Billed as the “ultimate skiing showdown” by sponsors RedBull the duo’s Race the Face in a contest starting at over 4,000 metres down the face of Hohberghorn in Switzerland.
The race was part of a film, the idea for which came to Heitz whilst he was filming for his groundbreaking La Liste as he tackled the toughest descents in the Alps for a documentary.
His idea was a giant slalom contest from the 4,129m summit of Hohberghorn.
His choice for his rival down its sheer face was an easy one. Heitz explained:
“He’s my favourite skier. When I thought about this project I directly thought about bringing him here to
The pair were not just racing each other but the elements
American Rahlves, a former world champion and 12-time World Cup winner during his career, admitted he didn’t hesitate when asked to take part. But as he put it:
“It’s nuts – a ski race down an Alpine face. It’s been aproject tough to pull off with weather factors and snow conditions. It’s alittle bit more of the unknown and, when you face something new, you fear whatthe consequences will be and calculate the risks. It’s totally new to me.”
Rahlves was the first one down in their showdown, filmed
The drone subsequently filmed Heitz’s every twist and turn, Heitz regarded as the quickest
Rahlves clocked a time of 26.440 with Heitz following him down in 27.720, a time difference of 1.28 seconds.
“I knew I couldn’t fight against a Kitzbühelinner!” said Hertz.
The full film of the descent can be seen here.