Nordic fans head for St Moritz

9th March 2012, by Chris Gill

(c) St Moritz tourism

(c) St Moritz tourism

The chic Swiss resort of St Moritz will be under invasion this weekend, when 12,000 cross-country skiing fans descend on the area.

The Engadin Ski Marathon is due to take place in St Moritz on Sunday 11 March. There are two main events: the full 42km Maloja race and the half-size course that ends in Pontresina. Both races accept athletes or leisure skiers, so anyone competent with nordic sports can enter. The tracks are mainly flat, with gentle rises along the way.

St Mortiz is well known for its cross-country trails; as well as the marathon route, there are over 200km marked loops for enthusiasts to use. Many of these are particularly scenic, following frozen lakes or quiet side valleys away from the main mountain slopes. And the region is one of the best, according to the locally acclaimed ADAC ski guide (the German automobile club’s hard back book of resorts).

Many of the trails are laid out for novices, such as those from Samedan to Zuoz, or the circuits between Samedan and Celerina. But there are good, challenging routes for more experienced skiers – such as the Silvaplana to St Moritz trail, via the Palüd Lungia section.

The annual marathon has been running since 1998 and attracts a lot of top nordic athletes. Last year’s winner was 37-year-old Antonella Confortola from Italy, who was back in St Moritz last week for the 13th Frauenlauf event (women’s cross-country).

For anyone keen to take advantage of the St Moritz cross-country trails, the resort is offering discounts on packages of up to 30%. The “Nordic Special” includes hotel accommodation with breakfast and an Engadin St Moritz cross-country ski trail pass. It can be booked for between two and seven nights and also includes free use of the local public transport. The package is valid from 4–25 March 2012 and can be booked through the tourist office.


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