The STUBAI ULTRATRAIL prepares for its second edition
Last updated on 30.04.2018
On Saturday 30 June 2018 a group of hardcore trailrunners will race from Innsbruck to the Stubai Glacier.
The event’s motto, “urban2glacier”, tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the STUBAI ULTRATRAIL. Starting in the Olympic city of Innsbruck, this race takes runners through the Stubai Valley and all the way up onto the Stubai Glacier at 3,150 metres above sea level – from the heart of the city into the alpine wilderness. In 2018 athletes will for the first time be able to choose between three courses. As well as the 63.1km STUBAI ULTRATRAIL and the 28.7km STUBAI BASICTRAIL the organisers have this year created a brand new option: the STUBAI GLACIERTRAIL. This short but steep climb starts at the foot of the glacier and sees runners ascend 1,394 vertical metres on a course of just 8km.
All three courses finish at the Jochdohle mountain station at 3,150 metres above sea level on the Stubai Glacier. “One of my personal highlights is the section from the Dresdner Hütte hut up to the Eisgrat ridge on the glacier. The athletes can look forward to great trails and absolutely breathtaking views. From the Sennjoch ridge, the highest point of the course, you can see all the mountains which surround the glacier. Those are the moments which make all that hard work and sweat worthwhile,” explains course director Martin Hafenmair.
As they leave Innsbruck at 1am all the athletes will be wearing headlamps. 63.1 kilometres and 5,075 vertical metres later they can enjoy stunning views and a perfect sunset at 3,150 metres above sea level on the Stubai Glacier.
The STUBAI BASICTRAIL may be the little brother of the STUBAI ULTRATRAIL, but it is no less spectacular. Runners must complete a 28.7km course with 2,528 vertical metres of uphill and 381 vertical metres of downhill. The gun goes at 10am in the town of Neustift in the middle of the Stubai Valley. After a series of beautiful and challenging trails the athletes reach the end of the valley and embark on the spectacular final climb up into a world of snow and ice on the Stubai Glacier.
The STUBAI GLACIERTRAIL is perfect for those who like it short, steep and intense. Starting at 11am at the foot of the Stubai Glacier, it comprises the final 8km of the full-length STUBAI ULTRATRAIL course. A series of steep switchbacks takes riders up past the Dresdner Hütte hut into the world of permanent snow and ice to the finish at the Jochdohle 3,150 metres above sea level. Though just 8km in length, the course has an incredible 1,394 vertical metres of uphill.
What can the athletes expect as they set out into the darkness at 1am in Innsbruck? The first section of the course leads towards the Bergisel ski jump to the south of Innsbruck before entering the Sillschlucht gorge and reaching the first refreshment station at the Stephansbrücke bridge.
After negotiating the “Stollensteig” to Mieders, a beautiful but tricky trail requiring full concentration, runners continue via the Wiesenhof up to the second refreshment station above the village of Telfes. The next section takes them through the hiking and ski resort of Schlick 2000 to refreshment station number three at the Schlickeralm hut, where the climb to the Sennjoch ridge (the highest point in the first half of the course) awaits. Up on the ridge there are fine views to be had of the Stubai Valley as they make their way along to the Starkenburger Hütte hut.
The following descent to Neustift is technically challenging. After passing the Doadler Alm and climbing up to Ranalt follows the fabulous “WildeWasserWeg” trail along the Ruetz river with views into the adjacent gorge – known as the Ruetz Katarakt – as far as the Tschangelair Alm hut. Runners then pass the Grawa Alm hut and eventually reach the Mutterbergalm cable car station, where views of the thundering Grawa Waterfall provide a fine reward after more than 50km of running.
The final punishing climb begins with a technical section leading along many switchback corners up to the Dresdner Hütte hut, where a majestic glacier panorama opens up in front of the runners. It is then time to head into the realm of permanent snow and ice towards the finish 3,150 metres above sea level at the Jochdohle, home to Austria’s highest mountain restaurant, where fabulous mountain views and a well-deserved finisher’s medal await.
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