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The top ten snow-related ski events every snow sports fan should try and attend before they die...

Flag   1. Winter Olympic Games (Next Stop: PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018)

Forget the summer version, it's the winter Olympics that we love. So if you ever get the chance to go to it, then grab the chance.

Flag   2. Hahnenkamm Ski Races (Kitzbuhel, Austria)

The word 'classic' is often over-used, but not in the case of this race.

Set on the Streif slope of the Hahnenkamm mountain above the glitzy Austrian resort of Kitzbuhel, this is a race that has the lot - history, drama and some of the steepest slopes on the world cup calendar.

The 2016 year's event will be the 76th running of the races, and if you decide to go and watch just one ski race, try and make it this one, it's an awesome spectacle. It's traditionally run the weekend after the Lauberhorn races at Wengen, making back-to-back classic downhill races.

For more information, have a look at our full section on the Hahnenkamm.

Flag   3. Lauberhorn Ski Races (Wengen, Switzerland)

The word 'classic' is often over-used, but not in the case of this race.

Set on the slopes of the Lauberhorn above the Swiss resort of Wengen, this is a race that has the lot - history, drama and the best scenery on the World Cup calendar.

The 2016 year's event will be the 86th running of the races, making it the longest running of all the FIS World Cup races. It's traditionally run the weekend before the Hahnenkamm races at Kitzbuhel, making back-to-back classic downhill races.

For more information, have a look at our full section on the Lauberhorn.

Flag   4. Four Hills Ski-Jumping Tournament (Austria/Germany)

The Four Hills Tournament is a prestigious ski jumping competition that takes place on four different hills in Germany and Austria over the new year period. The tournament has taken place since 1952 at the same four venues, Obertsdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany, along with Innsbruck and Bischofshofen in Austria.

For more details on this event, check out our full Four Hills Tournament section.

For more information, have a look at our full section on the Four Hills Tournament.

Flag   5. Schladming Night Slalom (Schladming, Austria)

The start of the 2011-12 FIS World Cup competition kicks off (weather permitting, of course - the 2010 men's giant slalom was cancelled because of fog) with giant slaloms for both the men and women. As with the last few years the races take place on the Rettenbach glacier above Solden.

For more information, have a look at our full section on the Schladming Night Slalom.

Flag   6. White Turf Horse Races (St Moritz, Switzerland)

The "White Turf" horse races have been held on the frozen lake at the Swiss resort of St Moritz since 1907. The races are held on 3 weekends in February, when the resort's image as a millionaire's playground is enhanced further by mega-rich visitors sipping champagne, wolfing-down caviar and handing over giant rolls of Swiss Francs in betting money. It's not just some sort of novelty event though - the races are actually the most lucrative in Switzerland, with prize money totalling just under half a million Swiss Francs. As well as the traditional horses-with-jockeys that we're used to in Blighty, the event also features skijoring, where instead of having someone on their back, the horses race along pulling a skier, a bit like an alpine-skiing version of chariot racing. The skijoring tournament takes places over the same 3 weekends and at the end the skier with the most points from the 3 weekends is crowned as "the King of the Engadin Valley".

The resort is also well known for it's polo tournament played on the frozen lake, whilst other sports have also been tried on it, an "ice-cricket" match for instance back in 1990's, although the event became more famous for David Gower's car sinking into the frozen lake, rather than the match itself !

For more information, have a look at our full section on the White Turf races.

Flag   7. International Balloon Festival (Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland)

When it comes to ballooning, the Swiss resort of Chateau-d'Oex is the Alpine capital, and this is the festival to celebrate it. The 2016 festival will be the 38th in the history of this renowned international event, and will feature about 100 balloons, including 10 special shaped ones, from over 20 different countries. The highlight for us though has to be the fantastically named event - "the David Niven Long Distance Hare and Hounds Competition" !

As the festival normally runs in the last week of January it's possible to combine a visit with a skiing holiday in the area - Chateau-d'Oex is situated in the Pays-d'Enhaut region (between Lausanne and Interlaken) and there are a number of other ski resorts close by, including Gstaad for the millionaires amongst you.

For more information, have a look at our full section on the International Balloon Festival.

Flag   8. World Alpine Skiing Championships (Next Stop: St Moritz, Switzerland in 2017)

Ok, so it's not got quite the same glamour as the Winter Olympics but there's no doubting this is a must-see event. It means you can forget all the rubbish stuff like the figure skating, and concentrate on the top-notch blue riband events, namely the alpine skiing !

Flag   9. Inferno Race (Murren, Switzerland)

This spectacular ski race was started back in 1928 by 5 Brits from Murren's Kandahar Club and now has an important place on the annual ski calendar as one of the biggest and most popular amateur ski races in the world. The course is just under 15km long, starting just under the Schilthorn (think James Bond On Her Majesty's Secret Service at 2790m and finishing right down in the valley at Lauterbrunnen 2000m vertically below. The winner hurtles down in about 15 minutes but there's plenty of competition - with up to 1800 skiers taking part. The event has become big business for the village of Murren, with other events in the lead up and a massive Swiss party afterwards.

The 2016 race will be the 73rd running of the event.

For more information, have a look at our full section on the Inferno Race.

Flag   10. The Brits (Laax, Switzerland)

Also known as the British Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships. With our lack of reliable snow and big mountains, the Championships are held abroad, but that hasn't stopped the week-long event becoming extremely popular amongst members of the UK's thriving freestyle scene. Unlike many other national events it's open to anyone - pro's or amateurs alike. And it's not just about the competition either - the week has become a big music event as well featuring appearances from many of the nation's top DJs.

For more information, have a look at our full section on the The Brits.




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