Running high in the Alps
Classic Swiss ski-resort Zermatt during off-season is a bliss. No people. Lots of space. Like today’s run from Zermatt via Edelweiss, Höhbalm, Zmutt coming back to Zermatt 3 hours later at 6 pm. It’s another run I will never forget with 1,5h climb and 1,5h descent, or +1100/-1100m, or from 1620m to 2700m to 1620m.
I love running narrow mountain trails far above. It’s totally quiet and a bit scary, because if you stumble and fall you can fall very, very far. Especially if you’re alone on top of a mountain, you need to be extra careful. You’re on your own – except from 2 wonderful mountain goats, playfully running ahead of me with silent, soft strides.
This time I was prepared with warm clothes, headlamp, extra food, mobile phone and of course water. Normally the 18,8K hike takes 7,5 hours so I wasn’t really sure how long it would take to run it, b-cause you don’t really run on the +1000m steep ascent during the first 5-6K. But it was an adventure, and these are always memorable. I have run mountain trails on high altitude facing Matterhorn in sunset – that’s a good as it gets. It was fun, exciting, mind blowing, beautiful, challenging, inspiring. I’m happy I did it. And soo nice to run in the mountains for a change. By the way, only around Zermatt there are 38 peaks over 4000m. Matterhorn is 4478m and was one of the last 4000-metre peaks in the Alps to be ascended (1865).
There are many stories about the mountain. One is about two young german brothers who tried to run up to the top in running clothes and running shoes. Needless to say, their attempt failed.