“A lot of bones have been broken here. A lot. Broken bones in the feet, the hands, the shoulders, collarbones definitely, hips, skull fractures, broken necks. I don’t know if it’s broken every bone in the human body, but a lot of bones have been broken here.”
I’m in St Moritz, home to the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in 2017, talking to Gary Lowe. Gary, who’s wearing a spectacular pair of red trousers, is the new Secretary of the St Moritz Tobogganing Club (the SMTC). Sat together in the confines of the empty clubhouse bar, he’s reeling off the various bones the Cresta Run (aka the Cresta) has claimed like they’re items on a particularly morbid shopping list. The season hasn’t got under way just yet, so the clubhouse isn’t officially up and running, but Gary has kindly offered me the chance to take an exclusive access-all-areas tour anyway.
“People do get addicted to it…”
“I was hit in the back of the leg a few years ago by my toboggan and let me tell you – that hurts. I was on crutches for some time after that. I’ve had the odd broken finger, stitches in the eyelids, stitches in the eye. I’ve had long thoracic nerve damage, and radial nerve damage. These injuries were the bad results of two unlucky crashes,” he tells me, when I ask him what wounds he’s suffered over the course of his 700 rides down the Cresta.