|Originally posted by MittersillManiac:
What about Toni Matt? Surely a man capable of running the inferno in 6 and a half minutes, on 15 foot long wooden skis with no edges, and lace up boots, is deserving of being on that list. That course is 4,268 vertical feet. That's so much more than most, if not all, F.I.S. downhill courses today. Not to mention that the John Sherburne Trail (2nd half of the course) used to be much narrower than it is now. They removed the evil pine tree on "dead man's curve" several years ago. The trail is fairly narrow still. I can only imagine what it must have been like in 1937. Seriously, if you think about what Matt did, it boggles the mind. I can't even comprehend what it must have been like to see him straight run the headwall. I would give anything to be there and watch that, wouldn't you?
Matt’s accomplishment is indeed impressive . . . and so impressive that the details are worth getting right:
- Skis of that era were not 15 feet - his are reported to be exactly half that length (or about 229cm, only around 17cm or so longer than modern dh racing skis).
- His gear was indeed primitive by today’s standards, but his skis did at least have metal edges.
- The vertical relief from the summit to Pinkham Notch is not 4,268 but rather 4,260 (4,288 minus 2,028) and since the race didn’t start quite at the very summit, the course is reported to be a bit less than that.
- Either way, the FIS dh max is 1,100m/3,609 feet, so regardless of which figure you use, the course had more vertical than any FIS course.
- The year was not 1937 but 1939. (This is actually quite important, since with the outbreak of WW II, the full race was never held again, and therefore Matt’s record was never challenged.)
But yes, it still boggles the mind, and here’s a good account for more reading:http://www.concordmonitor.com/storie...matt1121.shtml