Ultralight Trail Running Gear and The Way Up Project

Trail running on the Wildstrubel, a 3244 meter peak in the Swiss Alps above Lenk, Switzerland
Warming up for The Way Up last week on an easy big day – the Wildstrubel from Lenk, an Alp classic. Perfect for a long mountain run with a trail to the very top, 2150 meters of gain.

The Way Up Peak & Trail Running Project

Last summer I discovered several peaks in the Alps with enormous elevation gain through all terrain, from valley to alpine summit. Some entirely on trail, others a mix of trail and scrambling. All relatively easy, just big ups, well over 2000 meters of big. In my book, big means fun.

It started with doing the Zinalrothorn in a day from Zermatt. Okay, this is certainly not a mountain run, it’s real climbing. But, the style of going light and committing to one day made the difference. I loved it, and so began to look for others possible to do as “running peaks”. As any honest trail or mountain runner will admit to, doing these kinds of things typically involves far more power hiking than they do running. But we get to wear the cool, lightweight gear, and run as much as we can. The key of course is having fun, covering loads of ground, and feeling thrashed at the end of the day.

This summer we came up with the idea to do numerous big mountains as “runs”. We did some Googling, spoke to some friends, and used our own experience. What we came up with is a super inspiring list of peaks. It’s as much a personal project as it is for our work as professional mountain sport photographers.

We’re calling it The Way Up, and tomorrow we start.

Ultralight Trail and Mountain Running Gear

Gear is a huge factor as we need to stay light so we really can do some running. Everything needs to be just the right amount of minimum. My pack, with everything needed, including a Sony RX100 camera weighs in at 4kg. Not bad for doing a 4000 meter peak with 2600 meters of gain. I’ll appreciate that weight come meter 2000, more so on the way down.

We’ll post our experiences here, or you can follow along on social media: Instagram | FacebookTwitter

Ultralight, ultra simple. Dynafit gear plays a big role for me as it is light and perfectly designed for exactly what we are doing. Gear: Dynafit X7 Pro Pack Grivel aluminum crampons Sony RX100 camera Dynafit soft bottle Hydrapak/Katadyn soft bottle with filter Misc Dynafit clothing One Black Diamond trekking pole Petzl ultralight ice axe Dynafit Feline shoes Trail Butter Suunto Vertical watch Petzl headlamp Julbo sunglasses with Zebra lens Missing – additional food, namely a summit sandwich and ChiaCharge bars.
Trail runner arriving to the summit of the Wildstrubel, a 3244 meter peak in the Swiss Alps above Lenk, Switzerland. In the background is the Plaine Morte, a huge flat glacier.
Arriving to the summit of the Wildstrubel, 3244 meters, with the Glacier de la Plaine Morte below and incredibly clear air for a panoramic view of the Swiss Alps, from the Weissmies to the Matterhorn, to Mont Blanc.


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