The Swiss have a reputation for being conservative and deliberate, which makes Switzerland the unlikely venue for what is perhaps the craziest ski race in Europe. The Inferno Race was held for the first time on 29 January 1928 by a group of “ski-crazy” Englishmen (okay, so the Swiss didn’t start it). Today, together with the Albert Kandahar Race, it is the oldest surviving ski race in the world and it also claims to be the largest amateur skiing race in the world. The event is so popular that participation has to be limited to “only” 1800 competitors – about half the skiers who would like to participate. The course covers 15.8 kilometres of contrasting terrain and topography, and is open to the skiing public at other times of the year. The race starts from the summit of the Schilthorn (2970 metres) and it’s straight down from there. Participation takes priority over position, and anyone wearing the coveted Inferno Badge (the Devil) can take pride in counting himself – or herself – among the best skiers in the world. No other ski challenge combines so many demanding variations of skiing technique. If you want a preview of what to expect, take a look at the dramatic ski scene from the James Bond film which was filmed at Schilthorn.