The Automotive Industry, Briefly

With This Adventure the Slopes are Never Closed

11.15.16 - Inferno Downhill Challenge

In Switzerland, where the mountains are high, the air is cold and skiing is nearly a year-round activity, there is a downhill ski challenge that offers the longest amateur race in the world. The Inferno Downhill Challenge, which began in 1928, spans a length of 9.8 miles and starts at an elevation of 9,744 feet above sea level. This track winds down a slope of 75 percent descent and gives you a crazy ride, even if you’re on a bed of fresh powder. As one of the most challenging courses on skis, there is something else that has taken on this track and made an amazing run.

Ben Collins, who is the stunt-double for Daniel Craig on occasion, and is also a professional stunt driver decided to see if this course could be done in another way. He didn’t choose a snowboard or a snowmobile; instead his vehicle of choice was the Range Rover Sport from Land Rover. This vehicle would be put to the test for sure on a hilly descent such as this that quickly takes on a large number of challenging twists and turns that no one should endure in a vehicle.

The drop from the top of the slopes is a full 7,119 feet and the course is covered with snow, ice, loose rocks, mud and gravel all along the way. The crazy thing about this course when you see the video is the fact that even those on skis are told to just go and not hold back. Hitting the brakes on skis can be detrimental on the course, but in the Land Rover, it would possibly spin completely out of control and tumble down the steep slope, potentially killing Collins in the process.

The vehicle was fitted with special roll bars and equipment that would help protect Collins on the course as he took on this mountainous trek. Not only did he have this protective equipment inside the vehicle to keep him safe, but he also had a standby safety helicopter ready to whisk him away to the nearby hospital if things went wrong on the hills. This may be enough to help make sure he doesn’t die in case of a crash, but the hope wasn’t about just surviving, but about being able to master this downhill ski slope in a vehicle that can hopefully handle the run.

Collins actually hit speeds on the hills as high as 96 mph and had to make quick turns and split second decisions to make sure he could handle the ride all the way down. There are some areas of the course that nestle up to large boulders and cliffs which means he was close to going over and tumbling down a number of times. Thankfully he safely made it to the bottom of the course and completed 9.25 miles of the course. Check out this video and enjoy the ride.



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