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 Alta Verzasca and couldn’t wait to return to the Ticino region of Switzerland, so here …

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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, we continued past the station to the Brunig Pass, adding an additional 14km to the …

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, with varying abilities, and have them spend long days running together – ideally having a great time. This …

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 to the upper station, I see the tram pull away. The driver and I make …

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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 require enormous climbs, sometimes one after another. How you attack them, and how …

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 textbook I read years ago. Decorticate or decerebrate? I couldn’t recall the difference. “Vous êtes …