St. Moritz: Skiing's steepest start gate

    Story highlights

    • Resort boasts world's steepest start gate
    • Skiers reach speeds of 90 mph in 6 seconds
    • Hosts world championships until February 19

    St. Moritz, Switzerland (CNN)They call it "free fall."

    A leap of faith from a Swiss mountain that propels skiers from standstill to 90 miles per hour in just six seconds.
    It's the steepest start gate in the world and can be found at the glamorous St. Moritz resort.
    It's not one for the fainthearted, and it's just the beginning of the men's downhill course for this month's Alpine World Ski Championships.
    Only accessible by a gondola lift and a 178-step climb, on Saturday the gold medal hopefuls will strap on their skis, approach the precipice and take the plunge.
    No other course is quite like it.
    "People, television, they need stories," former Olympic champion and course designer Bernhard Russi tells CNN.
    "They want to be able to show the people what these guys can do and how steep it is."
    Cut into rock face 3,000 meters up, the 45-degree gradient forces TV cameramen to abseil just to obtain suitable filming positions.
    Don't. Look. Down.