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 …

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 …

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. It had said, En retard, douze minutes. Now it reads, En retard, vingt minutes. I …

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Desert Sand Dune Skiing Morocco

Sand skiing in the Sahara Desert

In a way we did end up ski touring, but nothing like what we set out to do when we decided to go to Morocco. The High Atlas Mountains, and the 4000 meter Toubkal Peak was our goal. Our reality were the Merzouga Sand Dunes and a few 130 meter piles of sand. There, we rode camels and did a ski tour where four people shared one pair of skis and boots. Thankfully, it worked out. But …

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Shopping Cart Enlightenment

When I asked Alex Newport-Berra if he would like to contribute a mountain sport post to DolomiteSport, I had absolutely no idea I would get a story about a shopping cart. Coming from Alex I can understand his seeking enlightenment, but through a shopping cart? Well… this is his genius and exactly why I asked him to write in the first place for in addition to possessing the strongest cycling legs I have ever had …

Under the Watchful Eye

I was a Catholic school boy, trained to feel guilty for nearly everything I did while growing up. At some point I began to wander away from the church, my drifting turned to speeding and soon Confession and Guilt were items I had left in my wake with the discovery of life and all its many wonders. One memory that still resides in my head are the eyes of the Christ figure. No matter where …