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Der Weisse Rausch. St. Anton am Arlberg. The toughest ski race in the Alps

Der Weisse Rausch. St. Anton am Arlberg. Skiing in Austria

Next April 20th a new edition of Der Weisse Rausch (The White Thrill) will take place in St. Anton am Arlberg. When the lifts close in the afternoon, things really heat up on the slopes of St. Anton am Arlberg. This is the day of the „White Thrill“ – the cult ski race that drives its participants to their absolute physical limits every year. "The White Thrill" ski race is talked about all over the world by Wintersport fans. Whether as participants or observers, this sporty and speedy spectacle is a cult. Each year the race attracts hundreds of international piste freaks.


555 international piste addicts will gather the line-up this year on the Valluga at 2650 meters for the mass start. Participants cover a 9-kilometer trail through Valfagehrjoch, Ulmerhütte, Steißbachtal, Moos, and finally St. Anton am Arlberg.


1,350 meters in altitude difference, a 150-meter climb, and a record time of seven minutes, 40.6 seconds are the forces to be reckoned with: "The White Thrill" cult race demands everything of its’ participants, yet most are inexorably drawn back every year to compete all over again.


The race is named after Der Weisse Rausch's Film (White Ecstasy, 1931) directed by Dr. Arnold Franck and starring Hannes Schneider and Leni Riefenstahl.



Paul Schwarzacher, member of the Austrian National Ski Team training team has triumphed a record winning nine times. The fastest time of seven minutes and 40.6 seconds, however, was set in 2012 by Florian Holzinger from Germany. Times between 11 and 18 minutes are a good average, but they lose their significance once the race is over. What really counts is crossing the finishing line, amply demonstrated by the many participants who compete in fancy dress and take a leisurely half an hour to complete the course.


Der Weisse Rausch in St. Anton am Arlberg is also the first stage of the alpine triathlon "Arlberg Eagle". The overall winner must be ahead of the field in the ski race, in the Arlberger Jakobilauf half marathon (July 23rd), and in the mountain bike race: the Arlberger Bike Marathon (August 20th).


There is also a “Mini version” of the White Thrill on 20th April at 16.30 for youngsters born in 2008 – 2013.


The race starts at 5:00 pm. The prizes are awarded two hours later and then the “White Rush Party” kicks in. The race marks the end of the winter season at Arlberg Ski Area.



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