The Matterhorn Ultraks race series takes place in one of the world’s most famous mountain destinations that combines the beautiful, traditional and cosmopolitan Zermatt with the very imposing Matterhorn! Beautiful alpine landscapes, traditional villages and impressive infrastructure in one of the most characteristic regions of Switzerland. “SKY” has the longest distance with 48km and 3600m total altitude difference. The organization was very good as one would expect; during the race there was (a well justified…) 8km reduction in the route due to bad weather as the race was right in the middle of a very sharp change in weather from 31C in perfect sunshine on the Thursday before the race, to 0C with snow the following Monday!!!
Just before the start with the first light on the Matterhorn! Ideal conditions, after a strong evening storm with sun and a very clear atmosphere. The various groups were exemplary organized, with the start of the race taking place without any overcrowding.
In very good weather, the first ascent leaving behind Zermatt and the Matterhorn, with unique images at dawn.
Approaching the first aid station at Sunnega (2,256 m), then passing the small lake Leisee.
Passing through the very small villages of Egge and Ze Gassu!
Start of the very steep climb to the Gornergrat, from 2000m to 3130m in 6.5 km!!
Ascent to Gornergrat with the characteristic black-nosed sheep.
At the highest point of the race on the Gornergrat at 3130m with the Majesticus or Gorner Glacier in the background!
The ascent and descent from the Gornergrat.
Captivating panorama while descending towards the Riffelsee.
Around the Riffelsee and then turning, leaving the Matterhorn behind and descending to Riffelalp.
Leaving Riffelalp behind, on the long descent to Furi. The change in weather is noticeable with the clouds gathering, now covering the Matterhorn peak.
A highlight of the race, the passage of the Furi Suspension Bridge (Furi Suspension Bridge) 100m long and 90m high over the rushing river Gornera.
On the very demanding ascent from Furi to Schwarzsee (2580m) the weather had turned bad for good with heavy rain and wind!
Traditional houses outside Zermatt. After the descent from Schwarzsee, the race was reduced by 8km and 800m of elevation gain, leading to a faster finish.
Finishing in heavy rain in the center of Zermatt in completely different conditions than the morning start!! The link at Strava.
Some photos from Zermatt and Gronergat the day before the race.