The Mezzalama Trophy 2019 has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions. The legendary ski mountaineering competition on Monte Rosa will now take place on Sunday 28 April.
The Mezzalama Trophy has been postponed for 24 hours due to bad weather on Monte Rosa, which is forecast to last until Friday. The 22nd edition of the legendary “white marathon” had originally been scheduled for Saturday the 27th of April, but will now take place on Sunday 28 April. It’s the same fantastic route through the glaciers of Valle d’Aosta, from Breuil-Cervinia to Gressoney-la-Trinité, climbing three mountains that are over four thousand metres high: Castor, Lyskamm, and this time also Entdeckungsfels on the ‘Colle del Lys’.
The announcement was made by the technical director Adriano Favre, a mountain guide who, since 1997, has been responsible for the world’s highest and most coveted ski mountaineering competition. “This morning” (yesterday, Ed) explained Favre “I examined the weather maps with the help of professionals from the Italian Meteorological Society. With an improvement expected as of Friday afternoon, Mezzalama will be able to take place only on Sunday the 28th. The break in the bad weather that we anticipate for Saturday will let us secure the parts of the route that are at high altitude, especially in the steeper sections on Castor and the Naso del Lyskamm. Around a hundred mountain guides and volunteers have been mobilised to do this job. The same individuals who, on Sunday morning, will be spread out at the checkpoints, waiting for the nearly 300 three-man rope teams from different 18 countries.”
New for 2019: three 4000ers instead of two
The Mezzalama Trophy, the last race of the season on La Grande Course ski-mountaineering circuit, will start from the centre of Breuil-Cervinia and finish in Gressoney-La-Trinité. The historic race, first held in 1933, is the only one in the world that is raced over glaciers; it traverses two 4000ers, the Castor peak (4226 m) and the Naso del Lyskamm pass. “This year” explained Favre “the course will go right over the summit of the Naso (4275 m), which is even higher than the Castor. But the real novelty of the 2019 edition will be a third 4000m peak. Instead of starting the descent to Gressoney immediately after crossing the Naso, from an altitude of 3900m the athletes will hike up again on their skis towards the Col de Lys as far as the Roccia della Scoperta-Rock of Discovery (4177 m). As in the 1978 edition of the Mezzalama, we want to commemorate the feat of seven mountaineers from Gressoney who first reached this rocky outcrop emerging from the glaciers between the Aosta Valley and the canton of Valais in 1778. It was a European-level expedition that took place eight years before the conquest of Mont Blanc. The seven Gressoney pioneers, commemorated by an imposing monument in Gressoney-Saint-Jean, were thus both the first to start exploring the Monte Rosa massif and precursors of mountaineering itself.”