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Saas Fee Glacier Race 2012 | “Shredding the Gnar”

I was abruptly brought to my senses and the reality of the here and now by the sickening churning in my stomach and the inevitable carnage of the 9th Saas Fee Glacier race …

From Dirt Issue 123 – May 2012

Words by ‘Rohan’ Sorrell. Photos by Andy Lloyd.

Two weeks previously I had been in much warmer climes, a pleasant and relaxing place, memories of cruising down dusty and flowing trails on the paradise island of Jamaica in playful rider trains were instantly wiped from my memory as I was abruptly brought to my senses and the reality of the here and now by the sickening churning in my stomach and the inevitable carnage of the 9th Saas Fee Glacier race.

The contrast couldn’t be greater and I felt completely out of my depth and unprepared for what was about to happen. I was sat in the cable car with one of the race organisers, Rafael a Swiss ex–World Cup racer who was chatting through some of the intricacies of riding on snow and ice at well over 60mph, he was almost making it sound completely feasible. But no, this was madness, looking down on the run from the lift it looked straighter, faster and steeper than I had imagined, yet there was no getting out of it for me, despite inadvertently adopting a pseudo name of ‘Rohan’ for this event, ducking out at this stage was not an option left open to me.

You see us Brits just don’t get to ride on snow, a couple of seconds on the sorry little patch remaining at last year’s Mega and a few skids in the street when we get a dusting back home is about the extent of it for me, yet it always looks so fun and appealing, though perhaps staring up at this mountain it was growing less so by the minute. That said, my goal for this weekend was simple, I wanted to go faster than I had ever been on a bike before, tales of 80–90mph max speed sounded bonkers and I was up for a bit of that.>>

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