Swiss Alps Trail Running Summary

Our Run the Alps Switzerland Summary “It’ll be far more work than you imagine.” Many friends who had previously done books warned us, but we didn’t take this so seriously. How could running and documenting 30 of the best runs we could find in the Swiss Alps end up being too much work? After all, we had the summer and …

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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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You did not run there! We ran there!

I recently came across the social media hash tag #youdidnotsleepthere. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s a feed of nothing but photos being called out as bullshit. I see this stuff all the time, we all do. It drives me crazy. To see a kayak on a lake in the Alps with views of the Matterhorn is beautiful. But …

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Announcing our Run the Alps Trail Running Book Project

I distinctly remember finding myself at a Swiss mountain hut with an early generation Salomon running vest and hydration hose. It had taken me more than a few runs to get up the nerve to actually wear the thing where I might be seen. France was one thing, Switzerland was another. Going to a hut with it was not part of the plan, but …

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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 …

Skimo for the Mountain Runner

Pascal Egli, one of Switzerland’s top Skyrunners, explains how he uses SkiMo for big winter days.   A mountain runner in love with skimo For me, skimo is the pendant to winter mountain running! As a true mountain lover I don’t quit the mountains in winter and start running only on the road. Climbing mostly the same mountains as I …

Me Ski Pretty One Day

A woman ski mountaineering, or skimo training, in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland.

I’m cautious to admit that I don’t love to downhill ski. I don’t though. I’m from the flat plains of middle America where skiing doesn’t fit the topography or the culture. And so, I didn’t grow up a skier. I moved to France with no mountain experience. I didn’t speak the language, couldn’t admire the local cuisine (being vegan), and …

How I fight the cycling winter blues with skimo

Ski randonee racers training in the Italian Dolomites

In winter, cyclists either get fat or undergo a training regime that sounds like torture. They ride outside in absolutely miserable conditions; and when they can feel their fingers again, they post epic pictures on social media and pretend that they had a fantastic time. Sometimes, they go to the gym and look ridiculous as they try to lift weights with …

What is SkiMo?

Ski mountaineering in the Swiss Alps

SkiMo Explained Uphill skiing? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Who skis up? According to a recent article at Outside online, skimo is one of North America’s hottest winter sports. Apparently lots of people are pointing their skis uphill. After ten years living in the Alps, skimo is now a regular part of what I do each winter. It’s completely normal to go for a ski …

A Trail Runs Through It

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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Kindness to Strangers

We’ve traveled the world for many of our 17 years as pro photographers. Looking back, what stands out amongst all the memories we’ve managed to log are the acts of kindness offered to strangers wandering other countries. And not just strangers, foreigners. People who think differently, act unusual, and maybe have little sense of local traditions. In this case, us. With …

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The 82 Summits Project

The 82 Summits project has launched. Ueli Steck and Michi Wohlleben are committed to climbing all 82 of the Alps 4000 meter peaks, in 80 days, and under their own power. Between peaks, countries even, they’ll bike, run, hike, ski or even paraglide. But this project is not about speed, or records, or even doing much hard climbing, It’s about a …

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Hiking the Hardergrat Switzerland

Last summer, Janine and I posted a story about our experience on the Hardergrat (aka Brienzergrat). In German, a “grat” is a ridge, while Harder is just a name. However, in this case it is appropriate – it is indeed a hard ridge. It is also one of the best experiences I have ever had in the mountains. The blog about our …

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Inside the Pain Face

This post is going to be a community effort – in other words, at the end of the story, I need your own contribution on this subject -but first, read on. Recently, while suffering mightily in a race, I actually pondered the question, “What do other people think about in competitive events when they are suffering?” Apparently, I think about …

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Cycling and The Art of the Stop

Over the summer I was training with an American cyclist friend visiting the Dolomites. He’s ten years younger, still competitive and hungry for results. At the time I was moderately fit on the bike, so together we rode hard in the mountains. He destroyed me. Back at my place one day I was recalling a story for him when I …

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Buddha on the Bike

A couple of years back I had a realization. Riding a road bike was feeling as natural as breathing or eating. Since 1987 I have been training, racing and riding a bike for the pure joy of it – almost everyday. But it wasn’t just a comfort level I noticed, it was something more, the bike was literally a part …

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Born to Run Ski Bike Climb

Now we understand why the question was continually asked of us when we recently visited the US, “Have you read Born to Run?”. Until now, the answer was, “No”. I typically avoid such books. I don’t read any How to Do anything, avoid “Self Help” as if it were death and entirely ignore any outdoor publications. Why? 1) I don’t …