Quadruple-down ahead

Switzerland is expensive; to my own amazement, it is not only expensive, but very expensive. Of course, this is the case all over the country and the local society can easily finance this with their corresponding salary, but for tourists the whole thing looks a bit different. For those who feel like it, for 28 CHF, thus approximately 26€, they can dare a trip on the toboggan run Rodelbahn Pradaschier (including the chair lift ride) or for approximately the same price, they can have a four hours swim in an water park and/or have a regular meal in a restaurant.

Hooked by the review of the summer tobogganing veteran Martin Spies, we had no other choice but to race down the Pradaschier at least once. Well, if only one could do that. Modernised to the latest safety system of the manufacturer and thus equipped with automatic distance holders and brake swords that are available throughout the track and in which the magnetic brake engages as required, this is really not so easy to do anymore. But before you come to this conclusion, you have to climb the mountain and get into one of the bobsleighs. The fate of a boy from North Rhine-Westphalia who wanted to race down this 3 km long splendid Alpine Coaster with his cousin from Switzerland showed us that the whole thing can be more difficult than expected. Since you really can’t complain about additional weight in the bobsled, I was very happy to take the boy with me. A stroke of luck, because Daniel had to crawl a considerable distance behind his sneaking cousin despite a considerable time interval between him and the boy was given, while the two of us had completely free run.

The ride on the Rodelbahn Pradaschier toboggan run begins with a steep left-hand bend, which quickly increases your speed. After a short right turn you pass the first smaller jump before the track turns into two serpentine curves. On the following straight another jump follows immediately, before a short left bend leads into another hairpin bend. This is followed by three consecutive descents, whereupon a turning curve joins in immediately. On a steeply sloping straight you could build up a lot of speed, which would then, after another turn, take your bottom several centimetres out of the seat over several smaller jumps. But the modernisation of the layout only becomes really bad after the next three hairpin bends, followed by a quite big jump, where you are noticeably slowed down in order to keep the lateral forces to a minimum in the following curve. So full throttle is no fun anymore and unfortunately there were moments like this again and again on the whole track, which results in a really strange acceleration curve; so a harmonic ride is not possible anymore.

We continue in a right turn and once again several smaller jumps. We keep the serpentine course for the time being, whereby this is loosened up by numerous hills from time to time, over a total of seven curves, before we approach the absolute highlight of the course after a short left-hand bend, a genuine quadruple-down seven years before Dollywood’s Lightning Rod. The smile on the face of the passengers during this airtime orgy can hardly be described, as this descent is so unexpected and merciless. It doesn’t bother me that the next three hairpin bends are rather shallow, after all they are for recreation. Full speed, or what ever the counterpart in the throttled condition of the course is, the course leads over another jump into the 19th curve on this track. A small S-curve then leads beautifully into the next one, whereupon the serpentine course of the track is slowly broken up. With more corners and edges and an increased number of jumps, the bobsled now leads the rider through seven more corners before the track becomes more and more straight. But after a short dive into the woods, you encounter three more hairpin bends. Before you get closer to the old patterns, the further course leads you down into the valley parallel to the chair lift. This is further loosened up by several jumps. The end of the ride is now within sight.

The track of the Rodelbahn Pradaschier is great, really. All in all, the course offers a lot of serpentines, but in return it is more than 3km long. The quadruple-down is marvellous and a surprising highlight without equal, but unfortunately the rest of the track suffers from the structural changes to the track, as well as to the bobsleighs. So it is a worsening improvement, which is not worth the high fare for riding. However, you should not forget that the price/performance ratio in this country is at a different level than in Germany and other European countries anyway, and therefore almost everything is far too expensive.


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