Hoch Tirol is a well known alpine ski tour, crossing from Kasern in the Ahrntal, Italy all the way to Austria's highest mountain, the Großglockner (3,798m). Traditionally tackled in six days using the numerous huts scattered along the route, the crossing takes in one or two picturesque peaks per day as skiers traverse an impressive landscape. And adventurers won’t go hungry! The area is known for gourmet coffee and apple strudel, while plenty of travelers will end their day with a warming combination of beer with soup while stretching their legs in the sun. This multi-day textbook tour could be just as relaxed as it is beautiful.
But when athlete Philipp Reiter started thinking about tackling the Hoch Tirol, he didn’t have relaxation in mind. It was two years ago, during the ’Long Way’ a 2000 km journey across the entire main Alpine Ridge from Vienna to Nice, when Philipp Reiter got a flavour of the epic dimensions of the Großvenediger-Großglockner area. When he asked French ultra runner Francois d’Haene about his winter plans last autumn, the Hoch Tirol tour came up. Was it possible to make the crossing in 24 hours? Without hesitation, Francois agreed: "Great, I’ll come with you!"
Below, Philipp gives us a unique insight into the trials and tribulations of his and Francois' journey across the mountains.