VI Tris Rotondo in Val Bedretto, Switzerland
The VI Tris Rotondo is scheduled to take place in Valle Bedretto, Gottardo, Switzerland on 23 February 2014. Hundreds of athletes will take part in the highly anticipated event the fans have nicknamed the "Tris".
Tris Rotondo has numerous similarities with the Patrouille des Glaciers, first and foremost the fact that the competition takes place far away from all ski lifts. This alone renders is somewhat unique compared to most other European ski mountaineering competitions. Located in the heart of the Alps, Valle Bedretto is comprised of imposing mountains, steep gullies and majestic slopes and the athletes compete in a world-class alpine environment, far away from villages and support points. The race course winds its way past spectacular, highly technical sections unlike those in other competitions and the athletes therefore fully immerge into this breathtaking environment along this very alpine race course.
Every Tris edition has grown and the fifth event attracted 500 participants from all over Europe; most athletes compete on "Super Tris", over 3000m altitude gain and a strong candidate to become a member of Grande Course events. Open to teams of three, this is an important testing ground for those taking part in the Patrouille des Glaciers.
The competition includes two other race courses: the highly popular Short Tris (1400m altitude gain) and Main Tris (2200m altitude gain). Both these courses, although somewhat shorter, maintain the hallmark Super Tris technical challenge. These race course will also hold a stage of the Swiss Cup and the 2014 Swiss Team Championship.
Currently snow conditions in the upper Ticino are ideal, and at 2000 meters the snow cover is 1.5 meters, promising fantastic conditions for the sixth edition.
Tris Rotondo is a real challenge against the elements, both for the athletes who must be on perfect form and display perfect technique, but also for the organisers and all the ground staff. Over 160 people are involved in race safety, course preparation and the massive logistical aspects linked with staging an alpine competition in such a remote area.
It is worth noting that the prize money this year exceeds 20,000 Euro cash, while all participants receive a competition kit worth 80 euro. The Super Tris prize money is tempting; 2100 euro for first place, 1650 for second and 1250 for third. Total prize money: over 65,000 Euros.
by Giovanni Galli, race director