6 to 9 September 2023 - Registrations open 30 January 2023!

UTMR “Special edition” Stage Race

Some of the most magnificent trails in the Alps are the höhenwege of the Swiss Valais/Wallis. Wild alpine trails traversing high above the valley floor, holding you captive to the power of the 4000m summits all around. These are some of the best trails we’ve run in the Alps, and that’s saying something!

Race details

The Stage Race starts and finishes in Grächen, Switzerland.

Registration: 14:00 to 19:30 Tuesday 31 September, Grächen Dorfplatz
Start: 06.00h Wednesday 1 September 2021 from Grächen Dorfplatz
Distance: 152 km
Ascent: 10,800m
Time Limit: 12 hours for each day

First finishers expected in Grächen ~11.00h on Saturday 4 September.

You will be supported with 2-3 checkpoints each day, with hot soup available on the finish line. We transport your luggage (15kg / 75 l maximum) from start to finish each day.

Overnight stops will be in Zermatt on Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2, and in Saas Fee on Friday 3 September. The hotel accommodation is arranged for you and you will receive details in your registration envelope.

Please note: you will be required to carry the obligatory equipment. In addition, we will have a Covid Protection Concept in place with additional conditions to ensure you have a safe race. We will notify you of all regulations by email in August. Thank you for your cooperation.

Route description

Stage 1: Grächen to Zermatt

41.1 km 2,902m 2,912m

Your race will take you on the original UTMR route along the Europaweg to Zermatt, crossing the magnificent 494m long Charles Kuonen Hängebrücke (suspension bridge), before reaching the iconic alpine village at the foot of the incomparable Matterhorn. 

Stage 1 GPX Stage 1 KML

Stage 2:

36.2 km 2,657m 2,657m

Continue on the original UTMR route as far as the Gandegghütte right on the edge of the Theodulgletscher. From here you take a high trail to Hirli right on the ridge leading up to the Matterhorn’s Hörnligrat, quite possibly one of the most famous of alpine routes. Dropping down into the the wild valley leading up to the Zmuttgletscher, you are right beneath the Matterhorn’s North Face. It’s an awesome place to be. Crossing the valley you climb up to Höhbalmen with its extensive and breathtaking panorama – the north face of the Matterhorn with the Zmuttgrat ridge, the Breithorn, Liskamm and the Monte Rosa massif, the Rimpfischhorn, Alphubel, Taschhorn, Dom…. 4000m summits abound. Descend to Zermatt and your finish line awaits.

Stage 2 GPX Stage 2 KML

Stage 3:

38.5 km 2,404m -1,960m

Take a ride on the historic Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn from Zermatt to Täsch (ticket provided), from where we transport you by bus for the short journey to Visperterminen. Starting in this traditional Walliser village high above the valley floor you will make a short climb to the Gibidumpass putting you right onto the magnificent Gsponer Höhenweg. A mixture of ancient pine forests, with rich alpine flora, and rocky sections leads you south towards Kreuzboden and the Weissmieshütte from where a beautifully panoramic trail takes you to Almagelleralp. A gentle descent to Saas Almagell and a rising trail to Saas Fee ends your day!

Stage 3 GPX Stage 3 KML

Stage 4:

35.6 km 2,505m 2,674m

Now after a short excursion around Saas Fee the Balfrin Höhenweg leads you from Saas Fee to Hannigalp, it is never really technical or exposed, but if you are not accustomed to thin alpine trails this will require concentration in places. After a hearty welcome at Hannigalp checkpoint you climb to Seetal. One last descent through pine forests and we’ll be waiting for you in the Dorfplatz in Grächen.

This is alpine terrain, with some long wild sections, and you must be able to look after yourself in all conditions.

Bold, beautiful and brutal. Still wild, still challenging – good luck and have a great race!

Stage 4 GPX Stage 4 KML