The Mountain Man, 80 km, 5000mD+, 17.8.13

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The weather was fine, like always, if you want to say so. It has been the weather like the past three years. Even this time it had been some clouds there in the afternoon, so it was even better weather for running.

This race is a trail running event, but also kind a logistic event. If you have not made it before, you will have to do some planning on where to stay and where to start and where to head off back. But anyway, everything starts in Alpnachstad, where you would get your race number and where you had been able to drop two bags, on for the finish on the Pilatus and one for the Brünning Pass, about at km 32.

The race starts at 6:45 but until you get there, it can be a long way. Since you have to take the Bus from Alpnachstad at 5 o’clock and first go to Engelberg (change to train in between) and from Engelberg there is a gondola to trübsee. That is then the stations where you start. The race then finishes at Pilatus from where you have to take a train down to Alpnachstad. So getting to the race and leaving the race take about 2-3 hours.

I stayed at the domitory, for 25 euros per night. That was in sarnen and at the local firestation. It was convenient and with earplugs not problem to sleep at.

But if you had made it and have left the logistics behind, it and have seen the nice landscape in Entlebuch (Unesco Entlebuch Biosphere), it might be worth it. Just decide yourself and take a look at the pictures i have made.

Thats in Alpnachstad, right also next to the train station.

GOPR1536 Many lakes and fast paths. This race is not very technical.

The race starts slowly, where all runners must line up in a row the first 2 km up. There is a cow gate, where all have to pass. On top of that first climb there is already a food station. But there are many more to come and most of them are really good equipped. They nearly all had isos, gels, fruits and even beer, yoghourt (without alcohol). All supporters had some motivational words and the big cow bells had been rung very loud.


During the day i become hot. The first half of the day was not that difficult, but after midday i become above 20 degrees even on the higher trails.

GOPR1570 GOPR1564 Later some clouds came up but no rain.  GOPR1557

There have been some exposed trails on the way, but most of them had been easy to run on. The exposed ones have been saved by markings and personal, that checked every runner at least by sight, if he would be able to pass it.GOPR1555 GOPR1550

The finish seems quite close. But it is still a long way up to the mountains and to the finish. This is the last part of the race. Maybe only 1km of beeline. But the path goes up as serpentines.

GOPR1575That is the way you come all the way up.


Nice view from the finish over Lucerne and the Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstätter See)GOPR1581

At the end of the race you take the train back to Alpnachstadt. It takes about half an hour to start and also about that long until you arrive back in Alpnachstad again.



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Here is my grading. Any comments appreciated.

  • grading overall: 8 pts
  • route: 8 pts
  • difficulty: 4 pts
  • markings: 7 pts
  • organization: 10 pts
  • food: 10 pts
  • costs: 8 pts
  • fun: 10 pts
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Ticino Trail 133 km, 9800mD+, 2.8.13

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Nice trail and nice surroundings to say it in short. But a difficult trail also. Sometime it was not possible to make more than 2-3 km per hour. The trail was sometime very difficult. It had been a white-blue-white path in between, where balancing over a big field of rocks was the only way of getting through.GOPR1439

But first here some info’s from the beginning. The start of the race was at 22 o’clock in the night and after some km next to a road it got quickly into to Alps. Since the race got altogether 10000 m in height and they have to happen somewhere during the race. Since 10000 m is quite a lot.

The first km had been very fast. About 30-40 km the track was easy and it was mostly possible to run quick. In the morning i had a great view above some mountain lakes.

GOPR1451 GOPR1455


Food stations had been not that many. Since the trails became more and mor difficult, it could happen, that for 3-4 hours you had been on your own. And it should become very hot during the daytime. So even in the mountains it had been above 20 degrees. And that should mean you had to drink a lot.GOPR1460


But there had been many very beautiful paths and views in between. The scenery was constantly changing and it did not get any boring during the race.GOPR1461

I think you could really see some of the nicest parts of ticino.GOPR1466 GOPR1470 GOPR1473

Here is a kind of a trail with many rocks. This was one of the more difficult ones. So it was not possible to run this and other parts to quick. As i said before, maybe only sometime with 2-3 km only per hour.GOPR1476

Over 2000m there had been many snow fiels. I used them to cool myself down. Put a hand full of snow under my cap and into my shirt. That was quite refreshing.GOPR1480

Or i used the water from one of many lakes around to refresh myself.GOPR1481 GOPR1487

The food was diverse. Only some stations had Iso drinks and most of them marzipan or some kind of chocolate cake. I was looking for any kind of sports food or geels but hardly found it. But for the price of 110 Euro you have to find a race first that goes that long and had that variety of food. There had been cheese, meat, chocolate and many other things.

Due to an injury, i was not able to finish the race. I stopped at km 100 km and 7000 mD+ and after resting for about 3 hours, i got a lift by car from the organisation back to the start.

Altogether i really like the race and the organization a lot.

Here is my grading. Any comments appreciated.

  • grading overall: 7 pts
  • route: 7 pts
  • difficulty: 8 pts
  • markings: 9 pts
  • organization: 8 pts
  • food: 6 pts
  • costs: 9 pts
  • fun: 8 pts


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Trail Running Deluxe, 1. Eiger Ultra Trail, 101km, 6700mD+, 20.7.13

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What a great event  and what a nice trail running event. This weekend the first Eiger Trail running event took place and made his debut. GOPR1173

About 600 runners started in the different categories. There have been three distances with 16, 51 and 101 km in length. For the 101 km race there was a limit of 400 runners. That limit was already reached 3-4 months before. Also for the shorter runs there was no late registration available. Registrations closed early.


The race started at Grindelwald (at 1034m), which is just near the center of the Bernese Oberland in the canton of Bern. It is just surrounded of several mountains and many railways up.

The race started at 5 o’clock in the morning. The evening before there was a very informative briefing.


The evening before it happened as isolated thunderstorms with a lot of rain for about an hour. Also stating there, that blizzards in the mountains is not funny. You should find a place the wait until they stopped.  Ueli Steck showed up also and committed to go for the 51 km trail. He placed under the first 10 runners.GOPR1206

During the race on Saturday because of bad weather conditions the race was shortened from 101 to to about 90 km at about 18 o’clock. So some fast runners made the full distance, while others did not made the part by the Eiger glacial, where the race was shortened. Could have been worse. I first thought they would cancel the whole race. But there was a very good emergency planning done before by the organization committee. So everything was quickly reorganized. Some have been disappointed, but i got the feeling it had been a good compromise between safety and runners interests. At a point you have to make a decision. Also it might not the best one in the review, it is better to make one, then to wait to long or to make no decision.

On the other hand there had been many great other views and moments. Especially in the morning.


From the about 370 runners that started there have been 110 not finishing the race. It was very hot during the race. About 30 degrees in Burglauen for example. Long distances had to be run in the direct sun. Many of the runners quitted the race at Burglauen after the first half of the race. Maybe it was also too nice there.

The food was very good. There had been gels, bars and iso drinks in any combinations. Also meat, cheese and bread.


After the start at 5 o’clock the sun slowly rised. A very nice time during the day.


There had been many snowfields on the way. Some of them you had to ran over.


It was for all of them no problem passing.


GOPR1257There had been so many nice views, here are just some of them.GOPR1262GOPR1268GOPR1272GOPR1275GOPR1282GOPR1292

As one of the last, i was allowed to climb up to Männlichen, others haven’t been not so lucky and hat to take the gondola. Cause of blizzards the path up to Männlichen was closed through the mountains.

GOPR1297Many runners had not been able to run the part along the eiger north face. But anyway for security reasons, that was ok.


The race was very well organized. Thanks to everyone who helped this event to take place. Well done.

The next Eiger Ultra Trail will take place at the 19./20.Juli 2014.

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Here is my grading. Any comments appreciated.

  • grading overall: 9 pts
  • route: 10 pts
  • difficulty: 5 pts
  • markings: 7 pts
  • organization: 10 pts
  • food: 10 pts
  • costs: 8 pts
  • fun: 10 pts
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