The Insanity of Downhill Ice Cross Racing

Imagine hurtling down a narrow, twisting, hilly ice track on skates at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, then trying to go even faster so you can outpace the competitors at your elbow. This is downhill ice cross. Beginning back in 2001, Red Bull has been sponsoring races and a world tour under the name “Red Bull Crashed Ice,” building enormous ice tracks in historic city centers to challenge the racers who train for the sport. The tracks are made of steel scaffolding, topped by wood shaped to the desired curves, covered with flexible mats and a network of tubes filled with cooled fluid like glycol—then water is sprayed onto the whole track, slowly building up a four-inch layer of slick ice. Gathered here are ice cross images from recent years in cities in Europe and North America.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Bulent Kilic / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Closing In on the Last ISIS Stronghold

    A U.S.-backed coalition now surrounds the last remaining ISIS holdout—the final vestige of a so-called caliphate that once controlled vast territories but that is now boxed in and desperate—in a tiny village under siege in eastern Syria.

  • Ozkan Bilgin / Anadolu Agency / Getty

    Photos of the Super Snow Moon

    Last night, skywatchers around the world were treated to views of the so-called super snow moon, and photographers across the globe captured the event.

  • Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / Getty

    Carnival in Venice 2019

    Colorful images from the opening days of the festival—“Tutta colpa della Luna!

  • Kevin Winter / Getty for The Recording Academy

    Photos of the Week: Lego Bugatti, Snowy Seattle, Cattle Dating

    Valentine’s Day among humans and animals, family reunions at an Indian border fence, an icy dinosaur in Latvia, snow kayaking in Estonia, International Condom Day in Mexico City, and much more