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Running the Via Alpina with Les Others

A three-day, 70km tour through the Swiss Alps along the Via Alpina trail? Sounds like a mission for Les Others. The outdoor and adventure publication put the new Cloudventure to the test along three dramatic sections of this iconic route.

 

Running from Slovenia to Monaco, 5000km in length and traversing the alps, the Via Alpina trail is no ordinary route... 

 

 

And so it proved as the adventurers from Les Others laced up the new Cloudventure trail shoe to take on some of its most scenic sections, documenting the journey along the way.

 

 

Fittingly, the stretches chosen to test this Swiss-engineered trail shoe spanned the Swiss Alps, covering the diverse terrain that the varied grip pattern of the new Missiongrip™ outsole is designed for. 

 

 

 

Behind the story 

 

Les Others’ Damien Bettinelli takes us behind the scenes of their multi-day, all-terrain mission: 

 

“When we left, it was already really late in the season. We had a very short timeframe before the snow would fall and most passes would close. The weather was actually beyond our expectations: even though temperatures were quite cold, the only clouds we’ve seen were on our shoes. Only three days after we left, all those trails were covered in snow.”

 

Meet the Les Others team

 

“One thing we didn’t take into account was our poor knowledge of Swiss-German. This led us into some tricky situations. For example, as we were traveling by car to one starting point, we discovered we were on a road where it was only allowed to drive uphill at certain times of the day. Other hours were reserved for those driving downhill. Thankfully, we didn’t need to learn this lesson the hard way."

 

The Cloudventure
Damien: “The most noticeable feature of the new Cloudventure is its perfect grip. We experienced all types of terrain over the course of the journey and it performed every time. The toe protection was also appreciated on long rocky downhills.”
See the shoe

 

“For anyone wanting to follow in our footsteps, the good news is that it’s very easy to explore Swiss trails. The routes are always perfectly marked so you can’t really get lost. Also, you can rely on the quality of Swiss infrastructure: it was always easy to find a place to sleep, even in small villages. And if you want to skip a stage of our route, the bus and rail systems can take you almost everywhere.”

 

 

“Also, when we were running to the Hohtürli pass, we came across a sign with ‘caution’ symbols, which is always concerning! From what we could make out, a bridge was removed at this time of the season, and the crossing was at our own risk. This was worrying, especially as this pass was the highest on our journey. But we decided to go ahead anyway. By chance, we met someone who spoke English who explained that the bridge in question was not actually on our route." 

 

 

In terms of preparation, there’s one thing to keep in mind: You’re in the mountains. Temperatures tend to vary very quickly. You are enjoying warming sun at 3 p.m., then suddenly it’s 4 p.m. and you’re freezing because the sun has shifted behind a summit. Better bring the appropriate jacket with you.”

 

The Weather Jacket
Damien: "Being outdoors from sunrise to sunset, we had to be able to adapt to changing weather. The Weather Jacket was our perfect ally to protect us from cold winds."
See the jacket
The Performance-T
Damien: "This tee dries out very quickly which was important - we needed gear that we could wear several days in a row."
See the details

 

View the full story of the team’s journey at LesOthers.com (French only) and in the latest print edition (French and English), available to order online. Photography by Fabien Voileau

 

Stage by stage: The Les Others Via Alpina route in detail

 

 

 

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