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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, …

What Makes the Alps so Much Fun

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

  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

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

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

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 …

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Osprey Trail Running Packs Review

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 …

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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 …

Hiking the Saas Fee Glacier Trail

If ever there was a trail that crammed all the experiences of a week long hiking classic into a one day excursion, Saas Fee’s Glacier Trail is it. The trail was opened in 2014 as an official extension to the very popular trail from the Plattjen gondola station, just above Saas Fee, and the Britannia Hut. With the extension comes an entry into …

The PatitucciPhoto Adventure and Mountain Sport Photo Workshop

Adventure and Mountain Sport Photography With ALPSinsight, our goal is to inspire you to experience the Alps. Three key elements play a role in this; our own energy and passion for the Alps, our lives as mountain sport athletes, and most importantly, our photography. As professional mountain sport photographers, many of the images you see on this site are shot for various commercial and editorial …

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The Üssers Barrhorn Highest Trail in Switzerland

When you arrive to the summit after climbing the Üssers Barrhorn, at 3610 meters, you have reached Switzerland’s highest point accessible by an official trail. But this won’t be what’s on your mind. Instead, you’ll be processing what you are standing amongst; flowing glaciers, towering peaks, and perfect views of some of the biggest peaks in the Swiss Alps. The phrase, “This is …

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter

A trail runner sits by a small creek filling his waterbottle, that uses a Katadyn BeFree filter system.

Katadyn BeFree water filter For most people, where we go to run, hike, bike, whatever… there is water to be found. You just can’t always freely drink it. The options are: Use/carry a water filter (heavyish) Water disinfection tablet (slow to use & not the tastiest) Carry more water (heavy) Of course how you deal with this depends on where you are. If …

Hiking or Trail Running Lauterbrunnen to Kandersteg

Two of the most dramatic landscapes in the Swiss Alps are connected by a trail you’ll never forget. On that trail are 3 huts offering overnight stays and good food. From that trail are views of glaciers, 4000 meter peaks, the profile of the Eiger’s north face, and arguably the most scenic alpine lake in Switzerland. I had actually done …

Understanding the Swiss Train System for Mountain Sports

Travelers using Swiss trains for getting around Switzerland. The Zermatt train station.

SBB CFF FFS—Nine Letters that make for great trail running The crowd is getting antsy. Agitated, almost. I can feel the tension rising in my own body. I wonder how this scene is going to end. It’s going to break one of two ways, and which outcome arrives is out of our control. In an instant, the automated sign flips. …

Climbing the Lagginhorn

The 4010 meter Lagginhorn, above Saas Fee, Switzerland, is the only Alps 4000 meter peak that is possible to climb without worry of glacier travel, crevasses or technical climbing. Thanks to these characteristics, we put it at the top of our list for our The Way Up project. The Lagginhorn, while still an alpine summit, is possible in running shoes. Not only running shoes, …

Ultralight Trail Running Gear and The Way Up Project

The Way Up Peak & Trail Running Project Last summer I discovered several peaks in the Alps with enormous elevation gain through all terrain, from valley to alpine summit. Some entirely on trail, others a mix of trail and scrambling. All relatively easy, just big ups, well over 2000 meters of big. In my book, big means fun. It started with …