XIX Mezzalama Trophy, Saturday 4 May live on Planetmountain.com
Mezzalama Trophy gets underway on Saturday 4 May, the classic ski mountaineering competition from Breuil-Cervinia to Gressoney across the slopes of Monte Rosa. The start has been put forward to 5:00am.
The nineteenth Mezzalama Trophy begins tomorrow morning at dawn, at 5:00am to be precise. After last week's rescheduling due to bad weather, everything is now set for this classic, and difficult ski mountaineering competition which has taken place on the slopes of Monte Rosa ever since 1933, when the Turin Ski Club and the Italian Academic Alpine Club established the event in memory of Ottorino Mezzalama who had perished died in an avalanche in 1931 while completing the first ski traverse of the Alps.
A part of the race will be streamed live on Planetmountain.com from 8:45 to 10:45, with the cameras positioned at Quintino Sella and at the finish arrival. After the latest snowfall (read circa a meter and a half of fresh snow) the 45km race course is now in perfect condition. Race director Adriano Favre explained "The snow which fell recently has improved the conditions of the course considerably compared to a few weeks ago. The black ice which was visibile along much of the route has now been covered by a blanket of fresh snow and in some sections this is a meter and a half deep. Towards Gressoney there is more snow than around the Breithorn col. The situation is good and we have checked and improved all of critical sections. Between 3000 to 4000 meters there is abundant fresh snow and the wind formed some windslabs which we dealt with this morning."
"At present" Favre continued, "we've decided to make the competition start thirty minutes earlier, which means that the start at Breuil-Cervinia will be at 5 am. We've opted for this to have a greater safety margin with the weather. The most recent forecasts have predicted that it'll improve early in the morning. As to the ascent up the Lyskamm Nose we've discovered a somewhat unusual way to reach the summit. Athletes will ascend with crampons directly from the base of the Nose, following a line that will lead them to just a few meters from the top. They'll take their crampons off at the base of the East Face because it's impossible to put skis on on the summit. This new route takes a line halfway across the face, between the classic route up the Nose and the one used in 2011."