Tris Rotondo, a great success in Valle Bedretto, Switzerland
The fith Tris Rotondo took place on 11 March in Valle Bredetto (San Gothard, Switzerland). The Super Tris event was won by Cédric Brodard, Vincent Mabboux and Nicolas Philipona, while the Main Tris (which also counted for the Swiss Championship) was won by Gerhard Schneider and Alexander Hug and by the female athletes Emilie Gex-Fabry and Andrea Zimmermann.
On 04:00am on Sunday morning the numerous volunteers were already hard at work preparing the Tris Rotondo in Valle Bedretto, the only top end ski mountaineering competition in the Italian region of Switzerland. Those ascending to Cassina di Baggio, Valleggia or Gararesc in Cristallina were met by a nasty wind, but no one was discouraged, they'd been preparing the race course for days and everything was now ready. They clenched their teeth and continued, ready to greet with a smile, above all in total safety, more than 500 participants. Many athletes had come from Switzerland, Italy and other European countries and they had flocked to this exceptional contest which also counted for the Swiss Cup and the 2012 Swiss Championship.
The first gates opened at 05.30: the super-athletes set off on the Super Tris, a circuit with 3430m elevation gain, numerous ascents and descents, spectacular gullies and airy crests and, as it happens, a candidate to become a member of the Grande Course. More than 230 athletes kick off at breakneck speed... and what is amazing is that the trio Brodard Cédric, Mabboux Vincent e Philipona Nicolas kept this pace right to the end, crossing the finishing line at CiossPrato in 4 hours 23 minutes. All the others set off in groups: circa 90 teams in total on the Normal race course (Main Tris with 2370m elevation gain) and circa 35 on the shorter version (Short Tris with 1240m elevation gain).
The sun finally came out to cheer everyone up a bit, athletes and volunteers alike. The day turned out to be beautiful and despite the snow being hard and icy at first, there are no problems neither during the ascent or descent. The courses are very technical, with the Super Tris involving three gullies made safe by fixed ropes, 7 skinning up points and 5 steep slopes were ascended on foot, with skis strapped to rucksacks. At about 10:00, after two gullies more than 45° steep and just as many exciting descents, the Swiss Team and 2012 Swiss Champions checked in first: Schneider Gerhard and Hug Alexander crossed the line in 2:33 hours, while their female counterparts Gex-Fabry Emilie and Zimmermann Andrea stopped the clock in 3:29.
Circa 80 Italian athletes took part in the race and the following placed extremely well: Manfred Dorfmann and Oswald Santin finished fifth in 4:30 in the Super Fun Pop Tris; Davide Borghi Ferrari and Tazio won the Main Tris Fun Pop in 3:40; Federico and Nicola Sanna Rossi placed second in the Short Tris Fun Pop in 1:54.
A dozen or so young athletes took part in one of the new features this year, the Cadets course, while over 40 people participated in the Snowshoe race course, and this sport is becoming increasingly popular with walkers and nature lovers in general. These events were won by the future champions Corthay Thomas and Serra Elena (Cadets) and Swissman Zanetti Marco (Snowshoe run).
At the village at Cioss Prato the atmosphere was festive; all competitors and race officials gave positive feedback, everyone appreciated the excellent organisation, the beautiful landscape of Valle Bedretto - a true gem for mountain lovers both in winter and summer - as well as the five courses carefully set for the various ability levels. Several teams that took part in the Super Tris will be in the Valais next month for the Patrouille des Glaciers, and have already promised to return in two years time to race back up the Tris, considered by many as "the best race course in Switzerland ".
A special praise must be made to the organisers and volunteers who, in just a few days, managed to organise and set the magnificent new race courses which were by no means banal and which took nothing away from the mountain scenery and particular nature of the original routes. One could say that the Tris Rotondo is a flagship event for the Swiss Cup and Swiss Championship and, thanks to its superb course, can easily aspire to join the Grande Course, the exclusive club of the best ski mountaineering competitions in the world. With all said and done... see you in 2014!
For more information about the 2012 Tris Rotondo 2012 chec out: www.trisrotondo.ch