Trail running on the summit ridge | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Isaak Papadopoulos

20 Jul. 2015 · Summer Activities

Challenge Accepted!? The Walser UltraTrail

Lukas Rinner follows the course of the Walser Ultramarathon ... 65 kilometres and 4,200 metres in altitude on the finest trails in Kleinwalsertal constantly accompanied by breathtaking panoramic views.

Trailrunning at Gottesacker | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Robert Kampczyk

Ready, set, go ...

As the runners set off from the starting line in Riezlern, their eyes are fixed ahead towards the Hoher Ifen. The rising sun shines its rays on their backs. They continue along the River Schwarzwasserbach and pass by a number of waterfalls ... After passing through Riezlern, Egg, Wäldele and Küren, the trail heads up to the Gottesacker Plateau. It is important to constantly watch out for the path markings ... and then off you go onto the trail! At the start of the trail, the Hoher Ifen looks miles a way, but it is now getting ever closer. It is important to take great care on the Gottesacker Plateau ... ... and to look out for the signs. Special care needs to be taken on the plateau as there are a number of the crevasses that can be very deep. The ability to orientate yourself safely is extremely advantageous here, as well as being lucky enough to be naturally sure-footed.

Trailrunning at Gottesacker | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Robert Kampczyk

The time has finally come to head up the Hoher Ifen. There are ropes available for maximum safety. The view from the Ifen Plateau is absolutely fabulous! Enjoy it once more before it is time to head down the other side into Schwarzwassertal. From the Hoher Ifen, a fantastic trail runs past the Ifersgunt Alp into Schwarzwassertal. Continuing on past the Schwarzwassertal Hut, out beyond the valley as far as the Auenhütte ... Here is where you will find a large refreshment station! 

Trailrunning at Gottesacker | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Robert Kampczyk

Once you have fortified yourself here, you continue for a short while on a gravel path to the Obere Walmendinger Alp and then continue on to Walmendingerhorn. Then over the Lüchlealp and the Stierhof alps towards Grünhorn! A lot of people are certainly thinking, ‘thank heavens, the terrain is finally flat’. The trail from Grünhorn to Baad – this is where the heart starts to beat faster ... and not just because of the physical exertion. After the zigzagging trail down into Starzeltal (Turatal) has been conquered, a gravel path is followed into the small village of Baad (end of the valley) where you can replenish your supplies of strength and energy for the second half of the ultra-marathon.

Walk at Ochsenhofer Köpfe | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen

When you arrive in Baad, you are greeted by a large refreshment station and checkpoints ... Are you ready for the final, or even, the first 30 kilometres of pure trails? (Start of the Walser Trail)
We leave Baad and head across the Bärgunttal up to the Hochalppass. We then pass the Bärgunt Hut ... Sabine, the innkeeper is certain to cheer us along! We are now approaching the Grosser Widderstein. If you already know the Widdersteinlauf (Widderstein run), you will ask yourself whether you have run in the wrong direction! We then continue past the Hochalpsee. This is a great place to cool off if you are feeling a bit too hot!

Lukas Rinner | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Fotograf: Lukas Rinner

The trail now continues past the Widderstein Hut towards the Koblatpass. Keep your eyes open here ... It is well signposted, however, the path is not always well defined. From here, the trail continues towards the Mindelheimer Hut. ‘Stay on track !’ There is no benefit to be gained from shortening the route. Quite the opposite, in fact, since the paths are already very technically challenging anyway. If you think you can relax on the Kurmbacher Höhenweg, then think again! However, doesn’t the view definitely make it all worth it?! Do not expect any easy trails here – you always need to keep your eyes open. When you can see the beginning of the Taufersberg Alp, you can start to prepare yourself for the climb. From the Krumbacher Höhenweg , you then continue to the Fiederescharte.

Hike to Fiderepass hut | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen

Then from the Fiederescharte, downhill towards the Fiederepass. You can fortify your strength again here whilst continuing to enjoy the wonderful views. You pick up the trail again and head downhill. This trail takes you through the Pfanne towards the Wannen Alp and the Innere Kuhgehren Alp along a long downhill stretch over the Wannen to the Inneren Kuhgehren Alp. It is important here to lift up your feet to avoid stumbling! The Innere Kuhgehren Alp ... This is not just a popular destination for hikers and a great place to stop for refreshments, it is also where you can expect to be cheered on for the last long climb.

The trail once again climbs uphill from the Inneren Kuhgehren Alp to the Kuhgehrenscharte. Once you have arrived there, it is time to head towards the Kanzelwand summit station. Now you need to grit your teeth again ... as believe it or not ... these are the final metres of altitude left to climb. You then continue on to the Speichersee and then through the Kanonrohr. (By the way: Just one part of the Kanzelwand mountain run to go and when you first spot it, you will know for sure that the only way to go now is downhill!) The feeling of joy increases by the minute as the finishing line moves ever closer. You then run past the final alp – the Riezler Alp. You are once again treated to a superb view before the final steep downhill stretch. Take care and once again give your all. (The downhill section remains a surprise!). You leave the steep trail and run along a gravel road into Riezlern and to the finishing line 
I made it! This is the Walser Trail Challenge. Why not get involved – either as a participant or as a spectator?

Walser Trail Challenge | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Fotograf: Dominik Berchtold

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