The Alberg Eagle takes place in the St Anton every year. It’s consists of three different races: a cult ski race called the Weisser Rausch in April, a half marathon run in July and a 41km mountain bike race in August. The idea is to complete all three challenges in one calendar year and there can be only one winner! Those who succeed wear their Alberg Adler (Alberg Eagle) t-shirts with pride.
The Weisser Rausch, which means White Thrill, claims to be the best day of the ski season. The race begins in absolute chaos with a mass start at the top of the Valluga. It starts at 5pm when the snow is at its slushiest and much harder to ski than normal.
The reason for starting at the top of Valluga is allegedly to “tame the Monster” of Valluga. From Valluga you travel 9km down the mountain, past the Valfagehrjoch, past Ulmerhutte, on past Moos before finishing in St Anton.
“Eight minutes of full concentration, eight minutes full throttle, eight minutes of adrenaline, eight minutes of brutal stress”, nine-time winner Paul Schwarzacher once said in an interview with the German magazine Focus. “My lungs always needed six or seven days to recover from this barbarian endeavor.” Schwarzacher, an Irish-Austrian who raced professionally, has won nine times. Seven on skis and twice on snowboard.
Organisers split the race into groups of skiers, snowboarders, telemark, kurski and monoskiers. There is a winner for each group and they receive an equal share of the €1,900 prize money. Every racer has to finish by 6:30pm and good skiers expect to finish between 11 and 18 minutes. The record time is an impressive 7 minutes and 40.6 seconds.
This crazy race is based on an early 1930’s film called Der Weisse Rausch. A comedy about the early days of tourism, it used pioneering outdoor filming techniques and is considered the first real ski movie.
Inspired by the scene of two people chased down the mountains by a huge crowd of skiers, Martin Ebster created the Weisser Rausch race. He wanted to recreate this scene, and give everyone a special memory at the end the ski season.
So why not come and see what all the fuss is about? Visit St Anton and make the most of the spring snow, catch a goggle tan in the beautiful blue skies, and soak up the adrenalin of this fantastic event.