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The Patrouille des Glaciers 2024: A magnificent A2 race, spared from a stormy race week.
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News | 21 April 2024


Zermatt-Arolla-Verbier, April 21, 2024

The 40th anniversary of the Patrouille des Glaciers was marked by a race week with stormy weather and ice cold temperatures. After the cancellation of the Z1 and A1 races on Tuesday, the starts of the Z2 race on Saturday had to be canceled for safety reasons as well. Only the A2 race from Arolla, initially postponed by 24 hours, was able to start on Saturday night as planned.

The victory in the men’s category went to the “Young Guns” patrol with Finn Hösch, Oriol Olm Rouppert, and Erik Kaarvatn, who finished the race in 3:14:23 hours, first among a total of 393 men’s and mixed patrols. In the women’s category with a total of 41 patrols, the “SAC Swiss Team” patrol with Caroline Ulrich, Thibe Deseyn, and Alessandra Schmid won with a race time of 3:41:52 hours – a time that is only nine minutes away from the record for the short Patrouille des Glaciers. In the Swiss military patrols category, the fastest patrol “Geb Spez Ber Det 204,” composed of Noah Mounir, Alexis Moulin, and Raphael Imsand, reached the finish line after 4:05:44 hours. As the fastest international military patrol, the Austrian team “ÖBH/ÖSV1” with Andreas Mayer, Nils Oberauer, and Johannes Lohfeyer finished the race in 3:21:47 hours.

The magic of the Patrouille des Glaciers was back from the start of the first teams: the luminous path created by the headlamps of the patrols on the snow-covered slopes and peaks at night remains a fantastic spectacle. The visibility on the course in the second half of the night was as good as expected by the organizers. However, the 434 patrols (283 men, 110 mixed, 41 women) had to face the announced extreme cold, with wind chill temperatures of up to -32°C (at 3500 meters altitude).

For the commander of the Patrouille des Glaciers, Brigadier Christian Sieber, the successful completion of the A2 race is a reward for all those who contributed to the organization of this 40th edition, during which three of the four races had to be canceled.

The commander understands and shares the frustration of the 1,200 patrols that could not start. He appreciates their motivation and thanks them for their understanding regarding the decisions made.

Sieber also emphasizes the commitment of the troops and all those involved under extreme conditions. Wind chill temperatures of up to -38°C prevailed on the mountain peaks during the race week, caused by wind gusts of up to almost 100 km/h. A complex situation that enabled the Swiss Army to carry out a successful operation under intensive, real conditions.

The next edition of the Patrouille des Glaciers is planned for the year 2026. There is hope for more favorable weather conditions so that the “magic” of the races can fully spark, and the spirit of camaraderie that has always characterized the Patrouille des Glaciers can once again be lived and nurtured.

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