For a taste of true skyrunning, the Monte Rosa SkyMarathon, Europe’s highest race, has to be on everyone’s bucket list. The 2024 event dates are June 15-16 with three races: the Monte Rosa SkyMarathon, the AMA VK2, a double Vertical Kilometer®, and new addition, the Monte Rosa Vertical, a classic VK – all of which take place in Alagna Valsesia on the Italian side of the mountain.
The star of the show, the Monte Rosa SkyMarathon, traverses moraine, snow fields and glaciers for 35 kilometres with a gruelling 7,000m ascent and descent summitting at the Margherita Hut, the highest refuge in Europe at 4,554m altitude.
Entries for 2024 will open on December 1, 2023 for athletes who have already participated, and will remain open until the quotas are reached: 200 teams (400 athletes) for the Monte Rosa SkyMarathon, 300 athletes for the AMA VK2 and 200 for the Monte Rosa Vertical. For new athletes wanting to compete in the Monte Rosa SkyMarathon and the other events, a separate announcement will be made.
For reasons of safety, athletes must race in pairs, roped together, and wear micro crampons on the upper stretches. To race in pairs, finding the right partner is vital. The race is capped at 200 teams of two who must present a CV attesting to their mountain running experience. Not for the faint-hearted, the Monte Rosa SkyMarathon is for those looking for a sky-high challenge and hot competition in a spectacular context.
To put the challenge in perspective, the men’s team record, set this year, was 4h29’20” and included the all-time fastest ascent to the summit in 3h06’ by Italians William Boffelli and Tadei Pivk. The women’s team record stands at 5h51’32” by American Hillary Gerardi and Briton Holly Page in 2018.
The fourth edition of the AMA VK2, a double Vertical Kilometer® which covers half the course of the main race, 9 km – uphill only, takes place on the same day, Saturday, June 15, 2024. The men’s record stands at 1h32′ by Italian Damiano Lenzi and the women’s, 1h58’57”, by Hillary Gerardi, both set in 2021.
The new Monte Rosa Vertical successfully launched this year, will be held on Sunday, June 16, 2024. The course starts in Alagna Valsesia to the Bocchetta delle Pisse, 2,396m, along the new ski slope over demanding uphill mountain trails but without technical difficulty. The race conforms to the classic Vertical Kilometer® parameters and is 5.32 km long with 1,150m vertical climb.
Already working to welcome participants, sponsors and spectators for the 2024 edition of the Monte Rosa SkyMarathon, the AMA VK2 and the Monte Rosa Vertical are: Manuel Gambarini, Race Organiser and President of the AMA Organising Committee together with the team, the Mountain Guides, the Alpine Rescue Service and all the volunteers – on and off the mountain, together with the events’ institutional partners: the Councils of Alagna Valsesia and Gressoney La Trinité, the Piedmont Region, the Province of Vercelli, Visit Monterosa, and Monterosa 2000.
Fingers crossed and ready to tick off your bucket list dreams. Qualified runners stay tuned for the December 1 entries. Entries for other categories will be announced at a later date.