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SKYCLIMB MEZZALAMA by DYNAFIT - EDITION ZERO

28 August 2021

A large part of the race will take place in an area of glaciers, with all the features and difficulties that this type of terrain presents: crevasses, ice, snow and steep slopes that require the use of a harness, rope and crampons. 

It is reserved for two-man rope teams with a thorough knowledge of high mountains, a mountaineering curriculum and good results achieved in classic skyrunning races. This is due to the technical difficulty of the course, the high altitude at which it takes place, the risks inherent to the mountain environment and the unpredictability of weather conditions. 

The race will start and finish in the village of Saint Jacques (1700mt.), at the far end of the Valle di Ayas. During the summer the village is closed to traffic and provides a splendid setting for sporting events. 

COURSE

A short climb through a larch wood takes you up to the tiny hamlet of Fiery (1878mt.)  After that, the climb becomes less steep, slanting off to the right to reach the Pian di Verra at 2050mt., where there is a fantastic view of the homonymous glacier and the Monte Rosa massif. 

After crossing the plateau meadow, a mule track leads up to the Lago Blu (Blue Lake) at 2215mt, one of the most beautiful spots in the Valle d’Ayas. From here, you follow the steep ridge of the glacial moraine to reach the Mezzalama Hut (3036mt.) From here on, the terrain becomes typically pre-glacial and rocky and, after crossing a flat tongue of ice, you come to the foot of the rocky Lambronecca rib, at the top of which stands the Guide Val d'Ayas Hut (3400mt.) 

This refuge will be the first Feed Zone and transition area. Here teams must put on a harness, crampons and rope themselves together, ready to tackle the potential perils of the glacier. The gradients are moderate until you reach the Passo di Verra (Verra Pass, 3848mt.). 

The most technical and difficult part of the race is represented by the climb up to the Castore peak (4226m) along the north-west face, following the same route as the winter Mezzalama Trophy.  The descent follows the south-east ridge and the Felik glacier, down to the Quintino Sella Hut at 3585mt.: here, a second Feed Zone and transition area will be set up, where ropes and crampons are to be removed.   

An aerial ridge, well-equipped with fixed ropes, leads to screes which soon bring you to the Bettolina peak (approx. 3000mt.). Here the course leaves the easy and well-trodden path leading to the Colle della Bettaforca and descends by a steeper route to the Pian di Verra Inferiore (Lower Pian di Verra), a thousand metres lower down. 

An easy path through a larch wood leads you to the Ferraro Hut (2060m) at Resy; then there is one last steep descent to the finish line in Saint Jacques.