Red Bull Der Lange Weg 2018: Ski traverse on the Alps ends in 36 days
Dream Wanderlust | Apr 24 , 2018
Red Bull Der Lange Weg, the world's longest ski tour started on 17th March 2018 from Vienna, Austria, and came to an culminated in Nice, France on 22nd April 2018. Five international athletes, Janelle Smiley (USA), Mark Smiley (USA), David Wallmann (AUT), Philipp Reiter (GER) and Bernhard Hug (SUI) arrived in Nice, France. This is the the world's longest ski tour. They covered 1721km in distance and 89644m of cumulative elevation gain on skis and on foot. Altogether, they were on the move for 375h. The ski tour across the Alps that took them from the outskirts of Vienna to the golden beach at Nice lasted for 36 days.
The five ski mountaineers had started on 17th March with two other partners, Spain's Núria Picas and Tamara Lunger from Italy. Both of them were forced to abandon the traverse for different reasons. The aim of the traverse was to follow in the footsteps of the historic Austrian team, composed of Robert Kittl, Klaus Hoi, Hansjoerg Farbmacher and Hans Mariacher. In 1971, the Austrian team completed this particular undertaking in 41 days.
The 2018 team was forced to change the route on several occasions due to weather conditions. The new route was considered not only as the most logical way from east to west, but also as the safest. Some summits ascended by the 1971 team were not completed by the 2018 team. This time the conditions were simply so dangerous and prohibitive that the 2018 team were forced to abandon the summit of Mont Blanc (4808m). They were stopped around 100 meters below the summit due to zero visibility and high probability of avalanche.