A new record has been set in one of the world's most gruelling sports contests, the cross glacier race from Arolla to Verbier. The winning team shaved ten minutes off the previous record, covering the 28 kilometre course in three hours 41 minutes.
More than 230 teams took part in the race, which is designed to test the skills of army patrolmen in the Alps. Civilian teams are also allowed to participate.
Although extremely demanding, Thursday's race was just a curtain raiser for the main event, a 54-kilometre cross-glacier race from Zermatt to Verbier. More than 300 teams are expected to take part in the eight-hour race in the early hours of Saturday.
While many extreme sports test courage and strength, the cross-glacier patrol also requires an in-depth knowledge of mountain terrain and survival skills.
This was illustrated by the tragic deaths last month of two athletes training for the event. The pair died of hypothermia after losing their bearings in a heavy fog.
swissinfo with agencies