WINTER TRAIL RUNNING
When the snow is falling in the Alps, a new world of magnificent trail running experiences are just waiting to be explored!
In Switzerland, there are now hundreds of km prepared trails available for trail runners as well as hikers. Often snow shoe trails are also perfectly suitable after a trail has been compacted by a few snowshoe walkers. This offers more exciting options for us trail runners not normally accessible to the average hiker.
Whilst I prefer non Gore-Tex running shoes in most circumstances, I do recommend Gore-Tex shoes for running in the snow. Most of the time, these will keep your feet dry and warm.
In the winter months, it is crucial to carry a change of warm base layers as well as a warm water proof jacket suitable for sub-zero temperatures, as well as gloves and hat.
The temperatures are often way below freezing. But you still will sweat during a hard run. You will need to change into dry warm clothing or add another layer according to conditions.
the winter classic
The classic winter trail run to the Faulhorn starts at the Sports Centre in Grindelwald.
Follow the Mountainrun Grindelwald route to just below Bort from where the trails cross. Here we take a left turn towards Nodhalten and then follow the Waldspitz winter trail. If the mountain inn is open, you may want to stop for something to eat and drink in front of the stunning Grindelwald mountain backdrop. Or if it is too early in the run, go right passed the Waldspitz towards the Bachalpsee, most likely frozen over and under a thick layer of snow at this time of the year.
The Faulhorn is now visible. Although, there are still 400m of vertical to be conquered on a well prepared trail.
But the views at the 2681m high Faulhorn are amazing and are ample compensation for the effort it took to reach it. It can be cold up there, often with a freezing wind blowing. So make sure you have warm winter clothing with you. Unfortunately, the amazing mountain hotel open since 1830 and largely unaltered since then, is in the winter months not open to welcome guests.
The return will take us to Bussalp.This is a fast and exhilarating downhill on the famous toboggan run. On undulating winter trails we are heading back to Nodhalten and downhill to the starting point in Grindelwald.