Downhill classic – The Lauberhorn downhill race in Wengen, Switzerland marks the start of World Cup skiing's Classic season.
Eiger sanction – The longest running race on the calendar takes place against the backdrop of the Eiger and its infamous north face (in shadow), scene of many feats of mountaineering heroism and tragedy.
Leg-jellying – The downhill is the longest on the circuit at about 2.85 miles and takes about two-and-a-half minutes from the start hut on the Lauberhorn mountain back into Wengen.
The course plunges back to Wengen against the backdrop of the Eiger and the mighty Monch and Jungfrau mountains in the Bernese Oberland.
Picturesque panorama – The race was first held in 1930 and regularly attracts about 35,000 fans to the spectacular venue.
One to win – Along with skiing's blue riband Kitzbuhel downhill the following week, Wengen is one title all racers want on their resume.
Speed trap – Wengen is the fastest course on the World Cup circuit with speeds of up to nearly 100 miles per hour. It is also about 30 seconds longer than the tough Kitzbuhel track.
Morning commute – Racers travel up the mountain on a rack railway from Wengen. One-way tickets are all they need.
Alpine charm – Car-free Wengen is a mix of timber-clad chalets and 19th century hotels perched on a shelf above the Lauterbrunnen valley.
Sky's the limit – Fighter jets from the Swiss Air Force (the "Patrouille Suisse") traditionally fly display flights during the Lauberhorn race weekend.
All change – The mountain railway from Wengen trundles up to the small hamlet of Kleine Scheidegg in the shadow of the Eiger's north wall, from where racers disembark to get a chairlift to the Lauberhorn start.
Top of the world – Another cog railway travels up through the heart of the Eiger to the Jungfraujoch and its observatory at the head of the vast Aletsch glacier. The summit of the Jungfrau at 4,158 meters (13,641 feet) is in the distance.
Famous features – Wengen is a lengthy mix of tight corners, fast straights, technical turns and big jumps with famous features such as the Hundschopf, Canadian Corner, Minschkante, Kernen-S, Austrian Hole and Haneggschuss.
Leap of faith – The huge Hundschopf jump features a blind take off through a gap between rocks and a safety net.
Record breaker – France's Johan Clarey set the fastest speed ever recorded on the World Cup of 161.9 kph (100mph) when conditions were slick in 2013.
100% effort – Even two-time champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland feels the physical effects of the legendary Lauberhorn at the finish.
Winning feeling – A downhill win at Wengen is a coveted crown among ski racers. Italy's Christof Innerhofer took the honors in 2013.