A Trail Runs Through It

The wide open, green landscape of Val Funtauna above Davos, Switzerland

This is the story about the start of a company. But it’s also the story of the Alps, in a sense. When I started Run the Alps, the first thing I did was gather together some friends and go trail running. We ran quiet trails in little-known valleys. We made notes, took photos, and I imagined sharing these places with …

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The Swiss CrissCross

Dramatic photo of two mountain bikers riding singletrack with the Bietschorn in the background during the Swiss CrissCross project. Road ride through the Alps across Switzerland, then mountain bike back through the Alps on trails. 2012

January 2017 After a lifetime of mountain sport trips for both work and play, a few certainly stand out. A great experience results from more than what you did and saw, it comes from who you shared it with. The Swiss CrissCross was the perfect mix of all the right ingredients; a double crossing of Switzerland by bike, horrendous conditions, broken body parts, …

Gravel Biking the Strada dell’Assietta

A gravel biking trip and tour to the Sestriere area of Piemonte, Italy. The gravel roads were built for the military and are still used; the Colle delle Finestre and Strada dell'Assietta. With new gravel bikes, the roads are perfect for road bikers seeking off road fun.

Hardcore roadies—that’s what best describes Dan and I. When it comes to cycling, we are all about tarmac. We could eat switchbacks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and still want more for dessert. Once we had this crazy idea of going on a mountain bike trip together. Seven days on the best trails of Switzerland, from Graubünden to Wallis. What …

The Eiger West Flank from Grindelwald

Ueli Steck climbing the Eiger West Flank in the winter of 2016/2017 during a long stretch of sunny, dry weather. Ueli is training for his next Himalayan project.

The Way Up Inspiration This year’s project, The Way Up, finished off with what may be the mother of all Way Ups! The Eiger, from Grindelwald, with Ueli Steck. Ueli is a close friend and someone I have shared a lot of days in the mountains with, including three Himalayan expeditions. In fact, it was probably Ueli that inspired me …

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Winter Trail Running Gear

Trail running in early winter conditions above Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland

Winter Trail Running Tips & Gear Yesterday Doug Mayer introduced why winter trail running may be the best time of year to be out, and how to make it easier. Today is all about the making it easier, and more enjoyable part – and yes, it’s gear talk! Does this scene sound familiar…? Because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one …

Winter Trail Running Tips

Winter running on snow at Männlichen high above Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland. In the background is the North Face of the Eiger.

Winter Trail Running. Where did everyone go? Most days, this trail is filled with humanity. Older couples out for a stroll. Younger trail runners. Families off on a day hike. Today though, it’s just me, the trees, and the sounds of one person running. “Where did everyone go?” is the thought to which I keep returning. They are, I think, …

The Alps Brown Christmas

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If you are in the Alps, or are coming to the Alps for the Christmas holiday – there is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that for most areas, unless you love man made snow, you are not going to be skiing. The team at WePowder is reporting that it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be seeing any snow …

2016 PatitucciPhoto Editorial Work

Runners_World_Patitucci

  Even after 20 years working as professional mountain sport photographers there is a certain pride to seeing our work in magazines. Each day we’re all inundated with online everything, but with print comes a sense of narrowing it down to quality and what matters. These are a few examples of some work that came out at the end of …

A Year of Stoke and Appreciation

Two climbers joking around before the final pitch of the Aiguille Dibona, Ecrins National Park, France

  ALPSinsight’s first year has been a great one! We set out with huge motivation to stoke others, built a site we are proud of, developed a good size following on social media, and now know that we have positively influenced a lot of people to do things in the Alps. Based on how many emails we received over the summer from people …

Trail Running Ticino’s Monte Zucchero

Running Ticino's Monte Zucchero

Stop and Smell the Goats Janine spreads a map on the dinner table between plates of polenta, pizza, and pasta. “I found a loop for us,” she says, tracing the route line. Tomorrow looks like a long day … even without the option to add an extra ridge … if there’s time. Dan and Janine had recently hiked the Via …

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Sony RX100 and a6300 Reviewed for Mountain Sports

Trail running above Lüsens, Austria while on a multi-day running tour

As a pro mountain sport photographer, and someone working and playing in the mountains more than 300 days a year, I used to dream of having a camera light enough to not be a burden but also capable of producing the highest quality image files. I tried many systems but all came up short, the quality was not there. Then in 2012, …

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Hiking the Via Alta Verzasca

Hiking the Ticino Via Alta Verzasca

  It used to always annoy me when I lived in the US and heard Europeans say that they were not very impressed by the American mountains. In truth, it was the sky they came for, or more accurately, the size of the sky – big. Sure, the Alps are tough competition when it comes to comparing mountains. In terms of …

The Hardergrat to Brunig Pass

Trail running the Hardergrat

Making the Hardergrat Harder! If more is better, then more of the Hardergrat is, well, really hard, and for sure even better. Together with my good friend Brody Leven, we just did the Hardergrat to the standard endpoint of the Brienzer Rothorn Station. But, instead of eating ice creams and hopping on the old steam train to escape the ridge, …

The Dynafit Speed TransAlp Running Tour

Trail runners running above a lake in the Austrian Alps

When it comes to trail running, the Alps are a massive playground. It’s hard to go wrong and find yourself on a bad trail. But, it’s harder still to design a perfect three day tour and get it exactly right, especially one with about 90km and 7000 meters of gain. To complicate things even further, gather 10 strangers, from seven different countries, …

What Makes the Alps so Much Fun

Two women mountain biking up to the Bella Tola Hut while on a mountain bike tour  from Bella Tola in the Val d'Anniviers, Switzerland

Racing the Tram, and Other Pleasures of Alps Mountain Sports It is late September. I am pushing hard up the last few meters to Croix de Culet, my sweaty hand sliding over the chain that separates me from Champéry, Switzerland, a thousand meters below. In my heart I know I’m not going to make it. As I start to descend …

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Ultralight Bike Touring in the Alps

Tour du Mont Blanc 1

  Bike Touring in the Alps Until 24 months ago, the idea of bike touring, or bikepacking as it’s called now, was foreign to me. I was a roadie, a bike racer. A tiny saddle bag is all I had, and I would carry food, a wind breaker and my phone in my jersey pockets. No more. Ever. Then I …

Ultralight Trail Running Packing List

UL Multi-Day running kit

Nearly every time I’m on an iconic tour in the Alps I see it. A hiker, ski tourer, or trail runner laboring up some massive climb beneath too much weight and in the wrong gear. Americans, I’m talking to you. And yes, I have been there too and just hope my advice here can help you avoid the carnage. It’s a fact, …

The Alps Vertical Reality Strategy

A trail runner in foggy weather heading for the Barrhorn (3610 meters), the highest peak in Switzerland that has a trail to the top. Turtmenntal, Switzerland

Whatever you do, Don’t Look Up Going light and coping with big vert in the Alps Forty miles into Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc’s “little sister,” Courmayeur-Champêx-Chamonix last year, I came across a fellow runner, sprawled out on a boulder. He was immobile, eyes closed. His arms are in an odd, torqued position. It reminds me of an illustration in an EMT …

Gravel Biking

A gravel biking trip and tour to the Sestriere area of Piemonte, Italy. The gravel roads were built for the military and are still used; the Colle delle Finestre and Strada dell'Assietta. With new gravel bikes, the roads are perfect for road bikers seeking off road fun.

Dan discovers gravel biking… I was, and always will be, a purebred roadie. I’m also a pure uphill kind of guy. For many years my life was about bikes. In fact I first moved to Europe to race on the road and to experience the Italian cycling culture. I dreamt of racing up passes with cowbells ringing and spectators screaming. For …

Osprey Trail Running Packs Review

Trail running high in the Swiss Alps, above Grindelwald, Switzerland, with the Schreckhorn in the background

Osprey has made a serious entry into the trail running pack game with their new Duro (men’s) and Dyna (women’s) packs. Available in 3 sizes each for both men and women, the packs come in 1.5 liter, 6 liter, and 15 liter capacity models. Something for every need, from quick runs with just some water and a rain jacket, to multi-day trail running …