Gstaad teams at the Patrouille des Glaciers 202209.05.2022 Sports & Leisure
It was a Swiss team that covered the distance from Zermatt to Verbier the fastest. Martin Anthamatten, Rémi Bonnet and Werner Marti covered the 57.5 kilometres and 4386 metres of positive ascent in just 6 hours, 35 minutes and 56 seconds. And with that, even a participant whose roots lie in the Saanenland had the already made a worthy appearance. But athletes who are still at home in Saanenland also achieved great things at this year's Patrouille des Glaciers.
Don't get nervous
The start times of both race phases were pushed back by 24 hours for safety reasons. The weather forecasts did not bode well. Bad weather not only means too much risk for the participants on the course. It also means that transport in the event of an injury or a medical problem cannot be guaranteed.
In addition, despite the previous snowfall many sections had little snow, which meant longer runs than usual. Twelve of the 57 kilometres had to be done by foot. The cold also turned out to be an adversary here and there, and at times it felt like minus 25 degrees Celsius (on Tête Blanche) had to be endured. But the participants also confirmed that there was a lot of sunshine and wonderful views.
Hanspeter Grundisch from Gstaad completed his 18th Patrouille des Glaciers with Heidi Perreten-Müssigmann and Elisabeth Brand. Richard Müller was at the start with his daughter Daria Müller and Luisa Orlik.
Between six and nine hours
Richard Müller's team made it from Arolla to Verbier in 6 hours and just under 23 minutes. The Saanenland GPBG team, which included Hanspeter Grundisch, started in the same race and needed 8 hours and just under 34 minutes for the 29.6 kilometres and 2200 metres of ascent.
Marcel Jauner, also from Saanenland, fought his way through the race with Team St. Moritz alongside his team colleagues Peter Frick and mountain guide Daniel Josef Steiner. They reached their destination after 7 hours and 51 minutes.
Team JUMAHAKA, consisting of Hannes Bach and Max Rieder, both from Saanenland, and mountain guide Julian Beermann also stayed under the seven-hour mark and crossed the finish line in Verbier after 6 hours and 39 minutes.
On the big lap
Sonja Herrmann from Grund near Gstaad made the long tour from Zermatt to Verbier with her teammates Marinette Martin and Sophie Andrey. Their journey was also turbulent, as this start time was also postponed by a whole day at short notice. And then, on Saturday evening, team SMS was finally allowed on the track in Zermatt. The three athletes arrived in Verbier after 13 hours and 37 minutes.
Arrival at the finish not a matter of course
Around 40 percent of the teams did not make it to the finish. Reasons for this were, for example, abandonment of the race due to health problems or disqualification due to missed passage times. "The altitude is not to be underestimated and is definitely noticeable in the performance," Richard Müller said. The couloir of the Rosablanche comprises around 1100 steps, which would already be exhausting at sea level. "That was the point I thought I couldn't possibly do it," Sonja Herrmann recalled. "The problem is, you see where you have to go. The whole climb shows itself to you in one go." That was not necessarily good for morale, she said. "But you just start walking then. And suddenly you're aware of the crowd on the side of the track celebrating every step you take." Indeed, numerous spectators had taken to the climb to support the athletes at this passage. "That touched me extremely," said Sonja Herrmann looking back. "Just like the congratulations when we had completed the 1100 steps. You don't know anyone, but everyone cheers. Then you don't stop, then you want to finish the race."
Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi