Head of ski jump hill - Bini Amstutz

27 November 2018

At this time of year, it’s almost impossible to conduct a proper, uninterrupted conversation with the boss of Switzerland’s largest natural ski jump. Bini Amstutz is a very busy man right now. When he’s not talking into his phone he is dealing with questions coming in over the radio from colleagues expecting an immediate answer. And yet Bini is able to keep his cool – externally, at least! Competently handling stressful situations is simply part of his nature, and he doesn’t stop to think about whether or not he’s overdoing it. The manager of the Titlis-Schanze and his team are focused purely on ensuring the facility is perfectly prepared for the world’s best ski jumpers when they make their only FIS World Cup appearance in Switzerland this winter.

As manager of the ski jump hill, Bini is the beating heart of the organisation committee for the Engelberg World Cup event. The Titlis-Schanze was totally overhauled two years ago, and now the committee members are working hard to get the ski jump ready for the big occasion. Decisions on what order to tackle all the different jobs often have to be made intuitively. One of Bini’s predecessors once took it upon himself to list all the various tasks, big and small, that have to be completed. He came up with a grand total of 90. And little has changed about that 90-point plan to this day.

Although Bini’s phone has a built-in pedometer, he never checks it in the evening to see how many steps he has taken. But we imagine he must cover several kilometres each day as he strides about between the in-run and the out-run. And that includes 133.7 metres of ascent! Bini has to coordinate all the work, make sure that everything is where it needs to be, and often pitch in with the hands-on stuff. This is not a job for someone who likes to stay focused on a single thing – ski jump hill bosses must be excellent all-rounders. They also have to be good communicators. Among themselves, the team members speak openly and frankly; a certain degree of diplomacy is required when talking to the media. As a trained mountain guide, Bini can easily balance everything required of him and has plenty of endurance, even when his work day far exceeds the usual 8.5 hours of an average office job. From his experience of previous years organising the World Cup event, Bini knows that the tension will not abate until the final competitor has whooshed down into the out-run on the last day of the event. Before then, he has 90 or so important tasks to do. 

Written by: Beat Christen
Beat Christen worked as an editor for a newspaper for almost two decades and is now responsible for the coordination of the "900 Years of Engelberg Monastery" anniversary. He has a wide range of interests and is involved in various areas in Engelberg. For 20 years he was head of media at the Ski Jumping World Cup event in Engelberg. 
Images: Beat Christen

FIS Ski Jumping Worldcup