernen
Austria Stephan Eberharter (Fri)
Italy Giorgio Rocca Norway Kjetil André Aamodt
2002 Austria Stephan Eberharter Croatia Ivica Kostelić Norway Kjetil André Aamodt
2001 --- Austria Benjamin Raich ---
2000 Austria Josef Strobl Norway Kjetil André Aamodt -
1999 Norway Lasse Kjus Austria Benjamin Raich Norway Lasse Kjus
1998 Austria Andreas Schifferer
Austria Hermann Maier (Fri)
Austria Thomas Stangassinger [5] Austria Hermann Maier
1997 Italy Kristian Ghedina Austria Thomas Sykora -
1996 --- --- ---
1995 United States Kyle Rasmussen
Italy Kristian Ghedina (Fri)
Italy Alberto Tomba Luxembourg Marc Girardelli
1994  Switzerland  William Besse Luxembourg Marc Girardelli [6] ---
1993 --- --- ---
1992  Switzerland  Franz Heinzer Italy Alberto Tomba  Switzerland  Paul Accola
1991 --- --- ---
1990 --- --- ---
1989 Luxembourg Marc Girardelli
Luxembourg Marc Girardelli (Fri)
Austria Rudolf Nierlich Luxembourg Marc Girardelli
1988 --- --- ---
1987 West Germany Markus Wasmeier  Switzerland  Joel Gaspoz  Switzerland  Pirmin Zurbriggen
1986 --- Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Rok Petrovic ---
1985 Austria Helmut Höflehner
Austria Peter Wirnsberger (Sun)
Luxembourg Marc Girardelli France Michel Vion
1984 United States Bill Johnson --- ---
1983 --- --- ---
1982 Austria Harti Weirather United States Phil Mahre  Switzerland  Pirmin Zurbriggen
1981  Switzerland  Toni Bürgler Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Bojan Krizaj Soviet Union Valery Tsyganof
1980  Switzerland  Peter Müller
Canada Ken Read (Fri)
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Bojan Krizaj West Germany Michael Veith
1979 --- --- ---
1978 --- AustriaKlaus Heidegger ---
1977 Austria Franz Klammer Sweden Ingemar Stenmark  Switzerland  Walter Tresch
1976 Austria Franz Klammer
Italy Herbert Plank (Fri)
Sweden Ingemar Stenmark Austria Franz Klammer
1975 Austria Franz Klammer Sweden Ingemar Stenmark ItalyGustav Thöni
1974  Switzerland  Roland Collombin West Germany Christian Neureuther Austria David Zwilling
1973 --- West Germany Christian Neureuther ---
1972 --- France Jean-Noel Augert ----
1971 --- --- ---
1970 France Henri Duvillard France Patrick Russel France Henri Duvillard
1969 Austria Karl Schranz Austria Reinhard Tritscher Austria Heini Messner
1968 Austria Gerhard Nenning  Switzerland  Dumeng Giovanoli AustriaGerhard Nenning
1967 France Jean-Claude Killy France Jean-Claude Killy France Jean-Claude Killy
1966 Austria Karl Schranz France Guy Périllat Austria Karl Schranz
1965 Austria Stefan Sodat France Guy Périllat Austria Karl Schranz
1964 Austria Egon Zimmermann West Germany Ludwig Leitner Austria Gerhard Nenning
1963 Austria Karl Schranz France Guy Périllat France Guy Périllat
1962 ---  Switzerland  Adolf Mathis ---
1961 France Guy Périllat Austria Pepi Stiegler France Guy Périllat
1960 West Germany Willy Bogner Austria Hias Leitner Austria Pepi Stiegler
1959 Austria Karl Schranz Austria Ernst Oberaigner Austria Ernst Oberaigner
1958 Austria Toni Sailer Austria Josl Rieder United States Buddy Werner
1957 Austria Toni Sailer Austria Anderl Molterer Austria Josl Rieder
1956 Austria Toni Sailer Austria Anderl Molterer Austria Josl Rieder
1955 Austria Toni Sailer  Switzerland  Martin Julen Austria Toni Sailer
1954 Austria Christian Pravda Austria Toni Spiss Austria Christian Pravda
1953 Austria Anderl Molterer Austria Anderl Molterer Austria Anderl Molterer
1952 Austria Othmar Schneider Norway Stein Eriksen Austria Othmar Schneider
1951 Austria Othmar Schneider Norway Stein Eriksen Austria Othmar Schneider
1950  Switzerland  Fredy Rubi Italy Zeno Colò  Switzerland  Fredy Rubi
1949  Switzerland  Rudolf Graf Italy Zeno Colò  Switzerland  Adolf Odermatt
1948 Italy Zeno Colò  Switzerland  Karl Molitor  Switzerland  Karl Molitor
1947  Switzerland  Karl Molitor Sweden Olle Dalman  Switzerland  Edy Rominger
1946 France Jean Blanc  Switzerland  Otto von Allmen  Switzerland  Karl Molitor
1945  Switzerland  Karl Molitor  Switzerland  Otto von Allmen  Switzerland  Otto von Allmen
1944  Switzerland  Rudolf Graf  Switzerland  Marcel von Allmen  Switzerland  Marcel von Allmen
1943  Switzerland  Karl Molitor  Switzerland  Heinz von Allmen  Switzerland  Heinz von Allmen
1942  Switzerland  Karl Molitor  Switzerland  Heinz von Allmen  Switzerland  Heinz von Allmen
1941  Switzerland  Rudolf Graf  Switzerland  Marcel von Allmen  Switzerland  Marcel von Allmen
1940  Switzerland  Karl Molitor  Switzerland  Karl Molitor  Switzerland  Karl Molitor
1939  Switzerland  Karl Molitor Germany Josef Jennewein Austria Willi Walch
1938  Switzerland  Heinz von Allmen Germany Rudi Canz  Switzerland  Heinz von Allmen
1937  Switzerland  Heinz von Allmen Austria Willi Walch Austria Willi Walch
1936  Switzerland  Hans Schlunegger  Switzerland  Hermann Steuri France Émile Allais
1935 Austria Richard Werle  Switzerland  Arnold Glatthard  Switzerland  Hans Steuri
1934  Switzerland  Adolf Rubi  Switzerland  Adolf Rubi  Switzerland  Adolf Rubi
1933 --- --- ---
1932  Switzerland  Fritz Steuri  Switzerland  Fritz von Allmen  Switzerland  Fritz Steuri
1931  Switzerland  Fritz Steuri  Switzerland  Hans Schlunegger  Switzerland  Fritz Steuri
1930  Switzerland  Christian Rubi  Switzerland  Ernst Gertsch United Kingdom Bill Bracken

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Retrieved from the Swisstopo topographic maps and Google Earth. The key col is located north of the summit at 2,350 m.
  2. ^ "Lauberhornrennen 2009: Course map". Verein Internationale Lauberhornrennen. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  3. ^ - World Cup podium results - Wengen - (1967-present)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j A super combination was held (short downhill and a slalom).
  5. ^ The slalom took place in Veysonnaz.
  6. ^ Instead of a slalom a Super G was held.

External links[edit]