Records set in Swiss mountain race

24th April 2010, by Chris Gill

It all begins at night ... in Zermatt

It all begins at night ... in Zermatt

According to local reports: new records have been set in the Swiss ski mountaineering race, the Patrouille des Glaciers, which takes place on a high alpine route from Zermatt to Verbier – and includes over 7000m of vertical descent.

The Patrouille des Glaciers was run this weekend, with the winning men and women’s teams both setting new times for completion of the full 110km route.

Both teams are Swiss: the men’s team shaved 20 minutes off the previous record, set in 2006, finishing in five hours and 52 minutes. The trio included 2008 winner Florent Troillet who took part with different members that year. In the triumphant women’s team was his sister – the ladies saved 12 minutes on the 2008 time, finishing in seven hours and 41 minutes. One contributory factor to faster completion times this year is likely to have been the favorable weather and snow conditions; pretty settled throughout.

The tough ski mountaineering race attracted over 5,500 entrants, over 80% of them Swiss. It is run every two years across the Valais mountains and is derived from an army endurance test; the military still compete in a separate category. The race is staggered over three or four days, with the elite teams starting in Zermatt on Friday night and arriving in Verbier on Saturday morning (24 April).

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