We made our yearly winter holidays again in Mauterndorf, Austria. Luckily in this area of the Alpes there was a lot of snow this year.
Though this winter was much too warm, a couple of weeks ago it was snowing very very heavily in the southern region of Austria. I was surprised because I have never seen so much snow in this skiing area. Especially in the skiing region Katschberg / Aineck there was extremely much snow.
On the picture you can see me in the middle of a famous slope in Katschberg. It is famous for its steepness, and because there were not too many people skiing, it was possible to carve down the hill using the full range of the slope, left to right.
Katchberg is the best skiing area in the region where I grew up. But one day we made a trip to one of the bigger areas reachable within an hour with the car. This time we choose Schladming where the last winter world championship was held. Schladming is great, one of the best skiing areas I ever saw.
This year, on 1st of December there was already enough snow in Einsiedeln so that it was possible to open the cross country skiing slope. I started immediately with the winter training. The weather was sunny and the slope very well prepared.
This morning I started very early, at 8 am and sun was just raising when I was already behind lake Sihlsee. I stopped and quickly did a photo of the beautiful panorama with the lake and the mountains in the background.
I had my best time until now. This was the fourth Engadiner ski marathon I did. The race was very fast this year and it was quite easy. I was not exhausted like in other years. Only the very last kilometer at the end was hard.
I am still in group „Allgemein A“ which is not bad but would like to get once fast enough to start in the „Elite“ group. But this maybe will never happen.
The whole event is really funny. We have to start at 3 am in the morning and go by car to Landquart from where we take a 2 hours train to St. Moritz and from there its another ride on a bus of about 20 minutes.
This lets us arrive in Maloja just before 7:00 where we put our skis to the start to be in one of the front lines when the race begins. We booked breakfast in „Maloja Palace“ which is the very best option for waiting until the race starts at 8:50.
This year I did more skating than before and the marathon in Einsiedeln was a very good preparation. The marathon in Einsiedeln is much harder and I was at my very end in the finish.
This year it was much better than last year. There were two things: first we booked breakfast in the hotel just in front of the start and had morning buffet in a the warmth.
This was the problem the last years. It is impossible to find a warm place in a restaurant. All restaurants are over and over crowded with people who had cold.
Which contrast this year: warm breakfast room with buffet, as much coffee and bread and butter as you can eat and that just in front of the starting area.
The second thing much better this year was the slope. The snow was cold and the ski was running. I was able to do the marathon in 3 hours 30 something I think (forgot the exact time) and was not a bit as much exhausted as last year.
This year was just great! We will be back in 2013.
Once again you can find me on top of Speiereck. This year I was alone. Last year my brother was with me.
From the end station of the ski escalator it is only about 10 minutes to the top of the mountain. I took my skis to the top to ski down on that back side through deep snow.
On top I made a 360 ° movie from all the mountains you can see from there. The view was great. Double click on the image on the right side to start it.
I have been on top of many of the peaks you can see on this movie. Of course in summer and not in winter. But in winter it is more impressive. Some of the mountains are almost or even more than 3000 meters.
By the way, I have a new MacBook Air with iMovie software to create small movies. the 360 ° movie was done with my iPhone. Click here to see the movie.
It was not as cold as last year. We again started at 3 am in the morning, drove with the car to Landquart, continued by train to St. Moritz and from there you have to go by bus to Maloja, to the start of this famous race.
The ugly thing is, that you have to wait in Maloja about more than an hour until you can start and there is no tent where you can sit down and have warm. And all the restaurents are full, almost exploding. Last year we found an open church where we waited. But this year, this church was closed. Luckily we found that the entrance hall of the local community office was open. So we sat down on the floor and waited there.
The race was very very hard. The snow was ok at the first 20 kilometers, but then is was so slow, that the rest of the race was a fight against the snow. I was very exhausted, when I finished. The snow on the last 500 meters was artificial snow, deep and heavy. On the last 100 meters I really played with the idea to put off the skiers and walk the remaining hundret meters.
I needed 3 hours and 40 seconds. My wish was to stay below 3 hours. Almost reached. But the whole day was a great advanture. Looking forward to next year!
There was not enough snow this year, so the competition was held in a near village and the distance was reduced to 30 km instead to a normal marathon distance.
Was a great race with very good conditions, nice weather and icy slope. I was in much better physical condition than last year. I did the 42 kilometers on the normal route here in Einsiedeln for training in less than 3 hours. And this already a few weeks before the competition.
But the place I gained was not very good. It had not many participants, only good sports man. In such a race it is hard to gain a good pace. But what shalls! I do it just for fun. And was great fun!
Schwedentritt is the name of the cross country skiing slope I use normally for training. It is just 200 meters away from our flat. I just have to cross a street and there I am. The trace has 4 different distances: 3, 12, 16 and 21 kilometers. Normally I do the longest distance, but at the beginning, in November or December, I start with 12 kilometers.
The trace is not too easy, goes up and down which makes it hard to do. The trace in Studen, 6 kilometers away is much easier.
This year I did the first time 2 rounds, 42 kilometers. I had less than 3 hours, which is good for me but nothing compared to the real good runners. Theay do it in almost half the time. But technik is everything and I were able to improve my technik for another time this year. I am not getting dired any more. Can run and run and run …