The Cervino Vertical Kilometre in the Valle d’Aoste represents a fundamental stage in the development of skyrunning. In 1994 in Cervinia the first trial of Vertical Kilometer was run. The masters were 1st Ettore Champretavy, 2nd Bruno Brunod, 3rd Fabio Meraldi and 4th Marco De Gasperi and the history of the mountain race unfolded.
In 2014, twenty years after the first edition, the A.S.D. Cervino Trailers relaunched the challenge: it traces the same route, the same battle, the same suffering, and the same emotions that the first lords of the sky lived.The departure is in the center of the town of Cervinia at 2000 m. It starts with a straight road to the trail start. To avoid bottling, the departures are stalled based on the time stated at the time of registration. The real fun begins here. The path immediately starts very steep, crosses a farm road twice and goes up towards the Oriondé refuge. The first step, technical but well equipped ends a hundred meters before the little church of the Alpini del Btg. Monte Cervino.
A steady climb and several road crossing leading to the refuge at Alpe Crot of Palet (2268 m), passing the refuge, a dirt road leads shortly to the waterfall bridge.
Follow a beautiful trail to Alpe Crot of Labie from where it becomes a lot steeper – 50% angles. It’s serious; the legs get heavy, the heart accelerates and breathing becomes labored.
The next point is at Alpe Eura, 2544 m, a large stable with a water supply is available before continuing upwards to Duca degli Abruzzi Refuge. Until now slopes could be described as easy, but all of a sudden from 2,600 m altitude there will be a vertical with points up to over 60% angles
Tick off passing by Rifugio l’Oriondé (or Duca degli Abruzzi) where water and food are available. Climb the first rocky step of the spur of the Testa del Leone (Lion’s Head).
Now the trail becomes very rocky; continue up to the second and third rocky steps until you reach the Carrel Cross. Carrel waits there, inside a small niche where the cross is kept with the photo of Jean Antoine Carrel, the legendary “mountain guide” that at that point, August 24, 1890, died of exhaustion after trying to save a client.
You will have finished the famous VK, first run in 1994, brava!