Trail Running the Niesen Uphill
Big Vertical Training Day!
Trail running the Niesen is a funny mix of extremes. It’s a beautiful mountain with a not so memorably beautiful trail that climbs 1700 meters, without interruption, to a stunning summit view.
More than anything, for trail runners, it is the perfect big vert training climb. The trail is annoyingly runnable because it is not so steep. As such, you feel obligated to keep running the 1700 meters, which is a lot of vert to maintain a running movement. Again, it’s perfect torture that'll have you pushing all the way to the top.
While doing it, spare a thought for Ueli Steck. He would regularly do three laps on it. Basic math reveals that to be a 5100 meter day. In Ueli’s case, a morning.
But hey, if you aren’t into 1700 meters of down, catch the roller coaster like, incredibly steep, train that goes right to the summit, which you can board smelling your best thanks to the shower on top for athletes. Beside that train track is the world’s longest staircase, which you’ll surely notice and consider how it would make your quads feel like to go up. Too bad though, it’s not allowed. Unless of course you do the annual race up it.
I wouldn’t make the Niesen a priority destination, but if you are in the area, don’t miss all that it has to offer, it offers a lot.
Detailed GPX Track
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Start: 46.639781, 7.690006
Go hard from the start! By the time you get to treeline you'll be curious how you did when it comes to your Strava news.
- Save your knees and consider the train down. And another lap up, of course.
- No need to carry food or water if you prefer to go extra light, it's available on top.
Perfect trail through thick forest kicks things off for the first 800 meters.
The perfect form of the Niesen as seen from Interlaken.
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