Taking place in the Aosta Valley in northwest Italy, the Cervino Vertical Kilometre represents a fundamental stage in the development of skyrunning. The first edition, and thus the first Vertical Kilometer, was run in 1994. The winner was Ettore Champretavy.
In 2014, twenty years after the first edition, the A.S.D. Cervino Trailers relaunched the challenge: it traces the same route, starting in the center of the town of Cervinia at 2000m. It starts with a straight road to the trail start.The path immediately starts very steeply and then goes up towards the Oriondé refuge.Following a beautiful trail to Alpe Crot of Labie, the path becomes a lot steeper – 50% at times. The next point is at Alpe Eura, 2544m, where water is available before continuing upwards to Duca degli Abruzzi Refuge. Here, at 2600m altitude, the path steepens again with sections over 60% gradient.
Tick off passing by Rifugio l’Oriondé (or Duca degli Abruzzi) where water and food are available then after the Testa del Leone (Lion’s Head) the trail becomes very rocky; continue up to the second and third rocky steps until you reach the end at Carrel Cross (Jean Antoine Carrel, was the legendary Mountain Guide who died of exhaustion here after trying to save a client on August 24, 1890).