Whether veterans like Jakob Schubert and Adam Ondra or all-time favorite Janja Ganbret: This summer, starting August 1 in Bern, the best in the disciplines of lead, bouldering and speed will compete. New: the combination of lead and bouldering as well as paraclimbing. And everything is at stake, because the Climbing World Championships mark the start of qualification for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The competition is overshadowed by accusations and discussions about the weight of the athletes and the demand for stricter controls. Those who are lighter have a competitive advantage - and more and more climbers run the risk of developing eating disorders or RED syndrome due to the trend toward thinness. Athletes, sports physicians and consultants are calling on the world federation to finally take a stand and protect the health of athletes.
For: Everyone who wants to experience their role models live on the wall and celebrate the team spirit of the international climbing community.
When: 01 - 12 August 2023
Effortlessly leaping up the mountain like an ibex in breathtaking scenery? That's what trail runners can do in Graubünden in August. The Madrisa Trail Run in Klosters on August 19 promises trail running with a view. The ultra trail over 54 kilometers and 4020 meters of altitude has 90 percent trail portion - so hardly any boring road sections, but pure nature and an incredible scenic backdrop.
And for all aspiring ultra runners* there is a shorter distance of 24 kilometers, which leads across the valley floor of Klosters. This route is a little less demanding, but still promises a great panorama and after all 1247 meters of altitude.
For: (aspiring) ultratrail runners who want to be one with nature.
When: August 19, 2023
Bigger, steeper, Ultratrail du Mont-Blanc! It needs no great introduction - it's the biggest and most prestigious trail running event of the season. And it's got it all! The course takes you around the Mount Blanc massif through France, Italy and Switzerland, with the finish line in front of numerous spectators in Chamonix. There are an incredible 172 km and around 10,000 meters of altitude to cover - it doesn't get more extreme than that. In 2023, the iconic ultra race will not only celebrate its 20th anniversary from August 28 to September 03. For the first time, the finals of the World Series will also be held on the UTMB course, the CCC course (100-kilometer distance), and the OCC course (54 km, middle distance). It's no surprise that the big names will be at the start: Kilian Jornet is planning his UTMB comeback and also Courtney Dauwalter, in top form and after victories at the Western States 100 and Hard Rock 100, is planning to complete the triple of the toughest ultratrail races at Mount Blanc.
For: Those who want to see superhuman athletes* in action - getting a starting spot yourself is not easy.
When: August 28 - September 03, 2023
Want to get sporty and feed your Insta feed while you're at it? Then the legendary bike race Eroica Dolomiti is just the thing for you. The vintage racing bike takes you through the jagged landscape of the Dolomites. The Dolomites edition of the legendary Eroica bike race is for those looking for that special experience: challenging, fun and Instagrammable! The race only allows cycling on steel racing bikes made before 1987. So grab grandpa's old road bike and join the Eroica Dolomiti in San Candido in the Puster Valley on September 2!
By the way, if you want to take out your recently purchased new gravel bike, there's an alternative in May: the Nova Eroica Prosecco Hills, for example, is an offshoot of the bike race, and offers similar flair as you ride through the Prosecco-growing region.
For: Anyone who still has grandpa's old wire bike in the basement.
When: 02 September 2023
The Sella Ronda goes high up! But only for bikers. Twice a year, in 2023 on May 10 and September 16, cyclists can ride the four Dolomite passes Sella Pass, Gardena Pass, Pordoi Pass and Campolongo Pass undisturbed by cars and exhaust fumes. Drops of sweat on your face and breathtaking mountain panoramas included! From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., everyone can join in without registration. The entire route is secured and there are first aid stations in various villages. Important: The Sella Ronda Bike Day is not a bike race, but a day for bike fans. There is no time measurement. Instead, you can enjoy the Italian Alps at your own pace. If you are already there: One or more stops in the four Ladin valleys around the Sella group are definitely ideal for a bit of dolce vita.
For: All cycling enthusiasts who want to ride spectacular passes at their own pace.
When: September 16, 2023
Fun in a team: That's what the Grüntenstafette around the "guardian of the Allgäu" promises. In teams of six, the mountain ridge is conquered up and down - each person does one stage. The program includes cross-country running, mountain running (uphill), alpine running (downhill) and road running, as well as road cycling and mountain biking. Those who want to participate should set up their team early: Even if the competition sounds unknown, it is booked up in no time. Registration is at the local sports club TSV Burgberg, every year again from 5:38 p.m., corresponding to the 1738 meters altitude that the Grünten has.
For: Team players with sporty friends!
When: September 30, 2023
The Red Bull X-Alps are really tough. They are probably the most spectacular form of alpine cross and one of the toughest adventure races, in which athletes make their way through five countries in the Alps for around two weeks, running, hiking and paragliding. Flying is only allowed during the day, otherwise it's on foot, but with a mandatory rest period at night. With a new, longer route, the Red Bull event went from Salzburg to Mount Blanc and back to Zell am See in Austria. The starting field is largely male, but this year for the first time a woman, Austrian Elisabeth Egger, managed to finish before the cut-off time.
From the fourth day and every 48 hours thereafter, the last place is eliminated and the field of participants* is reduced - so the stakes are high! The last eight races were won by Swiss Christian Maurer, known as "Chrigel the Eagle", and he set another record time in 2023.
For: Exceptional athletes* who like to physically torture themselves - or those who prefer to watch from a distance.
When: June 11-23, 2023 (no date announced yet for 2024).
Development of Alpine tourism
Tourism in the Alpine region began as early as the 14th century with the first ascents of a few peaks. However, it was not until the 1950s that the Alps really began to attract masses, mainly due to the expansion of transport routes. Formerly a summer vacation destination, the expansion of lifts and hotels now attracted winter sports tourists en masse. Where agriculture was originally the only source of income, tourism has permanently changed living and working conditions in the Alpine valleys.
Today, the Alps are the world's largest skiing area and are visited by around 100 million tourists each year - an increasing burden on the fragile ecosystem. In addition, winter tourism is coming under pressure from climate change, glacier melt and the rise of snow lines.