Tor des Geants

Endurance Trail 330 km - 24000m D+11-18 September 2016
Are they pushing the limits?

Are they pushing the limits?

Wed, 10/10/2012 - 13:33 -- redazione-milano

“Human beings are made up of flesh
and blood and a miracle fibre called courage”

The slogan of Tor des Géants is always the same: push yourself further, leaving nothing to chance. and training properly..

If there is a place on Earth where the Creator has lingered the longest shaping the world, it is the Aosta Valley. You cannot begin to understand what I am saying if you have never passed through these places; nor can you comprehend this metaphor with the eyes of a tourist from a shopping centre. You must walk it. You must completely plunge in it .

There are two major routes which penetrate every valley of the region: the two ‘Alte Vie’ (High Trails). Only when you walk over these, you can understand what it means: there is a point on Alta Via no. 1 where – if you are awake at dawn – you can see the pyramid of the Matterhorn slowly emerging from the dark and its beautiful silhouette stands out in front of you; whilst to your right, the light will show you the ice fields of the Monte Rosa. Beyond the High Pass (Alta Via no. 2), traces of human beings are uncommon, and you will travel in silence along places dominated by dark rocks which have inhabited the Earth since long before our time. You will cross a primordial and unattended universe, the antithesis of all that is tourism. But, if you lean over and look down from the pass, infinitely lower, the human world will reappear luminous at your feet, with towns and endless pastures. 

These are the Alte Vie, whose  wild beauty landscape  will take your breath away. All is standing still (almost) from the time of Creation. There is no overcrowding on the trails: during one whole day you may meet a handful of passers-by. The mountain huts or ‘Refuges’ are located many hours of travel away from each other. And there are no ski lifts to shorten the fatigue of vagabonds.

The two Alte Vie, along with a section which connects them, form a loop which is 330 kilometres in perimeter and has 24,000 metres of elevation gain. The name ‘tour of the giants’ refers to the highest mountains in Europe, which the two ‘Alte Vie’’ lap: Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, Grandes Murailles and Dent d’Hérens, Grand Combin, Grand Jorasses and Gran Paradiso. They are the giants.

 

Pietro Trabucchi,
in Correre / extract