For a mere 3km run you might ask what all the fuss is about - but in fact, this is a challenge of epic proportions. The race has an overall ascent of 970m, including an inconceivable incline of over 50%, so some may argue this is more a battle of gravity than anything else.
This past weekend, runners took to the slopes to scale Face de Bellevarde's 2798m summit. Returning champion Xavier Gachet upheld his title as king of the mountain with a time of 33 minutes 57 seconds, while another French national, newcomer Jessica Pardin (pictured below), took the women’s title in 43:08.
La Face de Bellevarde is an iconic, black-rated piste known throughout the world as the location for the first Criterium de la Premiere Neige, the World Cup Downhill ski championships. This race is part of the Vertical Kilometer World Circuit, a new concept acting as an add-on to the Skyrunner World Series, the fifth race of which took place in Val d’Isère this same weekend.
Written by Kate Milsom