Lia Näpflin/Jungfrau Zeitung
«There's a lot of manual work in the Hundschopf»
Head of Route Section 2 Guido Küchler on the construction of the Lauberhorn run
Without the many helpers, no ski racer would be able to complete the Lauberhorn run. Guido Küchler is one of them. He works at the army’s logistics base, and is responsible for preparing Route Section Two of the slope. This is the upper part, and it includes the legendary Hundschopf.
As a layperson, you wouldn't think that there was much to do by hand on the Hundschopf. After all, the skiers are in the air at this point, so surely there is no need to have a freshly prepared base? Well, it's not that simple. Guido Küchler is responsible for making sure that the ski professionals take off in the first place. His solution: a jump-off platform just before the sloping edge.
"The Hundschopf is built so that the skiers fly beautifully. I achieve that by building the jump-off negatively, tilted downwards," he explains. The rough work is started by machines, but as soon as it's time to get down to the details there is a lot of manual work on the Hundschopf.
Guido Küchler is a purist, and it's important to him that the piste should be natural. A route that is too artificial is less of a challenge. So he makes sure that the demanding jump remains true to its reputation and is not toned down too much. "For several years, the Hundschopf was built conservatively, but today we're heading more in the opposite direction, and the jump is becoming more spectacular," he enthuses, going on to say: "The important thing is that the flight and landing are clean for the athletes. The approach to the jump and the jump itself should be more challenging for them again."
Reconciling challenging terrain and best times is not an easy task for many. And there's no stepping on the brake pedal on the Hundschopf. But the Hundschopf builder also has a warning: "A low speed is critical, because as a skier you'll take off with too little strength and in the worst case, touch down again before the actual landing. Like a rubber ball."
The ski professionals who fly over the Hundschopf confirm time and again that Guido Küchler is doing a great job as a piste track builder. He himself has also already taken off from his structure on skis. Although he didn't quite manage 40 metres.