Photos courtesy of Klaus Hoi / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Der Lange Weg – The World’s Longest Ski Tour
History repeats itself
Nobody has dared to accept this gruelling challenge for nearly 50 years: crossing the main chain and the mightiest peaks of the European Alps, from Reichenau an der Rax, Austria, to Nice, France, on ski and on foot within only 40 days, without a single day off.
On March 17, 2018, a team of international athletes will set off to accomplish one of the toughest missions in the history of skiing. They will leave Reichenau an der Rax to repeat an amazing adventure a group of Austrian ski mountaineers first experienced in 1971. Their incredible goal: to set a new time record for this thrilling alpine expedition with 1917 kilometres in distance and more than 85,000 metres of cumulative elevation gain. An extraordinary task lies ahead of them: Red Bull Der Lange Weg, the world’s longest ski tour!
47 years ago, Austrians Robert Kittl, Klaus Hoi, Hansjoerg Farbmacher and Hans Mariacher set off to be the first – and so far the only – athletes to complete the entire crossing of the Alpine divide from East to West on ski. They didn’t choose the most direct but the most challenging route, including some of the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Großglockner (3798 m), Piz Palü (3900 m), Dufourspitze (4634 m), and Mont Blanc (4808 m).
The 2018 team will follow their footsteps and tackle the same intimidating peaks as the original crew. As the route is exceptionally demanding, only internationally respected expedition and alpine mountaineers, mountain guides and endurance athletes were chosen to participate.
Tamara Lunger (ITA), Nuria Picas (SPA), Janelle Smiley (USA), Mark Smiley (USA), Philipp Reiter (GER), David Wallmann (AUT) and Bernhard Hug (SUI) were chosen to cross the Alpine divide from east to west. They haven’t known each other before and have never accomplished an expedition together in this formation. But there’s one thing that unites them: the love for the mountains and the passion for unusual challenges. The group is successful at Red Bull Der Lange Weg if four of them reach Nice in less than 41 days.
Will their journey be as stressful as it was in 1971, with modern equipment, new riding techniques, and state-of-the-art technology? And will the human body be tested as much today as it was back then?
Red Bull Der Lange Weg will answer these questions soon!
Watch the teaser of Red Bull Der Lange Weg in the video player above and find more information on www.redbull.com/derlangeweg