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Running the Glacier Haute Route

The idea to run the Glacier Haute Route evolved in about a two minute conversation with our Run the Alps Switzerland book partner, Kim Strom. Driving to Arolla for a run, we spotted the expanse of glaciers at the end of the valley that surround Mont Collon. Seeing them reminded me of 2013 when we hiked the Glacier Haute Route. …

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Climbing the Dent Blanche Regular Route South Ridge

Climbing Dent Blanche

Climbers prefer either a beautiful line or an inspiring overall objective. You don’t always get both. In the case of the 4357 meter Dent Blanche, you get a perfect combination of a classic ridge climb on a stunning big mountain, with solid rock. As far as moderate classic routes on the 4000 meter peaks of the Swiss Alps go, this is one …

For a Few Meters More at the Ortler Ski Tour

skiing the Gran Zebru, Ortler ski tour

The Ortler Ski Tour Conditions are arid, but it’s last call for turns this April…so we finish packing our gear in the dusty parking lot. The only things missing: motivation and probably snow. In this heat, I’m ready to hang up the avi gear and skis. Our gang is just arriving to start a week of touring in Italy’s Ortler …

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The Balfrin Traverse, a Perfect Introduction to the Alps

This route doesn’t seem to have an official name, but we’ve long called it the Balfrin Traverse. It was recommended to us way back in 2003 by the guiding couple extraordinaire, Cosley Houston. It is the perfect Alps alpine traverse introduction combining different skills for going into the big mountains, but without difficulty, technical skills, or many objective hazards. It is simply …

Climbing the Oberaarhorn

climbing the Oberaarhorn

As part of our Way Up project in the summer of 2016, we climbed the central Swiss Alps Oberaarhorn, 3630 meters, from the Oberaarsee near Grimsel Pass. This is an absolute classic easy alpine summit, with great views of the Berner Oberland’s highest peak, the Finsteraarhorn, a hut for overnight or lunch, and what interested us most, all types of terrain, …

Skiing the Bishorn

skiing the 4000er Bishorn

  Ski Touring an Alps 4000 Meter Peak The Bishorn is one of the Alps “easiest” 4000 meter peaks. However, this doesn’t make it easy. While it has no technical difficulties beyond walking, it does have the occasional crevasse, and the last 30 meters to the true summit can get icy. But what makes it “not easy” is that skiing the Bishorn is …

The Wetterhorn, Mittelhorn and Rosenhorn Ski Mountaineering Tour

Climbing the Wetterhorn's normal route

A friend referred to this as the “Horny Tour”. Starting from Rosenlaui, between Meiringen and Grindelwald, it’s a ski mountaineering tour that links up ascents of the Wetterhorn (3692 meters), Mittelhorn (3703 meters) and Rosenhorn (3688 meters). In the world of ski mountaineering, this one has a bit more mountaineering than ski. In fact, word has it that it’s an endurance exam …

Ski Touring in Bulgaria’s Pirin Mountains

Knowing absolutely nothing about Bulgaria made it the logical place to go. A few clicks on Google’s search results revealed it had good looking mountains, huts, multi-day tour options, ski culture, and best of all, it’s cheap and a short plane ride into a new world. Once we made our decision it was time to figure out exactly what to do, …

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Ski Touring in Crete, Greece

When I think of Greece I think of the nicest, warmest people imaginable, great food, sunny days, island life, and in my case – warm limestone and lots of sport climbing. I don’t think of ski touring when I think of Greece. But, in February, I found myself locking into my bindings at the start of a three day ski tour …

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The Swiss CrissCross

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

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 …

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The Eiger West Flank from Grindelwald

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 …

The Alps Brown Christmas

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 …

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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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 …

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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

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, …

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Hiking the Dossen from Rosenlaui

There is simply no way I could title this “Running the Dossen”. Yes, there is a great section to run, but this is most certainly, “Hiking the Dossen”. Hands are even involved to get to the top, but we’ll get to that. In 2015, Janine and I hiked the 3138 meter Dossen from Rosenlaui and loved it for its setting amongst glaciers …

Running the Schwalmere

The irony of our project The Way Up may be that with all our attention being on some of the Alps most beautifully situated peaks, and the highest accessible with running shoes, and the experiences to be had with friends… now that I’ve done one solo from my front door, it may well be my favorite. It’s a peak few have …

Saas Fee Trail Running

The goal of our recent trip to Saas Fee was to run the 4000 meter Lagginhorn, the Alps only non-technical, glacier free 4000 meter peak, which we reported about here. But after staring at the massive landscape surrounding Saas Fee for a day, we decided to extend our visit and see what else we could do. The first thing we did was the …